The Aboriginal peoples of Australia had a complex system of law long before the establishment of British law in Australia, their system of law is often referred to as “traditional law”, however “rules of law and norms of politically appropriate behavior were probably not distinguished” (Meggitt, 1962).
The content of the law varies depending on the specific Aboriginal or Torres Strait culture or group, but there are some broad matters held in common by a number of different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
While the Australian Law Reform Commissions’ 1986 report on the use of customary law for Aboriginal people was a great initiative, it was, in hindsight, a notion well before its time. Although 30 years have elapsed since the report was published, its recommendations have, by and large, been ignored.
In contemporary Indigenous Australian art, many artists use symbols as their way of telling a story. Varying from region to region, Indigenous symbols (often called iconography) are generally understood and form an important part of Australian Aboriginal art.
Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra (written and directed by award-winning screenwriter and actor, Batjala/Mununjali/Wakkawakka man Wayne Blair, and filmmaker Nel Michin) takes a detailed and personal look at how one of the nation's most successful and world renowned performing arts companies was born.
Dancing styles varied throughout the hundreds of tribal groups. Dancing was done with set arm, body and foot movements with a lot of foot stamping. Today this is called "shake a leg". The best dancers and singers enjoyed wide reputations and high respect.
Angelina Joshua continues the fight to save her language through her work with the Ngukurr Language Centre.
In late 2016, Angelina had the opportunity to teach Marra at Ngukurr Primary School for the first time.
Angelina’s story is one of many: Australia and the Torres Strait Islands have more than 250 language groups.
Noongar people have traditionally hunted and gathered food according to the six seasons. In our Noongar language these are called Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba, Kambarang and Birak and are determined by the weather patterns.
Indigenous Australians have a proud and fascinating history with track and field in Australia. From the turn of the century to modern day elite athletes, the indigenous story of athletics is invaluable to our history.
Australia’s history of sporting prowess has long benefited from the rich influence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athletes performing at the highest level, from boxing champs to Wimbledon winners.
The Share a Yarn initiative aims to provide Australian Elite Athletes with meaningful opportunities to connect and build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities, and learn more about the differing cultures, lands, histories, and people within them.
What exactly are the differences between Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal peoples? Learn about Torres Strait history, who the Islanders are, their languages and about some famous but little-known Islanders.
In 2014, Bruce Pascoe wrote a book called Dark Emu that challenged the belief that the First Australians were hunter-gatherers.
In researching his book, Bruce examined the journals of the early explorers and found evidence of a complex civilisation that was using sophisticated technologies to live, farm and manage the land.
Topics on website: Regional variations; Religion; Social organisation; Art; Basketry; Body adornment; Bush foods; Ceremonial life; Fishing; Fire making; Housing and shelter; Stone tools; Tree climbing; Wooden tools and weapons.