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first report


Academic year: 2023

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Some of the blacks at Mount Franklin, thanks to the care and attention of Mr. Sale of spirituous The attention of the Board was early directed to the necessity of affair. Banfield's letters were handed over to the board and inquiries into the girl's condition were immediately launched.

2,341 Lake Hindmarsh, Horsham, Glenorchy, &c



BROUGH SMYTH, Secretary Central Board for Aborigines, Melbourne,



Now, however, they are rapidly fading before the dominant race, and in this district will doubtless die out in a very few years. I have referred to these facts to show that it cannot be a surprise that the natives do not readily engage in the pursuits of the civilized people who have taken possession of their country. The livelihood of the Goulburn and Campaspe tribes must now be derived almost entirely from the white people who occupy their hunting grounds, being the wages of barking, duck shooting and prostitution.

I know of no native this side of Goulburn employed as a servant by a settler. O'Dea's station is occasionally used by some of the boys for cattle hunting, in which they take great delight and show much skill. At Headlam's station at Lower Moira several native boys mounted so many unbroken colts and rode in a race in which one of them struck a tree which killed the horse, but the native escaped unharmed.





Their moral and social condition is of the very lowest kind; make their living mainly by hunting and fishing. Some of them are employed by the settlers, but their number is small compared to the total in the district. In general, they do not stay with their employer for more than seven months a year. Some of the young men are occasionally employed by the settlers, but they are generally averse to staying in one place for long.

Their moral and social condition are both very poor; their livelihood depends on the benevolence of the public, and none, to my knowledge, are employed as servants, as they absolutely refuse to work. I consider their moral and social condition at the lowest possible point, but I think much worse now than before, having been brought into contact with the very depraved class of Europeans, servants of the first occupiers of the country. Some of the younger blacks are employed as cattlemen and shepherds, but only for short periods, as they are not inclined to stay long in one place.

I consider their moral and social condition at the very lowest possible point, but I think now infinitely worse than before, having been brought into contact with the very depraved class of Europeans, servants of the first occupiers of the country. Their moral and social condition has improved little, if at all, since the coming of the white man.


In general, I can only say that the only method I could suggest to enable them to pass the few remaining years which they may require with some degree of comfort, would be to gather them together at the beginning of the winter the location where they would be under police control; to build a building in which to live, to have a supply of warm clothes and a regular supply of food. To fix them, or rather to attempt to fix them permanently in any particular place, would, in my opinion, so interfere with their natural habits of migration as to defeat the desired object, and if forced, would, in my opinion, prove for cruelty instead of kindness. Clothes, as above, and flour and sugar, divided among them here and there in small quantities, otherwise they would be sold for spirits; but there are exceptions among them who rarely get drunk and do very well, but only for a short time. intervals.

In order to carry out any scheme of assistance to answer the benevolent intentions of the Board towards the Aborigines, their customs must be met as nearly as possible, and the most probable he suggests to me would be to appoint the local bench, with some others. , a sub-board, bench clerk Government storekeeper. The Sub-Board should order the distribution of stores, &c., at such stations as are frequented by the natives, and where the proprietors will undertake the distribution among the natives; such should be given discretionary power to grant or withhold according to circumstances, making returns at stated times to the clerk of the bank, who must do all government correspondence. The natives have always been in the habit of seeking help from the settlers, or, as they say, " Grand Masters," in difficulties, and would more naturally attend to their orders or advice than.

The physicians of this district, Doctors Sutherland and Molloy, I feel sure, for a small consideration, would take over the medical department. The board may also require the district clergy to take every opportunity to give religious instruction.



I think it desirable that a supply of tea, sugar, flour, blankets, trousers, and shirts should be issued to the native population twice a year; distribution must be done at stations that are as far away from municipalities as possible. The types of supplies required are flour, sugar, tea, trouser pots, strong shirts, blankets, belts, panics, quart pots and small tomahawks. If you forwarded me a supply of blankets, I would be responsible for their proper distribution.

It would be useless to issue to them a greater quantity of stores than would last for longer than the time they remained in one place. Blankets, blue shirts, and trowsers would most promote the comfort of the natives, distributed once or twice a year. I would suggest that a white man's weekly ration of flour, tea, sugar, tobacco, and meat be given to each adult while they live at their favorite resort, and also a few blankets each once a year; and I am strongly of opinion that it would be the means of prolonging their lives and making them in some measure contented and happy.

The distribution of supplies to be made on the reserve will, of course, where the superintendent knows the habits of his charges, be able to distribute more judiciously than a stranger. I would think that the best method of distributing such supplies would be through the agency of the police.


If an annual meeting were to take place, say, on the Little River, near Leigh's Punt, and the natives were attracted by presents of clothing, etc., it would at least allow statistical information about the various tribes. be obtained, and absences should be accounted for, &c. Tea, sugar, flour and animal food, the amount is not a full ration, except for the elderly, the sick and the helpless. I would also recommend two pairs of blankets per year for each adult, and one for each of the children, as they are most affected by cold and wetness in terms of appearance.

Certain articles could be brought under the charge of the police for the use of the sick Any other article given to the negroes would be immediately sold for spirits. I would recommend stores as follows: tea, sugar, flour, soap, meat salt, and blankets, to be distributed by the County Crown Lands Commissioner. The ordinary kind of rations of the inhabitants, namely, tea, flour, sugar, and beef or mutton, is the only ration of which they have much experience.

We have no doubt that two tons of flour, with tea, sugar, tobacco, &c., would you recommend a reserve for the use of the aborigines; if so, to what extent, and in what part of your locality.


  • The aborigines, however, were not so affected in their respiratory organs years back as present ; they have only been carried off so precipitately since they have become slaves to intoxicatin
  • There is a peculiarity even in their pulmonary disorders to the European ; there is not that straining, distressing cough, which Europeans labor under, the phlegm comes free without much
  • Wounds of whatever kind which do not affect a vital part are more readily cured than whit people. I have seen most desperate wounds inflicted by their weapons (that would have kept European
  • Their general remedy is friction ; if very severe about the thighs or legs, the doctor gets good mound of hot ashes prepared, made solely from bark which is without grit ; the patient is laid on
  • The aborigines of , Australia are very subject to dysentry, but not to the fatal extent as Euro- peans ; their remedy for this disorder is, drinking plentifully of the decoction of wattle bark and eating
  • If of long standing the patient is compelled to lay on the back, the native doctor places his foot on the patient's ear and presses this organ until water •literally gushes from the patient's eyes ;
  • Though this disease in the first instance must have been contracted from the whites, the native doctors have prescribed a cure which though simple has proved efficacious : they boil the wattle

I was quite surprised to find many years ago that this was a method of treatment also adopted by the natives of the South Sea Islands. Fennel's (agent for Mr. Boyd), on the banks of the Yarra; as soon as the heat attacked them, they crawled to the banks of the Yarra, and dipped three or four times a day. The first three were men, the second a boy, the others women, with the exception of the spearman, who was an older man.

Inflammation of the lungs is of frequent occurrence, and when not fatal in itself, is generally the beginning of pulmonary affections, which terminate fatally after a year or two of continued illness. It has proved fatal in some cases, where it has been combined with inflammation of the lungs, enlargement of the liver. Chronic Diarrhea.—I have met with several cases which, from the irregularity of the diet of the patients, and other causes, have been very difficult to cure.

Venereal disease is not as common among men as is commonly believed, I have seen very few cases, but I believe many of the young women and even girls are affected by it. Relying on these few remarks, your Council will be of assistance in assisting them in answering the questions of the Right Honorable Secretary of State for the Colonies.




ACCOUNT showing sums voted for aborigines and sums expended, from 1st January to 31st December, 1860. ACCOUNT showing sums voted for aborigines and sums expended, from end of January to 31st August, 1861. total cost of all Clothing, Provisions, etc. including its transport) supplied for the use of the Aborigines from the beginning of 1860 to the present time (August, 1861).

The amount for 1861 is according to the held not identical for the two years; the stations, however, are them. The poll of 1860 has been credited with the following rebate from the Customs Department.

1861 - 1925 Persistent Link



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