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Official records

It is important to understand that records about Indigenous people were created by a wide range of agencies, including:

  • protection and welfare boards
  • adoption agencies
  • education and health departments
  • police forces
  • churches and missionaries
  • anthropologists and a range of academics. 

They were created for a variety of reasons, such as the 'protection and care' of Aboriginal people, but most significantly they document how governments regulated the lives of Aboriginal people.

  • Some of the records were specifically about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Some of the records were 'mainstream'.

Researching Indigenous family history means that you will look for both types of records. 

How do you get access to the records?