With colonisation, Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders were subject to a range of legislative and other forms of control.

In Queensland the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld) caused the most conflict of interest. With the introduction of the Chief Protector of Aboriginals, who was given enormous control over almost all aspects of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland.

1848 Native Police established

1863 Native Mounted Police legislated

1865          Industrial and Reformatory Schools Act


1881          Pearl Shell and Bêche-de-mer Fisheries Act


1884          Native Labourers Protection Act

“An Act to Prevent the Improper Employment of Aboriginal Natives of Australia and New Guinea on Ships in Queensland Waters” (Act no. 48 Vic. No.20), Assented 17 November 1884 and repealed by on the Aboriginals Preservation and Protection Act 1939 (Act no. 3 Geo. VI No.6) 12 of October 1939. The act details the rules around the employment of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples on ships in Queensland waters. The act states details regulations for wages, signing of contracts and hiring of employee’s.

1897          Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of Sale of Opium Act


1936          Torres Strait Strike

1939          Aboriginals Preservation and Protection Act


1939          Torres Strait Islanders Act


1965          Aborigines’ and Torres Strait Islanders’ Affairs Act


1967          Aboriginal Relics Preservation Act


1971          Aborigines Act


1971          Torres Strait Islander Act


1974          Aborigines Act and Torres Strait Islander’s Act Amendment Act


1975          Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Queensland Discriminatory Laws) Act (Cwlth)


1975          Racial Discrimination Act (Cwlth)


1984          Community Services (Aborigines) Act

1984          Community Services (Torres Strait) Act

1991          Aboriginal Land Act

1991          Torres Strait Islander Land Act

1993          Native Title Act (Cwlth)

1998          Native Title Amendment Act (Cwlth)