The Act to Provide for the Protection and Management of the Aboriginal Natives of Victoria (No. CCCXLIX (349)), also known as Aborigines Protection Act of 1869, became effective from 11 July 1870. It established the Board of Protection of Aborigines, a government agency that played a significant role in the lives and affairs of Indigenous people in Victoria.
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The Act was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1890 (Act No.1059) on 1 August 1890.
1870 - 1890 An Act to Provide for the Protection and Management of the Aboriginal Natives of Victoria
1890 - 1915 Aborigines Act 1890
1915 - 1929 Aborigines Act 1915
1929 - 1957 Aborigines Act 1928
1957 - 1959 Aborigines Act 1957
1959 - 1968 Aborigines Act 1958
Sources used to compile this entry: Finding Your Story: a resource manual to the records of the Stolen Generations, Public Record Office Victoria, 2005. Also available at https://www.prov.vic.gov.au/koorie-services/finding-your-story; 'Victoria: 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; aw Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Victoria Legislation', 13 December 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 15 September 2009, Last modified: 12 May 2017