Civilising Spaces: Government, Missionaries and Land in Education in Western Australia

  • Rebecca Swartz
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


This chapter focuses on the processes of ‘protecting’ and ‘civilising’ Indigenous people through education, using the case of Western Australia. Education was related to particular ideas about the use of colonised space. Indigenous adults and children alike needed to be educated into the correct relationship to land. Part of this could happen through situating schools in particular places—urban or rural—that would lead to children’s civilisation. In spite of the imperial government’s call for local legislatures to provide funding for education, this was hardly ever achieved, and if it was, this was done hesitantly, as local legislatures were concerned about spending on education. In the settler colonies, the humanitarian ideas that allowed for the development of education in the West Indies were substantially challenged by settler colonialism.


Civilisation Western Australia Missionaries Urban Rural Space Labour Education Schooling Land 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Swartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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