The Aboriginals Ordinance 1911 (Act no. 16/1911) was passed on 8 January 1912 and commenced on the same day. Its full title is 'An Ordinance relating to Aboriginals'. It was the first legislation relating to Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory to be passed by the Commonwealth. It was to be read with the Northern Territory Aboriginals Act 1910 (SA) until repealed by the Aboriginals Ordinance 1918 (Cth) on 13 June 1918.
The 1911 Ordinance outlined the powers of the Chief Protector in undertaking 'the care, custody, or control of any aboriginal or half-caste if in his opinion it is necessary or desirable' in their 'interests'. This included the power to take them into custody for their own 'protection' or remove them from a prohibited area.
Although the Northern Territory was administered by the Commonwealth of Australia from 1 January 1911, it continued to be governed by South Australian laws until such legislation was altered by a Commonwealth Law.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Northern Territory: Legislation', in To remove and protect: laws that changed Aboriginal lives, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2008, https://aiatsis.gov.au/collection/featured-collections/remove-and-protect; Aboriginals Ordinance 1911 [Document]; Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Northern Territory Legislation', 1 February 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 8 February 2011, Last modified: 15 April 2015