Coming Up Mon 9:00 PM  AEST
Coming Up Live in 
Punjabi radio

Australia's First Peoples: Myths vs Reality

Song keepers of the central desert

Australia’s First Peoples are the world’s oldest living civilization dating back some 50,000 years according to a recent genetic study by an international team of academics.

Here are 7 facts you need to know about Australia’s First Peoples.

Identity is tied to the cultures a person is raised in and how they identify with that culture

Adam Goodes

One of the biggest myths about Aboriginality is that if you have fair skin you can’t be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. 

Read more.

Culture represents the ways of living that are built up by groups and transmitted from one generation to another

A new initiative for 'Birthing on Country' has just been launched to improve the health outcomes for Indigenous mothers and babies

The essential features of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures include a special connection to the land and commitment to family and community.

Read more.

Rights of citizenship were not extended to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at Federation in 1901

Faith Bandler Referendum
Bishop Garnsey, Faith and Lilon Bandler campaigning for a YES vote at the 1967 referendum
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies/Audio Visual Archive

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples also had no right to vote or receive social security benefits such as the pensions and maternity allowances until the late sixties.

Read more.

‘Dreaming’ or ‘Dreamtime’ are English words that describe a rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concept

Tjawa Tjawa

For Aboriginal people ‘Dreaming’ is more than a mythical past: “It prescribes our connection as Aboriginal people with the spiritual essence of everything around us and beyond us. Dreaming stories are not in the past, they are outside of time – always present and giving meaning to all aspects of life.” – ShareOurPride

Language identifies who Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are and where they come from

Angelina Joshua hard at work at the Ngukurr Language Centre
Angelina Joshua keeping the language alive at the Ngukurr Language Centre (Photo by Elise Derwin for SBS)
Photo by Elise Derwin for SBS

There were around 270 different language groups and many different cultural ways at the time Europeans arrived. Today, 145 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are still spoken in Australia, however only 18 remain strong, meaning they are spoken by people of all ages.

Read more here

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected to country through lines of descent (paternal and maternal), as well as clan and language groups

Songlines 1

"When we say country we might mean homeland or tribal or clan area and in saying so we may mean something more than just a place; somewhere on the map. We are not necessarily referring to place in a geographical sense. But we are talking about the whole of the landscape, not just the places on it." – Professor Mick Dobson AM

Read more here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples established effective ways to use and sustain resources of the land

Indigenous fishing and the clash between native title and fishing laws.

The rights of different groups to live in and manage certain areas of land are clear and recorded through art, stories, songs and dance. "I have been brought up to believe that we have a special connection to the land. We belong to the land. The land does not belong to us." - Cassandra Lawton Gungarri woman (SW Qld)

Read more here.

Follow SBS Punjabi on Facebook and Twitter.



Coming up next

Australia's First Peoples: Myths vs Reality 10/07/2018 09:24 ...
Punjabi Poetry Review: 'Harfan De Parchhawein' by Veer Sipahi 20/09/2019 12:20 ...
Baba Budha Ji Jorh Mela: Sikh community ready to host 3rd annual sports meet in Melbourne 20/09/2019 04:09 ...
Meet Deepak-Raj Gupta, ACT's first India-born parliamentarian 20/09/2019 11:10 ...
PM Modi lauds Bollywood film for going plastic-free 20/09/2019 05:08 ...
Government wants to ban mobile phones in all Australian schools 20/09/2019 03:46 ...
Interpreters working with domestic violence victims rue lack of support 19/09/2019 08:07 ...
Sikh temple helps young migrant family for cancer treatment 19/09/2019 13:45 ...
'Education is a service, not an industry': Vice-Chancellor Deep Saini 19/09/2019 21:32 ...
Melbourne cricketer Jay Jhamb shines as Australia wins Trans-Tasman series 18/09/2019 13:59 ...
View More