State of Western Australia
The Fisheries Department had a brief role in the 'care' and 'protection' of Aboriginal children from 1920, when it was given responsibility for Aboriginal matters in Western Australian areas below latitude 25 degrees south. It administered the Aborigines Act 1905 in this area of the State until those functions were removed from the Fisheries Department in 1926 and transferred to the Aborigines Department (1926-1936).
The Fisheries Department was responsible for Aboriginal matters, including the custody, care and protection of Aboriginal children living in areas of Western Australia below 25 degrees latitude, from 1 January 1920. The State Records Office website provides an overview of the Department:
As well as the State's fisheries, this department had control of Aboriginal affairs for the area below latitude 25 degrees South. (The Department of the North West had control of Aboriginal affairs for the area above latitude 25 degrees South). The Fisheries Department was a sub-department of the Colonial Secretary's Office (1920-1924), the Chief Secretary's Department (1924-1932, 1949-1953) the Premier's Department (1933-1938), and the Department of the North West (1939-1948) until 1953 when it achieved the status of a separate department.
On 1 January 1926, the responsibility for matters relating to Aboriginal people was transferred to the second 'version' of the Aborigines Department (1926-1936).
The Fisheries Department continued with other functions until 1 September 1964.
1887 - 1890 Aborigines Protection Board
1890 - 1898 Aborigines Protection Board
1898 - 1908 Aborigines Department
1909 - 1920 Department of Aborigines and Fisheries
1920 - 1964 Fisheries Department
1926 - 1936 Aborigines Department
1936 - 1954 Department of Native Affairs
1955 - 1972 Department of Native Welfare
1972 - 1985 Department for Community Welfare
1972 - 1994 Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority
1985 - 1992 Department for Community Services
1994 - 2001 Aboriginal Affairs Department
1992 - 1995 Department for Community Development
2001 - 2013 Department of Indigenous Affairs
1995 - 2001 Department for Family and Children's Services
2013 - 2017 Department of Aboriginal Affairs
2001 - 2007 Department for Community Development
2007 - 2013 Department for Communities
2007 - 2013 Department for Child Protection
2013 - 2017 Department of Local Government and Communities
2013 - 2017 Department for Child Protection and Family Support
2017 - Child Protection and Family Support
2017 - Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Sources used to compile this entry: 'AU WA A65 - Fisheries Department ', in State Records Office of Western Australia - Organisations & People, State Records Office of Western Australia, 2015, https://archive.sro.wa.gov.au/index.php/fisheries-department-2-au-wa-a65.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 27 June 2011, Last modified: 7 July 2014