Australian Policy Regarding the Indigenous Population (End of the XIXth Century – the First Third of the XXth Century)

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An analysis of Australia’s governmental policy towards indigenous peoples has been done. The negative consequences of the colonization of the Australian continent have been revealed, in particular, a significant reduction in the number of aborigines due to the spread of alcohol and epidemics, the seizure of their territories. It is concluded that the colonization of Australia was based on the idea of the hierarchy of human society, the superiority and inferiority of different races and groups of people, and accordingly - the supremacy of European culture and civilization. It is demonstrated in the creation of reservations for aborigines and the adoption of legislation aimed at segregating the country's white and colored populations and assimilating certain indigenous peoples into European society, primarily children from mixed marriages. It has been proven that, considering the aborigines an endangered people and seeking to protect them from themselves, Europeans saw the way to their salvation in miscegenation - interracial marriages and the isolation of aboriginal children from their parents. This policy has been pursued since the end of the XIX century by the 1970s and had disrupted cultural and family ties and destroyed aboriginal communities, although government circles positioned it as a policy of caring for indigenous Australians. As a result, the generation of aborigines taken from their parents and raised in boarding schools or families of white Europeans has been dubbed the “lost generation”. The activity of A.O. Neville who for more than two decades held the position of chief defender of the aborigines in Western Australia and in fact became the ideologist of the aborigines’ assimilation policy has been analyzed. He substantiated the idea of the biological absorption of the indigenous Australian race as a key condition for its preservation and extremely harshly implemented the policy of separating Aboriginal children from their parents. It is concluded that the policy towards the indigenous population of Australia in the late XIX – first third of the XX century was based on the principle of discrimination on racial grounds.


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Perga, T. (2020) “Australian Policy Regarding the Indigenous Population (End of the XIXth Century – the First Third of the XXth Century)”, Problems of World History, (11), pp. 41-52. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2020-11-3.

Author Biography

T. Perga

Perga Tetyana – Ph.D. in History, Senior Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”.


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