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