• Legislation

Aborigines Act 1910, Victoria


The Aborigines Act 1910 (No. 2255 of 1910) had the long title, ‘An act to extend the powers of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines’. This Act abandoned the distinction in law between ‘full-blood’ and ‘half-caste’ in terms of defining Aboriginality. (The different treatment of ‘Aboriginal’ and ‘half-caste’ persons was established in law by the Aborigines Protection Act 1886). This legislation meant that people categorised as ‘half-caste’ and Aboriginal people living outside Victorian reserves were no longer ineligible for government assistance.

The effect of the Aborigines Act 1910 was to extend the power of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines over Aboriginal people’s lives. The Board was now empowered to make decisions, not only about the Aboriginal people living on its missions and reserves, but about ‘half-caste Aborigines’ as well.

This Act (and the subsequent consolidation act in 1915 and regulations passed in 1916) had a devastating impact on many families, leading to dislocation and fragmentation in Victorian communities. This Act was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1915 (No. 2610.)

In 1916, the regulations ordered that:

All quadroon, octoroon, and half-caste lads over 18 on the Board Stations shall leave and shall not be allowed on the Station or reserve again except for brief visits to family at the discretion of the Station Manager.

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