Wantima

Subtitle

Assimilation

Assimilation of the Aboriginal people was first mooted as early as 1937 when the following proposal was put forward at an Aboriginal Welfare Conference held in Canberra on 21 April 1937 (Queensland Parliamentary Papers - 2 : 1938: page 1097) attended by the State/Territory Chief Protectors and representatives of Native Welfare Boards:


.... as the destiny of the Aboriginal people lay in their ultimate absorption by the white race all efforts be directed to that end. This theory was disputed by most States, including Queensland, but the proposal was accepted when limited to persons of Aboriginal extraction with fifty per cent, or more white or other Non-Aboriginal blood. These cross breeds were to be educated and trained to fit them for assimilation in the white community.


The implementation of assimilation of the Aboriginal population was delayed as a result of World War II. By 1951 all Australian Governments were claiming they were acting in accordance with an assimilationist policy. The Queensland Government officially adopted the policy of assimilation in 1957.

Equal wages - 1963 - 1966

For white civil rights activists in the 1960s, equal pay was the basic marker of acceptance and social inclusion in Australian society. Shirley Andrews, who helped establish the Equal Wages for Aborigines committee, pointed out that people who were paid such a small proportion of the basic wage were not able to live like white people, as required under the assimilation policy.



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