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Notice - 'Re The Indian Hawker Nuisance', Avon Shire, 9 Feb 1893 Document Reg. No: HT 3460

Printed notice of motion dated February 9, 1893, headed 'Avon Shire'. Addressed to the Mayor and Councillors of the Town of Northcote. The notice protests 'against the present system of issuing Hawkers' Licences in Melbourne to Syrians, Afghans, Hindoos and other colored races, thereby flooding the country districts with a most objectionable roving population, without country residents having any voice in the matter. And this Council considers the time has now arrived when the 'Indian Hawker' nuisance should be put a stop to, as it is an increasing source of terror to females and children, and grave anxiety to heads of families whose avocations take them from their homes in the daytime, and thus leave their families unprotected from the growing insolence of these Hawkers'.

The paper asks the Mayor and Councillors of the Town of Northcote to consider this resolution from the Avon Shire, and request their Parliamentary representatives to 'abolish or modify this dangerous and menacing evil' by suggesting that hawkers' licences should not be issued for the whole colony, but at certain country centres, or that Shires should give their assent to such a licence before a hawker could work within the shire boundaries.

Avon Shire in Gippsland (centered on the town of Stratford) sent this notice to every council in Victoria, seeking support for legislation to give shire councils more control over the issuing of hawker licences. The Shire's argument focuses on licences currently being issued to Middle Eastern and Asian migrants. At the time, hawkers' licences were issued by local magistrates.

The notice appears to have been removed from within the archives of the Northcote Town Council, where it was placed on 17 February 1893.
Printed notice, on paper, headed 'Avon Shire'. Addressed to the Mayor and Councillors of the Town of Northcote in hand-writing.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 21.10 cm (Width), 26.60 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: discrimination, muslims in australia, racism, religions islam, white australia policy, -1, making history - white australia
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, Muslim Collections at Museum Victoria, Getting In, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2003-2015
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Policy
Tertiary Classification: publications
Inscriptions: Text: 'AVON SHIRE / Council Chambers, Stratford, Feb. 9, 1893/Gentlemen, / RE THE INDIAN HAWKER NUISANCE / By direction of the Avon Shire Council I have / the honor to bring under your notice the following / Resolution, unanimously carried on the 6th inst.'

Stamped: received at Northcote on 17 February 1893.
Author: Shire of Avon, Victoria, Australia, 1893

The Shire of Avon was based in the town of Stratford, so the notice was likely to have been written there.
Date Inscribed: Victoria, Australia, 1893
References: Information on hawkers' licences in turn-of-the-century Victoria -, accessed 7/1/2009.

Christine Stevens, 'Afghan camel drivers: Founders of Islam in Australia', in Mary Lucille Jones (ed.), An Australian Pilgrimage: Muslims in Australia from the Seventeenth Century to the Present, Victoria Press in association with the Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, 1993, pp. 49-62.

Atholl Brewster, 1990. 'The Indian Hawker Nuscience 1890-1900', Hons thesis, University of Melbourne.

Merri Hogan has conducted a study of Sikh hawkers in Victoria (details unavailable).

The Gippsland Standard, 21 March 1894.

Meredith Fletcher, 1988. Avon to the Alps. A History of the Shire of Avon.

John Wilson (ed.), 1951.The Official History of the Avon Shire, 1840-1900.

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