Creating a Legal Identity: Aboriginal People and the Assimilation Census

H Douglas and J Chesterman (2008) Creating a Legal Identity: Aboriginal People and the Assimilation Census. Journal of Australian Studies, 32 3: 375-391. doi:10.1080/14443050802294125

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Author H Douglas
J Chesterman
Title Creating a Legal Identity: Aboriginal People and the Assimilation Census
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1444-3058
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14443050802294125
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 32
Issue 3
Start page 375
End page 391
Total pages 17
Editor Martin Crotty
Melissa Harper
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Routledge Publishers
Language eng
Subject 780199 Other
180199 Law not elsewhere classified
Abstract The Commonwealth government of Australia introduced the policy of 'assimilation' in the early 1950s. This policy aimed to merge Aboriginal people with other Australians. In 1953 the government drafted legislation that would cease to discriminate against Aboriginal people on the basis of their race, but would instead discriminate against Aboriginal people whose social status rendered them 'wards'. This reclassification process ultimately affected almost every Aboriginal person in the Northern Territory. However, the assimilation policy could not be implemented until a census had been undertaken of all Aboriginal people in the jurisdiction to determine which people would be listed as wards. The full implementation of the assimilation policy was delayed as the census took over four years to complete. The government employed patrol officers whose role included locating, naming and registering all Northern Territory Aboriginal people. Many obstacles confronted the patrol officers and the administrators in the completion of the census. This article tells the story of the census.
Keyword Area Studies
Cultural Studies
Area Studies
Cultural Studies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Apr 2009, 03:04:06 EST