August, 1959 (from the Bulletin 1 July, 1997- Damien Murphy)
Tests to be applied
in considering whether or not a part Aboriginal
child should be taken from an
Aboriginal mother on a settlement or pastoral property.
Rejection within the Native Camp.
If a male: Is
he likely to be initiated in due course? Will he be allowed to take a wife
according to tribal custom? Would he be likely to offend members of the
tribe if he refuses a full blood wife and prefers to marry a part Aboriginal
girl living in other than tribalised conditions? Is he fully accepted by his
mother's husband, his mother's brother and his own brothers as a member of
the family unit, irrespective of his known non-Aborigine paternity?
If a female:
Was she promised at birth as the wife of some Tribal male? If so, would it
create any problems within the tribe if she were taken away? Is it likely,
even if taken away, she may subsequently return and accept the obligations
of Tribal marriage? Could it be that her mother or her mother's brother feel
that she is really not part of the family unit? If so, do they tend to
reject her in anyway or are they accepting that she will be taken from them
in due course and placed in a children's home, thereafter to pursue a life
other than that which is regarded as right and proper for full blood girls?
Is the child in
habits and manner of life identical with full blood children with whom he or
she is living? Is there any reason to feel that (a girl) would not accept,
just as readily as a full blood girl, a tribal marriage in which she is one of
a number of wives? Has the child a sophistication in sexual matters which make
him a problem in coming amongst European or part Aboriginal children?
At what level
could a child expect to enter a European school?
Does the mother
consider that removal is in the best interests of the child? Has the mother
consulted either her brother or her husband on the matter of removal? Is the
child old enough to be consciously attached to his family group but not old
enough to comprehend the possibilities of the new adventure?
What is the
view of the manager of the Pastoral property regarding the removal? If the
child came back, would the pastoral management be prepared to accommodate him
at the Pastoral Homestead and allow him access to his mother? What are the
characteristics of Pastoral management's treatment of adolescent and adult
part Aboriginal persons living on the property?
How would a
child's prospects of employment be better after removal? In the case of a
girl, has she better prospects of contracting a happy marriage if removed than
she would if she remained?
considered all points separately is the child likely to live a more contented,
happy and fuller life, if removal occurs, than if he is left where he is?