The office of the Protector of Aborigines was established pursuant to a recommendation contained in the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aboriginal Tribes, (British settlements.) of the House of Commons. On 31 January 1838, Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies sent Governor Gipps the report.
The report recommended that Protectors of Aborigines should be engaged. They would be required to learn the Aboriginal language and their duties would be to watch over the rights of Aborigines, guard against encroachment on their property and to protect them from acts of cruelty, oppression and injustice. The Port Phillip Protectorate was established with George Augustus Robinson as chief protector and four full-time protectors.
While the role was nominally to protect Aborigines, particularly in remote areas, the role included social control up to the point of controlling whom individuals were able to marry and where they lived and managing their financial affairs.
The Aborigines Welfare Board in New South Wales was abolished in 1969. By then, all states and territories had repealed the legislation allowing for the removal of Aboriginal children under the policy of "protection".
Protectors of Aborigines around Australia included:
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