The first piece of legislation to deal with running away was 'Aboriginal girls protection 1844'. This assumed that a girl would not run away from school or a service position unless she was 'persuaded' or 'enticed'. Thirty years later, the 'Industrial Schools Act 1874' (s.15) made 'escaping' from an industrial school a criminal offence if the child who ran away was a 'youthful offender' (someone who had been sent to the institution because they were found guilty of an offence against the law). The Industrial and Reformatory Schools Act 1893 extended this offence to include all children who ran away from an industrial or reformatory school, regardless of the circumstances that led to their placement. Children or young people who ran away could be whipped or have their terms extended. Penalties continued to be levied against adults who helped absconders.
08 December 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00490
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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