Ever since British fleets first landed on Australia, the Aborigines were faced with a problem
Ever since British fleets first landed on Australia, the Aborigines were faced with a problem. The new settlers did not recognise them as owners of the land as they did not develop it, but had instead roamed amongst it. The Aborigines had faced discrimination, oppression and violence. After federation, however, their rights and freedoms began to change dramatically throughout the 20th Century. Through that period of time, the Australian government has created and implemented policies concerning the Indigenous population, decisions which had all been made for their own good. These policies have included Protection, Assimilation, Integration, Self-determination and finally, Reconciliation.
It is now clear that none of these policies have actually made the condition of Australia's Indigenous people any better than it was prior to the invasion.
Assimilation (1940s -1960s):
In order for Aboriginal peoples to be `worthy' of full citizenship, they had to completely give up their traditional lifestyle and live and think as white people. During the assimilation period some Aboriginal people, who were considered of worthy character, had an appropriate work ethic who were no longer associated with Aboriginal people,were granted exemption from laws that banned them from hotels and cafes, and from being in town after dark. Such people were granted an Exemption Certificate, or `Dog Tag', through few Aboriginal people applied for them. The assimilation policy was intended to raise the standard of housing, health and education for Aboriginal people by allowing them to move into towns and cities, however it did not succeed. Aboriginal people experienced difficulty in finding work and housing due to discrimination, and some set up fringe camps on the outskirts of town.
The policies of protection were brought in under the pretext of `protecting' the Aboriginal population from violence and harassment.Numbers of Aboriginals had dwindled from an estimated 750,000 at the time of settlement to just 70,0000 within one hundred years. This reduction was mainly a result of disease, murder and poor living conditions. From 1890 to 1911 all Australian states and territories (except Tasmania) passed their own Protection Acts that made Aboriginal people live in missions, away from towns. Under these acts, Aboriginal people were not allowed in places such as cafes and hotels and were not allowed to be in town after dark. The Acts also made it possible for the state to remove Aboriginal children who had a non- Indigenous parent from their homes.
Integration partially acknowledged the mistakes of the past. During this period the Aboriginal population were given some equal rights, and the relationship between the Aboriginal people, and the government began to improve. The Federal...