In the first half of the 20th century it was commonly thought that Indigenous people in Australia would inevitably die out. However, the growing population of “half-casts” (a term now considered derogatory for those people of Indigenous and white parentage) soon made it clear that the “Aboriginal problem” was not going to disappear.
The government’s solution was to discontinue its policy of protection, which separated Indigenous people from white society by placing them on reserves and missions, and to instead adopt an assimilationist approach. Assimilation policies proposed that "full blood" Indigenous people should be allowed to “die out” through a process of natural elimination, while "half-castes" were encouraged to assimilate into the white community. This approach was founded on the assumption of black inferiority and white superiority.