The term is used by the aboriginal people of Victoria, parts of New South Wales and Tasmania, describing the indigenous people's own word for themselves. It was originally a word from the North-Coast of New South Wales, recorded for the first time in 1834.
While the term 'indigenous' is being more commonly used by Australian Government and non-Government organizations to describe Aboriginal Australians, Lowitja O'DonoghueAC, CBE, commenting on the prospect of possible amendments to Australia's constitution, was reported 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.
O'Donoghue went on to say that the term indigenous robbed the traditional owners of Australia of an identity because some non-Aboriginal people now wanted to refer to themselves as indigenous because they were born there.