Proper mixed-up: Miscegenation among Aboriginal Australians

C. Solonec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Early in Australia's history legislation was passed in most states to deal specifically with an 'Aboriginal problem'. The perceived 'problem' involved Aboriginals, Asians and white people producing offspring that interfered with official aspirations for a 'pure' white British race. In Western Australia from 1915 to 1940 the Chief Protector of Aborigines was AO Neville, who had become fixated with the idea of eugenics. Neville played a significant role by endorsing the misguided belief that Australia should be made up of'white' citizens, by deciding who Aboriginal people under his control could marry. His folly eventually dissipated and following the Second World War authorities moved away from the notion of 'biological' assimilation to one of 'cultural assimilation'. Mixed-descent families became the bane of such ambitious ideologies and Aboriginal Australians and migrants evolved as a significant part of Australian society. This paper is written from an Aboriginal perspective and snippets from the author's Rodriguez and Fraser families' lives in the Derby region place the times in context. To explain the local history, this paper draws on Indigenous standpoint theory, which can be described as a paradigm in which commonalities of the underprivileged are analysed. It provides a viewing platform from which this story exposes everyday life of marginalised people by investigating the reality of the Fraser clan and its mixed marriages in Western Australia. The paper considers assimilationism, miscegenation and developmentalism that were played out during the middle of the past century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
JournalAustralian Aboriginal Studies
Volume2013
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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