• Do you know what Aboriginal Land you're on today? Capital cities and their corresponding First Nations lands. (NITV)Source: NITV
No matter where you are in Australia — make sure you know that it's on Aboriginal land ... and *what* Aboriginal land.
NITV Staff Writers

26 Jan 2017 - 4:37 PM  UPDATED 16 Jan 2020 - 3:06 PM

As events take place around the country for January 26, we look at the major cities and recognise the traditional names where the familiar CBD lies. 

For more information on Aboriginal geography, go to the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia.


Adelaide - Kaurna

Did you know? 

There has been a generous effort to teach Kaurna language in Adelaide, with Kaurna Linguistics courses available at The University of Adelaide and Kaurna Language Courses for Year 11 & 12 students at the School of Languages in South Australia. 

Kaurna culture and history are also becoming increasingly acknowledged and visible in Adelaide, including the entrance of the State Library of South Australia and the Adelaide Festival Centre. 


Alice Springs - Arrernte

Did you know? 

There are five dialects of the Arrernte language: South-Eastern, Central, Northern, Eastern, Eastern and North-Eastern. There are roughly 1,800 speakers of Eastern and Central Arrernte, making it one of the largest speaking populations of any Australian language.

Indigenous words with 'rr' are common in languages in Central Australia and have a unique rolled sound. The word Arrernte is pronounced similarly to the sounds, 'Aranda', 'Arrarnta' or 'Arunda'. 


Brisbane - Yuggera

Surrounding nations and groups include: Turrbal, Noonucal, Goenpul, Yugembah

Did you know? 

A well-known Yuggera/Jagera language word is 'Yakka' meaning to 'work hard'. Hence where Australia gets the name for its iconic workwear label. More Yuggera words can be accessed through the Queensland State Library


Canberra - Ngunnawal

Surrounding nations and groups include: Ngambri

Did you know?

The Ngunnawal nation extends from Canberra up to Goulburn.

'Canberra' is a Ngunnawal word meaning "meeting place" and historically, the valley that modern Canberra sits within was a meeting place for many neighbouring First Nations groups including Yuin, Wiradjuri, Gundungurra and Ngarigo. 

The first known contact between Ngunnawal people and Europeans, was recorded at an exploration of the Limestone Plains in 1820.

Many Ngunawal families claim that Ngunawal is spelled like that; using one 'n' instead of two and should be pronounced 'Ngoon-a-wal'. 


Darwin - Larrakia

Did you know?

Larrakia Country runs from the Cox peninsula in the west to Gunn Point in the north, and the Adelaide River in the east and down to the Manton Dam area southwards.

Larrakia People have strong connections to the sea and have a long history of voyage and trade with neighbouring groups such as Tiwi, Wagait and Wulna. 

The Larrakia people have the longest running land claim in the Northern Territory, the Kenbi Land Claim. The Larrakia peoples only received legal recognition of continued connection to Country just two years ago, despite demonstrable caring for the land and water for centuries. 


Hobart - muwinina

Did you know? 

muwinina is a part of the palawa people, a network of clans in Tasmania.

No capital letters are used in palawa kani (the revived-traditional language), including place names. 

Hobart's famous Mount Wellington is named kunanyi in palawa kani.


Melbourne - Kulin Nation

Surrounding and inclusive nations and groups include: Woiworung & Boonwurrung

Did you know? 

William Barak, whose face is embedded on a modern building on Swanston Street in Melbourne CBD, is said to be the last 'full-blood' tribesperson of the Wurunderjeri clan of the Woiworung nation.

Barak was a prominent leader, activist, artist and tracker and one of his most significant tasks was tracking the Kelly Gang whom he found hiding in thick scrub. Despite his white authorities directing him to approach the gang in a 'you-go-first' request, Barak famously laughed and politely refused. 


Perth - Whadjuk

Did you know?

Whadjuk nation is a part of the Noongar peoples collective, a network covering south-west Western Australia.

Before British settlement, Whadjuk would have been familiar with Dutch explorers, as well as experiencing the occasional visits from whalers.

The town of Guildford on Whadjuk Country is a particularly significant site for Noongar peoples and contains campsites and spiritual sites which are still used by local people in present day.

The word 'Quokka' — the friendly marsupial found on Rottnest Island — is a Whadjuk word.   


Sydney - Eora Nation

Surrounding and inclusive nations and groups include: Cammeraygal, Gadigal & Bidjigal

Did you know? There are tens of clans within the Eora nation, an area within the boundaries of St George's River, the Hawkesbury River and the Parramatta River. The Gadigal People are the clan of Sydney city.

While a new precinct located south of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Gadigal Land has been named after Aboriginal leader, Barangaroo, the historic figure was actually a Cammeraygal woman who lived in and around the north harbour, near modern-day Manly.   


NITV presents a selection of dedicated programming, special events and news highlights with a focus on encouraging greater understanding of Indigenous Australian perspectives on 26 January. Join the conversation #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe

All images are by Nungala Creative, excluding the main image.

Please note: While Aboriginal words have various spellings in English, we acknowledge that the more widly, mainstream spelling of 'Arrernte' is with three 'r's. As such, the spelling on our graphics is mispelled. We apologise for this error.   

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