Aboriginal Education has been typified by policies of cultural suppression, the creation of servants to white people and promulgation of the belief in European racial superiority.
‘In the late 1700’s the government position was assimilation or
annihilation. The pattern of black-white relations began, set in
superior-inferior power position that remains today‘(Lipmann 1994:6).
Early white settlers believed their mission to be the rounding up of aborigines and converting them into “civilised” Christians (Lipmann 1994:10).
Aboriginal Education of the early 1800’s was typified by an ineffective range of institutions like the Native Institution in Parramatta, that provided informal training echoing the needs of white colonists rather than the needs of the Aboriginal students. It was the first of many to take children forcefully.’ (Lipmann 1994:10)
In 1837, prompted by a British government inquiry into the conditions of indigenous people in the colonies, a system of Protectors was set up, called the Aboriginal Protection Board (APB). Aboriginal people were taken by force and put in missions as the parents were considered to be unteachable; children were stolen from their families so they could be more easily controlled and converted to Christianity. This system was deemed a failure as well (Lipmann 1994:7-10). In 1848 the Peak education management system was established, where a formalised education system started; religious and secular schools were appointed to manage colonial education (A NSW Aboriginal Education Timeline:4). ‘Parents of indigenous children didn’t agree with the education provided and resented the white’s educational and religious arrogance’ (Nichol, 2005:257).
In 1880 The NSW Public Instruction Act was created, which mandated free, compulsory and secular education, regardless of race or gender. Consequently Aboriginal student enrolments increased further and
many schools became segregated (A NSW Aboriginal Education Timeline:6).
In 1883 the Aboriginal Protection Board (APB) was established consisting of charity bodies, members of the government, police and legal fields. All were non-Aboriginal. If Aboriginal children lived closed to a public school the APB supported their attendance as long as they were clean and clothed well (Nichol:262). In 1891 exclusion of aboriginal students lead to segregated schools in 1893 and students were given a simplified syllabus to cater to students supposed reduced capacity compared to white students (Nichol, 2005:261).
In 1909 the Aboriginal Protection Act stated if Aboriginal children found to be ‘neglected’ the Board could take custody of the children, which is where our stolen generation began. This enabled the APB to take away children and apprentice them as servants or labourers.(Lipmann 1994:17).
Homes were set up. The syllabus stated teachers were to direct boys to positions as station labourers and girls as domestic servants. Goodall has argued...