Australian Aboriginal people
- Indigenous population in Australia in 2006 .
- Indigenous population worldwide.
- Rank of Aboriginal Australians on the United Nations Index of Human Development (which considers life expectancy, literacy and standard of living) .
- Rank of all Australians on the United Nations index.
- Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2006 .
- Number of Aboriginal children who went on a holiday or trip away in 2007 .
- Percentage of Aboriginal children with teenage mums.
- Percentage of Aboriginal teens not living with either parent.
- Times the Aboriginal male suicide rate is higher than non-Indigenous men. Most suicides happen between 25 and 34 years of age .
- Percentage of Aboriginal people living in capital cities .
What you need to know about reconciliation
More and more Australians want to learn about reconciliation with Aboriginal people.
What’s the meaning of reconciliation? How can you contribute? Here are the answers.
Respect for Elders and culture
Aboriginal culture is based on respect, for the land and for their elders.
Not showing respect is one of the biggest mistakes non-Aboriginal people do when interacting with Aboriginal culture.
Mixed race couples
More Aboriginal people enter mixed-race marriages than ever before.
Is it true love or do they want to escape their poor living conditions?
Admired overseas, shunned at home
Millions of visitors to Australia want to experience Aboriginal culture, yet most Australians don’t care about, are openly racist to, or secretly afraid of Aboriginal people.
Why is this so, and why are so many foreigners championing Aboriginal culture and advancement?
Famous Aboriginal people & role models
Not many Australians know a famous Aboriginal person although most have one in their wallet.
We need more Aboriginal role models for the next generation of Aboriginal youth.
Aboriginal humour has carried people over many an abyss. Meeting Aboriginal people on ‘Koori Time’ usually means you have to wait.
Aboriginal communities are breaking down
Unable to deal with past traumas and current neglect many Aboriginal communities break down. The abuse of underage children is but one symptom of the collapse.
Mourning an Aboriginal death
The Aboriginal tradition of not naming a dead person can have bizarre implications.
Sorry business includes whole families, affects work and can last for days.
Stereotypes & prejudice of ‘Aboriginal Australia’
Don’t believe everything you read about Aboriginal Australian people. We expose the common “good” stereotypes used in the tourist industry.
Aboriginal remains repatriation
Aboriginal remains have been removed from until the late 1940s, sometimes declared as kangaroo bones, and illegally exported worldwide.
It takes a lot of work to repatriate them, and the journey is strenuous and long.
Domestic and family violence
As an Aboriginal woman you are 45 times more likely to experience domestic violence than a white woman.
Violence patterns are passed on from parents to their children. It takes police up to two years to respond to cases of domestic violence and take victims seriously.
How to deal with racist people
Read techniques and tips that help you when someone utters racist remarks or behaves in a racist way.
Aboriginal population in Australia
Almost two thirds of Aboriginal people live in Australia’s eastern states. Most of them are young and identify as coming from mainland Australia.
Bullying & lateral violence
Almost every youth has experienced violence from their peers—called lateral violence. Read how a life-time of oppression affects Aboriginal people.
Gambling and Aboriginal people
Most people in Australia gamble, playing lotto, scratchies and other games. Gambling is very common in many Aboriginal communities but little is known about why they gamble and how it destroys their communities.
Racial discrimination in Australia
Discrimination is a subtle sword white Australians use against Aboriginal people.
Read how Joan Marin made international headlines when she was discriminated against.
Racism in Aboriginal Australia
Scratch an Australian to find a racist. It’s easy to use racist terms without meaning to.
Racism exists at all levels of Australian society but Australians are in denial.
How to name Aboriginal people?
Using the right name for Aboriginal people shows respect, shows that you care, combats racism and might open doors.
But which name is the right one—Aborigine, Aboriginal or Indigenous? There is no easy answer.
Aboriginal Identity: Who is ‘Aboriginal’?
People who identify themselves as ‘Aboriginal’ range from dark-skinned, broad-nosed to blonde-haired, blue-eyed people.
Aboriginal people define Aboriginality not by skin colour but by relationships.
Light-skinned Aboriginal people often face challenges on their Aboriginal identity because of stereotyping.
Aboriginal statistic timeline
How would an average Aboriginal Australian spent their life? Find out with this intriguing timeline which takes you through an average Aboriginal life from birth to death.
Traditional hand signs
When Aboriginal people were out hunting they couldn’t just call out to each other—it would have scared away their game.
So they developed an intricate system of hand signs to signal to each other. Hand signs are not only used for hunting, as Clifton Bieundurry explains in the following video.
Many Aboriginal people don’t have a birth certificate
“Without a birth certificate, it is difficult, if not impossible, for an individual to fully participate in society,” says Dr Paula Gerber, from the Monash Faculty of Law . Yet that is exactly the situation many Aboriginal people are in.
A study found that a ‘significant’ number of Aboriginal Australians are not registering the birth of their children .
One reason is that Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry offices are only located in capital cities, sometimes hundreds of kilometres away from Aboriginal communities.
Secondly, Aboriginal people still suffer from the traumas inflicted by the policies that led to the Stolen Generations. In their memory, contact with bureaucrats is inherently linked to trouble. Many have trouble reading formal English and fear harm could be done to them again.
Without a birth certificate, however, it is difficult to obtain a passport, get a driver’s licence or secure a tax file number.
Aboriginal people and assimilation
Until 1965 Australia had an assimilation policy in place which aimed at making Aboriginal people blend into white society as much as possible. Though abandoned decades ago, being ‘assimilated’ has become some kind of cuss word, even among Aboriginal people, especially those living in big cities or working for the government.
The following story was written by an Aboriginal woman in response to general accusations of some Aboriginal people becoming ‘assimilated’ .
“How am I assimilated?”
“I don’t see myself as any different from any other blackfulla. I know who I am, I know my country, my family ties, my culture and customs, so how am I assimilated? Is it just because I have an education and work in a government department? If so, then that to me is not assimilation or stereotyping, it’s using the knowledge and skills I have to provide a better, more culturally appropriate service to Aboriginal people and community.”
“[Working for the government] I can change the thinking of those around me so they are better informed when working with my people and my community… I help break down those stereotypes that non-Aboriginal people have of my people and make sure that my people are given a voice when it comes to policy and procedures that have a direct impact [on us].”
[We haven’t given up,] “we are just using the tools that whitefullas have given us to empower our people and create a culture of change.”
Get migrants better opportunities?
For several years there were tensions between the African and Nyoongar communities in the main migrant resettlement areas in Perth’s northern suburbs . But why?
Elders believe that receiving an official welcome to country when they arrive to Australia is particularly important for black migrants, especially Africans.
Many Aboriginal people still feel oppressed in Australia and notice that migrants seem to get preferential treatment. “There’s a feeling amongst a lot of Aboriginal people that newcomers to our country, no matter what race, get better opportunities and access to services than they do,” says Nyoongar elder Irene Stainton .
Nyoongar man Grant Garlett agrees. “There are a lot of problems that we’ve been trying to deal with for years and we never get anywhere. A lot of migrants do get more attention and facilities and all of that stuff,” he says.
Aboriginal skin groups
Aboriginal people differentiate between different ‘colours’ or skin groups. Once you know a person’s skin group you know their relation to you, their obligations, and how they must be treated.
Last updated: 1 October 2012 | Out of respect for Aboriginal culture I use Indigenous sources as much as possible.
 'Inept Govt policy denying Indigenous jobs--report', Koori Mail 471 p.36
 'Talks focus on suicides', Koori Mail 448 p.47
 'Birth 'gap' the focus of study', Koori Mail 515 p.42
 'Working to change from within', reader's letter, Koori Mail 502 p.24
 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population', Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008
 'Indigenous well-being in four countries: An application of the UNDP'S Human Development Index to Indigenous Peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States', Martin Cooke1, Francis Mitrou, David Lawrence, Eric Guimond and Dan Beavon 2007, Table 7
 NSW Aboriginal Legal Service newsletter, 3/2011
 'African tensions ease', Koori Mail 398 p.14