Chief Protector of Aborigines was one of the names given to the official who was responsible for the 'protection' of the Aboriginal population. These officials were key figures in the removal of Aboriginal children from their families,who became known as the Stolen Generations.
'The Chief Protector of Aborigines, with the government's assistance, utilised regional Aboriginal protectors, mainly magistrates, police and missionaries, to monitor Aboriginal people in their areas…As well as reporting on the general state of Aboriginal communities, they also informed the Chief Protector…of the presence of fair-skinned and half-caste Aboriginal children. Though families hid their children when the Aboriginal protectors or the police appeared, many were caught. These children were then removed and placed in homes, missions or settlements; they were members of the stolen generations. (Van den Berg, p.37)'
The role of Chief Protector of Aborigines from 1901-1936 was held by:
Henry Prinsep, 1901-1907:
Charles Gale, 1907-1915
Auber Octavius Neville, 1915-1936. Neville was born on 20 October 1875 at Ford, Northumberland, England. He came to Victoria around 1887, then in 1897 came to join his brother who was a lawyer in Perth. Neville is best known for his role as Chief Protector of Aborigines from 1915-1936 and then as Commissioner for Native Affairs from 1936 till his retirement in 1940.
James Isdell was Travelling Protector of Aborigines, Marble Bar and Kimberley Districts, from 1906-1909 and Protector of Aborigines at Turkey Creek, 1910-1915. While Travelling Protector, Isdell would have served under Henry Prinsep and Charles Gale as Chief Protectors of Aborigines in Western Australia. Isldell died in 1919.