Protected: The Truth About Palm Island


Protected: The Truth About Palm Island is a dramatised documentary that describes life in the Aboriginal Reserve of Palm Island during the 1950’s leading up to a strike in 1957.

Aboriginal people on the Reserve were subjected to a degree of official authority only experienced in this country by people inside gaols and asylums. No-one was allowed to leave the Reserve without the permission of the white superintendent, medical inspections were compulsory, food was rationed and “dancing or other native practises” required written permission.

The strike in 1957 was the first time Aboriginal people from different nations united over an issue. The first time they had used white man’s methods to fight and the first time that Aboriginal people fought for self-determination. The riots and coronial enquiry on Palm Island in 2010 bring this film to centre stage thirty years after it was made.


Don Brady - narrator
Robert Hughes - narrator
Release dates
11 November 1975 - Australia
PG - Parental guidance

Find a copy of "Protected: The Truth About Palm Island"

Other films by Alessandro Cavadini

Explore more Aboriginal movies

Aboriginal movie timeline

Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.

Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?

Cite this resource

An appropriate citation for this document is:, Movies - Protected: The Truth About Palm Island, retrieved 17 December 2018