Colony of South Australia
In September 1860 the Legislative Council of South Australia agreed to examine the social conditions of the Aboriginal people of South Australia in order to ascertain the impact of European settlement. A Select Committee conducted a ten day hearing and a report was tabled on 16 October 1860.
In September 1860 the Legislative Council of the Colony of South Australia agreed to examine the social conditions of the Aboriginal people of South Australia in order to ascertain the impact of European settlement. A Select Committee conducted a ten day hearing and a report was tabled on 16 October 1860.
The report stated that:
All the evidence goes to prove that they have lost much, and gained little or nothing, by their contact with Europeans; and hence it becomes a question how far it is in our power, or what is the best possible means of compensating them for the injuries they have sustained, or of mitigating the evils to which, so far as they are concerned, our occupation of the country has led - or awarding compensation for injuries sustained by them consequent on the forced occupation of their country.
A newspaper report from 31 October 1860 quoted the Chairman of the select committee
On a review of the question, the Committee are unanimously of opinion that it is the duty of the Government to supply the physical necessities of the natives, especially the aged, the sick, and the infirm, which provision should include dispensing of medicine and medical attendance. The appointment of a Chief Protector would enable the Government to mature the details of a system for the advancement of the race socially and morally.
The Committee, however, submit, as their strong conviction, that permanent benefit, to any appreciable extent, from attempts to Christianize the natives can only be expected by separation of children from their parents and evil influences of the tribe to which they belong. However harshly this recommendation may grate on the feelings of pseudo philanthropists, it would in reality be a work of mercy to the rising generation of aborigines. A central elementary school to receive those children, in the first instance, should be provided; and after preliminary training they should be transferred to an establishment where complete isolation would be secured. Your Committee are of opinion that such adjuncts are absolutely necessary to any scheme for Christianizing the aboriginal inhabitants of this province.
Sources used to compile this entry: Report of the Select Committee of the Legislative Council upon the Aborigines 1860, South Australian Government, Adelaide, South Australia, 16 October 1860, http://aiatsis.gov.au/sites/default/files/docs/digitised_collections/remove/92284.pdf; 'REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE ABORIGINES', The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 31 October 1860, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article825878; To Remove and Protect, Reports from Royal Commissions, Committees and Boards of Enquiry, AIATSIS, 2009, https://aiatsis.gov.au/collection/featured-collections/remove-and-protect.
Prepared by: Gary George and Karen George
Created: 21 February 2011, Last modified: 1 June 2015