History

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1901

  1. Aboriginal people are excluded from the vote, pensions, employment in post offices, enlistment in armed forces and maternity allowance.

  2. 1 January

    Federation - The Commonwealth Constitution states "in reckoning the numbers of people… Aboriginal natives shall not be counted". It also states that the Commonwealth would legislate for any race except Aboriginal people. This leaves the power over Aboriginal Affairs with the states.

  3. September

    The government introduces the white Australia policy, trying to ban all non-Caucasian people from entering the country.

1902

  1. The Commonwealth Parliament passes the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 which grants men and women in all states the right to vote in federal elections, but denies it to every ‘aboriginal native’ of Australia, Asia, Africa, or the Islands of the Pacific (if they not already had the right to vote in state elections at the time of the Act).

  2. During the Boer War about 50 Aboriginal trackers are summonsed by the British forces in South Africa to join the war to locate Boer fighters. When Australian forces withdraw later that year, the trackers are thought to have been left behind.

1903

  1. Tasmanian Aboriginal woman Fanny Cochrane Smith is recorded singing in her native tongue, the first and only recording of Tasmania’s Aboriginal language.

1904

  1. The Queensland government establishes Cherbourg, an Aboriginal community, about 30 km from Gympie.

  2. The Queensland Government takes control of the Torres Strait Islands from the London Missionary Society. Torres Strait Islanders become subject to the Queensland Aboriginal Protection Act and wards of State.

  3. 29 December

    Dr Walter Edmund Roth submits the Royal Commission on The Condition of The Natives report to the WA government which describes the atrocities against Aboriginal prisoners. One of his witnesses is a 14-year-old boy who had been sentenced to 2 years’ of hard labour for alleged killing of cattle. [1]

1905

  1. The Western Australia Aborigines Act is passed, making the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ child under 16 years old. Reserves are established, a local protector is appointed and rules governing Aboriginal employment are laid down.

1908

  1. The United Aborigines Mission establishes the Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home in Nowra, NSW, after several orphaned children come into the care of the mission. The home is often referred to as the 'birthplace' of the Stolen Generations in New South Wales. Up to 47 children live at the home. It closes in 1988.

  2. George Green plays 16 games for the Easts (until 1911) and 92 games for the Norths (1912–16, 1918–22). It was never clear whether his heritage was Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or South Sea Islander, but he is recognised as the first Indigenous player in rugby league. He was a hooker.

  3. The Invalid and Old Age Pensioner Act provides social security for some but not for Aboriginal people.

1909

  1. First Aboriginal person to play First Grade Rugby League was George Green playing for Eastern Suburbs.

  2. The NSW Aborigines Protection Act is introduced following crises in public schools. The Act also made it illegal for ‘half-castes’ to live on reserves. In 1915 and 1918 amendments to the Act give the NSW Aborigines Protection Board greater powers to remove children from their families for training as domestic servants.

  3. Aboriginal schools are established in NSW. Exclusion of Aboriginal children from public schools followed requests by the white community. In NSW there are 22 Aboriginal schools in 1910, 35 in 1920 and 40 in 1940. The syllabus stresses manual activities and the teacher is usually the reserve manager’s untrained wife.

1910

  1. The Victorian Aborigines Act permitted the Board for Protection of Aborigines to help ‘half-castes’ by licensing needy persons to live on stations.

  2. An inquiry is held into the Forest River Massacre in the Kimberley.

  3. The Aborigines Protection Board Act is passed, giving the Board ‘legal’ control over Aboriginal people on stations and reserves but not missions, in the Northern Territory.

1911

  1. The South Australian Aborigines Act makes the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ child under 21 years old. The Chief Protector also has control of where the child lives. The Chief Protector is replaced by the Aborigines Protection Board in 1939 and guardianship power is repealed in 1962.

References

View article sources (1)

[1] 'Royal Commission 'The condition of the natives' Perth WA 1905', nationalunitygovernment.org/node/1448, retrieved 1/9/2017

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=7>, retrieved 22 September 2019

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