About the case

What is the claim about?

Two class actions on behalf of First Nations families have been launched against the Queensland Department of Child Safety based on complaints from hundreds of First Nations families about discriminatory experiences. These two classes actions are together referred to as the “DOCS Class Action”. The cases involve claims for breaches of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) by the Queensland Department of Child Safety, towards both children who were removed from their families, and parents who had children removed. In both groups, claims of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race or descent are made. It is also claimed the Department failed to adhere to the Child Placement Principles within the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld).

Who is representing this action?

The representatives in this action are the “lead applicants”. They represent similar stories shared by thousands of First Nations people across Queensland. The parent and child lead applicants will represent groups of people with similar discriminatory experiences in their dealings with the Department of Child Safety in Queensland. 


What does this class action seek?

The claims outline a number of financial and non-financial remedies.

  1. The establishment of a well-resourced consultation process designed to facilitate the restoration of family relationships for those impacted by the Department's actions.
  2. Training for staff to interact with First Nations families in a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive manner.
  3. A formal and public apology for the Department's child removal practices.
  4. Financial compensation for those affected.