Australian Aborigines

Australian Aborigines

:"This is an article about a class of people as identified and defined within Australian law. For more general information on Aboriginal Australians go to Indigenous Australians."

ethnic group
group=Australian Aborigines

caption = Ernie Dingo, David Wirrpanda, Adam Goodes

population = 517,000 [ [ 4705.0 - Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006] , Australian Bureau of Statistics]
2.6% of Australia's population
region1 = flag|Northern Territory
pop1 = 32.5%
ref1 =
region2 = flag|Western Australia
pop2 = 4.0%
ref2 =
region3 = flag|Queensland
pop3 = 3.6%
ref3 =
region4 = flag|New South Wales
pop4 = 2.5%
ref4 =
region5 = flag|South Australia
pop5 = 2.3%
ref5 =
region6 = flag|Victoria
pop6 = 1.0%
rels= Mixture of Christian, small numbers of other religions including Islam, and various locally indigenous religions grounded in Australian Aboriginal mythology
langs=Several hundred Indigenous Australian languages many not now spoken, Australian English, Australian Aboriginal English, Kriol
related= "see" List of Indigenous Australian group names

Australian Aborigines (Audio-IPA|lang=US English|En-us-aborigine.ogg|æbəˈɹɪdʒɪni, aka Aboriginal Australians) are a class of peoples who are identified by Australian law as being members of a race indigenous to the Australian continent.

In the High Court of Australia, Australian Aborigines have been specifically identified as a class of people who share, in common, biological ancestry back to the original occupants of this continent. [ Plevitz, Loretta D & Croft, Larry (2003) "Aboriginality Under The Microscope: The Biological Descent Test In Australian Law" "QUT Law & Justice Journal" Number 7] Accessed 25 March 2008 ]

Justice Dean of the High Court famously described and defined an Australian Aboriginal person as:

"..a person of Aboriginal descent, albeit mixed, who identifies himself as such and who is recognised by the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal.."Dean, J (1984) Tasmania v Commonwealth. 158 CLR. Page 243.]

From Australian Aborigines

Eve Fesl, an Aboriginal Australian from the [ Gabi Gabi people] , published in the Aboriginal Law Bulletin describing how she and other Australian Aborigines preferred to be identified:

"The word 'aborigine' refers to an indigenous person of any country. If it is to be used to refer to us as a specific group of people, it should be spelt with a capital 'A', i.e. 'Aborigine'..." [ Fesl, Eve (1986) "‘Aborigine’ and ‘Aboriginal’" "Aboriginal Law Bulletin". Number 39.] Accessed 25 March 2008 ]

More recently, Lowitja O'Donoghue AC, CBE, commenting on the prospect of possible amendments to Australia's constitution, is quoted in an article entitled 'Call us Aboriginal' as saying:

"I really can't tell you of a time when 'indigenous' became current, but I personally have an objection to it, and so do many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.... This has just really crept up on us ... like thieves in the night."

"We are very happy with our involvement with indigenous people around the world, on the international forum ... because they're our brothers and sisters...But we do object to it being used here in Australia." [ [,25197,23629141-12377,00.html Salna, Karlis (2008) "Call us Aboriginal - ATSIC chair". "The Australian". 1 May 2008] Accessed 2 May 2008]

From Australian academia

Dean of Indigenous Research and Education at Charles Darwin University, Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik, has publicly lectured on the ways Australian Aborigines have been categorised and labelled over time: [ Charles Darwin University newsroom (12 May 2008) "First public lecture focuses on racist language"] Accessed 13 May 2008]

"Professor Bin-Sallik’s lecture offered a new perspective on the terms “urban” and “traditional” and “of Indigenous descent” as used to define and categorise Aboriginal Australians."
"“Not only are these categories inappropriate, they serve to divide us,” Professor Bin-Sallik said."

"“Government’s insistence on categorising us with modern words like ‘urban’, ‘traditional’ and ‘of Aboriginal descent’ are really only replacing old terms ‘half-caste’ and ‘full-blood’ – based on our colouring.”"

"She called for a replacement of this terminology by the word: Aborigine ... “irrespective of hue”"

ee also

* Australian Aboriginal flag
* Australian referendum, 1967
* Indigenous Australians
* Native title


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