By John Chesterman
This can be the 1st complete examine of the ways that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were excluded from the rights of Australian citizenship over the last a hundred years. Drawing widely on archival fabric, the authors examine how the colonies initiated a coverage of exclusion that used to be then replicated by means of the Commonwealth and country governments following federation. The booklet comprises cautious exam of presidency guidelines and perform from the Eighteen Eighties to the Nineties. It argues that there has been by no means any constitutional the reason is, Aborigines couldn't be granted complete citizenship.
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Extra info for Citizens without Rights: Aborigines and Australian Citizenship
No matter what we do we can never wipe out that slur, and to know that white men behaved in such a cruel, brutal, murdering manner towards a lot of poor wretches that had no opportunity of protecting themselves makes one feel ashamed . . 52 The Home Secretary, who would be responsible for implementing the Act, raised one issue that would not be fully debated for another eighty years. He acknowledged that the imprisonment of an Aboriginal for three years was generally as harassing as imprisonment for ten years was to a white man.
The Chief Secretary, William Trenwith, had appeared in the papers advocating that the Ramahyuck station in Gippsland, which he had recently visited, be closed immediately. The Board took great offence, and told Trenwith so. The Board wrote that it was reluctant to believe the reports about Trenwith's statements because it was reluctant to believe that such a step would be taken without consulting it, the Board, which had been 'especially appointed to watch over and protect the Aborigines, to manage the stations set apart as their homes, and to give advice to the Government on all subjects connected with the original owners of the soil'.
He also said: It was surprising to hear [Senator Neild] utter so trite a remark as that the aboriginals of Australia were entitled to the franchise because they were the original owners of the country . . 4 Many people thought that their relatively small numbers made it somewhat superfluous for Aborigines to be specifically excluded from the franchise. But another Queensland Senator was concerned to refute this. He cited one source that suggested that Queensland's Aboriginal population numbered 70,000.