Extract from Conspiracy of Silence [pp.18-19] by Timothy Bottoms

The Native Police force became the legitimate instrument of government policy, first in NSW and later in the newly formed colony of Queensland.[1] The Native Police had three duties: to break up – disperse – large assemblages of Blacks, and at the same time to intimidate them by constant patrolling; to apprehend Aboriginal criminals; and to act as a punitive force for the local settlers.[2] Officers were forbidden to report in detailâ.[3] An officer who served with Queenslands Black Police during the 1860s commented:

AUSTRALIA has been won by a hundred years of bloodshed. So I have heard more than one old squatter aver, and there is truth in the statement. We organised a force of Native Mounted Police in the new colony of Queensland, for the purpose of protecting outside settlers from the raids of the blacks. … They were commanded by white officers and distributed in small squads in various outlying parts of the country. these half-civilised natives, now turned into troopers, were enlisted from different tribes[4]

[1] A version of the Native Police began in Victoria in 1842, and in 1848 in greater NSW, primarily in the northern districts, including the Moreton Bay region from 1853.

[2] QSA COL/A188, 73/3005; B. Breslin, Exterminate With Pride, JCU, Townsville, 1992, p.54

[3] The Way We Civilise, G & J Black, Brisbane, 1880, p.3;

[4] E. B. Kennedy, The Black Police of Queensland: Reminiscences of Official Work and Personal Adventures in the Early Days of the Colony, London, 1902, pp.34-36. For a contemporary comprehensive coverage, see J Richards, The Secret War, UQP, St. Lucia, 2008.