State of Western Australia
The Survey of Native Affairs was undertaken from 1947 to 1948 by Magistrate F.E.A. Bateman. WA historian Neville Green has written that the Survey was undertaken because it was thought that Aboriginal protection policy in Western Australia was 'out of step with international agreements for Indigenous people'. Bateman's report was presented in June 1948.
WA historian Neville Green has remarked that royal commissions and inquiries into Indigenous matters in Western Australia have generally been motivated by one of two themes: either to identify problems and improve legislation and/or policy; or to 'address concerns of abuse and injustice.'
Green (p.781) described the 1947 Survey of Native Affairs undertaken by Magistrate F.E.A. Bateman:
By 1947 the protection policy [in WA] was out of step with international agreements for Indigenous people, and the government decided upon a review…The assimilation of migrants and Indigenous people was the emerging policy, and this is evident in Bateman's report…Education and training were important considerations, but Bateman, as with many of his generation, could not see beyond a future of trade and domestic employment for Indigenous people. He could not visualize Aboriginal people in professions, as teachers, nurses, lawyers and doctors.
Sources used to compile this entry: Green, Neville, 'Royal Commissions and Inquiries, Indigenous', in Gregory, Jenny and Jan Gothard [editors] (eds), Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, W.A., 2009, pp. Pages 780-782.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 23 January 2012, Last modified: 4 July 2014