Talk:Indigenous Australians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Ethnic groups (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ethnic groups, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles relating to ethnic groups, nationalities, and other cultural identities on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Australia / Demographics / Indigenous peoples (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon Indigenous Australians is within the scope of WikiProject Australia, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of Australia and Australia-related topics. If you would like to participate, visit the project page.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Demographics of Australia (marked as Top-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Indigenous peoples of Australia (marked as Top-importance).

Religious beliefs - Islam?[edit]

The infobox says "Religion: Majority Christianity, with minority following traditional animist (Dreamtime) beliefs and Islam." The source for this claim is a BBC article that estimates there are 1,000 Aboriginal Muslims in Australia, about the size of a large high school. This is roughly 1000/517000 = 0.2% of Aborigines. I think it is misleading to list Islam in the infobox when there are so few Aboriginal adherents. It should give people an idea of the dominant religious views among Aboriginal people, which are 1 - Christian, 2 - No Religion, 3 - Traditional Beliefs. Mr john luke (talk) 23:18, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Update: I changed the infobox. If you disagree with my change please explain why here. Mr john luke (talk) 23:30, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. McKay (talk) 04:26, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:28, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

The main text continues to state: "A small but growing minority of Aborigines are followers of Islam.[1]" This is from way back in 2003 and (as a non-statistician) I can't find an update from the 2006 census or the 2011 census. Can someone update it? If not, should it be removed as unreliable? Wikiain (talk) 23:08, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

@Wikiain: Agreed. I'm a little flat out (or a big flat out) at the moment, however it is not appreciated when editors (i.e., Torygreen84) simply remove content without any form of edit summary, then revert again sans any attempt at WP:BRD. The BBC article is certainly dated, but it does say 'growing'. While I'm not certain that it was particularly WP:DUE for this article in the first place I think we need to consider how it's tackled given that it is long-standing content where WP:BURDEN has been met, and I'm inclined towards WP:PRESERVE until the fact of this having been WP:CRYSTAL can be established. It's a little problematic as the article on Islam in Australia#Aboriginal Muslims varies slightly... so a mention is DUE somewhere, but where?... and has it, indeed, remained a growing trend? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:08, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Macassan Trading[edit]

There is no mention of pre-European trading with Indonesia here. I'm not sure how/where to put it - in the "Arrival and occupation of Australia" section?? Tobus2 (talk) 07:14, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, that seems the best spot. --Roisterer (talk) 09:34, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

german wiki - "aborigines"[edit]

hello, i would appreciate your expertise: this article in the german wiki, where i come from, is called Aborigines. this should be changed, for obvious reasons, maybe to Indigene Australier. i wonder when and how the shift from Aborigines to Indigenous Australians in the english language happened and how deep it is? would a man on the street in, say, pensacola or edinbourgh still use the term Aborigine or would he call them Indigenous Australians? Maximilian (talk) 15:58, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

In contemporary Australian English, "indigenous" is a collective noun which encompasses two groups: the Australian Aborigines (who inhabit the mainland and Tasmania) and Torres Strait Islanders, who, inhabit the islands of the Torres Strait. So "Aborigines" or "Aboriginals" are words with a meaning used in both every day and official English, but "indigenous" is considered the more thorough and inclusive term as the Torres Strait Islanders are a distinct group who also pre-date Europeans and other recent settlers in Australia. That said, "indigenous" is a word more likely to be used in academic circles that in the street. This article encompasses both Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, but both groups have their own articles on wikipedia. Perhaps the German wiki should be redirected, unless it also discusses both? Mainland indigenous Australians will often use the term Aboriginal, or else the name for their regional people in their local language, such as Koori etc. Ozhistory (talk) 00:09, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

First inhabitants[edit]

There is substantial evidence that Australia was inhabited 50 000 to 40 000 BC, however there is a lack of proof these humans/hominids were the ancestors of Aborigines. For example the Lake Mungo remains were considered gracile. The article here uses a throw away reference to try and trick readers into associating the Lake Mungo remains, dated to at least 40 000 BC, with Aborigines to support the spurious claims regarding time of habitation — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

unreliable sources[edit]

This article has several references which are unreliable. "Aboriginal Australians descend from the first humans to leave Africa, DNA sequence reveals", Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is problematic as it states in relation to the Science journal article An Aboriginal Australian Genome Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia - Rassmussen et al : "They have shown that modern day Aboriginal Australians are the direct descendents of the first people who arrived on the continent some 50,000 years ago and that those ancestors left Africa earlier than their European and Asian counterparts."

The abstract of the science article states: Our findings support the hypothesis that present-day Aboriginal Australians descend from the earliest humans to occupy Australia, likely representing one of the oldest continuous populations outside Africa.

Supporting a hypothesis is not the same as showing something. To show something is generally to prove something. The journal article is about genetic divergence, it contains no discussion in regard to the arrival of aborigines in australia other than in the conclusion it states:

Finally, our data are in agreement with contemporary Aboriginal Australians being the direct descendants from the first humans to be found in Australia, dating to ~50,000 years B.P.(7,8). This means that Aboriginal Australians likely have one of the oldest continuous population histories outside sub-Saharan Africa today.

The sources 7 and 8 are

7. G. R. Summerhayes et al., Science 330, 78 (2010). 8. J. O’Connell, J. Allen, J. Archaeol. Sci. 31, 835 (2004).

The Summerhayes article is "Human Adaptation and Plant Use in Highland New Guinea 49,000 to 44,000 Years Ago". Its abstract states:

"After their emergence by 200,000 years before the present in Africa, modern humans colonized the globe, reaching Australia and New Guinea by 40,000 to 50,000 years ago."

However no material within the article refers to Australia. The article does not speculate on whether the modern humans were melanesian or aboriginal, it only examines artifact dates

The O'Connell article is "Dating the colonization of Sahul (Pleistocene Australia–New Guinea): a review of recent research". The abstract states

We conclude that while the continent was probably occupied by 42–45,000 BP, earlier arrival dates are not well-supported. This observation undercuts claims for modern human migrations out of Africa and beyond the Levant before 50,000 BP.

The article does not state that the colonisers of Sahul were Aborigines or Melanesians. It discusses artifacts and dating methods. There is nothing which supports the statement made in the conclusion of the Rasmussen article, even refuting the "to ~50,000 years B.P."

Given the unreliability of the statement in the conclusion of Rasmussen et al, it suggests this article can not be used for date of arrival claims regarding Aborigines. The article is indirectly referenced with reference "Aboriginal culture one of world's oldest, Australian Geographic, 23 September 2011".

Finally there is the cheeky inclusion of the source "Http://" which is tourism information site, not in any way reputable. This source is used to claim "it is generally accepted that the Lake Mungo remains are direct ancestors of present day Indigenous Australians." This is a rather strong statement to be poorly source — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi, and thanks for your interest in the accuracy of this article, in the reliability of the sources used, and also for explaining here, why you made these changes. It seems to me though, that Rassmussen was used as an appropriate reference (based on what its conclusions are) Perhaps you are not contesting that so much, though, but rather whether Rassmussen's conclusions themselves are valid? But Rassmussen has been peer-reviewed in a reputable journal, so, on the face of it, is a good reference in Wikipedia. If you have problems with Rassmussen, then that should be taken up with the journals; to do so in Wikipedia would constitute original research, and hence not be appropriate. Or to view it another way, if there are problems with Rassmussen's conclusions, then there ought to be other reputable references that can be sourced to support a different view.
I found your objection regarding "supporting the hypothesis" not establishing a fact to be confusing. In many sciences it is the closest one gets to proof. True, it does not establish the fact in finality, in the sense that some future evidence might result in a completely different view being adopted... but until then, it is legitimate, and actually seems pretty strong.
supporting a hypothesis is not the same as establishing a fact. proving a hypothesis is what establishes fact. There is no such thing as a fact in finality. For encyclopaedic purposes the standard of proof should be very high in order to make an outright statement. Rassmussen doesnt even support the hypothesis outside the abstract, it merely refers to it.
I don't think your distinction of supporting and proving hypotheses is valid. Wikipedia policy is to use reliable sources, of which Rassmussen seems a fine specimen, and a perfectly valid reference. Mozzy66 (talk) 12:42, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Finally, I don't think there was anything wrong with the "Visit Mungo" reference, which you have removed. It is not by a commercial organisation (i.e. with a specific interest to serve), but by an Australian National Park, administered by the Government, and I am pretty sure their charter requires them to ensure that the information they are providing to the public is factually correct. Perhaps it could be replaced by a better reference in the future, but for now it is adequate. And there is no reason to remove the statement it was supporting. Mozzy66 (talk) 09:55, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
The Lake Mungo site isn't an academic source, and to some extend it is an interested party, given that Lake Mungo is owned by aboriginal landholders. It doesnt quote any external source to forward any of it claims, and there is no material which supports the statement made in the article. There are a lot of non encyclopaedic statements however:
Not being an academic source is not an issue, provided it is a reliable source. The site is administered by the Office of Environment and Heritage, of the NSW Government, and there is no particular reason to consider it unreliable. Its lack of quotes from external sources or materials does not make it unreliable. Such external references are not obligatory for Wikipedia reliable sources - for example, media reports are frequently used as reliable sources, although they often don't have external referencing, and are certainly not academic.
Regarding the presence of non encyclopedic statements on the web site, this is immaterial. Firstly, reliable sources don't need to be encyclopedic - we are not trying to plagiarise their words - it is up to us to write encyclopedic (again, we use media as sources, and they are almost never encyclopedic...). Secondly, these quotes below are out of context, since they mostly come from the section Share Mungo Culture, which appears to showcase aboriginal cultural interpretations. The final one actually *is* a quote from an external source, a release by the Uni of Melbourne. Mozzy66 (talk) 12:42, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
"About 42,000 years ago, Mungo Lady lived around the shores of Lake Mungo. A time of plenty was coming to an end at Willandra Lakes, when the basins were full of water and teeming with life. The human population was at its peak, and Mungo Lady was the daughter of many mothers - the generations before her that had lived at Lake Mungo since the Dreamtime. She collected bush tucker such as fish, shellfish, yabbies, wattle seeds and emu eggs, nourished her culture and taught her daughters the women's lore.
When Mungo Lady died, we know her family mourned for her. Her body was cremated, the remaining bones were crushed, burned again and then buried in the growing lunette."
"About 42,000 years ago, Mungo Man lived around the shores of Lake Mungo with his family. A time of abundance in the Willandra Lakes system was drawing to a close, but he could still hunt many species of game, including some of the soon-to-be-extinct megafauna. Mungo Man cared for his Country and kept safe the special men's knowledge. By his lore and ritual activity, he kept the land strong and his culture alive."
"This research extends far beyond mere academic interest. Non-indigenous Australians too often have a desperately limited frame of historical reference. The Lake Mungo region provides a record of land and people that we latter day arrivals have failed to incorporate into our own Australian psyche. We have yet to penetrate the depths of time and cultural treasures revealed by those ancestors of indigenous Australians."
I've had a look at and agree with Mozzy66 - it may not be the best source, but it's certainly a reasonable inclusion. We certainly should be including the University of Melbourne's "New age for Mungo Man, new human history" media release as a reference, because it is freely available (unlike the article in Nature), and it includes the statement that "The Mungo people ... their present day indigenous descendants", which supports the claim that "the Lake Mungo remains are direct ancestors of present day Indigenous Australians" (although not necessarily "it is generally accepted that..."). Mitch Ames (talk) 00:49, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:White people#Discussion on direction of article[edit]

There is an ongoing discussion on the "Black people" and "White people" articles about whether these terms can only mean "race" or can be used as description of skin color. Relevance is given as "Black Australians" are also discussed in the Black people article. You are welcomed to participate. Cheers:)
You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:White people#Discussion on direction of article. See also: Talk: Black people#Direction FonsScientiae (talk) 12:15, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Intermarriage rate[edit]

I'm looking at gaining consensus for this proposed edit:

"Although official blood quantum statistics are no longer available, a majority of indigenous Australians are now of mixed descent, [2] with a figure of 80,000 being given as a common estimate for the number of pure blood respondents. [3]."

With respect to the editor who goes under the name of hilo, I don't understand his concern about the 'conservative politician' Peter Howson used to be the minister of the crown responsible for aboriginal affairs. However, could we just cite page 50 of the book "Aboriginal Self Determination: The whiteman's dream" by Dr Gary Johns instead as the way forward?

As a substitute for the term "pure blood respondents", may I suggest we could replace it with "respondents without a non aboriginal ancestry".

So then the new edit would be as follows:

"Although official blood quantum statistics are no longer available, a majority of indigenous Australians are now of mixed descent, [4] with a figure of 80,000 being given as a common estimate for the number of respondents without a non aboriginal ancestry. [5]."

If that's not acceptable, perhaps hilo could demonstrate his or her own good faith by making constructive suggestions as to ways this information could be included into the article in a lasting way that would be acceptable to all? (talk) 02:10, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

1. "Blood quantum" is ancient racist nonsense, based on some view that if one's ancestors are not 100% Aboriginal, then one isn't Aboriginal. That view disappeared in any legal or practical sense decades ago.
2. If you don't see a problem with using as a source the personal musings of a conservative politician, no matter what his role over 40 years ago, you have no idea of what an independent source is. FFS, he's from the party whose Prime Minister wouldn't even apologise to Aboriginal people just 8 years ago!
3. I will admit to struggling with the meaning of "respondents without a non aboriginal ancestry".
4. As a general point I think the aim of these additions needs to be clarified. What, precisely, is the point of them? HiLo48 (talk) 04:22, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

With respect hilo, I'm pretty sure your revisions are being made in bad faith. I came to this article wanting to know how many aborigines there are of pure blood. Aren't other people going to want to come along wanting to know?

You apparently haven't noticed I've removed Mr Howson's newspaper article, and replaced it with a reference from a book. It's not a self published title. I've removed the references to pure blood. How about we go with the wording "with a figure of 80,000 being given as a common estimate for the number respondents with sole aboriginal ancestry." Or how about "a single ancestry"?

What more can I do to accommodate you? Why don't you make a constructive suggestion?

Can I put the information back up in one form or another, or do we ask for a third opinion? (talk) 04:37, 8 October 2013 (UTC) - are you the same person as Any chance you (both?) could register so that conversation here can become more coherent?
Beyond that, I shall simply reiterate point 4. from above - What is your goal? HiLo48 (talk) 04:44, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm having a bit of trouble joining up. My aim is to include the common estimate for the number of aboriginals of untainted bloodlines in the article on indigenous Australians. I came here wanting to know this information and couldn't find it. The reason I wanted that information is that Australian aborigines are notable for their propensity to intermarry, and I need a citiion for an essay I am writing. I think wikipedia is a fantastic concept. It's probably the greatest repository of knowledge the world has ever know. I want to make it bigger and better. That's about it.

I think we'll just refer it. (talk) 04:54, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

You will not find a reliable source for the number of indigenous Australians whose ancestry is entirely drawn from other indigenous Australians, because there are too few official records to make such an estimate. That's why all we have are random opinions like Dr Johns', or haphazard calculations like that made by the Queensland Protector in the 1920s. However if you need a source for an essay and you're comfortable with Dr Johns' views, you should use his book as your source. Wikipedia is not a reliable source for essays, so there's no need to seek an amendment to this article in order to complete your essay. Euryalus (talk) 05:01, 8 October 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Mercer, Phil (31 March 2003). "Aborigines turn to Islam". BBC. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Dr Gary Johns, Aboriginal Self Determination: The Whiteman's Dream (2010) 50.
  5. ^

Third opinion[edit]

The contested edit is that this be incorporated into the section of the article entitled "intermarriage rate":

Although official blood quantum statistics are no longer available, a majority of indigenous Australians are now of mixed descent, [1] with a figure of 80,000 being given as a common estimate for the number of respondents with a single ancestry. [2]. (talk) 04:54, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

A couple of things:
  • Intermarriage rates are already pretty well represented in the current article wording, which references the Census.
  • Your second source doesn't seem to support your wording - it simply quotes the 80,000 figure as an estimate made by the Queensland Protector of Aboriginals in the 1920s, 40 years prior to any rigorous process of census-taking among indigenous populations.
  • The phrase "although official blood quantum statistics are no longer available" implies that official blood quantum statistics were accurate. This is explicitly not the case, as the pre-1971 census does not warrant any reliability in its calculations of indigenous heritage.
  • Removing this wording and also the wording wrongly attributed to the second source, we are left with something like: "Blood quantum statistics are no longer available, and were unreliable when calculated. In the 1920s, 40 years before a census would be taken, the Queensland Protector of Aboriginals asserted that the population of pure-blood Aborigines was 80,000. A former Commonwealth Minister, Dr Gary Johns, has written that a majority of indigenous Australians are now of mixed descent." And all this runs up against the actual data in the article, which covers these points already but with more reliable sources.
  • Lastly, and per HiLo, the proposed insertion needs a point. The majority of every people are of mixed descent, if you go back far enough. The article isn't an indiscriminate mass of opinion - to make an addition regarding Dr Johns' work, we'd need to have an idea of what significant argument Dr Johns was advancing. This is not meant as disrespect to Dr Johns - I hhavent read his book but no doubt he is advancing some kind of theory when he makes the statement you're quoting. But what is it, and is it significant enough for inclusion here?
Views welcome. Euryalus (talk) 04:55, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Even if it's just a matter of finding further verifiable references. Let's just decide to make such an addition in principle first. I say the form of words itself is about right. (talk) 05:08, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I think that is the reverse of the approach we should be taking. I think we need to establish several things, one of them is whether the Protector was talking about all of Australia or just Queensland. Another one is what point Dr Johns is trying to make. Surely this information can be brought here to discuss? Peacemaker67 (send... over) 05:11, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Yep. In passing the Protector's estimate is also unreliable as it was made in the 1920s, prior to the first actual Census of indigenous Australians in 1971. Sorry anon, but it remains unclear to me what the "principle" behind a proposed insertion is. That Dr Johns believes most indigenous Australians have mixed ancestry? That alone is not a sufficiently notable point for inclusion - can you indicate what the wider view is (as in the answer to the question "And therefore ...")? Euryalus (talk) 05:18, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Dr Gary Johns mentions in his book that most indigenous Australians are of mixed descent in the context of the intermarriage rate being the blue ribband lagging indicator of integration. But it occurs to me that if we can find a verifiable reference for the most common estimate of the number of full bloods being 80,000, then the fact that most people who self identify in the census as aboriginal are of mixed descent is a corollary anyway. So for the sake of uncomplicating matters, I'm quite happy to drop the idea of using his book as a reference.

But are you all happy to proceed with that form of words if and when a verifiable reference for the figure of 80,000 can be supplied?

I think we are going to be in business. (talk) 05:32, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, no. For starters, there are the issues with accuracy given the age of the information, as well as lack of information about what population the Protector was talking about. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 05:36, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

No one is saying it's anything other than an estimate. A ball park figure. To me all that matters is that the estimate has been made and that it has been written up in a responsible source. I'm sure the third party will see it that way.

I've put a professional researcher onto it, so that might take up to 2 weeks. My man is sure the figure of 80,000 appeared in a peer reviewed journal one time recently. Can't we simply add a footnote discussing reliability issues? Surely that's the way reasonable people would deal with it. So if we can find and substitute another verifiable reference and add a disclaimer, do we have a deal?

I'm bending over backwards to be compromising. (talk) 05:58, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

LOL. You're bending over backwards to get meaningless information into the article for unexplained reasons. It's also time to mention that the kind of claims you're wanting in the article are precisely those made by people arguing against ongoing government support for Aboriginal people in Australia. My suspicions are growing in proportion to your persistence and lack of anything solid here. You have been told why such figures are effectively unavailable, yet you persist. HiLo48 (talk) 06:05, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
This and some related issues have been discussed several times on this talk page over the years - unfortunately some of those discussions involved sockpuppets of User:Premier so their value became limited. But good news that you've put a "professional researcher" on the case, we can surely await the publication of their findings in a peer-reviewed journal or the identification of genuinely credible alternative sources, before we add anything to the article. There is after all no rush. - Euryalus (talk) 06:32, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

The reason is this: I visited this article hoping to find figures for the number of full bloods and I didn't find it, so I decided to be bold.

We couldn't reach agreement. That's ok. We didn't necessarily have too. Let's just wait for the third party.

80,000 would be about right if you look at the intermarriage trend line over the last 30 years. Maybe even a little bit on the high side, but as part of the compromise, I'm prepared to leave the drafting of the disclaimer up to you people. (talk) 06:40, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Peacemaker67 and I are the third parties. And a view that a figure "looks about right" based on your analysis of other data, is original research. - Euryalus (talk) 06:43, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

We have a reference from a peer reviewed journal on the way, but in the meantime I believe The National Observer is held in the PANDORA archive at the national library is it not?

It has stated:

"Full-blood aboriginals are few in number — perhaps 50,000 — and are subjected to intense cultural pressures."

I'm happy for your disclaimer to state it could b a high end estimate. But what about that as one of the references?

Try to be constructive and dispassionate, I certainly am. (talk) 06:53, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Latest revision:
We could go this way as well in the interim:
Although official blood quantum statistics are no longer available, a majority of indigenous Australians are now of mixed descent, with figures of around 50,000 being given as common estimates for the number of respondents with a single ancestry. [3] [4] (talk) 07:12, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
You have been told that any figure you obtain for "the number of full bloods" will be very, very uncertain. Why persist, in both seeking the number and, even worse, putting such a meaningless figure in the article? HiLo48 (talk) 07:15, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I can't help it that people have made these estimates. What I propose now is that you folks come up with a disclaimer we can add as a footnote to the new material. That's your contribution. (talk) 07:23, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

The estimates are not wild and woolly. There was an accurate census of the number of full bloods in 1961. Since then we know the aggravate numbers from the census. And the intermarriage rates.
We've put men on the moon mate. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:35, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
There is no consensus in favour of you or anyone else adding original research to this article. Just as there was no consensus when it was proposed on every previous occasion. When your "professional researcher" produces reliable statistics on pre-1967 indigenous ancestry, and has their findings published in an independent peer-reviewed journal (and not in political opinion mags like the National Observer) we can no doubt discuss again. But for now, as always it has been fun to discuss this with you but from my perspective the conversation might be heading towards a natural end. Euryalus (talk) 07:46, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I've asked for a third umpire. Is that you?

It's ready to run now, we can keep on improving it over time. (talk) 07:48, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

It's not ready to run, you have no consensus. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 08:54, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I think you're going on a bit silly about it and showing bad faith. It seems amazing I found any intermix statistics in the article at all, given census information itself is all volunteered and nothing to live by.

We will see what comes of the dispute resolution process. (talk) 10:11, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

What dispute resolution process? HiLo48 (talk) 10:22, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I want it to go to binding arbitration, but don't you have to ask for a third opinion first? (talk) 01:04, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

If you want to get anywhere, you need consensus. So far, nobody has agreed with you. HiLo48 (talk) 01:17, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
WP:Third opinion is only for 2-party disputes, you've already got more than 3 opinions here so if you filed a request there it would be removed. What you probably want is to start an WP:RFC and if that fails to reach a consensus take it to WP:DRN... but since you've yet to provide a reliable source it would all be a waste of time. I suggest you read WP:RS and stop arguing until you have something concrete to base a discussion on. Tobus2 (talk) 01:26, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Well put, Tobus2 --Wikiain (talk) 23:13, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

About your Third Opinion request: I'm a regular volunteer at 3O. Your request has been removed due to the number of editors involved here. 3O is only for disputes involving exactly 2 editors. If you still need content dispute resolution, consider a RFC or a filing at DRN or MedCom. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:22, 13 October 2013 (UTC)


Para on Smallpox doesn't seem to make sense.[edit]

"A smallpox epidemic in 1789 is estimated to have killed up to 90% of the Darug people. Some scholars have attributed the outbreak to European settlers,[46][47][48] while other writers, such as Judy Campbell,[49] argue that Macassan fishermen from South Sulawesi and nearby islands may have introduced smallpox to Australia prior to European settlement. Reviews by Christopher Warren (2007)[50] and in 2013[51] and Craig Mear[52] suggest that the outbreak was most likely caused by British supplies of virus imported with the First Fleet. Warren (2013) proposed that the British had no choice as they were confronted with dire circumstances when, among other factors, they ran out of ammunition for their muskets."

"... British supplies of virus imported.." because "..they ran out of ammunition for their muskets." I am in no position to attempt a correction but it looks pretty odd to me. (talk) 09:25, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

It made sense to me, but I've added a bit of clarification as stated in the source. Tobus (talk) 10:35, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
I get what’s being said in the paragraph. i don’t think it’s perfect wording; rather the wordings of its intended meanings could have a little improvement, but the problems aren’t huge nor is it unintelligible. It helps me that i have read many scholarly sources on the general subject and many of the original eye–witness accounts written by people there at the time.
I don’t know what looks 'odd from your point of view'. Do you mean from your personal opinion point of view? Do you mean from points in evidence sources in mind in your point of view? If so which evidence sources?
We have more quality scholarly sources available for this unpleasant history of my British ancestors’ "colonialist war invasion" and convict 'dump'—and i base that description on many more scholarly sources and sources written by eye witnesses at the time (eg. Tench); – obviously, i wasn’t there at the time as one of the eye–witnesses nor, obviously, there at the time in a position of European decision making power, thus i don’t have an opinion as if i did it would come out of personal no–knowledge and of first–hand ignorance, not having been there. Today, obviously, that applies to all of us.
Can you see that the expression "… but it looks pretty odd to me" without any reference to sources, suggests your personal opinion point of view, rather than your specifying scholarly sources and their point(s) of view, with which to compare the paragraph. Correct me with sources if i got that tiny interpretation wrong of your too few words above. Correct me if i’m worrying about your meaning more than due—because Wikipedia has had, in my 8 years of experiences, so many personal opinion propagandists here to push their view onto it, which i have done too many painstaking corrections of, from scholarly sources—which shouldn’t be necessary; hence the worry.
Reliable sources have the fundamental role here in encyclopaedia Wikipedia. Opinions of all of us editors do not stand for anything in the published articles of Wikipedia here.
Europeans then had extraordinarily different whole world views from us Europeans today … ; notably, British just prior to 1788 had lost the American War of Independence, in what became the U.S.A., as a colony–outlet for their mounting numbers of convicts, for one very significant scholarly established recorded piece of history pressuring towards colonisation of 'Terra Australis'. Not to mention the couple of centuries from the 1600s until 1807 of my European ancestors’ massive slave trading from Africa to the Americas, and even some in 1788 to Australia. In my British ancestors’ world-views of those days, of waning Dickensian England, with its "satanic mills" …, coal mining … and pea soup fogs, and chimney sweeps …, their convicts, massive numbers from over–incarceration for the clichéd 'stealing a loaf of bread', were perceived by the then powers as if leper-like, undesirables.
The cited–in–the–article most current scholarly reference source:
--Macropneuma 11:16, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
A recent, helpfully–explanatory and concise brief few paragraphs, reference source, of pages 153–4 in:
--Macropneuma 11:29, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Re 'scholarly articles by Christopher Warren in regards to the claim of SmallPox.

Perhaps you can tell me what Mr Warrens' 'academic' qualifications are ?

As far as I can tell : he is a political agitator who has been heavily involved so called 'History Wars'

I doubt that his claims over the use of smallpox as a weapon have any scholarly weight. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

I've just noticed this, user (please sign your contributions). Warren's articles should not be lightly dismissed. He describes himself in the 2013 article as an "independent scholar" and states no qualifications, but does provide an email address so he could be asked. However, what matters is that the articles cited have been published in well-established, refereed scholarly journals, Aboriginal History and Journal of Australian Studies. The latter states: "Journal of Australian Studies is a fully refereed international journal published by the University of Queensland Press on behalf of Australian Studies, Curtin University of Technology, in association with the International Australian Studies Association and the Australian Public Intellectual Network." Wikiain (talk) 23:23, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

I was also baffled by this paragraph, esp. since viruses have not been discovered until the 20th century; so what was it that the First Fleet brought with them? I am not convinced that the word "import" is appropriate here (would you say that the US imported the nuclear bomb to Hiroshima?), and the use of the scientific term in vitro only adds to the confusion because it seems to indicate some kind of research technique (?). Not so sure about that. Corwin.amber (talk) 15:58, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Quite frankly the idea of the British carrying In Vitro supplies of smallpox and deliberately using viruses in germ warfare in 1789, is patently ridiculous. This was a decade before Edward Jenner, 70 years before germ theory and 100 years before the discovery of viruses. Unless they had a time machine, this could never happen. Why we're even debating this stupid claim is beyond me. Philip72 (talk) 21:47, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Yes: Warren's claim that the British had "viable smallpox virus in bottles" is anachronistically expressed, implying that the British knew about the virus. But it does not exclude bottles of material that in fact contained the virus - material that the British knew was infectious although they did not know exactly how. The knowledge at the time was effective: see Smallpox as to variolation. Warren perhaps should have been supposing bottles of powdered smallpox scab—perhaps not brought from Britain but picked up on the voyage in order to ensure "freshness". Regarding smallpox infection as a contemporary weapon of war, using blankets and handkerchieves, see Elizabeth A. Fenn, "Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst" (2000) 86 Journal of American History 1552, linked from Siege of Fort Pitt#Biological warfare involving smallpox. However, as to what could result in variolation and what could be fatal, let us hear from someone who is medically qualified. Wikiain (talk) 02:29, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

PS - That link to the Fenn article (which is to teaching materials) may be a copyright breach. The journal's website says that some material is free, but I can't check whether that covers this article because (guess what?) Norton Antivirus tells me that the site contains a threat. Wikiain (talk) 03:19, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Australian politicians of Indigenous ancestry[edit]

This section is about the mainstream political system and has been developed, so far, only as to federal politics. I think it needs additions for States and Territories. For example, in NSW there is Linda Burney. Maybe we could assemble suggestions here and then move them into the section when they seem to be sufficiently comprehensive. To add other levels of government would be more complex. To be a local councillor might not be sufficiently notable, though the Torres Strait Regional Authority is a special case. Specifically Indigenous bodies, such as the Land Councils and (once) ATSIC, may need a different focus.--Wikiain (talk) 01:37, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

There is the List of Indigenous Australian politicians article, which may prove useful. --Roisterer (talk) 05:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Most helpful! I've incorporated that information and also improved the List article. I've put hidden notes into both articles that they may be wrong about Norfolk Island.--Wikiain (talk) 02:46, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Old data[edit]

The data in this article are relatively old — population estimates in Section 4 are based on 2006 census data. Suggest that Section 4 be updated with the results from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Data in sections 6.3-6.10 are also relatively old. Suggest that these be updated with data from the forthcoming 2014 Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report to be released by the Productivity Commission in late 2014 — Preceding unsigned comment added by LMCD PC (talkcontribs) 00:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

we cant use data from an unpublished report, once the productivity commission officially releases the report later in 2014 editors will be able evaluate its usability then Gnangarra 00:39, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

migration from India ~4000 years ago[edit]

User:Bosom has twice attempted to introduce text to this article and to History of Australia about Indian migration, and these edits have been reverted by User:HiLo48 who requested bringing it here. The original editor appears to be new to Wikipedia, so may not have understood short edit comments. The article cited is from Nature [1] which in turn reports on research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America [2]

I'm not convinced that Bosom's text has correctly interpreted either source, nor indeed that Nature accurately described the outcomes of the original research, however the concept does appear to be worthy of a small addition to both articles. I don't know if the sample sizes used in the research are large enough to be representative of entire populations, as genetics is not my field.

I propose adding a sentence to the 4th paragraph of Arrival and occupation of Australia after the Denisovan sentence along the lines of

A 2012 paper reports that there is also evidence of genetic flow from India to northern Australia estimated at slightly over four thousand years ago.
ref: Irina Pugach; Frederick Delfin; Ellen Gunnarsdóttir; Manfred Kayser; Mark Stoneking (January 14, 2013). "Genome-wide data substantiate Holocene gene flow from India to Australia". PNAS. 110 (5): 1803–1808. doi:10.1073/pnas.1211927110. PMC 3562786Freely accessible. PMID 23319617. 
That looks to me like a sensible addition, and that it be cited to the Proceedings paper, so people aren't checking a second-hand source. A similar addition at History of Australia could be appropriate, before the words "But trepang fisherman did..." - and get rid of the "But" in that sentence. hamiltonstone (talk) 11:50, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
the only issue I see is in the small area from which the sample was drawn, they refer to Northern Territories in the abstract. in the body they refer to solely Northern Territory[3] with data sourced from this to find the sample size of just 10 8 from NT and 2 from elsewhere. I would suggest that what is suggest for here is appropriate, but not for History of Australia while the genetic link is there there is nothing specific which indicates how it occurred, history of Australia article is about actual recorded people movements. Gnangarra 12:44, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, that's an intersting point Gnangarra, re appropriateness for History of Australia, and I think I am persuaded by it. Perhaps just for this article, then.hamiltonstone (talk) 13:13, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I have put it in this article, and agree that it's not significant for History of Australia until and unless more is known. I was also concerned about giving undue weight to something likely fairly small (although interesting and potentially significant to some people's ancestry). --Scott Davis Talk 01:00, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Are they one ethnicity or separate ethnic groups?[edit]

Are they subgroups of one ethnicity? Erieadieu (talk) 16:20, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

It's a question that doesn't really work with Australia's indigenous people. Ethnicity is such a nebulous concept, the answer could be whatever the respondent felt on the day. If language is considered, then no, because there are maybe 400 different language groups. HiLo48 (talk) 22:04, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Population figures[edit]

Population figures are all over the place in this article with source date range for "current" number anywhere between 2006-2014 even the info uses 2001-2014 dates. While there the "Regions with significant populations" in the info box is just a list of State population numbers which has no direct correlation to the subjects owns demographic distribution. Gnangarra 03:21, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Also, the bottom population map of the four doesn't make sense. It says that "Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as a percentage of the population" is much lower than the percentage of Aboriginals alone. Robert Ayers, 3 July 2015. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:558:6045:103:1981:52AC:C04A:D919 (talk) 21:03, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

possible addition to Culture or Issues[edit]

Suggested subheading: Controversies

It might be a propos to briefly mention the controversy over the 1990 book Mutant Message Down Under, by Marlo Morgan, which purported to be based on personal interactions with the "Real People" tribe but was later debunked as fictitious.

(Suggestion of a more authoritative non-fiction book would be good to append to this.) Cliffewiki (talk) 18:33, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Cliffewiki, but my sense is that this is a broad top-level article, and to include things like Morgan's little escapade would be giving it undue weight. I wouldn't include a 'controversies'-type section at all - Marlo Morgan, Sally Morgan, that western Australian painter-writer whose name escapes me and her infamous alter-ego - i think they are all distractions from the important content we want to deliver in this article about Australia's first peoples. Cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 00:25, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Term missing?[edit]

Greetings. I ran across this some time ago while writing a thesis on racial discrimination around the world, and wonder if some mention should be made in regards to a common term (racially motivated) used in regards to the indigenous Australians. The term I'm thinking of is "Abo" or "Abbo." It's noted here: List_of_ethnic_slurs as having originated within the indigenous culture to begin with, and was considered racist in the 1950's, with a mild racist consideration today. IE: Some consider it racist, while others take a neutral tone. My question is, considering the history of this particular word, should it too be included, perhaps after "Black?" Kitsunedawn (talk) 05:15, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

200 languages or dialects left[edit]

>"Although there were over 250–300 spoken languages with 600 dialects at the start of European settlement, fewer than 200 of these remain in use,...."

Does the "200" refer to the "250-300 spoken languages," or does it refer to the "600 dialects"? Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 02:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Those numbers go back to a 1994 source (the Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia) so should be updated using more recent sources. I'll do so shortly. Dougg (talk) 06:38, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Okay, done. Does it look ok? I've taken out the number of dialects as it's extremely speculative (and any counting of dialects is going to be very dodgy). Dougg (talk) 06:56, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Introduction present hypotheses as facts[edit]

The introduction seems to present hypotheses as facts.

To say that "Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands" is formally false (obviously the original inhabitants are long since dead). If we were take it to mean the descendants of the original inhabitants, it is still on very shaky ground.

The ancestry and origin of Indigenous Australians is a complex and contentious issue and will no doubt continue to be a matter for scholarly debate, and all of this discussion is too detailed for the intro, but we can't start the article by assuming facts not in evidence.
We use the term Indigenous Australians to refer to members of groups that were in Australia prior to European settlement and their descendants. It can arguably be extended to their known ancestors or cultural predecessors. I'm going to get the ball rolling by "being bold" and editing the intro.

Ordinary Person (talk) 04:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

That certainly is bold, and thank you for raising some of the issues. There's a couple of problems here. The first is that both the old lead and the new one focus on the question of origin. But this is not the primary use of the term. The main use of the term is to refer to contemporary Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, not those who were here "prior to European colonisation". The second is that the lead is far too involved with the question of origin, which is actually not that important in real life, nor in the article (most of which is about society, language, culture, population, and contemporary issues). The lead already gave undue weight to the definitional issues and now it gives it even more undue weight. The debate about gene flow etc is covered in the body text. If you think there's a line of evidence that is generally accepted in the scientific community (which tends to be an issue in this area) but omitted from the body text, then it would potentially be worth introducing, but in the main text rather than in the lead.
For the introduction, how about this, replacing the entire first four paragraphs:

"Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands prior to European colonisation. The earliest definite human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man, which have been dated at about 40,000 years old, although the time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers, with estimates dating back as far as 125,000 years."

That's all we need in the lead on this subject in my view. hamiltonstone (talk) 11:43, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Languages in info box[edit]

Regard this edit [4] - I don't think the info box is improved by listing some of the several hundred indigenous languages. There are enough listed that the info box is cluttered, but the list is not definitive. Given that Indigenous Australian languages is linked, I think the original is preferable. That fact that most are extinct (assuming that to be true) is probably more important - in the limited space of an info box - than a partial list.

What do other editors think? Mitch Ames (talk) 12:32, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

suggest that it states just that there were in excess of 300 languages with 700 dialects and link the language article, though I have reservations about the accuracy of that article as well. After working so long on Noongar language project I have yet to see any serious language studies that even come close to identifying the reality of the languages spoken Gnangarra 13:00, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
I've reverted to "Several hundred Indigenous Australian languages (many extinct or nearly so) ...". I also removed Pama–Nyungan, because it is a subset of "Indigenous Australian languages". Mitch Ames (talk) 11:22, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Frequency of pregnancy in historically recorded Aborigines[edit]

Is it known how often Aboriginal women fell pregnant while they still lived as foragers? I wonder because they were culturally more like farmers than typical hunter-gatherers.

2015-12-31 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Gallery removal[edit]

The portrait gallery has been quickly removed by ExRat, 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 Aboriginal Australians.) Wikiain (talk) 11:56, 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| |group=Indigenous Australians
(Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders)


Yagan Statue 2005.jpg
Trugannini 1866.jpg
David Unaipon.jpg
Albert Namatjira portrait.jpg
201000 - Opening Ceremony Yothu Yindi perform 2 - 3b - 2000 Sydney opening ceremony photo.jpg
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu in Nov 2012.jpg
Cathy Freeman (cropped).jpg
Recognise Campaign Adam Goodes Presser.jpg
Jessica Mauboy November 2014.jpg
Ernie Dingo.jpg
Christine Anu 1.jpg
Deborah Mailman, August 2012.jpg
Noel Pearson 8Feb10.jpg

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 18 external links on Indigenous Australians. Please take a moment to review my edit. You may add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it, if I keep adding bad data, but formatting bugs should be reported instead. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether, but should be used as a last resort. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

YesY An editor has reviewed this edit and fixed any errors that were found.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 13:56, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 5 external links on Indigenous Australians. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 17:16, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


There is a map available at Does anybody know whether there is a vectorized version of it for use on WP ? ♆ CUSH ♆ 14:19, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

That map is probably a reproduction from the source at Mitch Ames (talk) 00:49, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 14 external links on Indigenous Australians. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 04:43, 12 January 2017 (UTC)