The scheme opposed [1 April 1925]

[Editor: In 1925 the Aborigines’ Friends’ Association discussed the possibility of creating a separate state for Aborigines, but decided against it. The idea of a separate “black state” had been raised in the newspapers on previous occasions.]

The scheme opposed.

At a meeting of the Aborigines’ Friends’ Association, held yesterday, the question of the formation of a model Black State was fully debated, and it was unanimously agreed “That the scheme being advocated is both fantastic and impracticable, and makes no real contribution to the aboriginal problem. The association cannot support the scheme, on the following grounds:— 1. The blacks, halfcastes, quadroons and octoroons would greatly resent being lifted out of their own present environment and sent to a strange territory. 2. The different tribes, when brought together, would not fraternise, and consequently the adoption of such a scheme would bring tribal quarrels and bloodshed among the aborigines: 3. The sexual question would, in no way, be solved, because the tribal marriage laws are not alike, and are different from ours. 4. The association is of opinion that the present methods of setting aside reserves for aborigines in suitable places, and for different tribes is to be preferred before any scheme of centralisation, especially if these reserves can be made centres of real education and practical training.”

It was stated at the meeting that the Aborigines’ Friends’ Association now embraced in its membership, representation from the Finke River Mission, the Aborigines’ Inland Mission of Australia, The Australian Inland’ Mission, the Koonibba Mission, and the Australian Aborigines’ Mission, so that the unanimous decision arrived at, that is could not support the scheme of a model Black State, represented the studied opinion of interested and sympathetic workers of long standing and of wide experience in practical service for the aborigines of Australia.

The Register (Adelaide, SA), Wednesday 1 April 1925, page 10

[Editor: Correction made by adding a closing quotation mark at the end of the first paragraph.]

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