Crown Colony of Western Australia
The Aborigines Protection Board in the Crown Colony of Western Australia was established in 1887, as a result of the Aborigines Protection Act 1886. The Board was responsble for the welfare of all Aboriginal people. This included the care, custody and education of all Aboriginal children, and the power to apprentice any Aboriginal child. In 1890, the Aborigines Protection Board continued in the Colony of Western Australia.
The functions of the Aborigines Protection Board included submitting proposals to the Governor relating to the care, custody or education of the children of 'Aboriginals' and exercising a general supervision and care over all matters affecting the interests and welfare of the 'Aboriginals'. Under the Protection Act, the Board could appoint 'honorary local protectors' to oversee rationing and medical care of Aboriginal people and report on the condition of Aboriginal children.
The Act gave Resident Magistrates, acting under instructions of the Board, the power to apprentice any 'Aboriginal' or 'half-caste' child of a 'suitable age' until the age of 21 years, provided that 'due and reasonable provision is made for [the child's] maintenance, clothing and proper and humane treatment'.
On 6 January of 1887, the Government Gazette announced that the Colonial Secretary (Sir Malcolm Fraser) and Attorney General (C.N. Warton) and Members of the Legislative Council, G. Shenton and C. Harper were appointed to the new body. The Board was chaired by the Colonial Surgeon, Dr Alfred Waylen, who was responsible directly to the imperial government in England.
1887 - 1890 Aborigines Protection Board
1890 - 1898 Aborigines Protection Board
1898 - 1908 Aborigines Department
1909 - 1920 Department of Aborigines and Fisheries
1920 - 1926 Department of the North West
1920 - 1964 Fisheries Department
1926 - 1936 Aborigines Department
1926 - 1936 Aborigines Department
1936 - 1954 Department of Native Affairs
1955 - 1972 Department of Native Welfare
1972 - 1985 Department for Community Welfare
1972 - 1994 Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority
1985 - 1992 Department for Community Services
1994 - 2001 Aboriginal Affairs Department
1992 - 1995 Department for Community Development
2001 - 2013 Department of Indigenous Affairs
1995 - 2001 Department for Family and Children's Services
2013 - Department of Aboriginal Affairs
2001 - 2007 Department for Community Development
2007 - Department for Communities
2007 - 2013 Department for Child Protection
2013 - Department for Child Protection and Family Support
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Government Gazette', The West Australian, 7 January 1887, p. Page 3. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3763896; Battye, J.S., Western Australia: A History from its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1924; Cohen, B.C., 'Waylen, Alfred Robert (1833-1901)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online [website], Australian National University and Melbourne University Press, 2006, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/waylen-alfred-robert-4817/text8033; van den Berg, Rosemary, 'Aboriginal protectors', in Gregory, Jenny and Jan Gothard [editors] (eds), Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, W.A., 2009, pp. Pages 36-37.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 5 January 2012, Last modified: 8 July 2014