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Queensland and the aboriginal problem, 1838-1901

Reid, Gordon Stephen

Description

The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, introduced by the Queensland parliament in 1897, was the most important of the various pieces of legislation affecting Aborigines passed by the Australian colonies. It attempted to improve the condition of Aborigines by providing safeguards on the terms of their employment and by confining those not employed to reserves where, it was expected, they would no longer be adversely affected by contact with Europeans and...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorReid, Gordon Stephen
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-06T23:19:22Z
dc.date.available2016-11-06T23:19:22Z
dc.date.copyright1986
dc.identifier.otherb1585423
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/110014
dc.description.abstractThe Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, introduced by the Queensland parliament in 1897, was the most important of the various pieces of legislation affecting Aborigines passed by the Australian colonies. It attempted to improve the condition of Aborigines by providing safeguards on the terms of their employment and by confining those not employed to reserves where, it was expected, they would no longer be adversely affected by contact with Europeans and others. The thesis argues that, contrary to the views of other writers, the 1897 Act was consistent with a long tradition of humanitarian attempts to produce an effective protection system. To understand the Act fully that tradition must be studied in depth. The Preface summarises the legislation and the Introduction states the reasons for studying this topic, reviews related literature and puts the argument to be advanced. The thesis is in two parts, the first dealing with efforts before the 1890s to assist the Aborigines and the second with the changed circumstances which caused the government to take action, the Act and the immediate aftermath. The first three chapters in Part l deal with the work of the Lutheran missionaries who arrived in Moreton Bay in 1838, the experience of the Presbyterian missionary, William Ridley, and the campaign of the former Native Police commandant, Frederick Walker, on behalf of the Aborigines. The opposing views of the squatters, on one hand, and churchmen and other humanitarians, on the other, are examined in the next three chapters. Then, the failure of Edward Fuller's mission on Fraser island is contrasted with the partial success of the first Aboriginal reserve at Mackay. Three chapters are given to considering the practical work of the two Aborigines commissions in the 1870s along with the impractical idealism of the Roman Catholic missionary, Father Duncan McNab. The collapse of humanitarian effort in the late 1870s and early 1880s is examined as a prelude to the resurgence of missionary work, particularly by the Lutherans in northern Queensland, in the late 1880s. In Part 2 close attention is given over several chapters to Archibald Meston, because of the part he played in devising a workable protection system and forcing it upon a hesitant government. The passage of the 1897 legislation through parliament is considered in some detail, as the debates clarify contemporary political positions and community attitudes. In the last two chapters the administration of the new law in the period before 1901, when an important amendment was made, is briefly surveyed. This leads to some reflections on the previous lack of effective administration in Aboriginal affairs in Queensland and its ready acceptance in the 1890s.
dc.format.extent325 leaves
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshAboriginal Australians HistoryAustralia Queensland
dc.subject.lcshAboriginal Australians Missions HistoryAustralia Queensland
dc.subject.lcshAboriginal Australians Social conditionsAustralia Queensland
dc.titleQueensland and the aboriginal problem, 1838-1901
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorMacknight, C.C.
dcterms.valid1986
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1986
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d7638d1d92fc
dc.date.updated2016-11-01T00:14:31Z
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.mintdoimint
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