No Sugar

No Sugar

by

Jack Davis

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Auber Octavius Neville Character Analysis

Neville is a real historical figure, and the Chief Protector of Aborigines in Western Australia for the first quarter of the 20th century. Neville works in Perth with his secretary, Miss Dunn. Like many other characters, such as Mr. Neal or the Sergeant, Neville’s job is ostensibly to protect the Aboriginal community under his care, but he is more interested in controlling and containing them than he is with making sure they are happy and healthy. He is responsible for the Millimurra-Munday family’s relocation from Government Well to Moore River, and is likely also the figure behind the fabricated scabies outbreak, which he then uses as an excuse to quarantine them. Although not addressed in the play, historically, Neville is remembered for various unethical and controversial programs, including separating Aboriginal children from their parents and bringing the children to camps like Moore River, where they were encouraged to forget their culture and embrace a white, European way of life.

Auber Octavius Neville Quotes in No Sugar

The No Sugar quotes below are all either spoken by Auber Octavius Neville or refer to Auber Octavius Neville. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Currency Press edition of No Sugar published in 1998.
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

NEVILLE: Can you take down a note for the Minister, please? […] Item one: the native weekly ration currently costs this Department two shillings and fourpence per week. Perhaps this bears comparison with the sustenance paid to white unemployed which I believe is seven shillings per week. […] Item two: off the cuff, the proposed budget cut of three thousand one hundred and thirty-four pounds could be met by discontinuing the supply of meat in native rations. Soap was discontinued this financial year. Item Three: of eighty girls from the Moore River Native Settlement who went out into domestic service last year, thirty returned—

[…]

NEVILLE: Where was I?

MISS DUNN: Of eighty who went out in the domestic service last year…

NEVILLE: Thirty returned to the settlement in pregnant condition, yours etcetera… If you could type that straight away I’ll run it up to the Office myself.

Related Characters: Auber Octavius Neville (speaker), Miss Sybil Dunn
Page Number: 20-21
Explanation and Analysis:

As I mentioned, I was a little concerned to see so many dirty little noses amongst the children. I’m a great believer that if you provide the native the basic accoutrements of civilisation you’re half way to civilising him. I’d like to see each child issued with a handkerchief and instructed on its use. […] I think some practical training from yourself and Matron in its correct usage would be appropriate. If you can successfully inculcate such basic but essential details of civilised living you will have helped them along the road to taking their place in Australian society.

Related Characters: Auber Octavius Neville (speaker), Mr N. S. Neal, Matron Neal
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 5 Quotes

When referring to Australia’s treatment of her Aborigines we are apt to refer somewhat scathingly to Tasmania’s harshness in ridding herself of her natives within the first seventy years of settlement. In that time some six thousand natives disappeared and only one was left alive. Yet here, in the south-west of our State, within an area about twice the size of Tasmania between 1829 and 1901—seventy-two years—a people estimated to number thirteen thousand were reduced to one thousand four hundred and nineteen, of whom nearly half were half-caste.

Related Characters: Auber Octavius Neville (speaker)
Page Number: 86-87
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 5 Quotes

SISTER: It gives me great pleasure to be with you all on this very special day, when we gather together to pledge our allegiance to the King and to celebrate the birth of this wonderful young country […]. We must remember today not just our country and King, but the King of kings, the Prince of princes, and to give thanks to God for what He has provided for us […]. Even we here today, Mr Neal, Matron Neal and myself, are but His humble servants, sent by Him to serve your needs. The Lord Jesus Christ has sent His servant, Mr Neville, Chief Protector of Aborigines, to speak to us on this special day. Mr Neville is going to say a few words before leading us in a song of praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

[NEVILLE rises. The whites clap while the Aborigines remain silent.]

Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

ALL: [singing]
There is a happy land,
Far, far away,
Where saints in glory stand,
Bright, bright as day:
Oh, how they sweetly sing,
‘Worthy is our Saviour King!’
Loud let His praises ring,
Praise, praise for aye!

[As the whites continue, the Aborigines break into full clear voice with a parody of the words.]

There is a happy land,
Far, far away.
No sugar in our tea,
Bread and butter we never see.
That’s why we’re gradually
Fading away.

Related Characters: Auber Octavius Neville, Sister Eileen
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
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Auber Octavius Neville Character Timeline in No Sugar

The timeline below shows where the character Auber Octavius Neville appears in No Sugar. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
...the stage, and the Sergeant enters the police station. Across the stage, Miss Dunn and Neville sit at their desks in Perth. They share an office with a sign on the... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
...work, and after failing to find employment in Perth is now in South West Australia. Neville remarks that unemployment is at thirty per cent, so it is unsurprising he hasn’t found... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Neville has Miss Dunn call the Sergeant. As they wait for the call to connect, Neville... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Sergeant Carroll returns Neville’s call, interrupting his dictation. Neville reports that he has had trouble finding a new location... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...at the Northam police station to collect their rations, interrupting the Sergeant’s call. He and Neville hang up, and the Sergeant turns his attention to the two women. As he speaks... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
In his office, Neville finishes his letter and dictates a thank you note to Mr. Neal for hosting him... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
In his letter, Neville announces he will be sending limited supplies of toilet paper to the Settlement, and that... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 7
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
...the Chief Protector’s Office in Perth. It is now winter, 1932. Jimmy tries to flag Neville down as he goes in to work, but Neville insists they cannot talk until the... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
...arrives at the office and Jimmy runs into her. He wants to speak to Mr. Neville. Miss Dunn says she’ll check in with Neville, but that Jimmy should sit on the... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville has Miss Dunn call Sergeant Carrol in Northam. Jimmy interrupts her as she waits for... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Miss Dunn transfers the call to Neville, who announces to Sergeant Carroll that they’ve run into more trouble relocating the Reservation. Although... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...Cissie, and they want to pick them up now. Meanwhile, in Perth, Jimmy barges into Neville’s office. He cannot wait until 2 pm, like Neville told him to, because he needs... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Back in Perth, Neville calls Jimmy into his office and gives him a travel voucher, insisting that the man... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 9
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
At their office in Perth, Miss Dunn types as Neville dictates to her. Neville lists the members of the Millimurra-Munday family. As he talks, he... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
Neville has arranged for a train to transport the Aboriginal families. He’s calculated the exact cost... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
...presents for his wife and children while he’s in Perth. He wishes Merry Christmas to Neville and Miss Dunn. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Sergeant Carroll calls Miss Dunn. She connects him to Neville. Neville wants to know how many Aboriginal Australians are in Northam, but the Sergeant insists... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville, formally dressed, delivers a speech to the Royal Western Australian Historical Society. He stands on... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville is ending a long speech, and concludes with a look back to the early days... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville continues to recount the history of Stirling and his band of white colonizers. At first,... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville concludes his speech by bringing up the genocide of Aboriginal people in Tasmania, which once... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
It is Australia Day, 1934. Neville, Neal, and the Matron sit on a platform above the crowd. Billy and Bluey, wearing... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
...she, Matron Neal, and Neal are the Lord’s servants, and Jesus Christ himself has sent Neville to speak to the Settlement today. The white people in the crowd applaud, but the... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville rises and begins to speak. He describes driving to Moore River and seeing hundreds of... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville concludes his speech by reminding the assembled Aboriginal audience that they are preparing to join... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Language and Culture Theme Icon
Neville forgets what is next on the agenda, and Sister Eileen has to remind him that... (full context)
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville yells for the crowd to stop singing, but they continue and repeat the parody. Neville... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Neville and Neal accuse Jimmy of being a troublemaker and a ringleader. Jimmy invites Neville to... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
Racism, Discrimination, and Colonial Violence  Theme Icon
Government, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
White Australians vs. the Aboriginal Family Unit Theme Icon
...Aboriginal prisoners have been let out for the death of a relative. Sam suggests calling Neville, but Neal says it is too late because the funeral is tomorrow. Sam suggests postponing... (full context)