25 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.


  1. Acceptance or Rejection within the Native Camp.


    1. 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?


    1. 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?


  1. 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?


  1. At what level could a child expect to enter a European school?


  1. 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?


  1. 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?


  1. 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?


  1. Having 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?


[emphasis provided] 


Source: Edited from Jimball.com.au