Protector of Aborigines

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The office of the Protector of Aborigines was established pursuant to a recommendation contained in the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aboriginal Tribes, (British settlements.) of the House of Commons. On 31 January 1838, Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies sent Governor Gipps the report.

The report recommended that Protectors of Aborigines should be engaged. They would be required to learn the Aboriginal language and their duties would be to watch over the rights of Aborigines, guard against encroachment on their property and to protect them from acts of cruelty, oppression and injustice. The Port Phillip Protectorate was established with George Augustus Robinson as chief protector and four full-time protectors.[1]

While the role was nominally to protect Aborigines, particularly in remote areas, the role included social control up to the point of controlling whom individuals were able to marry and where they lived and managing their financial affairs.[citation needed]

As well as Robinson, A. O. Neville and Edward John Eyre were notable Protectors of Aborigines.

Matthew Moorhouse was the first Protector of Aborigines in South Australia. He led the Rufus River massacre, which slaughtered 30-to-40 Aborigines.[2]

The Aborigines Welfare Board in New South Wales was abolished in 1969. By then, all states and territories had repealed the legislation allowing for the removal of Aboriginal children under the policy of "protection".[citation needed]

Protectors of Aborigines

Protectors of Aborigines around Australia included:

See also



  1. ^ Aplin, Graeme; S.G. Foster; Michael McKernan, eds. (1987). Australians:Events and Places. Fairfax, Syme and Weldon Associates. pp. 47–8. ISBN 0-949288-13-6.
  2. ^ "Friction between overlanders and Australian Aboriginals". State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Sievwright, Charles Wightman (1800–1855)", Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^ a b Foster R. (2000), "'endless trouble and agitation': Aboriginal activism in the Protectionist era", Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia, 28: 15-27.
  8. ^ "SEVENTY YEARS A COLONIST". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 3 July 1909. p. 8. Retrieved 3 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ Reports on actions of Dr Cecil Cook Archived 2006-08-19 at the Wayback Machine..
  10. ^ Dr Cook was the Chief Protector of Aborigines during the trial and appeal of Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda. The first Aboriginal Australian whose case was heard in the High Court Archived 2006-02-06 at the Wayback Machine. (at the National Archives of Australia)
  11. ^ Hossain, Samia. "Norman Haire and Cecil Cook on Procedures of Sterilisation in the Inter-War Period." In Historicising Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity, edited by Leigh Boucher, Jane Carey, and Katherine Ellinghaus, 454-63. Melbourne: RMIT Publishing, 2007.
  12. ^ Tony Koch, (2 November 2010), Notorious bureaucrat who oppressed Aborigines dies unlamented, The Australian accessed 24 November 2013
  13. ^ "Golden Wedding". Bunbury Herald. Western Australia. 9 March 1918. p. 6. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "News and notes". The West Australian. Perth. 12 December 1907. p. 7. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "South and West Australia". The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express. New South Wales. 20 December 1907. p. 34. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ "Our Calendar". Western Mail. Perth. 5 November 1915. p. 31. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ "Internal Troubles". Western Mail. Perth. 23 February 1917. p. 29. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ "Former Public Servant dies at home". The West Australian. Perth. 20 April 1954. p. 7. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  19. ^ "Native Affairs". The Northern Times. Carnarvon, Western Australia. 17 October 1940. p. 3. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  20. ^ "Mr. F. I. BRAY Dead". The West Australian. Perth. 7 October 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  21. ^ "Native Affairs". Kalgoorlie Miner. Western Australia. 28 July 1948. p. 3. Retrieved 23 November 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  22. ^ Kral, Inge (2012). "Everything was Different because of the Changing". Talk, Text and Technology: Literacy and Social Practice in a Remote Indigenous Community. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. p. 113. ISBN 9781847697592. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  23. ^ Wilson-Clark, Charlie (16 February 2004). "He heralded a new era for Aborigines". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 April 2016.

External links

  • Protector's Annual Reports: 1839-1950s  —First Sources
  • An Index to the Chief Protector of Aborigines (Western Australia) Files 1898–1908 [PDF])
  • Black Robinson: Protector of Aborigines. Vivienne Rae-Ellis. A controversial study of George ('Black') Robinson, first Chief Protector of Aborigines in Australia  —Melbourne University Press
  • George Augustus Robinson, was a NSW Chief Protector of Aborigines in the early 1800s, George Augustus Robinson
  • NSW State Library Protector of Aborigines Heritage Collection – the journals and papers of George Augustus Robinson (1791-1866)
  • Public Record Office Victoria online catalogue "VPRS 2895 Chief Protector of Aborigines: Outward Letter Book 1848–1850 ... VPRS 4399 Duplicate Annual Reports for the Chief Protector of Aborigines 1845– ..."
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