At the time of the arrival of The First Fleet, Captain Cook declared Australia 'terra nullius', meaning no man’s land. This basically meant that there was no recognition of land ownership, or native title. Terra nullius was considered, at the time of invasion, a reasonable policy, that without proper use of the land and any native title, the British could move in to take the land. There was a big confrontation between the British and the Aborigines over who had rights to the land. The Aborigines were dispossessed of their land later on as well as their identity, culture and freedom. During this time the Aboriginal population of Australia were granted no rights and no freedom. It wasn’t until the 1880’s that Aboriginals were granted these rights. There have been in total, four major government policies that dealt with Aboriginal people. All four policies are spread out in time from 1886 to 1972. These policies are: * Protectionist
These policies gradually granted Aboriginals several rights and freedoms and allowed them to become equal citizens, however, there were some major negative impacts that came out of these polices. For example, in the protectionist policy, children were forced to live away from home and under the care and attention of white people. These children (also referred to as the ‘stolen generation’) were forced to live on missions and reserves, losing cultural backgrounds and having to become Christian. This, as well as the fact that it took them decades to become independent and not under the control of the Australia government, was some of the major negative impacts the policies gave on Aboriginals. The changes in Australian government policies toward Aboriginals are that back then the government believed they couldn’t look after themselves and therefore though it was there right and duty to control all aspects of...
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