Victoria was the first colony to pass comprehensive legislation about the 'protection' of its Indigenous people.
The Aboriginal Protection Act, 'to provide for the protection and management of the Aboriginal natives of Victoria' was passed on 11 November 1869. It gave the Board power to prescribe where Aboriginal people could live, the way they could earn a living, and the distribution of government funding and food and supplies.
Perhaps most significantly, the Act stated that the government, through the Board, had the power to make arrangements about the 'care, custody and education' of Aboriginal children.
Section 8 of the Act defined Aboriginality to include 'half-castes' and people 'habitually associating and living with aboriginals'.
It was amended by Act No. 912 on 1 January 1887.
The Act was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1890 (Act No.1059) on 1 August 1890.
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30 July 2018
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E000426
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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