How does a two-year-old being forcibly taken from his family get charged with a crime? Aboriginal elder Uncle Larry Walsh wishes he knew.
As a youngster, Walsh lived with his mum and two sisters in a simple dwelling on the banks of the Goulburn River in Mooroopna, northern Victoria.
But while his mother was in hospital, her children in the care of their grandmother, the police swooped and forcibly removed them.
And - at the age of two years and six months - Walsh was charged by police with being "deemed to be a child in need of care and protection", and effectively criminalised for being removed from his distraught family.
A charge sheet showing Larry Walsh was charged with a criminal offence when he was two. Photo: Sylvia Rowe/NITV
His "sentence" was to become a ward of the state, and his conviction remains on his record to this day. It indelibly changed the trajectory of his life, he says, making him an unwitting target for brutal police treatment from an early age and propelling him into the justice system.
Now the government will draw up new laws to expunge the records of possibly thousands of Victorians - both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal - who were charged with criminal offences as babies and children when they were forcibly removed from their families and placed under care and protection orders, before laws changed in 1989.
The charges included "being in need of protection", "neglect" and "being in moral danger".
Attorney General Martin Pakula says the forcible removal of children was a shameful period in Australia's history, and caused trauma that still reverberates across communities.
"These historical practices effectively created a criminal record for children when they were in need of care. We are taking the steps necessary to fix this serious injustice," he says.
Earlier this month the Victorian parliament backed a Greens motion to start the process of erasing the historic criminal offences and deliver a formal apology.
But while advocates welcome the move, they say it does not address a much broader problem for Aboriginal people: how criminal convictions limit their job prospects, ability to be kinship carers and represent their communities.
They want Victoria to introduce a "spent convictions" scheme, where people with historic, low-level and irrelevant convictions aren't required to disclose them. These schemes have protections in relation to children and other vulnerable people.
Victoria is the only state or territory in Australia that does not have a spent convictions scheme. Instead, the release of this information is up to the discretion of the police.
This causes particular problems for Aboriginal people because they are disproportionately over-represented in the justice system says Michael Bell, head of Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation.
"Aboriginal people we've spoken to say that these guidelines result in uncertainty and inconsistency. They don't know where they stand, and even when they've rehabilitated they're uncertain about what will come up on their records," Mr Bell wrote in a letter to Minister Pakula this week.
"Often they are embarrassed and ashamed so they simply avoid applying for jobs."
Aboriginal unemployment in Victoria is around 16 per cent, compared with 6 per cent for the general population.
A previous conviction has a real and crippling affect on job prospects, says Stan Winford, from the Centre for Innovative Justice at RMIT, citing the example of "Ryan", an Aboriginal father in his 40s, whose experience was documented by Woor-Dungin.
"Ryan" was convicted of an assault, related to a fight, in his teens. He later joined the Country Fire Authority, and went to university. But when he applied for jobs with the CFA he was told he was ineligible because of his old conviction.
It's appropriate to reveal criminal histories when they are relevant to the job application, but many employers don't know what weight to give a criminal record check, Winford says.
Simone Spencer, a founding member of Woor-Dungin, knows first-hand how criminal record discrimination can affect Aboriginal families.
She became a kinship carer for a young family member and asked a close, older family member to register as a respite carer in case she needed a babysitter.
But when this family member was questioned in a patronising way by a young social worker about an old and irrelevant criminal conviction, they felt humiliated and pulled out of the process.
"If we want to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care, we need to provide more certainty for Aboriginal carers," Spencer says.
When Uncle Larry Walsh was forcibly removed in 1956 he followed an unhappy path familiar to many Stolen Generations members; shunted between children's homes and foster care as his mum tried - repeatedly - to get access to her children.
This charge, which Walsh had not seen until recently, made him an unwitting target for the police and the Taungurung man says he was treated as a criminal from an early age.
At nine he was walking home when approached by police who asked if he had a criminal record. Walsh replied no, but the police checked, took him to the station, called him a liar and assaulted him. This harassment continued through his childhood.
Walsh wants the childhood records of Stolen Generations and other state wards expunged, but says that doesn't go far enough. A spent convictions scheme would give his people certainty, he says.
The state government is currently "examining the merits" of a legislative spent convictions scheme for Victoria.