Looking to gain a greater understanding of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures? Learning more might be simpler than you think.
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. Research 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.
Take a bushwalk in your local area, or somewhere you’ve never visited before and reflect on what’s taken place on this Country before you stepped foot there.
Head out in a small group (or maybe by yourself!), walk slowly, drinking in the sights and sounds, and consider the significance of this land to its Traditional Owners. Spend a day reflecting in nature, rather than on a high energy adventure.
3. Watch an Indigenous Film
When was the last time you watched a movie in the cinema?
High Ground is a new Australian high-action thriller, inspired by true events, that was shot on site in Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land, and stars a largely Indigenous cast.
Looking for something different? Try one of these Indigenous films.
- In My Blood It Runs
- Rabbit-Proof Fence
- Samson and Delilah
- The Tall Man
4. 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!
5. Listen to Indigenous Artists And Podcasts
Plugging into an Indigenous podcast is a great way to let these issues passively take up your brain space, whether you’re driving, taking a walk, or doing the dishes.
- Take it Blak
- Wild Black Women
- Pretty for an Aboriginal
- Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories
- Frontier War Stories
- Black Magic Woman
Looking for something a little more upbeat? Spotify has an epic Blak Australia playlist to help you uncover some deadly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians.
6. Buy Something From an Indigenous Business or Make a Donation
There are few actions that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as directly as cash.
Whether you make a direct donation to an Indigenous charity that resonates with you, or find a damn fine pair of earrings, piece of art, or T-shirt from an Indigenous business, spending your money in support of Aboriginal people your solidarity.
Supply Nation is Australia’s leading database of Indigenous businesses.
Can’t find what you’re looking for there? Maybe these businesses are more your style.
7. Learn More About What Happened on Jan 26th 1788 and The Frontier Wars
There are plenty of misunderstandings about what exactly happened that fateful day in 1788, and the decades that followed.
Battles and wars that took place on Australian soil are so often glossed over in the Australian history curriculum. There are some online resources that outline the details of the Frontier Wars, including the Frontier War Stories podcast.
8. Read an Indigenous Book
It’s the perfect time to get stuck into that Indigenous book you’ve been putting off.
These are some of our favs:
- Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta
- Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
- The Tall Man: Life and Death on Palm Island by Chloe Hooper
- The Yield by Tara June Winch
- Fire Country: How Indigenous Fire Management Could Help Save Australia by Victor Steffensen
- Talking to my Country by Stan Grant
- Loving Country: A Sacred Guide to Australia by Bruce Pascoe
9. 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.