Looking to gain a greater understanding of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures? Learning more might be simpler than you think.
Australia’s supremely fortunate to be home to some of the world’s longest surviving cultures. NAIDOC week is an apt reminder for everyone to learn more, connect to and appreciate the incredibly diverse cultures of this continent and surrounding island’s First Nations people. We’ve compiled a few ways to help you grow your knowledge and deepen your understanding.
1. Listen to First Nations People And Add Their Voices to Your Feed
Representation of Indigenous people, issues and voices is lacking in Australian mainstream media and pop culture. I mean have you ever seen an Indigenous family chatting about the latest episode of the Bachelor on GoggleBox? I didn’t think so.
By consciously following more Australian Indigenous accounts you’re supporting diversity, and more importantly, hearing and listening to those voices on a daily basis.
By simply exposing yourself to these voices and listening to what they have to say, your perspectives will broaden and you’ll be able to seek out other ways to better understand the reality of First Nation’s people in Aus.
From businesses and organisations to musicians and activists, these are some of our favourite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander based accounts;
Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council
2. Learn The History of The Land You Live On
What country do you live on? What land do you work and play on and come from?
Australia is made up of over 250 Aboriginal countries, each with their own Traditional Owners, Dreamtime stories and customs. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies has one of the most comprehensive maps of Indigenous Australia.
Discover the Aboriginal land you live on and learn about the Traditional Owners, past, present and emerging.
Live in Sydney? The Australian Museum has an extensive list of Indigenous names for the suburbs and locations around the city. What’s the Indigenous name for your home?
Not a city slicker? Maybe you’ll find your hometown’s Indigenous name on this list instead.
3. Take an Indigenous Cultural Tour
Combine your endless compulsion to get outside with a cultural and historical education.
Discover your hometown from a whole new perspective, or deep dive into an entirely fresh environment and soak up the local Indigenous knowledge and learn about their connection to the land.
Not sure where to find a cultural tour near you? We know a few!
4. Do Your Own Research
Take the responsibility of learning about the history and culture of our nation into your own hands. Do your own research, take a course, connect with Aboriginal groups in your area and chat about your learnings with your mates. We want to support and uplift our Aboriginal community, not burden them with our ignorance.
If you’re just starting your journey, here are a few great places to start.
The Tall Man: Life and Death on Palm Island
Talking to my Country
In My Blood It Runs
Samson and Delilah
The Tall Man
5. Listen to and Learn Indigenous Languages
The 50 Words Project is helping keep Indigenous languages alive and accessible. Through the use of an interactive map, you’re able to explore the different language groups of Australia and listen to 50 common words and phrases, spoken in native language.
This resource is constantly being added to and updated by native speakers, however many languages have sadly already been lost.
Feature photo thanks to DNSW