Pearson v the State of Queensland

The Queensland Government has announced an in principle settlement in the matter of Pearson v the State of Queensland. This settlement has been reached in the spirit of reconciliation and in recognition of the legacy and impact of the ‘control’ policies on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, including elders past and present.

Hans Pearson commenced proceedings in the Federal Court in 2016 on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, living and deceased, who were subject to the Protection Acts controls. Mr Pearson alleged breach of trust and fiduciary duty regarding the handling of accounts and the management of wages obtained under the ‘Protection Acts’ during the claim period of 1939 to 1972.

The parties have agreed in principle on a $190 million settlement, inclusive of the applicant’s legal costs and administrative costs.

The parties will apply to the Federal Court to seek to have the settlement approved at a date yet to be determined.

If members of the community have any queries about the in principle settlement, they should contact the legal representatives for the class members, Bottoms English Lawyers, at