Talk:Aboriginal Australians

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Why redirect removed, and stub article intiated[edit]

The absence of an article specifically on Australian Aborigines, who in fact exist as a legal class/category in Australian law .. was recently discussed here .. following which it was found to be useful and necessary to initiate this stub. Bruceanthro (talk) 15:30, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Some Chronological Notes for Proposed Expansion[edit]

Notes for proposed narrative:

1898': Colonial Delegates meet at Conventions to draft a consitution for the new Commonwealth[1]:

"The Aborigines .. surfaced in the endless debates surrounding the population quota that would govern the distribution of seats for the House of Representatives and the proposed Commonwealth’s rights to make laws that would guarantee a White Australia. As Edmund Barton rather patiently explained to Isaac Isaacs at the Melbourne Convention in 1898, the quota for each electorate was established after the number of Indigenous people (along with ‘aliens not naturalised’) had been subtracted from the total population. (Debates 1898, 4, 713-4). Finally, it was decided to exclude Indigenous Australians from any population count used for either the financial or electoral purposes included in the constitution. And to handle the rather vexed question of the Commonwealth’s power to legislate on matters of race and immigration, the Aborigines were excluded from the proposed section. These decisions were enshrined in Section 51 and Section 127 of the new constitution."(Page 3)

1910: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics seeks to estimate the size of the Australian Aboriginal population, at time of decentenial population census[1]

1925: Conference of Commonwealth Statisticians recommends, and Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics announces annual census[1]

For two decades Aboriginal population figures were collected annually by Aboriginal administors (often patrol officers and policemen) classifiying people as full blood or half-caste[1]

1945 Conference of Commonwealth and State Statisticians recommended, and Aborignal population figures ceased to be collected[1]

1967: The 1967 Referendum changed section 127 of the Constitution to allow Aboriginal people to be included in official Census population counts [2]

1971: The 1971 Censuses asked each indigenous person's racial origin[3].

1976: The 1976 Censuses asked each indigenous person's racial origin[4]

1981: Since the 1981 Census the word 'racial' has been dropped from the indigenous status question[5].

1996: The 1996 Census was the first Census to allow people's origins to be recorded as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; prior to this only one or the other could be recorded[6].

Bruceanthro (talk) 13:49, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


  • Australian Law Reform Commission (2003) "Kinship & Identity. Chapter 36 of Essentially Yours: The Protection of Human Genetic Information in Australia Accessed from AustLii Website 12 June 2008

Bruceanthro (talk) 11:42, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c d e Unidentified (2007) The Annual Censuses of Aborigines, 1925-1944: Technical Imperative, Social Demography, or Social Control? Paper Presented to the Population Association of America. Office of Population Research at Princeton University. Accessed 19 May 2008
  2. ^ Trewin, D. Page 204
  3. ^ Trewin, D. Page 204
  4. ^ Trewin, D. Page 204
  5. ^ Trewin, D. Page 204
  6. ^ Trewin, D. Page 204

Aboriginal Tribes Australia DNA Project[edit]

The following has been cut and pasted from the article page .. being a new section discussing a DNA project investigating Australian Aboriginal 'racial' heritage ... Does not seem to fit in its current form, but does seem to invite section on genetics & Aboriginality .. which might make mention of research of this kind and include external links. What do you think?? Bruceanthro (talk) 14:47, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Project Cultural Sensitivity WARNING

In accordance with established Cultural Protocols - and to ensure that any disclosure of information contained herewith is consistent with the views and sensitivities of Australia's Indigenous peoples - ALL Indigenous Aboriginal Persons are WARNED that the AboriginalTribesAustralia-DNA-Project [1] may contain images and include the names of deceased persons which might cause sadness or distress, particularly to the relatives of these people.

Project Goals

The Goals of the AboriginalTribesAustralia-DNA-Project [2] are to:

1. Look for, and identify any patterns or similarities between Haplogroups and sub-Clades in an endeavour to find and confirm any distant relatedness between Participants.

2. Verify the relatedness and migratory paths of families, and where possible to identify their Patriarch/Matriarch [Common - or Alpha - Male/Female] from whom all Participants herald from.

3. To identify and confirm the Indigenous Aboriginal Australian Ancestry and the traditional hereditary affilation of participants and their: Families; Hordes; Clans; Tribes and the Tribal Nations encompassing same - i.e. Kinship Bonds.

Use of class to describe Indigenous Australians[edit]

Indigenous Australians are a mixed ethnic group, as with all indigenous people, through out the world. The use of class to describe indigenous Austalians is not acceptable because the common use of class, takes several different aspects into account, brb —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

You will see the emphasis in this article is the legal criteria which by which a category or class of people is clearly defined within Australian law .. and how people prefer to label this category/class. The main article on indigenous Australians can be found here.
Please, before shifting the emphasis, perhaps I should clarify by expanding article to include Australian Bureau of Statisitcs use and understanding of Aboriginal Australian/Australian Aborigines etc (with proper referencing) .. and can have another look? Bruceanthro (talk) 22:08, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Expanding article[edit]

The following unreferenced material has been cut and paste from the main article .. being dimensions of the legal class or category of indigenous peoples (plural) in Australia .. which might be expanded upon (recalling the main article is here:

Aboriginal genetic traits

People of Aboriginal descent have been noted as having shorter life spans than that of other humans.

The Fight for Australia

Aboriginal descendants claim Australia as their home land, They claim Australia as an indigenous country to call their own, however recent studies have indicated that this may not be true. While some people claim that Australian Aborigines and Europeans evolved from the same wave of African migrants that went out of Africa more than 50,000 years ago. This research led by Toomas Kivisild of the University of Cambridge revealed the same founders for both racial types. Other scientific studies have shown the same information with only a slight deviation proven by DNA that Australia's Aborigines were formed from a single group of migrants who left Africa about 55,000 years ago.

Unemployment rates

Data on income source in show the changes in employment status of the Indigenous population. A large proportion of Indigenous respondents main income source in 2002 (39% compared to 33% in 1994). Government pensions and allowances was the main income source for 50% of Indigenous respondents in 2002 (compared to 55% in 1994). there are now 500,000 Aboriginals within Australia, each year costing Tax payers 340 Billion Australian Dollars.


I have added the expand tag: This article should be about Australian Aborigines, not a discussion about the politically way the name them---which is all the article is at the moment. (talk) 03:43, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Of course it would be good to expand this article including, possibly, discussion about Australian Aborigines as constitutionally prescribed etc .. however, please note, from the beginning of the article:
Bruceanthro (talk) 10:46, 21 December 2009 (UTC)


I'm not Australian, but to provide a bit of an outsider's perspective: I question the choice of images. Three of the four seem to be athletes, and the other person shown (Ernie Dingo) is a TV personality whose page talks a fair bit about his love of rugby and such. Maybe a little more variety? Some famous academics, scientists, or authors? --GenkiNeko (talk) 21:03, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Done. An important Aboriginal activist and poet (Oodgeroo Noonuccal) has been added. saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 12:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
There still weren't images of Noonuccal or Nicholls, and the image of Dingo didn't fit. I took out Jade North because he isn't a prominent figure and three male footballers seemed at least one too many. Many others, at least as or more famous than these, would be obviously suitable for inclusion - Cathy Freeman, Charlie Perkins, Emily Kngwarreye, Patrick and Mick Dodson, to mention just a few - but availability of images and copyrights could be a problem. At least now the images match the names and the selection is equally male and female. --Wikiain (talk) 05:09, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Why not merged?[edit]

This article seems to be a short article only about the legal definition of this class. Why not fold it into the Indigenous Australians article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Article is not merged for the reasons contained within the article .. though there is plenty of room to expand this article to include particularly discussion on Australian Aborigines as identified within the Australian constitution; plus Bureau of statistics collection practices in relation to Australian Aborigines; and possibly even the Aboriginal Australian flag as a specifically Aboriginal (captital A) flag . and more .. all of which would love to find the time to properly work on .. (should you/ anyone be interested?!) Bruceanthro (talk) 03:03, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
The Australian Aboriginal Flag now seems to be discussed ok, in this article and in its own. --Wikiain (talk) 05:13, 25 September 2011 (UTC)


With regard to my edit that was reverted, I find the hatnote at the top of this article convoluted and overlinked. Quoting from WP guidelines, "hatnotes are meant to reduce confusion and direct readers to another article they might have been looking for, not for information about the subject of the article itself". Applied to this article, it means that the hatnote is not the place for explaining what 'class' means in philosophy (see Extraneous links), also considering that 'class' is already wiki-linked right in the opening sentence. Equally inappropriate is the use of two words ("identified and defined") where one would be plenty - if needed at all. Is there a good reason why this article should deviate from the guidelines? --Giuliopp (talk) 22:48, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

That's better now. --Giuliopp (talk) 22:13, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Notable Aboriginal organisations & people[edit]

Have cut and pasted the following from the article, along with suggestion that these sections be started and/or more comprehensively discussed and completed her .. prior to being put in the article? Bruceanthro (talk) 04:45, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Notable Aboriginal Organisations:

Notable Aborigines:

The following notable aborigines have been listed according to the category of their fame, although some (most) should be listed in multiple categories.


Propose name change to "Aboriginal Australians"[edit]

The word "Aborigine" is now considered outdated and offensive to many Aboriginal Australians. See here for one of many references backing this up — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hexyhex (talkcontribs) 04:14, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Support, for the reasons given in the document linked to. --Wikiain (talk) 03:12, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Merge instead? To me the problem is that we already have an article called Indigenous Australians. I've never quite understood the demarcation line between the two articles. My leaning right now is towards a merge of the two into a single article called Aboriginal Australians. HiLo48 (talk) 03:25, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
HiLo48: I am puzzled. The document linked to advice that to call Torres Strait Islanders "Aboriginal" is offensive both to themselves and to Aboriginal peoples. The reason why it is offensive is itself independently a reason not to merge - since the reason is that Australian Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples are very different. I had thought that advice to be correct. However, you identify yourself as Aboriginal. Is the advice wrong? We might remove the article "Indigenous Australians" (transferring its content) and keep separate articles for "Aboriginal Australians" and "Torres Strait Islanders". --Wikiain (talk) 04:56, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry about any confusion. I'm not Aboriginal (that I'm aware of) but closely associated with a few. I think we are actually on the same wavelength. You final sentence is exactly what I want to do too. HiLo48 (talk) 05:02, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
My clanger - I should have looked up "ngamudji" and have now found it. Relieved not to have caused offence. I am also one. --Wikiain (talk) 22:57, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I'd advise against merging into "Aboriginal Australians", for the reasons given relating to Torres Strait Islanders. I'm happy with keeping three articles, as all three terms are in common usage and have different meanings (Indigenous Australian being an umbrella term some prefer as "Aboriginal" is thought to have colonialist history, but with many people within the community retaining a strong preference for "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people") although I think some of the content needs to be moved around. If people are really set on deleting a page, though, I'd settle for keeping Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, shifting the content from Indigenous Australians to Aboriginal Australians and leaving Indigenous Australians as a redirect. Hexyhex (talk) 13:15, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, all three names are in common use. The terms "Indigenous" seems to be inappropriate when it gets actually substituted for the others. For example, the University of New South Wales has a active Indigenous Law Centre which publishes an Indigenous Law Bulletin and an Australian Indigenous Law Review but is careful not to let the name "Indigenous" mask differences (its director is Aboriginal). We might keep the article Indigenous Australians but shift from it the material that is specifically about Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. --Wikiain (talk) 19:15, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Constitutional mention[edit]

IgnorantArmies - I think we are on the same wavelength. However, to me the word "explicitly" suggests that there is some sort of specific implication, which I think would be mistaken. The preamble references to "people" refer, indeed, to all the people of the colonies mentioned - including, one might suppose, their "aboriginal natives". Yet, until 1967, those same people were not to be counted in any census, nor therefore would have counted as part of the population of a state for the purpose of assessing its representation in the House. Nor were Aboriginal Australians specifically consulted in framing the Constitution. Indeed, I haven't heard of any Aboriginal Australian being at all involved in the framing process - they were all excluded from it. Would you agree on "specifically mentioned" instead of "explicitly mentioned"? If you would, please feel free to make the change. This matter concerns only the federal constitution - I am thinking of adding, separately, references to the mentions of Aboriginal Australians that have been added into some of the state constitutions. --Wikiain (talk) 03:15, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I think we're on the same wavelength, too. I'm happy to change it to "specifically mentioned", though I think a footnote saying basically what I said in my last edit summmary might also be a good idea. If its not already mentioned, it might be a good idea to refer to the calls for a better preamble which mentions Indigenous Australians, if I can find a source. Cheers, IA 04:26, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
How's this? IA 04:36, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I like what you have done, I♦A - however, it is already out of date. See YouMeUnity and the report due in December. I will think of separating the discussion of the current state of judicially authoritative constitutional interpretation, which we have been discussing, from the current debate on constitutional reform. This is very complex territory, legally and politically. --Wikiain (talk) 11:06, 23 November 2011 (UTC)--Wikiain (talk) 11:06, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
And that's the cue for me to step back in favour of someone who knows what they're doing :) IA 11:49, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Non-free file problems with File:Douglas nicholls.jpg[edit]

File:Douglas nicholls.jpg is non-free and has been identified as possibly not being in compliance with the non-free content policy. For specific information on the problems with the file and how they can be fixed, please check the message at File:Douglas nicholls.jpg. For further questions and comments, please use the non-free content review page. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 09:46, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Corrected population[edit]

I noticed that the population statistic in the infobox didn't align with the source provided. It turns out the figure (670,000) was a rounded amount of 669,881 - the total number of Indigenous Australians (which includes Torres Strait Islanders). I've changed it to the "Aboriginal only" population. I'm not sure if the number listed as "both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander" should be added to this figure or not? If so, it would increase it by a further 25,583. -- Chuq (talk) 23:44, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Stolen Generation[edit]

Should there be a mention of the "Stolen generations" somewhere in the aritcle? (talk) 13:18, 29 August 2015 (UTC)Dave

more than papuas people[edit]

Are there more australian aborigenes than Papuan people before colonisation?--Kaiyr (talk) 19:06, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Gallery removal[edit]

The portrait gallery has been quickly removed by Iryna Harpy, applying the very recently adopted policy WP:NOETHNICGALLERIES. While I note the misgivings of some users about the origin of the RfC that has produced this policy, it appears to be a current general policy which has been produced through a huge discussion that came to a clear predominance of view.

So that the present article may be taken forward from this point, I reproduce first the RfC decision and next the gallery in its final form (it had many forms), which may be used as inspiration for including further portraits of notable people at specifically relevant places in the body of the article. (I have done the same with Indigenous Australians.) Wikiain (talk) 11:53, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

I'm closing this following a request at WP:AN. The result of this RfC is that there is consensus to remove portrait galleries from the infoboxes of articles about ethnic groups. The main reasons given for this decision are that, lacking objective criteria, it is original research to determine who should be featured in the gallery, that this selection process generates a lot of unnecessary conflict, and that a few individuals are not an adequate visual representation of a large group of people. This also applies to articles about other than ethnic groups, such as nationalities, because the discussion has shown that the same arguments apply to these groups as well. Sandstein 10:29, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

{{infobox ethnic group |image = Aboriginal Australians montage.jpg
1st row: Windradyne, David Gulpilil, Albert Namatjira, David Unaipon, Mandawuy Yunupingu
2nd row: Truganini, Yagan, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Bennelong, Robert Tudawali

Hello Wikiain. I actually did hold off on removing the gallery from this article for a while as I recognise it to be a 'special circumstances' article. To be honest, I was going to return to it in order to think on presentation that's worthy of the WP:TITLE. Aside from the aesthetically clumsy collage (I know that sounds offensive, but I honestly think that it's visually clumpy), I'd be happy to work in tandem with other editors active on the article in order to slightly rethink and, hopefully, improve the marriage of text and images. If it is of any assistance, I'm not too shoddy with photoshop. Please let me know whether you're amenable to this proposal. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:22, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Iryna. This is just what I - as someone with meagre pic-editing skills - had been looking forward to. Wikiain (talk) 00:33, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Excellent, Wikiain! I've had this article on my 'wish list' for development for some time. I'm a little flat-out in other areas of Wikipedia at the moment, but I'm looking forward to collaborating on expanding the article. If you wish, I have no objections to restoring the gallery as it stood as a special case until we can get down to the nuts and bolts of improving it (providing other Wikipedians don't object). You'll find the beginnings of some thoughts on the matter here on my own talk with another editor on precisely this subject matter. Feel free to join in there, or ping me from this talk page if you have any thoughts on how and what will do justice to the article.
All good, Iryna, except that the policy doesn't seem to allow for special cases and I'm not sure how one could argue for special cases without coming up against the basis of the policy, the lack of objective criteria. We remain free, however, to improve the body of the article by including more images of contemporaries who the article identifies as notable. Wikiain (talk) 22:53, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders[edit]

There appear to have been some edits confusing indigenous peoples of Australasia. 'Aboriginal peoples' applies to mainland Australia and Tasmania, while 'Torres Strait Islanders' are discussed as 'other' to the mainland tribes. They are an indigenous people, but they are Melanesians more closely related to the indigenous peoples of New Guinea. Torres Strait Islander culture and languages evolved separately to that of mainland 'Aboriginals', so please don't conflate the two. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:20, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Murrawarri Republic[edit]

Google searched the subject and learned about it, this may be the first ever Aboriginal Australian Republic declared, but it is not recognized by any country nor by Australia. Only 4,000 residents live within the vast self-proclaimed republic (90% are Aboriginal, the rest White European). Most of the land is in northern part of New South Wales with the rest in the southernmost part of Queensland. Adinneli (talk) 08:19, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

If you ask me the Aborignal race is a most likely a combination of the Tamilian race of southern India and the African race. If you look at pictures of pure Aboriginal people they look either 100% Indian or 100% African or mix of both. The European DNA presence among some is due to intermingling after European colonization of Australia. Scholars are ignoring the possible fact that Africa, India, and Australia use to be one big land mass. If scholars do a closer DNA study of Aboriginal people on the one that look pure. Thy will most likely have significant DNA traces of Indian and African DNA.

DNA survey published 2016[edit]

Results of an extensive DNA survey of Aboriginal Australians appear in Nature in September 2016. Summary and link: Michael Westaway et al., "DNA reveals a new history of the First Australians", The Conversation 22 September 2016. Users familiar with DNA evidence kindly follow up . Wikiain (talk) 23:16, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Why not change article name to "Aboriginal Australians (legal term)"?[edit]

Since that seems to be what this article is primarily about, a legal term, and not the actual ethnic group itself. Along with that, I'd recommend creating a new article called "Aboriginal Australians" (in the same vein of the "Torres Strait Islanders" article), that actually talks about the ethnic group in question and not a legal term. Chicowales (talk) 22:08, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

In what law is it used? Wikiain (talk) 01:04, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Primarily about a legal term? Are we reading the same article? Some legislature is discussed (as with any articles on ethnic groups, particularly indigenous peoples), but it is an article on the ethnic group known as 'Aboriginal Australians'. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:48, 24 May 2017 (UTC)