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Stolen wages: still very much stolen from Indigenous Australians

In Queensland, it was the law for 70 years that Aboriginal people were sent to work but were paid only a fraction of their wages, while the government held the rest of the money in trust. During the Protection Era the government gave itself the power to send Aboriginal men, women and children out to work where and when it saw fit. It was the legal guardian of all Aboriginal children under the age of 21 and dictated where and how people lived, whom they could marry, even what they ate. In 2002 the Beattie government made Aboriginal workers an offer. Those still living who could pass an eligibility test would be entitled to a one-off payment of between two and four thousand dollars. In exchange, those workers would sign away their rights to future litigation to recover their wages. Now that the government wants to settle the issue, we listen to the stories of some of the three generations who worked under 'the Act'. This program was shortlisted in the audio/visual category for the 2008 NSW Premier's History Awards.

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