Aboriginal Australia Essay

816 Words 4 Pages
Over many years the introduction of legislations and policies by the Australian Government has had detrimental impacts upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This essay will focus on Aboriginal Australians and will examine the legislation and the subsequent impact upon Aboriginal people and their culture. The legislations discussed will highlight how the Australian Government utilized policy to control every aspect of Aboriginal Australian’s lives. The ongoing implications of these policies as well as the current legislations concerning Aboriginal Australians will be discussed.

The arrival of European settlers in 1788 marked the end of a peaceful existence for Aboriginal Australians. In the years to come, European settlers introduced a number of legislations in an attempt to control Aboriginal Australians and to assimilate them into their European civilisation. The majority of policies and legislation began after the Constitution of Australia in 1901. Before this there were limited official regulations accompanied by unlawful war and excessive violence towards Aboriginal Australians.

One of the earliest legislations recorded is the 1884 Oaths Amendment. This legislation enabled Aboriginal evidence
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These regulations were driven by the underlying perceptions of social Darwinism; the belief that certain cultural groups were at different stages of evolution (Dudgeon et al 2010). The European settlers saw Aboriginal people as primitive and less evolved than themselves (Dudgeon et al 2010). These regulations reflected the dominant society’s views of Aboriginal people as being ‘subhuman’ and reflected the prevailing opinions of how they ought to be treated (Dudgeon et al 2010). These initial legislations allowed the government to force Aboriginal people onto reserves, to confine them there and to control every aspect of their lives (Wearne

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