|“||Are we going to have one million blacks in the Commonwealth or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there were any Aborigines in Australia?||„|
|~ A.O. Neville|
Auber Octavius Neville (November 20, 1875 - April 18, 1954) was an English born Australian public servant who served as Chief Protector of Aborigines from 1915 to 1940.
He was responsible for the removal of thousands of "half-caste" children from their aboriginal families to assimilate them into white culture and to "breed out the color".
Neville was born on November 20th, 1875 in Ford, Northumberland, England and emigrated to Victoria, Australia.
In 1897, he moved to Western Australia and joined the public service. In 1906, he became an immigration officer and was appointed head of the new sub-department of tourism and immigration in 1910. He was thus closely involved in the selecting and processing of some 40,000 British immigrants to Western Australia for four years. On June 1st, 1910, in London he married Maryan Florence Low; they had three daughters and two sons. In 1914 Neville became secretary of the Patriotic Relief Fund and continued as chairman of its permanent relief committee.
In 1915, Neville was appointed Chief Protector of Aborigines and presided over the policy of the removal of "half-caste" children from their aboriginal families and sent to internment camps to be assimilated into white culture, such as the Moore River Native Settlement. The children would later be known as the Stolen Generations. The aim was to permanently segregate full-blooded aborigines, as it was widely believed that the aboriginal race was dying out, and have the Stolen Generations marry people with lighter skin tones over successive generations until there were no more aborigines in Australia.
Some argued that Neville's role as Chief Protector only increased the aborigines' suffering and Neville stated that the aborigines need to be "forgotten". The children at the camps would be trained to work as farmers and domestic servants and Neville believed that biological absorption was the key to 'uplifting the Native race.' Speaking at the Moseley Royal Commission, he defended the removal and assimilation policies, arguing that they need to be "protected against themselves" even against their will.
After Neville's retirement in 1940, Neville published a book in 1947 called Australia's Colored Minority. While the book defended his policies, it also acknowledged the harm the aborigines had to endure thanks to European intervention.
In 1954, Neville died and was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth.
- Many people have debated that Neville's racist actions to assimilate the Stolen Generations into white culture in order to "breed out the color" was an act of cultural genocide, as the act of forcibly transferring children of an ethnic group to another group qualifies as genocide.
- Neville's racial views to "breed out the color" of the Stolen Generations so the aboriginal race would be "forgotten" have been compared to the racial views of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
- Some people have argued that Neville was just a misguided figure and wasn't intentionally evil, as he was trying to improve the lives of the Stolen Generations.
- Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), played by Kenneth Branagh.
- No Sugar, 1985 play by Jack Davis.