Missions and reserves

Prior to the introduction of the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld.) a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mission stations had been established by religious organisations in Queensland and small amounts of land throughout the State had been gazetted as reserves for the use of Aboriginal people.  With the passing of the 1897 Protection Act all Aboriginal reserves became subject to the Act. For a number of these reserves Superintendents were appointed to carry out the provisions of the Act.  Missionaries in charge of Aboriginal settlements also became Superintendents.

The majority of Aboriginal reserves in Queensland were never "managed" reserves; that is no Superintendent was appointed. Unmanaged reserves were usually controlled by the Local Protector of Aborigines.

The following brief histories provide researchers with information about the creation of missions and reserves in Queensland. This list includes locations which were home to many Aboriginal people but never formally gazetted as reserves. It has not been possible to establish the fate of many of these reserves. Some were formally de-gazetted while others simply fell into disuse.

Mainland communities

Brief histories of mainland Queensland missions and reserves

Torres Strait Island communities

Brief histories of Torres Strait Island communities

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