The Burden of Freedom? A History of Aboriginal Exemption Policies in Australia

Kat Ellinghaus

project-ellinghausThis is the first major study of the clauses in Aboriginal Protection Acts passed in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales, which allowed Aborigines to be ‘exempted’ from control by the government. Exemption policies created rich, sensitive and underutilised government archives that give compelling glimpses into how Aboriginal people negotiated and resisted the pressures and possibilities of assimilation from 1897–1967. This project is committed to the ethical and appropriate use of the sensitive archives created by exemption.

Members of the Indigenous community who were, or whose family members were, impacted on by the policy can contact katherine.ellinghaus@monash.edu for further information.

This project is supported by the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme.