1935 Moseley Report

The report is commonly referred to as the “Moseley Royal Commission” or the “Moseley Report,” named after the commissioner of the report, Henry Doyle Moseley. The Royal Commission was undertaken after Mary Bennett, a teacher at Mt Margaret Mission near Laverton, complained widely in the press about the maltreatment of Aboriginal people working on pastoral stations and the sexual abuse of Aboriginal women. The Report, however, largely dismissed her claims and in fact increased the authority of Auber Octavius Neville, commonly referred to as A. O. Neville, in his role as Chief Protector of Aborigines.


Scroll down to view the Royal Commission Appointed to Investigate, Report and Advise Upon Matters in Relation to the Condition and Treatment of Aborigines. A copy is available to download at the National Library of Australia.


The transcripts of evidence, attached to the final report, makes far more enlightening reading as it provides the complete evidence given by all of the various witnesses, principally A. O. Neville. It is also significant that there are a number of Aboriginal activists represented, in particular the Harris family. Click here to view the Transcripts of Evidence.


Before and during the Royal Commission hearings, members of the public were invited to offer comments and submissions. These submissions are transcribed here, and include a very interesting petition submitted by a group of working women in Broome, one of the earliest documents of activism by Aboriginal women in Western Australia, who were asking for their freedom from being included under the Aborigines Act. As it turned out, one result of the Royal Commission was to actually increase surveillance and interference in the lives of these women.

Click to access moseley-report-summary.pdf

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