Section 3 of the act, in recognition of the past dispossession and dispersal of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their present disadvantage position in Australian society, provides that the objects of the act are to:
- ensure maximum participation of Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders in the formulation and implementation of government policies that affect them;
- to promote their development of self-management and self-sufficiency
- to further their economic, social and cultural development; and
- to ensure co-ordination in the formulation and implementation of policies affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by the Commonwealth, State, Territory and local governments.
The Act also constitutes and outlines the functions and funding powers of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (Part 3A), the Indigenous Business Australia (Part 4), and the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (Part 4A)