No Sugar; the Aborigines Act 1905

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The Aborigines Act of 1905 supposed to be an act that raised provision for the better protection and care of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Western Australia; however in reality the real purpose of the act was not to make the general wellbeing of the Aborigines better, it was to control every movement they made and have power over every aspect of their lives. The following essay discusses several of the clauses in the text that prove its intention most deceiving, and what the act truly accomplished. Clause 4 declares that there is to be an Aborigines Department under the Minister whose duty is to promote the welfare of the aborigines by providing them with food, clothing, medicine and medical attendance when they would otherwise be destitute, providing for the education of aboriginal children, and generally assisting in the preservation and well-being of the aborigines. This is the only clause in the whole of the Act that sees to the rights of the aborigines.

Clause 8 of the Act states that the Chief Protector is to be the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and half-caste child until they attain the age of sixteen; as well as Clause 60 again highlighting that the governor has custody of the Aborigines and half-caste providing for their care and education. They saw the parents as unfit to raise their own children; they didn’t want them teaching their traditional ways and so, against a parent’s basic right, they took the children and raised them under European light. According to clause 12 the minister may cause any Aboriginal to be removed and kept within the boundaries of a reserve, or to be removed from one reserve or district to another. The government had the power to just remove any aboriginal from their homes whenever they felt fit and place them in a completely different district. Not only was this most inconvenient for them in ways any being would understand, it was damaging to their cultural identity and the spiritual belonging to a home land. As...
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