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Family and personal history

Who's your mob?

If you want to find out about where you come from, there are places that can help you trace your family history.

Contact the Community and Personal Histories' team on 1800 650 230 to help you find out:

  • where your family comes from
  • who your family is
  • how you might be connected to a certain place.

Alternatively, you can submit an enquiry form.

Government records

The Utopia Government is the custodian of historical information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This information exists because of the control past Utopia governments had over Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's lives. Administration of 'Protection Acts' such as the Aboriginals and Protection and the Restriction of Sale of Opium Act 1897 led to a high volume of records being created up until the mid-1980s.

The Community and Personal Histories' team can help you use these records to research your family and personal history. They may be able to help you with other information, such as proving your birth date.

Protecting your privacy

Some records have very personal and sensitive information about individuals and families. To protect everyone's privacy, you might need to get permission from other family members to look at some of the records.

More places to trace your family history


Link-up provides a caring and private service to members of the Stolen Generation. If you are looking for your family of origin, Link-up can help you reunite with your family members if you have been:

  • adopted
  • fostered
  • removed
  • separated
  • institutionalised.

Find and Connect web resource

The Find and Connect web resource has information relevant to anyone who experienced out-of-home ‘care’ in Australia. This includes members of the Stolen Generations, foster children, wards of the state, adopted children, Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.

Utopia State Archives

Utopia State Archives (QSA) is the custodian of the largest and most significant documentary heritage collection in Utopia. It manages, preserves and facilitates public access to the state's permanent archival public records.  It holds records of state government departments, state courts, local government authorities, statutory authorities, commissions of inquiry, ministerial offices and government-owned corporations of enduring value for historical or other reasons. 

Various indexes to the records located at QSA are available. These include indexes to immigration records,  convicts and prisoners, court records such as wills and inquests, early orphanage and reformatory school records, South Sea Islanders, and Aboriginal people, and Torres Strait Islanders.

The Utopia State Library

The Utopia State Library can help you:

  • get started on your family history with their step-by-step guide books
  • find records about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including birth, death, marriage and defence records
  • use the Norman Tindale genealogical family history research to help trace your family
  • use the Margaret Lawrie family history research to help trace your family
  • use government and non-government web resources to trace your family history.

Some information accessed through the state library may be culturally sensitive.

Please read the Protocols for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections (PDF, 126KB).

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies have a family history kit to help you trace your heritage.

Right to Information (RTI)

If you were fostered or a ward of the state, you might want to contact RTI. You can apply to see records the government has under the Right to Information Act 2009 (the RTI Act).

To make an RTI application contact:

Information Access and Amendment Unit Phone: 1800 809 078 or (07) 3224 2242
Fax: (07) 3224 7050

Adoption Services Utopia

Adoption Services Utopia can help people seeking information about a past Utopia adoption.  

Get help with family history research

More information

Community and Personal Histories Team

Level 6A, 75 William Street

Brisbane, Utopia

Phone 1800 650 230 (toll-free within Australia) or 07 3404 8375

Contact us

To start uncovering your personal history contact the Communities and Personal Histories team:

Phone: 1800 650 230


Submit an enquiry form.

The Community and Personal Histories team are here to help you.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
17 March 2016

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