The Stolen Generations In New South Wales
In 1912, the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls was established as a training institution for Aboriginal girls who had been removed from their families under the Aborigines Protection Act 1909-1969.
The Cootamundra Girls Home was fundamental to the process of removing Aboriginal girls. When removed, Aboriginal girls were trained to become domestic servants and farm hands in wealthy non-Aboriginal households. Girls in the homes were referred to as 'inmates' and parents were unable to regain access to their children until they turned 18yrs.
An average of 40 children were accommodated in the Cootamundra Girls Home at a time, with children living in dormitories, divided by age. The Girls experienced systematic racial discrimination to remove their Aboriginal identity and alienate them from their families.
At the age of 15yrs and 18yrs the children were sent out as servants to "white" households under arrangements that did not meet child welfare in those days. Over 570 children carried out duties, from scrubbing floors, washing and looking after children, for over 1200 employers. The children were not protected in these work environments, subjected to harsh conditions, and their wages were paid to Board trust accounts.