Indigenous Australian Culture

January 26, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Science, Health Science, Immunology
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Indigenous Australian Culture Leah Burns N13 2.16 Ph: 37353649 [email protected] au

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land upon which this university stands. As part of the oldest surviving and continuous culture in the world, I pay my respects to the Spirit of this land and her people.

Outline • Lecture on Indigenous Australians – – – –

Who they are What is culture? History Key Issues

• Lunch with Gumurrii Student Support Unit “Sausage sizzle”

Readings • Broome, R. 2010 Aboriginal Australians: A history since 1788. 4th Edition. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin. • First Australians. SBS series. 2xDO6s

Not Homogenous

Who is an Indigenous Person?

Who is an Indigenous Australian? • Descendant of original inhabitants

• Identifies as indigenous person • Is accepted by the community as such

What is Culture? • A blue print for the way we live • The sum total of knowledge, attitudes and habitual behaviour patterns shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society

History • 2000 generations • Here at least 50 000 years (120 000?)

Lived in Diverse Ecologies

Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle • Nomadic • Simple technology • Intimate knowledge of the environment E.g. use of fire

Population •Population low density thought to be stationary 300000, living in 500 tribes

Organisation • Bands • Kinship • Egalitarian – no specialisation of labour

• Reciprocity and sharing – no surplus

Religion • • • •

The Dreaming The Dreamtime Sacred sites Totemism – Beliefs and practices in which relations are postulated between people or groups of people and natural species, objects or phenomena (Horton 1994:1093).

Some Key Dates • 1788 Settlement – (or “invasion”)

• 1967 Referendum

Some Key Dates • 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy

Some Key Dates • 1976 Northern Territory Land Rights Act • 1985 Uluru - co-management

Some Key Dates • 1788 Settlement – (or “invasion”)

• • • • •

1967 Referendum 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy 1976 Northern Territory Land Rights Act 1985 Uluru: Co-management 1993 Native Title Act

Native Title

Some Key Issues • Stolen Generation • Land Rights

Land Issues

• ABORIGINAL • Birth – Descent from owners – Birth in a place

• Knowledge • Responsibility

• EUROPEAN • Cultivation – Adding value

• Exclusion • Alienability

Some Key Issues • Stolen Generation • Land Rights • Health




Aborigines and the Law Aborigines 20 times more likely to be picked up by police 10 to 20 times more likely to be goaled, often for relatively trivial offences 20 times more likely to die in custody

Explanations social dislocation abuse of discretionary powers of police institutional discrimination

Remedies reduce numbers in custody (decriminalisation drunkenness, modified police practice) reduce risk of death (supervision, monitoring, improved accommodation) eradicating underlying causes (economic, educational, land, health etc.)

The Intervention

The Nature of the Intervention • Justified by child abuse rates – (13.7 per 1000, same as Qld non-indigenous)

• Quarantining 50% of welfare payments • Cancellation of Commonweath Development Employment Program schemes • Cancellation of permit system • Suspension of Racial Discrimination Act • No consultation with communities

The Apology

Multi-choice Questions 1.

Since the arrival of Europeans, the population of Indigenous Australians a. has steadily increased b. has steadily decreased c. decreased at first, but is now thought to be about the same as it was when Europeans arrived d. increased at first, but is now lower than it was thought to be when Europeans arrived


A national referendum, at which 89% of all Australians agreed that Aborigines should be included as citizens and allowed to vote, was held in a. 1958 b. 1967 c. 1972 d. 1976


Aboriginal culture was undermined by a. The introduction of diseases to which Indigenous Australians were not immune b. A reduction in population numbers due to fighting with Europeans c. Indigenous children being taken from their parents, to be brought up as Europeans in missions d. All of the above

4. a. b. c. d. 5. a. b. c. d.

The Native Title Act in 1993 Gave Indigenous Australians the right to vote Gave all land back to Indigenous Australians Was the legislation under which Uluru was returned to the Indigenous people of Australia Overturned the notion of ‘terra nullius’ in Australia The ‘Stolen Generation’ refers to Indigenous children who were taken from their parents, to be brought up as Europeans in missions A generation of Indigenous Australians who were not educated A process of ‘blackbirding’ during which Indigenous Australians were forcibly removed from the country to work as slave labourers overseas None of the above

References Broome, R. 2012 Aboriginal Australians: A history since 1788. 4th Edition. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin. Horton, D. (ed) 1994 The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. Bringing Them Home report 1997 Videos available in the Griffith Library: SBS. 2008 First Australians. Mabo: Life of an Island Man Brisbane Dreaming: An Aboriginal History of Brisbane Our History: Colonists Arrive After Mabo Frontier Stone Country Rabbit Proof Fence Ten Canoes

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