History of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have distinct identities, histories and cultural traditions. Explore the history of these rich cultures to learn more about Indigenous Australians.
Explore factual information on the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including community history, significant dates and government control.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community history
An in-depth and referenced history for all the Indigenous communities, including each of the Torres Strait Islands, as well as information about the history of government control.
- Know Your Community
Build a community profile containing information and data about Queensland’s first nation peoples and the communities they live in.
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
Promoting knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultures, traditions, languages and stories, past and present.
- Torres Strait Regional Authority
Containing a brief history of the Torres Strait up to 1879, this website covers geographical, key regional issues and general historical information.
- Australian Electoral Commission
Features a timetable of electoral milestones for Indigenous Australians dating from 1770 to 2013, when Adam Giles was appointed the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, becoming Australia’s first Indigenous head of government.
Language, culture and the arts
The preservation of Queensland’s original languages is the protection of ancient cultural treasure—not just for Indigenous people or Queenslanders, but for everyone.
Indigenous art is an important part of Australia’s history. Galleries throughout Queensland and Australia host collections that include examples of paintings, textiles, prints, drawings, objects, photos, bark paintings and sculpture.
Experience Aboriginal culture and traditions face-to-face. Learn about bush tucker and medicines, how to fish using traditional methods and hear stories handed down through the generations.
Throughout each year, events are held to celebrate Indigenous cultures. NAIDOC Week—held across Australia each July—celebrates the history and achievements of these cultures and is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by all Australians.
Reconciliation is about building better relationships between Indigenous peoples and the wider Australian community for the benefit of all Australians.
National Reconciliation Week is held in late May/early June each year. There are many opportunities to get involved, resources available, and how to register events.
- find out more about National Reconciliation week
- watch the video apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples issued in 2008
- learn more about reconciliation.
Legislation and reports
- Explore Queensland legislation that has impacted greatly on the lives of Indigenous people.
- Bringing them home: The ‘Stolen Children’ report (1997)—the result of the 1997 National Inquiry into the Separation of Indigenous children from their families.
- read chapter 5 about Queensland
- read the recommendations from the report
- read the frequently asked questions about the inquiry
- The Indigenous Deaths in Custody 1989-1996 report—examining the deaths of Indigenous people in custody since the Royal Commission ceased investigating deaths in May 1989.
We also encourage you to continue learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures by visiting the following websites: