As late as the 1970s Australian children of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage were removed from their parents in an effort to assimilate them into European culture. But what is clearly cultural genocide is often questioned on the basis of scale and intent, some arguing the scale was too small or there was no intent to eradicate Indigenous cultures in doing this. However the government’s own official estimate is that up to one in three Indigenous Australian children were forcibly taken from their families, clearly a scale that has decimated Indigenous cultures. Likewise, arguments against the intent of this genocide go against clear-recorded statements of the time, the government’s advisor or ‘Chief Protector’, Cecil Cook, stated that “everything necessary [must be done] to convert the halfcaste (mixed heritage) into a white citizen” .
Arguments that question the genocidal intent of the child removal policies of the Australian government are themselves often based on a racist mentality that still persists in Australia today, viewing such atrocities as “in the best interests of Aboriginal children” . Regardless of intent removing generations of children has disrupted transfers of knowledge, and the deep oral culture and knowledge of Indigenous peoples has been completely lost. That is not to mention all the massacres, violence, disease and loss of land caused by European colonisers, which in the wider scale of history should be remembered as genocide.