F. W. Albrecht, Assimilation Policy and the Education of Aboriginal Girls in Central Australia: Overcoming Disciplinary Decadence in Australian History

Barry Judd, Katherine Ellinghaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores the work of Lutheran missionary F. W. Albrecht, who in the decades following the Second World War instituted a privately funded school scheme to provide formal education to Aboriginal children in central Australia. The scheme that Albrecht devised targeted “half-caste” girls living at cattle stations located within the orbit of the Finke River Mission—historically significant because, unlike the child removal commonly associated with the Stolen Generations, it relied on the consent of Aboriginal parents and encouraged the girls to maintain links to and pride in their Aboriginal cultural heritage. As part of a larger study of F. W. Albrecht and the Aboriginal women who were subject to his education scheme, this article discusses the in loco parentis–style relationship that existed between Albrecht and one of his Aboriginal students. By outlining the emotional content of this history, as researchers (one who claims an Indigenous identity position and one who does not) we argue that an ethical engagement with emotions in history is necessary to avoid what Lewis Gordon has termed “disciplinary decadence”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-181
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

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