History Of The Aborigines Protection Board

History Of The Aborigines Protection Board

In 1883, the NSW Aborigines Protection Board was create. This was a time when Social Darwinism theory was dominant and NSW was looking towards a future in a federated white Australia.

Authorities were challenge by the existence of Aboriginal communities. Many of them wanted land in their own country. Initially charged with the oversight of the gazettals of Aboriginal reserves, the Protection Board quickly took control and appointed its own managers.

2015 marks 100 years since the NSW Aborigines Protection Act was amend. This gave the board broad powers that still have consequences. The 1915 amendments gave full power to the board to expel Aboriginal children from their families. They allowed for the acceleration of the revocation and expulsion of Aboriginal families from successful, largely independent farms throughout the state.

This boards was not a place of protection for many Aboriginal people, but of persecution. From 1883 to 1969, the board had complete control over the lives and affairs Aboriginal people in NSW.

The negative effects of policies like segregation and assimilation, child extraction, wage withholding, and child removal lasted for decades. The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia entry on this board concludes that the legacy of the policies has bitterness among Aboriginal people over their treatment by those who were entrust to their welfare.

This has led to a widespread sense of grief and resentment among NSW Aboriginal communities about the past. However, it is not clear what happened or why. How do local experiences of child removal, dispossession, employment and educational restrictions relate to larger patterns throughout the state?

Researchers Search For Whole History Board

A new ARC research project aims at providing the first comprehensive investigation into the activities of the Aborigines Protect Board and their effects on the lives of Aboriginal families in NSW

This research must be done while the people who were under the control and supervision of the board during its last decades are still alive. Many people are nearing the end of life. Keep in mind that Aboriginal women and men in NSW who were born between 1996-2000 are still expected to live 60 and 65 years, respectively.

The board was initially headed by a Protector and continued to be headed by the chief executive officer of the NSW Police Force until 1938. The board became more draconian in the 1920s and 1930s. This led to significant resistance from Aboriginal people, who called for reform and abolition. An inquiry was held in 1937.

Welfare Board Legislation Board

The 1940 Welfare Board legislation was finally pass in the wake of this inquiry. The NSW Aborigines Welfare Board, which was then head by a new Superintendent for Aboriginal Welfare, continued to have unmatch control over Aboriginal lives until 1969.

The Welfare Board still forced Aboriginal people to assimilate. These programs perpetuated existing systems of oppression and control, but with a new name that is more acceptable to the non-Aboriginal population.

From the first legislation of the board in 1909, to its reincarnation in 1939 as the Welfare Board. State control was at its most extreme. These 30 years saw Aboriginal people held in solitary confinement on reserves, and severely restricted on their civil rights.

This period can be describe as a period of erasure, silencing, and is perpetuate by historiographic inattention. This was a crucial time for Aboriginal people and communities as they transitioned from self-sufficiency. To what Heather Goodall called the second dispossession, which is now subordination and dependence.

Combining Personal And Archival Information

The four-year ARC project will see an experienced group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Historians create a landmark social history about the Aboriginal experience at the Protection/Welfare Board.

This project was initiate to address a pressing need for an in-depth. Understanding of the history by Aboriginal peoples, as well as by the wider Australian community. This is more than an institutional history. It is an in-depth examination of the lived experiences of those living under the state’s control.

The project’s most important component is to give knowledge to Aboriginal communities about. Access to restricted materials is crucial for understanding and evaluating the Indigenous experience in NSW.