Aborigines Act (WA). The Chief Protector is made the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and 'half-caste' child under 16. I would not hesitate for one moment to separate any half-caste from its aboriginal mother, no matter how frantic her momentary grief might be at the time. They soon forget their offspring -- Travelling inspector, James Isdell. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
The Aborigines Department of Western Australia was formed under the provisions of the Aborigines Act 1897. This was formed to replace the Aborigines Protection Board. The Department was headed by the Chief Protector of Aborigines, Henry Prinsep, and was allocated an annual budget of ÃÂ£5,000. (SRO, 2003)
It is a most undesirable thing for half-castes to be allowed to grow up uneducated, and in all the wandering habits of their black mothers which can only end in their becoming not only a disgrace but a menace to our civilisation.
- Chief Protector Henry Prinsep 1902.
Under the provisions of the Aborigines Act 1897 the Department was made responsible for the well being of all Western Australian Aborigines, and given control over the provision of relief to the elderly, sick and destitute. The Act also placed a number of restrictions on Aborigines, including making it an offence for any Aboriginal to enter a public house, while simultaneously increasing police powers to enforce these provisions. The powers of the Aborigines Department were further increased with the passing of the Aborigines Act 1905, (at appendix 2) which made the Chief Protector of Aborigines the legal guardian of all Aboriginal and Half Caste children up to the age of 16 years, enabling him to send any Aboriginal or Half Caste child to an orphanage, mission, or industrial school with or without the child's parent's permission. The 1905 Act also stipulated...