Grey’s Approach to Aborigines 1839
When Eyre met Grey for the first time in Albany in 1840, Grey had already completed a paper ostensibly on the dialects spoken by local Aborigines, but in which he proposed Aborigines should be weaned away from harmful tribal customs by bringing them under British law and protection: they should be made Christians, their children should be educated in boarding schools and employment should be found for the adults. As he saw it, these would all be positive steps away from the extinction that he supposed threatened the race.
This paper became influential in the Colonial Office, whose policies had been influenced by the religious revival of the 1830s and earlier. They circulated Grey’s paper widely amongst the governors of other British colonies. They did so because most British colonies contained indigenous peoples facing similar issues to those faced by the Aborigines.