The Passing Of The Aborigines Essay

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In 1770 Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay with instructions to “with the consent of the natives take possession of the convenient situations in the name of the King… or if you find the land uninhabited Take Possession for His Majesty” (Australian Museum, 2015) these instructions held to European international laws at the time, however this request or the laws were not followed in the occupation of Australia. Cook declared the land he called New South Wales to be the property of Britain’s King George III and ignored the fact that it was inhabited. Cooks failure to even attempt to gain the consent of the natives began the legal fiction that Australia was waste and unoccupied (Borch, 2001, p. 222).

The occupation of Australia was not followed
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These ideas were shaped by the ideas of racial superiority of the Europeans and the inevitable dying of the Indigenous Australians. This idea of the Aboriginal people dying out was expressed in the works of Daisy Bates’s book, The passing of The Aborigines (1938). These ideas further cemented the policies of protection and the creation of missions and reserves in order to ‘protect’ Indigenous Australians by moving people to reserves and missions where non-Indigenous authorities and missionaries would ‘smooth the dying pillow’. New South Wales appointed a Protector of Aborigines in 1881, and in 1883 a Board for the Protection of Aborigines was established, with the Aborigines Protection Act being introduced in 1909 (New South Wales Government, 1909). 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. …show more content…
From the late 1800s to the official end in 1969 the forced separation of Indigenous children from their families occurred with over one hundred thousand Indigenous children being separated from their families. This separation manifested in three forms; putting children into government run institutions; adoption by European families; and the fostering of children into European families (Australian Museum, 2015). The last two strategies applied particularly to the ‘fair-skinned’ children. These forced separations were part of the assimilation policies with the aim to cut children off from their culture and have them raised to think and act as ‘white’ (Australian Museum, 2015). The children were considered to be useful to the non-Indigenous colonists with some seeking the children out to see whether Indigenous people could be ‘civilised’, while others sought them out as domestic servants (Reynolds, 1990, p. 165). The idea of “breeding out the white” through these assimilation policies were a motivating factor behind the removal of Indigenous Australian children. The lasting impact and losses that the children experienced as a result of their removal have not only affected themselves but also their descendants and their cultural identity. “There was a disruption of our cycle of life because we were continually scared to be ourselves” (Commonwealth of Australia, 1997). The Indigenous

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