Added: November 11, 2006 – Last updated: June 3, 2017


Author: Victoria Haskins

Title: ‘A better chance'?

Subtitle: Sexual abuse and the apprenticeship of Aboriginal girls under the NSW Aborigines Protection Board

Journal: Aboriginal History

Volume: 28

Issue: -

Year: 2004

Pages: 33-58

ISSN: 0314-8769 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1837-9389 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Oceanian History: Australian History | Types: Child Sexual Abuse, Interracial Rape



ANU Press (Free Access)

Informit (Restricted Access)

JSTOR (Restricted Access)


Author: Victoria Haskins, School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle, Australia –

Abstract: »It was state government policy in New South Wales in the 1920's and 1930's for young Aboriginal women and girls to be taken from their homes and placed with white families as domestic servants. A large proportion of these girls were sexually molested during their apprenticeship and became pregnant. The Aborigines Protection Board refused to investigate claims of sexual abuse against the girls' male employers, and sympathetic whites that supported the girls' claims were told they would be charged with libel if they persisted. The board was so consistently negligent in its duties that some have posited the girls were deliberately placed in moral danger so that they would conceive with white men and thereby contribute to the decline of the Aborigines as a separate race.« (Source: Historical Abstracts)


  The apprenticeship scheme (p. 35)
  Criticism of the policy (p. 39)
  'Protection' in practice (p. 42)
  The 'good fella missus' (p. 49)
  A policy of sexual exploitation (p. 52)
  References (p. 53)
    Primary sources (p. 53)
    Secondary sources (p. 54)

Wikipedia: History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of Australia (1901–45) | History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of New South Wales | History of Indigenous Australians: Aboriginal Protection Board / Aboriginal Affairs NSW | Rape in Australia | Sex and the law: Child sexual abuse