Aboriginal Australia Case Study

Improved Essays
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
…show more content…
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Historically, from the outset Indigenous people were excluded from the Constitution and deemed an inferior race with British colonizers aim to eventually wipe Indigenous people out or have the assimilate into colonised way of life (Rolls 2001, 7). This notion and idea of race as Langton argues is an out-dated ideology, a western idea that helped support colonialism which has been deeply ingrained into Australian society. Theorist, Albert Memmi talks about colonised and the coloniser, furthermore Memmi discusses that successful colonisation of one group over another requires two things being; the oppressed themselves accepting the role in which they have been given and the creation of an oppressor being inherently dominant and controlling in nature. Memmi’s studies coincide with Langton’s argument, drawing upon the UN declaration of the Rights on Indigenous people which directly states, “Affirming doctrines, policies and practises based on advocating superiority of people or individuals based on national origin and or racial or cultural differences are scientifically false and legally invalid” (Langton 2016,…

    • 1170 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Europeans meet the Australian Aboriginals Before European explorers landed on the coast of Australia the natives of the continent, known as the Aboriginal People, occupied much of the land. The Aboriginals believed that the land owned you and that it would provide for you if you respected it. The British came to the continent and originally wanted peace however as expansion began the Aboriginals fought back forcing the British to break their peaceful ways. In the year 1606 there was a Spanish Captain named Luis Vaez de Torres, who discovered a new land mass that no one knew about. Later another ship this time Dutch, departed on a voyage to chart the coast of this new land now called Australia.…

    • 806 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    These ways of being, as Plumwood mentions, “engender a false consciousness of place”(1). The original meanings ascribed to the land were erased or, rather, undermined by a commodity culture whose limited capacity only allows for place to be conceptualized in terms of its instrumental value. European settlers approached the natural, observable world through the scope of consumerism. Colonial oppressors consumed the land along with the cultural and historical traditions of Aboriginal Australians. Thus, marginalized landscape and Indigenous population served as the sustenance of colonial…

    • 721 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    During the European colonisation of Australia, oppressive laws functioned to subjugate and control the indigenous population. The Aborigines Protection Act, 1909 (Cth) was particularly devastating, stripping Indigenous people of basic human rights and freedoms, and robbing generations of their connection to their families and culture. The Act was abolished in 1969, however, the trauma continues to impact the wellbeing of Indigenous people today. In an effort to reconcile past injustices and improve the lives of Indigenous people, the Federal Parliament established the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991 (CAR) (Cth) to manage the reconciliation process in Australia. This essay will examine the long-term impact of European colonisation…

    • 1357 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The political and legal system in Australia has provided both advances and setbacks for the Indigenous Australians. There have been many setbacks for Aboriginal people in their fight for equal legal and political rights like the legislation 's, constitution, voting rights and parliamentary laws. They have also had some gradual advances from the amendments to the electoral act, the 1967 referendum and Prime Minister Whitlams actions to give land back. Early on in Australia 's history Indigenous people had many setbacks in their political and legal rights. The Stolen Generation was a big setback for Aboriginal people.…

    • 1120 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are today acknowledged as the owners and custodians of this land we call home, but unfortunately, they have experienced situations that have completely disregarded their basic human rights before they received their rightful title. This essay will look at the history/ background of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in regards to their rights within Australia, analyse certain ethical issues that have occurred when dealing with their rights, outline the legislation and policies that form the basis for their rights and discuss current issues that Indigenous people face today referring to their rights and the justice system. The first settlement was in 1788; Governor Phillip was in charge…

    • 1401 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    These Acts and Boards aimed to ‘protect’ the Indigenous Australians, however it ultimately led to the lives of Indigenous people being controlled by the Aborigines Protection Board. The passing of these laws meant that the Aboriginal nations were forced to ‘merge with the wider community’ This would lead, the Board hoped, to the eventual ‘withering away’ of the communities” (Haebich, 2000, p.…

    • 1538 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    "Given the history of the European colonisation of Australia, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are wary of white institutions and social welfare’ (Chenoweth & McAuliffe 2015, p.268). Identify and discuss one or two policies or pieces of legislation that have impacted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how the effects can be seen today. During the European colonisation of Australia, oppressive laws functioned to subjugate and control the indigenous population. The Aborigines Protection Act, 1909 (APA) (Cth) and the child removal policy were particularly devastating, stripping Indigenous people of basic human rights and freedoms, and robbing generations of their connection to their families and culture. Although the Act was abolished in 1969, the trauma…

    • 1586 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    South Africa and Australia are two of the countries that lived Aboriginal and occupied by European settlement. South Africa Aboriginals’ treatment is so different from Australia Aboriginals. Moreover, the role of these settlements and the purpose for these settlements are different, too. However, both South Africa and Australia Aboriginals had conflict with settlements and settlement brought and spread serious disease in both country. Australia was occupied by British hundreds of years ago.…

    • 767 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Colonialism In Australia

    • 1679 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Colonialists regarded the culture and traditions of the indigenous people as barbaric and unacceptable, thus there was a need to enact policies aimed at eradicating the natives’ culture and way of life. One of the strategies that the colonialists used was to prohibit the full blood aborigines to practice their traditional way of life while at the mission or government settlements. They were instead required to learn the new culture taught by the protectors. In addition, the indigenous people of different communities characterized with different cultural beliefs and traditions were forced to live together in the reserves and as a result, indigenous people turned against each other. This was of benefit to the colonialists as the conflicts between local communities was an opportunity for them to enact strict laws as a way of punishing violent culprits as well as forcing the local people to adopt to a unified European culture which was civilized.…

    • 1679 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays