|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Central Board for the Protection of the Aborigines was given statutory authority by the Aborigines Protection Act 1869. The Board itself had existed since 1860 as the Central Board Appointed to Watch Over the Interests of Aborigines having been appointed following the inquiry into Aboriginal welfare conducted by a select committee appointed in 1858.
The Act provided for the existing members of the Board to continue in office with, in future, the Board to consist of the Minister and such other members as the Governor should appoint. Local committees of three persons could also be appointed to act in conjunction with the Board and also officers to be called local guardians of aborigines.
The Board established reservations and supply depots throughout Victoria, with food and clothing available to the infirm amongst the inhabitants. Regulations made under the Act in 1871 gave the Board wide powers over Aboriginal domicile, child custody and contracts.
The Board was abolished by the Aborigines Act 1957 and became the Aborigines Welfare Board under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. This followed the 1957 McLean Report on the Aborigines Act and its Regulations which suggested major policy changes involving a reversion to the policy of assimilation.