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Western Australia - Organisation

Aborigines Protection Board (1890 - 1898)

Colony of Western Australia

From
1890
To
1898
Categories
Government Agency

The Aborigines Protection Board in the Colony of Western Australia continued the role of the Aboriginal Protection Board in the Crown Colony of Western Australia from 1890. The Board was responsible for the welfare of all Aboriginal people in Western Australia. This included the care, custody and education of all Aboriginal children, and the power to apprentice any Aboriginal child. The Aborigines Protection Board was replaced by the Aborigines Department and the Chief Protetor of Aborigines in 1898.

Details

The functions of the Aborigines Protection Board included submitting proposals to the Governor relating to the care, custody or education of the children of 'Aboriginals' and exercising a general supervision and care over all matters affecting the interests and welfare of the 'Aboriginals'. Under the Protection Act, the Board could appoint 'honorary local protectors' to oversee rationing and medical care of Aboriginal people and report on the condition of Aboriginal children.

The Act gave Resident Magistrates, acting under instructions of the Board, the power to apprentice any 'Aboriginal' or 'half-caste' child of a 'suitable age' until the age of 21 years, provided that 'due and reasonable provision is made for [the child's] maintenance, clothing and proper and humane treatment'.

Aboriginal matters played an important role in achieving representative government. Battye, in his (1924) history of colonial Western Australia (p.397), reports that the existence and funding of an Aboriginal Protection Board was a requirement of the Constitution of the Colony of Western Australia. The British government was concerned that, without this provision, authorities in the colony would not put money aside to meet the needs of the Aboriginal people who were being displaced from their traditional lands and ways by the settlers.

Timeline

 1887 - 1890 Aborigines Protection Board
       1890 - 1898 Aborigines Protection Board
             1898 - 1908 Aborigines Department
                   1909 - 1920 Department of Aborigines and Fisheries
                         1920 - 1926 Department of the North West
                         1920 - 1964 Fisheries Department
                               1926 - 1936 Aborigines 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

Related Concepts

Related Legislation

Related Organisations

Publications

Books

  • Battye, J.S., Western Australia: A History from its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1924. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Battye, J.S., Western Australia: A History from its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1924.

Prepared by: Debra Rosser