Joseph Shaw

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Manager at Lake Condah Aboriginal Mission from 1868 to 1873. In 1871 Lake Condah Residents made complaints about Shaw shooting their chickens and striking a man with his riding whip, whom Shaw stated was refusing to work and was insolent when ordered to do so. Shaw was a Church of England missionary and some time after leaving Condah moved to Coranderrk Aboriginal Station in the early 1880s as teacher, before becoming manager in 1886. Shaw oversaw the application of the 1886 Aborigines Protection Act which saw Aboriginal people between fourteen and thirty-five moved off the stations, to seek employment in the broader community and no longer receive government support. Such a policy led to families being separated and occurred during the 1890s Depression, resulting in further hardships for Aboriginal people across the colony. His reports to the BPA indicated a man who had sympathy and concern for the Aboriginal people he saw as being under his care, but also a man who believed in authority and obedience and saw the best way for the state to manage Aboriginal people was to 'merge' them into the white population. Shaw believed moves to send young women into domestic service were 'a good and proper course to adopt' to remove reliance on Government support at the Aboriginal reserves. He complained about the increased agency of residents in challenging the 'authority of a manager' and sought BPA assistance in managing this.
Shaw continued in his role as manager of Coranderrk until his retirement in June 1908. He died in March 1909 at the age of 70. Some of the Coranderrk residents attended his funeral, held at Healesville. He and his wife had worked at Aboriginal stations and missions for around 30 years of his life.
References:
Claire McLisky, 'Managing Mission Life, 1869-1886' in Lynette Russell and Leigh Boucher (eds), Settler Colonial Governance in Nineteenth-Century Victoria, ANU Press, Canberra, 2015, pp. 117-182, pp. 128, 136.
'Obituary', The Lilydale Express and Yarra Glen, Wandin Yallock, Upper Yarra, Healesville and Ringwood Chronicle, 19 March 1919, p. 2, accessed 24 July 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article258351231
Seventh Report, Board for Protection of Aborigines, John Ferres, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1871, p. 6.
Nineteenth Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, John Ferres, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1884, p. 5
Twenty-Second Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, John Ferres, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1886, p. 3
Twenty-Third Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1887, p. 6
Twenty-Fourth Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1888, p. 6.
Twenty-Ninth Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1893, p. 5.
Thirtieth Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1894, p. 6.
Thirty-Seventh Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1901, p. 7
Fortieth Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1904, p. 8.
Forty-Fourth Report, Board for Protection of the Aborigines, J Kemp, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1909, p. 3.

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