Topics: Government policy: North Coastal

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1909 - view

The Aborigines Protection Act is passed in NSW. The Board for the Protection of Aborigines has the power to “exercise a general supervision and care over all Aborigines and over the interests and welfare of Aborigines … and to protect them against injustice, imposition and fraud”. The Protection Act gives the Board great powers to control the private lives of Aborigines. For example the Board may order any Aboriginal into or out of any Reserve at its own discretion. The powers to remove children are codified and strengthened, and the Board becomes an instrument of persecution of Guringai, and other NSW Koories, for the next 60 years.

1940 - view

A new policy of ‘Assimilation’ is proclaimed by the NSW government in the Aborigines Act 1940 which established the Aborigines Welfare Board. Many reserves are closed, sometimes forcibly in post-war decades. These include Sackville Reserve (1943) and the Narrabeen camp (1958).

1946 - view

After World War I and II large numbers of reserves are revoked throughout Australia for provision of “Soldier settlers” blocks for ex servicemen. It was still believed that Aboriginal people were a “dying race” and thus would not require any land.

1953 - view

The Minister for Territories Paul Hasluck re-launches a new policy for Indigenous people. He claims that “Assimilation does not mean the suppression of Aboriginal culture but rather that, for generation after generation, cultural adjustment will take place. The native people will grow into the society in which by force of history, they are bound to live”. Assimilation however remains in part a policy of coercion.

1954 - 1964 - view

A further wave of revocation relating to the Government policy of assimilation and the removal of Aboriginal people from traditional reserves to new reserves set aside in other places or outside towns. Probably all of the Narrabeen community are trucked to western Sydney. After this time, no official or unofficial reserves remain in Guringai country.

1959 - view

Pensions and maternity allowances are now paid directly to Indigenous people instead of to the local Aboriginal Protector, reserve manager or police officer.

1961 - view

Pearl Gibbs works with FCAATSI to remove discrimination against Indigenous patients in hospitals.

1967 - view

Referendum for federal co-control of Indigenous affairs for Aboriginal Australians is successful. The Referendum is often seen as the time when Indigenous Australians achieved full citizenship rights.

1969 - view

The Aborigines Welfare Board is abolished but leaves behind 80 years of Aboriginal family disintegration due to the removal of children and destruction of living areas. “There is not an Aboriginal person in NSW who does not know, or who is not related to, one or two of his or her country men who were institutionalised by the whites”.

1986 - view

The first Land Rights claims are made on Northern region lands under the 1983 Aboriginal Land Rights Act. The Sydney Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council makes claims for parcels of vacant crown land. The 108 claims cover land around Oxford Falls, Belrose, Terrey Hills, Duffys Forest, Mona Vale Rd near St Ives Showground, Myoora Rd and Middle Creek near Narrabeen Lagoon.