The Aborigines Act of 1890 (Act no.1059) was 'An Act to consolidate the Laws relating to the Aboriginal Natives of Victoria.' It extended the powers of the Governor to separate Aboriginal children from their families. The Act commenced on 1 August 1890 and was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1915 on 1 October 1915.
In many ways the 1890 Aborigines Act was a consolidation of the Aborigines Protection Act 1886, but it solidified the link between the government's mainstream child welfare system and systematic removal of Aboriginal children. The Aborigines Act of 1890 was in many ways merely a solidification of the 1886 Act, but it did add that the Governor was responsible for 'the care custody and education of the children of aboriginals'. Read in conjunction with the provisions of the 1886 Act, this meant that the Board for the Protection of Aborigines could, and did, transfer Aboriginal children to state 'care' even when they were not orphaned.
It was repealed by the Aborigines Act 1915, No. 2610.
1870 - 1890 An Act to Provide for the Protection and Management of the Aboriginal Natives of Victoria
1887 - 1890 The Aborigines Protection Act 1886
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: Broome, Richard, Aboriginal Victorians: a history since 1800, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2005; Chesterman, John; Galligan, Brian, Citizens without rights: Aborigines and Australian citizenship, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997; Law 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: Nell Musgrove
Created: 2 December 2009, Last modified: 22 December 2015