The Aborigines Act 1889 (Act no. 1889 (52 Vict. No.24)) was fully titled 'An Act to provide for certain matters connected with the Aborigines.' It was reserved for Royal Assent on 29 April 1889 and was proclaimed on 28 October 1890. This Act repealed Part I of the Aborigines Protection Act 1886 giving the Aborigines Protection Board the power to cancel contracts of service between Aboriginal people and employer; allowing lands to be reserved for use of Aboriginal people; and, vesting existing 'Native Reserves' in the Aborigines Protection Board in trust. The Aborigines Act 1889 was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1897 on 28 March 1898, which was found invalid. Most of the provisions of the 1897 Act were validated in the Aborigines Act 1905.
The Aborigines Act 1889 amended the Aborigines Protection Act 1886 by clarifying the Governor's supremacy over the Aborigines Protection Board in the appointment and removal of Board members and Protectors of Aborigines (s.4); giving the Board the power to cancel contracts of service between Aboriginal people and persons deemed 'unfit' to be employers (s.5); enabling the Governor to claim any Crown Land as a 'Native Reserve' and vesting existing native reserves in the Aborigines Protection Board 'in trust for the benefit of the aboriginal natives'(s.8).
The Aborigines Act 1889 was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1897, but as the 1897 Act was invalid, most if its provisions, including repeals, were validated in the Aborigines Act 1905.
Sources used to compile this entry: To Remove and Protect: Aboriginal Lives Under Control [website], 2010, https://aiatsis.gov.au/collection/featured-collections/remove-and-protect; Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Western Australia Legislation', 13 December 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 28 June 2011, Last modified: 21 October 2021