Background to Jasper Jones

January 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Sociology, Discrimination
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Setting the scene – Australia pre 1960s

"I have heard men of culture and refinement, of the greatest humanity and kindness to their fellow whites, not only of the wholesale butchery ...but of the individual murder of natives, exactly as they would talk of a day’s sport, or of having to kill some troublesome animal.” British High Commissioner Arthur Gordon, April 1883

 Inhuman treatment  Followed by protectionist ideas to deal with Aboriginal 

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survivors But, manipulated to suit needs of white settler society Rounded up, confined on reserves and missions Used as cheap labour source Protection policies converted to ‘policies of controlled subjugation’ Federation 1901 gave control of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs to individual states “Protection” varied widely    

Segregation Assimilation Eugenic programs Heavy focus on children

 Post WWII Nazi policies had made eugenicist ideas ‘distasteful’  New assimilationist agenda  Lift Aborigines from state of backwardness into civilised ways of

white men  Not a great deal changed, still denied basic rights non-indigenous Australians took for granted  Difficult situation – whilst laws differed from state to state, themes of persecution, oppression and discrimination were the same  The Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement (FCAA) offered the

following summary of this complex and bleak situation:  “... the position in 1963 is that an Aboriginal or part-Aboriginal person may be in a position where he is allowed to drink alcohol in one State, but not in another; he may be forced to vote in State elections in one State, but prohibited from voting in another; he may move freely in one State, but not in another; he may be free to marry whom he desires in one State, but not in another; he may mix freely with nonAborigines in one State, but not in another; he may have full rights in a court of law in one State, but not in another; and so on.”  By 1967, eve of Aboriginal referendum, many of these discriminations

had been removed from policies, however, prejudice remained

 Extreme poverty  Lack of basic services

 Poor housing  Ill-health  Relentless surveillance,

control and intervention by state and church authorities.  Infant mortality high  Life expectancy low  Few able to obtain a decent education

 First recorded removal 1833  First legalisation: Industrial Schools Act 1874  Any Indigenous child ‘surrendered’ to an institution could be detained

there without parental consent or contracted to employment after the age of 12 until the child reached 21

 Aborigines Act 1905  Assessment of ‘behaviour’

now incorporated  Can an individual be defined as Aboriginal or not?

 Chief Protector of Aborigines was legal guardian of every child, had

power to remove ‘half-caste’ children to a home or mission  By early 1950s removal had to go through Child Welfare courts, but these practices continued into the 1970s

 In 1948 a policy of legal racial

segregation, known as apartheid, is enforced by the National Party government of South Africa until 1994.  In Australia, segregation is imposed unofficially in public places such as theatres and swimming pools.  Idea of segregation based upon idea of ‘difference’ and needing to contain this

 1947 Massive assisted

British immigration scheme  'It is my hope that for every foreign migrant there will be ten people from the United Kingdom.' Arthur Calwell, Minister for Immigration, 1946.

 Ten pound Pom  1973 'White Australia'

policy officially ends, policy of multiculturalism launched.

 Ten pound Pom not enough  Migration important for securing our

borders and protection  1947 – Threw open doors to refugees from Baltic countries as well     

Greece Italy Russia Poland Croatia

 Much suspicion of these arrivals –

had ‘no culture’ and may not be able to ‘assimilate’ into the country, BUT  1948 – After Holocaust though, countries sought to dismantle discriminatory immigration policies and introduce bills of rights  By 1950s – Citizenship ceremonies being embraced by locals and new migrants beginning to be welcomed

 Became involved 1962  World divided between

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nations that were communist and those that were not Communism believed to be a real threat to capitalist societies like USA and Australia China – 1949 North Korea – 1950 Now Vietnam? Increasingly look to USA to contain communism in this part of the world

 47, 000 Australian men and a large

number of women served there  Debate around involvement in Vietnam

from day one  Nation grew more divided between the

anti-war movement and government supporters over time  Anti-war movement strongly connected

to protests against conscription  Controversial issue during WWI and

since then  Birth date lottery to serve for a period of

two years  Men had 1 in 10 chance

 Creation of ‘conscientious objection’ to

service  Consequence could be a jail sentence of

up to two years  Anti-war movement became more

extreme after 1966 Liberal election win

 1955 – 68 Civil Rights movements in UK and USA

influence Aboriginal political activism  1965 – Charles Perkins leads a 'freedom ride' by Aboriginal people and non- Aboriginal students through New South Wales in support of Aboriginal rights  Violent actions against Indigenous people puts Australia on the defensive for the first time in regards to Aboriginal policy, draws comparisons with Jim Crow laws in Southern USA  1967 – National referendum gives Commonwealth power to make and override state laws for Aboriginals and to count them in the national census.

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