- Aboriginal population in Australia in 2011; percentage in 2006: 2.5% .
- 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 .
- Percentage 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-Aboriginal men. Most suicides happen between 25 and 34 years of age .
- Percentage of Aboriginal people living in capital cities .
List of articles
5 steps towards volunteering & engaging with Aboriginal communities
Aboriginal communities are breaking down
Aboriginal Identity: Who is 'Aboriginal'?
Aboriginal population in Australia
Aboriginal remains repatriation
Aboriginal suicide rates
Admired overseas, shunned at home
An average Aboriginal person's life in Australia
Bullying & lateral violence
Deconstructing Aboriginal identity myths
Domestic and family violence
Famous Aboriginal people, activists & role models
Gambling and Aboriginal people
Gambling support programmes
How to deal with racist people
How to name Aboriginal people?
LGBTI Aboriginal people – diversity at the margins
Mixed race couples
Mourning an Aboriginal death
Racial discrimination in Australia
Racism in Aboriginal Australia
Remains repatriation timeline
Respect for Elders and culture
Stereotypes & prejudice of 'Aboriginal Australia'
Torres Strait Islander culture
What you need to know about reconciliation
Who is an 'Aboriginal leader’?
Indigenous people around the world
Australia is not the only country that has indigenous peoples. (Check Wikipedia for an extensive list.)
|Country||Aboriginal groups||Percentage of population|
|Australia||250 Aboriginal nations, Torres Strait Islanders||3%|
|Canada||First Nations, Inuit, Métis||4.9%|
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.
Are Aboriginal people Australian citizens?
A recurring topic in the discussion about Aboriginal identity and self-image is if Aboriginal people are Australian citizens in the sense of the law.
The answer is important as it has consequences for the discussion of self-determination and rights to the land.
Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic, has researched the issue extensively. He concludes:
"The First Nations and Peoples in Australia are not, and have never been, British subjects nor Australian citizens. Any review of Australia's citizenship and the status of British subjects will show that First Nations and Peoples in Australia have at no time been made subjects of the kings or queen of England by way of Letters Patent or Orders in-Council, stating that the kings or queens of Britain recognise us as part of the monarch's realm and/or dominions. Early records show by way of legislation that First Nations Peoples within Australia have always been classified as ‘aliens’ under State protection laws."
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.