The Aborigines Protection Amending Act 1915 was a significant increase in the powers of the Aborigines Protection Board. It allowed the Board to assume parental rights over Aboriginal children and to remove children 'of any aborigine' without Court orders, or parental consent, and treat children 'absconding' from care as 'neglected' under the Neglected Children and Juvenile Offenders Act 1905. The Act also removed the provision that apprenticeship of children by the Board was to be subject to the terms of the Apprentices Act 1901, effectively reducing the conditions of Aboriginal apprentices. The Aborigines Protection Act was further amended in 1918, 1936, 1940, 1943 and 1964. It was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1969.
This Amendment was a critical increase in the power of the Aborigines Protection Board over Aboriginal children. It removed the requirement that an aboriginal child had to be found to be neglected before the Board could remove him/her. The Act provided that 'the Board may assume full control and custody of the child of any aborigine, if after due inquiry it is satisfied that such a course is in the interest of the moral or physical welfare of such child' and remove such child to such control and care as it thinks best.'
Sources used to compile this entry: New South Wales. Aborigines Protection Board (ed.), Report of the Board, Government Printer, 1881-1941. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.aus-vn1447508; Parry, Naomi, 'Such a longing': black and white children in welfare in New South Wales and Tasmania, 1880-1940, Department of History, University of New South Wales, 2007, 361 pp, http://hdl.handle.net/1959.4/40786; Radi, Heather, ''Ardill, George Edward (1857-1945)'', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Melbourne University Press, 1979, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/ardill-george-edward-5048; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry and Liam Hogan
Created: 21 February 2011, Last modified: 10 June 2021