The 1940 Amendment to the Aborigines Protection Act 1909 was highly paternalistic. Its goal was for Aboriginal people to 'become assimilated into the general life of the community'. This was a break from past beliefs that Aboriginal people should be 'protected' on reserves and stations. The Act specified the new Aboriginal Welfare Board had to include ex-police, anthropologists, and experts in agriculture.
Duties of the Board were to include 'assisting aborigines in obtaining employment' and 'maintaining or assisting to maintain them whilst so employed, or otherwise for the purpose of assisting aborigines to become assimilated into the general life of the community'. Although the Protection Board was abolished, most of its practices and all of its staff were carried over to the new Welfare Board.
The Act removed the Board's responsibility to provide for the education of Aboriginal children, but gave them custody and maintenance. Under this Act, where the Children's Court found that an Aboriginal child was 'neglected' or 'uncontrollable' under the Child Welfare Act 1939, and decided to admit the child to state control, the child was to be committed to the care of the Board as a ward. Where the Court decides to commit the child to an institution, the child shall be committed to an institution established under the Act.
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04 June 2020
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE00015
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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