Native Flora found during Narlijia Experiences by Tourism AustraliaOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
The understanding and use of appropriate language is an essential part of respecting cultures. If you're new to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander cultures (or need a little refresher) here's a few words and their definitions to get you on your way.
Child Painted with Traditional Markings using Ochre (2015) by Warrwick Thornton/Brendan FletcherOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
"Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples"
People of Aboriginal descent (or who identify as Aboriginal) from mainland Australia and its off-shore islands; and people from the Torres Strait Islands between the tip of Cape York in Queensland and Papua New Guinea. You'll often see them referred to as 'First Australians' or 'Traditional Custodians of the land'.
Need help with respectful referencing? See the RAP Good Practice Guide by Reconciliation Australia.
Exploring Gadigal Country with Aunty Margret Campbell (2018) by Archie SartracomOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
An Indigenous person who has gained recognition as a custodian of knowledge and lore, and has permission to disclose knowledge and beliefs. Elders often play main support and counselling roles for community. You might see them referred to as 'Aunty' or 'Uncle' as a sign of respect.
Exploring rocks on Adnyamathanha Country at Wilpena Pound Resort (2018) by Tourism AustraliaOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
A term given to the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, recognising their ongoing traditional and cultural connections to Country - the original owners of the land we now know as Australia.
Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours Immersive Experience (2018) by Tourism AustraliaOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons are 'custodians', responsible for maintaining the land and sharing its cultural knowledge, rituals, language, stories, songs, dances, etc. that are connected to their Country.
"We don't own the land, the land owns us."
Aboriginal men from Lirrwi Tourism performing traditional practices on Yolngu Country (2015) by Tourism AustraliaOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
A reference to a group of First Nations people associated with a particular place or Country. More generally, 'mob' identifies who you are and where you're from.
Want to find out more?: Visit Deadly Stories
Aerial of Uluru (2019) by Tourism AustraliaOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
The interdependent relationship between the ancestral lands, skies, and seas to which an Aboriginal person is connected - and more than you can see or touch! Country is all encompassing of place, culture, language, identity, family, law and spirituality.
Still a bit unclear?: Read more in What is Country?.
Aboriginal guide Dwayne Bannon-Harrison performing a smoking ceremony during a traditional welcome on a Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness tour (2018) by Ngaran Ngaran Culture AwarenessOriginal Source: Destination NSW Content Library
"Welcome to Country"
A formal ceremony which can include song, dance, smoking ceremony or speech in language and/or English delivered by an Elder, Traditional Owner or other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (permitted by Traditional Owners) to welcome visitors onto Country.
Watch a Smoking Ceremony in this story.
Maruku Arts, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, NT (2018) by Tourism AustraliaOriginal Source: Tourism Australia Image Gallery
"Acknowledgement of Country"
A formal acknowledgement of the land's Traditional Owners, given by a First Nations or non-Indigenous person at the start of any gathering or event. This practice shows cultural respect for the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Country.
Learn how to give one in this story.
Ikara Flinders Ranges by Wilpena Pound ResortOriginal Source: Welcome to Country: Wilpena Pound Resort
Songlines are a fundamental aspect of First Nations cultures. They have been passed down through thousands of generations, creating a tapestry of stories and laws that map Country and Culture. Recorded in song, dance, art or story, Songlines tell the origins of the land and the laws people have to live by.
Learn more in this article by Common Ground.
Stars and the Milky Way shining over the Stockton Sand Dunes in Port Stephens (2020) by Destination NSWOriginal Source: Destination NSW Content Library
The Dreaming is more than a single concept. It is used to describe the all-encompassing ideas of Creation, law, language and lore, as well as the enduring continuance of First Nations cultures. The Dreaming exists in the past, present and future, and acts as a set of cultural ideas, stories and knowledge that connect and inform all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life.