Aboriginal People In Australia In The Late 19th Century

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Before the arrival of the British invaders in the 18th century, the estimated population of Australia’s Aboriginal people was up to 1.5 million. By the next century, the Aboriginal population had dropped to an estimated 150,000, caused by a series of violent engagements and massacres, disease and land encroachment. During this period known as the Colonial Frontier, despite the heavy casualties of Aboriginal people, it saw Aboriginal resistance to the British occupation and takeover of their lands across Australia. Word count 79 This struggle to survive and resist, continued during the late 19th century to the early 20th century, where Aboriginal people became the focus of the European authority’s protectionist practices, policies and legislation, known as the protection era. During this period, cruel treatment and exploitation become prevalent. Protection legislation was introduced; segregation was practiced and assimilation policies eventually replaced protection policies. The Aboriginal people and culture were at risk of…show more content…
In 1869, Victoria was the first to introduce The Aborigines Protection Act (Vic), giving the then Governor, omnipotence to remove Aboriginal children from their families, to be placed into industrial schools or reformatories. In NSW, in 1883, the NSW Aborigines Protection Board (APB) was created to provide aid and rations. However, additionally, it had a policy of controlling, segregating and forcefully removing Aboriginal children. The Board’s motive for removing these children was to save as many as possible from dying out. However, according to McGrath (1995), the true purpose of protection was really for the Government to exercise increased control over the Aboriginal people’s lives. The Board was finally disbanded because of political resistance stemming from the Australian Aborigines Conference, which was held in

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