The Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs was formed in 1972. As a result of the creation of this department, the Federal Government took over responsibility for all issues related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Policy and planning functions which had previously been the responsibility of the States were transferred to the Commonwealth. The States retained State offices of Aboriginal Affairs. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs was abolished on 5 March 1990 and replaced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, often referred to as ATSIC.
Prepared by: Karen George
Created: 28 February 2011, Last modified: 10 June 2014