OLDHAM, R.C.; COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. ELECTORAL OFFICE.
[FEDERATION] Electoral Rolls : persons entitled to enrolment & to vote.
Melbourne : J. Kemp, Government printer, 1912. Broadside, 490 x 350 mm, lithograph printed on linen; old folds and some mild toning, but an extremely well preserved example.
Issued in April 1912 under The Commonwealth Franchise Act and The Commonwealth Electoral Act, this government notice informed the public – men and women – of their right to enrol and to vote, and emphasised that enrolment was compulsory. However, a list of disqualifications includes the following: ‘No aboriginal native of Australia, Asia, Africa, or the Islands of the Pacific, except New Zealand, shall be entitled to have his name placed on an Electoral Roll, unless so entitled under Section 41 of the Constitution.’ Remarkably, while the Australian indigenous population was disenfranchised – and would not have the right to vote in Federal elections until 1962, half a century later – Australian citizens of Māori heritage had already been extended that privilege through the Commonwealth Franchise Act of 1902, despite the prevailing White Australia Policy.