In 1939 an Aboriginal father approached the secretary of a Sydney‐based organization agitating for Aboriginal citizenship rights, to seek her assistance in locating his daughter who had been taken from his care by the New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board. He was not alone, but one of a number of concerned parents who sought the return of their daughters through the Committee for Aboriginal Citizenship. The fact that Aboriginal fathers were involved in this campaign challenges the stereotype of the ‘fatherless’ mixed‐race child that underpinned the state's presumption of a patriarchal authority over Aboriginal girls and unmarried women—a stereotype that endures. The following article exposes the maladministration of the NSW Aborigines Protection Board and highlights the assumptions about race and gender that are embedded in the history of the Stolen Generations.
Australian Historical Studies Vol. 34, Issue 121, p. 106-121