Australian Aboriginal Studies

Colin Tatz's article provides a provocative and ostensibly 'different' perspective on indigenous suicide. There are multiple problems with the arguments and evidence presented, and the article, as a whole, is arguably more of a rhetorical 'argument' and ideological position and challenge than a research report, considered review of the theoretical or research literatures addressing this phenomenon, or substantive analysis of a critical and salient social problem. It should not be confused with a systematic, evidence and research findings–based study and/or evaluation of the evidence of others. Given the status of the author, the seriousness of the issue, and the social problem construction character of the public discussion to date, it is important that some counter views and caveats are offered, ideally from a spectrum of disciplinary, professional practice, and cross-cultural perspectives. Professional and 'research-based' analyses, accounts and evaluations have real consequences, not only in the context of prevention and intervention programs, policy initiatives and reviews, and funding in the health sector, but also with respect to public understandings of science and, in this case, health and prevention programs. The article and position offered by Tatz could well have unfortunate consequences with respect to prejudicial disciplinary and professional practice judgements, and the discounting of important and very necessary initiatives and programs at the level of preventive public health and individual and community intervention. Yes Yes
Sample network, conventional notation
In the study of marriage networks, primary emphasis is given neither to classificatory schemes nor to normative precepts, but to the emergent patterning of consanguinal and affinal connectivities. The present paper develops certain aspects of this approach with respect to Australian Aboriginal populations. It demonstrates the importance of bipartite or dual organisation of matrimonial networks among both 'remote' and 'settled' Australian Aboriginal groups and addresses a number of theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to the definition, the delimitation, and the structuring of marriage network entities.
The Queensland Government is increasingly using participatory planning as a means to improve infrastructure and service delivery to Indigenous settlements. In addition to technical and economic goals, participatory planning practice seeks also to achieve social development goals, including empowerment, capacity building, community control and ownership. This article presents the findings of an evaluation of one such planning project, conducted at Old Mapoon in 1995. Despite various efforts to follow participatory processes, the plan had mixed success in achieving social development goals. This suggests some misunderstandings between the practice of participatory planning and the workings of local governance. It also presents some opportunities for participatory planning methods to be integrated with more inclusive forms of governance.
The Coorong and Lower Murray Lakes in South Australia have long been recognised under the Ramsar Convention for their natural heritage values. Less well known is the fact that this area also has high social and cultural values, encompassing the traditional lands and waters (ruwe) of the Ngarrindjeri Nation. This unique ecosystem is currently teetering on the verge of collapse, a situation arguably brought about by prolonged drought after decades of unsustainable management practices. While at the federal level there have been moves to better integrate typically disparate 'cultural' and 'natural' heritage management regimes--thereby supporting Indigenous groups in their attempts to gain a greater voice in how their traditional country is managed--the distance has not yet been bridged in the Coorong. Here, current management planning continues to emphasise natural heritage values, with limited practical integration of cultural values or Ngarrindjeri viewpoints. As the future of the Coorong and Lower Murray Lakes is being debated, we suggest decision makers would do well to look to the Ngarrindjeri for guidance on the integration of natural and cultural values in management regimes as a vital step towards securing the long-term ecological viability of this iconic part of Australia.
An often cited feature of traditional songs from Central Australia (CA songs) is the obfuscation of meaning. This arises partly from the difficulties of translation and partly from the difficulties in identifying words in song. The latter is the subject of this paper, where I argue it is a by-product of adhering to the requirements of a highly structured art form. Drawing upon a set of songs from the Arandic language group, I describe the CA song as having three independent obligatory components (text, rhythm and melody) and specify how text is set to rhythm within a rhythmic and a phonological constraint. I show how syllable counting, for the purposes of text setting, reflects a feature of the Arandic sound system. The resultant rhythmic text is then set to melody while adhering to a pattern of text alliteration.
This paper details research conducted in Queensland during the first year of operation of the new Coroners Act 2003. Information was gathered from all completed investigations between December 2003 and December 2004 across five categories of death: accidental, suicide, natural, medical and homicide. It was found that 25 percent of the total number of Indigenous deaths recorded in 2004 were reported to, and investigated by, the Coroner, in comparison to 9.4 percent of non-Indigenous deaths. Moreover, Indigenous people were found to be over-represented in each category of death, except in death in a medical setting, where they were absent.
The Murray Black collection of Aboriginal skeletal remains has been a mainstay of bio-anthropological research in Australia, but relatively little thought has been given to how and why this collection may differ from archaeologically obtained collections. The context in which remains were located and recovered has created bias within the sample, which was further skewed within the component of the collection sent to the Australian Institute of Anatomy, resulting in limitations for the research potential of the collection. This does not render all research on the collection unviable, but it demonstrates the importance of understanding the context of a skeletal collection when assessing its suitability for addressing specific research questions.
Location map of the Top End, showing places mentioned in the text
Developmental phases of the Top End northern river floodplains  
North Australian Holocene environmental and climatic phases (grey shading indicates main mounding period)
C1 graphs by site type  
The coastal plains of northern Australia are relatively recent formations that have undergone dynamic evolution through the mid to late Holocene. The development and use of these landscapes across the Northern Territory have been widely investigated by both archaeologists and geomorphologists. Over the past 15 years, a number of research and consultancy projects have focused on the archaeology of these coastal plains, from the Reynolds River in the west to the southern coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in the east. More than 300 radiocarbon dates are now available and these have enabled us to provide a more detailed interpretation of the pattern of human settlement. In addition to this growing body of evidence, new palaeoclimatic data that is relevant to these northern Australian contexts is becoming available. This paper provides a synthesis of the archaeological evidence, integrates it within the available palaeo-environmental frameworks and characterises the cultural chronology of human settlement of the Northern Territory coastal plains over the past 10 000 years.
The rapid development of new information and communications technologies, an increase in affordable, small mobile technologies and the penetration of the internet and mobile telephony over the past decade account for an explosion in new modes and channels for communication and multimedia production. Internationally, such developments have led to substantial ethnographic inquiry into youth and the emergence of new social practices surrounding new media. Some researchers posit that digital technologies are enabling new kinds of agency and engagement in learning and others suggest that new thinking about language and literacy has been catalysed. In Australia, accounts of remote Indigenous youth culture in public or policy discourse tend not to portray their agentive participation in new forms of learning, multimodal practice and production or online communication. Additionally, relatively little ethnographic information is available on how Indigenous youth are shaping the creative, cultural and communicative uses of new media, and how and why these practices are taking hold in remote contexts. This paper looks at the uptake of new media technologies in remote Indigenous contexts and the implications for youth learning and cultural practice by tracing the way in which social relations and communication styles have altered across the generations. Data gathered through ethnographic research indicate that where young people have access to new media technologies, expertise is acquired with ease, often leading to the rapid development of new communication practices and new forms of cultural production and public participation. Through participating in collaborative research young people are also reflecting on their changing cultural practice and giving voice to these reflections.
In April 1993 Australian Rules footballer Nicky Winmar responded to on-field racist abuse by lifting his jersey and pointing to his chest. The photographic image of that event is now famous as a response to racial abuse and has come to be seen as starting a movement against racism in football. The racial connotations in the image might seem a foregone conclusion: the power, appeal and dominant meaning of the photograph might appear to be self-evident. But neither the fame of the image nor its racial connotation was automatic. Through interviews with the photographers and analysis of the use of the image in the media, we explore how that picture came to be of such symbolic importance, and how it has remained something to be re-shown and emulated. Rather than analyse the image as a photograph or work of art, we uncover some of its early history and explore the debates that continue to swirl around its purpose and meaning. We also draw attention to the way the careful study of photographs might enhance the study of sport, race and racism.
This paper challenges some of the commonly held assumptions and 'knowledges' about Indigenous young people and their engagement in physical activity. These include their 'natural' ability, and the use of sport as a panacea for health, education and behavioural issues. Data is presented from qualitative research undertaken with a group of 14 urban Indigenous young people with a view to 'speaking back' to these commentaries. This research draws on Critical Race Theory in order to make visible the taken-for-granted assumptions about Indigenous Australians made by the dominant white, Western culture. Multiple, shifting and complex identities were expressed in the young people's articulation of the place and meaning of sport and physical activity in their lives. They both engaged in, and resisted, dominant Western discourses regarding representations of Indigenous people in sport. The paper gives voice to these young people in an attempt to disrupt and subvert hegemonic discourses.
Aboriginal Australian initiatives to restore balanced relationships with White Australians have recently become part of reconciliation efforts. This paper provides a contextualised report on one such initiative, the Mawul Rom crosscultural mediation project. Viewing Mawul Rom as a diplomatic venture in the lineage of adjustment and earlier Rom rituals raises questions about receptiveness, individual responsibility and the role of Indigenous ceremony in reconciliation efforts. Yolngu ceremonial leaders successfully draw participants into relationship and personally commit them to the tasks of cross-cultural advocacy and reconciliation. But Mawul Rom must also negotiate a paradox because emphasis on the cultural difference of ceremony risks increasing the very social distance that the ritual attempts to confront. Managing this tension will be a key challenge if Mawul Rom is to become an effective diplomatic mechanism for cross-cultural conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Few studies have primarily addressed Indigenous girls' experiences in contemporary boarding schools in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand. In response, this research was developed in conjunction with Indigenous students attending boarding schools to look at their school experiences. Fifteen Aboriginal girls attending two non-Indigenous Australian boarding schools and ten girls from one Maori boarding school were involved in this research. An Indigenous research method termed 'photoyarn' was developed as a method students could use to drive and control their own research, on their own experiences, using student photography, yarning and yarning circles. Underpinned and viewed through the lens of Martin's (2008) relatedness theory, this research also drew on Indigenous methodologies centred on connectedness and relatedness, such as storywork. Photoyarn allowed participants to lead their own research in ways that many other methods could not, through participant-led data collection, analysis and dissemination.
This paper is concerned with the Coranderrk Aboriginal artist Timothy Korkanoon. Research has uncovered more about his life before he settled at the Coranderrk station in 1863. Evidence is provided that five sketches acquired by George Augustus Robinson, the former Chief Protector of Aborigines, in November 1851 in Melbourne, and found in his papers in the State Library of New South Wales, may also be attributed to the work of the young Korkanoon when he was a student at the Merri Creek Baptist Aboriginal School from 1846 to 1847.
This paper concerns the question of why there are so few named groups in the Woiwurrung language area compared with other language groups to its west and north-west. It does this by analysing the 1863 Governor's levee in which representatives from three Aboriginal groups the Boonwurrung, Woiwurrung and Tara-Waragal presented gifts to royalty. In seeking to understand who this third group the Tara-Waragal was, Stephens (2003) has suggested that they were a Woiwurrung patriline. Wesson (2001) has suggested that the name was a pejorative label applied to a Gippsland group by the Kuhn. This study finds that both interpretations are wrong. First, it finds that the name applies to a Brataualung clan, the Yowung, whose country centred on the Tarra and Warrigal creeks - hence the name. Second, it finds that the attempt by Stephens to identify the Tara-Waragal with a possible Woiwurrung patriline identified in a series of sketches by William Thomas found in the RB Smyth Papers was also a failure. Nevertheless, the implication that the sketch maps may reveal up to 53 patrilines is a possibility worth exploring, as it may address the issue of the apparent under-representation of Woiwurrung named groups with which I began. Analysis reveals the possibility of an additional 27 Woiwurrung patrilines. Although the exact number of additional patrilines will never be known, at least we have addressed the issue that within the ethno-historical record it is possible to find additional named groups in Woiwurrung. Thus there was in all likelihood greater internal division in the Woiwurrung than has been reconstructed by Barwick (1984) and Clark (1990).
As a consequence of John Mulvaney's important historical research, the Aboriginal cricket and performance tour of Britain in 1868 has in recent decades become established as perhaps the most famous of all public events in contact history involving Aborigines, white settlers and the British metropolis. Although recognition of its importance is welcome and significant, public commemorations of the tour have enveloped the tour in mythologies of cricket and nation. Such mythologies have obscured fundamental aspects of the tour that were inescapable racial and colonial realities of the Victorian era. This reappraisal of the tour explores the centrality of racial ideology, racial science and racial power imbalances that enabled, created and shaped the tour. By exploring beyond cricketing mythology, it restores the central importance of the spectacular performances of Aboriginal skills without which the tour would have been impossible. Such a reappraisal seeks to fully recognise the often trivialised non-cricketing expertise of all of the Aboriginal performers in 1868 for their achievement of pioneering their unique culture, skills and technologies to a mass international audience.
Darwin was a diverse but deeply divided society in the early twentieth century. The Commonwealth Government introduced the Aboriginals Ordinance 1911 in the Northern Territory, instituting state surveillance, control and a racially segregated hierarchy of whites foremost, then Asians, 'Coloureds' (Aborigines and others of mixed descent) and, lastly, the so-called 'full-blood' Aborigines. Sport was important in scaffolding this stratification. Whites believed that sport was their private domain and strictly controlled non-white participation. Australian Rules football, established in Darwin from 1916, was the first sport in which 'Coloured' sportsmen challenged this domination. Football became a battleground for recognition, rights and identity for all groups. The 'Coloured' community embraced its team, Vesteys, which dominated the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) in the 1920s. In 1926, amidst growing racial tension, the white-administered NTFL changed its constitution to exclude non-white players. In reaction, 'Coloured' and Chinese footballers formed their own competition - the Darwin Football League (DFL). The saga of that colour bar is an important chapter in Australia's football history, yet it has faded from Darwin's social memory and is almost unknown among historians.
The means by which ideologies are spread is of growing interest to scholars. In comparative indigenous studies, much attention has been given to the political links that developed throughout the mid to late-twentieth century between activist organisations that sought greater freedom and rights for indigenous or racially marginalised populations. This paper looks at the early contact between American Black Panthers and indigenous activist organisations in Oceania in the 1960s and '70s. It illustrates how various ideological frameworks, such as colour consciousness, and confrontational strategies, such as takeovers, were exchanged during this period. This interaction suggests that Australian and New Zealand indigenous organisations, borrowing from American activists, adapted ideologies and strategies that worked within their local political contexts.
Peter Sutton's texts on Aboriginal violence, health and their politicisation are replied to using his methodology, and acknowledging his convincing points. Sutton rightly denounces a lack of lucidity and scientific objectivity in anthropological debates. These inadequacies impede identification of what Aboriginal groups can do to improve their situations for fear that this identification would lead to blame the victims. At the other end of the ethical spectrum, those who advocate a broader use of what I will call a 'resistance interpretation' of violence fail to recognise victims as such, on the implicit grounds that seeing victims as victims would deprive them of any agency, on the one band, and entail blame, on the other hand. I aim to define a middle road between those views: the idea that victims should be acknowledged as such without being denied their agency and without being blamed for their own condition. This middle road allows identification of the colonisers' responsibilities in the contemporary situation of Indigenous communities in Australia, and to determine who can do what. Secondly, I show that Sutton's texts convey, through subtle but recurrent remarks, an ideology of blame rather than a mere will to identify practical solutions. As a consequence, some of his proposals do not stand on a solid and objective causal analysis.
Interest in the drawings made by Aboriginal' people and collected by anthropologists as a feature of their research of graphic representation is increasing. Of particular concern is the status of these collections as intercultural artefacts commissioned by the anthropologist and produced by the Aboriginal artists in order to teach about their cultural life. At issue is the appropriate manner of characterising the relation of this new activity in respect to older, and more local, cultural tropes. This study addresses a set of drawings made by jimmy Bireyula, a Kuninjku language speaker, for the author in 1983. The works are intercultural in terms of the context of their production and the new uses of the materials supplied by the anthropologist and yet also develop established aesthetic and representational forms that are distinct to Kuninjku understanding of the powers of the Ancestral² realm.
This paper describes the growth of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (Winnunga), located in the Australian Capital Territory, from modest beginnings at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1988 to delivery of a comprehensive holistic model of health care to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Canberra and the surrounding region. Winnunga's growth and service delivery are connected to the prominence it gives to research. We argue that research commissioned by an Aboriginal Health Service or in partnership with an Aboriginal Health Service is unlike other research in its retention of ownership within the community. The use of Indigenous Standpoint Theory is also possible (see Rigney 1997; Foley 2003; Nakata 2002; Bessarab and Ng'andu 2010). In addition, the findings and recommendations of such research can emancipate communities through enhanced service delivery resulting from evidence-based research. This paper also describes Winnunga's focus on community research studies carried out in partnership with universities and Aboriginal research organisations, as well as Winnunga-initiated studies. Their findings and recommendations have been translated into Winnunga primary health care and social and emotional wellbeing programs. The future emphasis of one such study is its potential to contribute to a national prison health care focus on reducing recidivism.
Morrdjdjanjno is the name of a song genre from the Arnhem Land plateau in the Top End of the Northern Territory and this paper is a first description of this previously undocumented song tradition. Morrdjdjanjno are songs owned neither by individuals or clans, but are banded down as 'open domain' songs with some singers having knowledge of certain songs unknown to others. Many morrdjdjanjno were once performed as part of animal increase rituals and each song is associated with a particular animal species, especially macropods. Sung only by men, they can be accompanied by clap sticks alone or both clap sticks and didjeridu. First investigations reveal that the song texts are not in everyday speech but include, among other things, totemic referential terms for animals which are exclusive to morrdjdjanjno. Translations from song language into ordinary register speech can often be 'worked up' when the song texts are discussed in their cultural and performance context. The transmission of these songs is severely endangered at present as there are only two known singers remaining both of whom are elderly.
Sadly, Vincent Serico (1949-2008), artist, activist and humanist, recently passed away. Born in southern Queensland in Wakka Wakka/Kabi Kabi Country (Carnarvon Gorge region) in 1949, Vincent was a member of the Stolen Generations. He was separated from his family by White administration at four years of age. He grew up on the Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve in the 1950s, when the policies of segregation and assimilation were at their peak. Only returning to his Country in his early forties, Vincent started painting his stories and the stories that had been passed on to him about the region. These paintings manifest Vincent's sanctity for tradition, storytelling, language, spirit and beliefs. A team of researchers was honoured and fortunate to have worked closely with Vincent to develop a 3D simulation of his Country using a 3D computer game toolkit. Embedded in this simulation of his Country, in the locations that their stories speak to, are some of Vincent's important contemporary art works. They are accompanied by a narration of Vincent's oral history about the places, people and events depicted. Vincent was deeply concerned about members of the younger generation around him 'losing their way' in modern times. In a similar vein, Brett Leavy (Kooma) sees the 3D game engine as an opportunity to engage the younger generation in its own cultural heritage in an activity that capitalises on a common pastime. Vincent was an enthusiastic advocate of this approach. Working in consultation with Vincent and the research team, CyberDreaming developed a simulation of Vincent's Country for young Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal persons from the Carnarvon Gorge region to explore Vincent's life stories of the region. The use of Vincent's contemporary paintings as storyboards provides a traditional medium for the local people to interactively re-engage with traditional values. Called Serico's World, it represents a legacy to his life's works, joys and regrets. Here we discuss the background to this project and Vincent's contribution.
In examining a sung version and a spoken version of a Kun-barlang love song text recorded by Alice Moyle in 1962, I outline the context and overall structure of the song, then provide a detailed comparative analysis of the two versions. I draw some preliminary conclusions about the nature of Kun-barlang song language, particularly in relation to the rhythmic setting of words in song texts and the use of vocables as structural markers.
Calls are growing within the social sciences for Indigenous peoples to assume sovereignty over data that are about them and for analysis of these data to be led by, or be inclusive of, an Indigenous perspective (Kukutai and Taylor 2016; Walter 2016; Walter and Andersen 2013). This paper presents data based on interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Melbourne and Victoria that provide an Aboriginal voice to show the degrees of both constraint and choice in the formulation of Indigenous data. The results show that the census as a social instrument needs to be viewed as a dynamic interplay between the state and Indigenous people, and that Indigenous community awareness of their role in this process needs to be further explored. Although volatility of Aboriginal census data is a key focus of this paper, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has attempted to investigate from time to time why the census counts should be so volatile, yet its investigations have been undertaken as an outsider on what makes people (as it puts it) 'change their identity'. In this paper I examine the issue of census volatility from within the Indigenous community and get people to openly provide their perspectives on census engagement and census utility as an expression of Indigenous data sovereignty. This approach has not been adopted before in relation to the issue of census volatility but the views of Indigenous people on such matters are likely to become more prevalent as the issue of Indigenous data sovereignty gains ground. © 2018 Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. All rights reserved.
The Aboriginal Lands Trust of New South Wales (1974-1983) was the first all-Aboriginal democratically elected statutory body to own freehold title to Aboriginal land in Australia. However, it was almost totally written out of history with the passing of the New South Wales Land Rights Act in 1983. The Trust came after the era of paternalism and the assimilation policy of the Aboriginal Welfare Board, and the Act under which it operated gave rights to the Aboriginal people of New South Wales that have yet to be matched. It was an early example of Aboriginal self-determination that ironically was destroyed by the promotion of just that ideal. The struggle to survive and to serve its people forged a fierce pride and loyalty among its staff and members, and its destruction fuelled a devastating sense of betrayal and cynicism of government. There are very few primary documents from the Trust in public collections and histories written of this era mainly focus on the land rights movement. South coast leader Ossie Cruse was elected to the Trust from its beginnings and served as chairman for seven years. He kept boxes of detailed files containing minutes of meetings and other documents, which are now housed in the Aboriginal Culture Centre Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu archive, near Eden, New South Wales. I have been working with community members since 2003 to catalogue and preserve the files. These files, along with interviews with Trust members, employees and the administrator, have provided me with the evidence to piece together the story of what the Trust was, what it did and what happened to it.
The annual New South Wales Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout is so much more than a sporting event. Involving a high level of organisation, it is both a social and cultural coming together of diverse communities for a social and cultural experience considered 'bigger than Christmas'. As if the planning and logistics were not difficult enough, the rotating-venue Knockout has been beset, especially since the late 1980s and 1990s, by layers of opposition and open hostility based on 'race': from country town newspapers, local town and shire councils, local business houses and, inevitably, the local police. A few towns have welcomed the event, seeing economic advantage and community good will for all. Commonly, the Aboriginal 'influx' of visitors and players people perceived as 'strangers', 'outsiders', 'non-taxpayers' provoked public fear about crime waves, violence and physical safety, requiring heavy policing. Without exception, these racist expectations were shown to be totally unfounded.
This paper contributes to the burgeoning scholarship on the significance of emotions in the history of cross-cultural encounters. Rather than focusing on face-to-face interactions, it examines how emotions governed European engagements with Aboriginal cultural landscapes and shaped Europeans' imaginings of how places could be constituted as sacred. It looks specifically at the writings of Francois Peron, one of the scientific crew of the Baudin expedition, a French Revolutionary voyage that visited Australia and Timor between 1801 and 1803. During the exploration of Australia the French expedition discovered two Aboriginal places that were interpreted as religiously significant to the local people: a grove discovered at Geographe Bay in the south-west of Australia and two tombs found at Maria Island off the south-east of Tasmania. Peron's extended discussion of these Aboriginal sites highlights the significance of emotions in the construction of ethnographic accounts, as well as the role of emotions in transcultural perceptions of place.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment [8] framework illustrating possible links between ecosystem services and the constituents of human well-being.  
The Mullunbarra-Yidinji clan area in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Queensland, Australia.  
The livelihoods and well-being of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in remote and rural northern Australia are dependent upon the ecosystem services provided by tropical ecosystems. The well-being of all Australian citizens is measured by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) using socioeconomic indicators. In this study we investigated the importance of non-market benefits derived from ecosystem services for Aboriginal well-being. Through a case study with the Mullunburra-Yidinji people in the Wet Tropics, Queensland, we applied the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) framework to identify the links between ecosystem services and the MA's six constituents of human well-being. The study demonstrated that cultural and provisioning services were key determinants of community well-being, and these are not currently measured by the ABS. We adapt the MA framework to include the ABS indicators and explore the potential strengths and weaknesses of the approach for measuring the well-being of contemporary remote and rural Aboriginal communities.
The economic sustainability of Aboriginal households has been a matter of public concern across a range of contexts. This research, conducted in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, shows bow economically successful Aboriginal persons manage 'dual economic engagement, or involvement in the customary economy and the mainstream economy at the same time. The two economies sometimes reinforce each other but are more often in conflict, and management of conflicting obligations requires high degrees of skill and innovation. As well as creating financially sustainable households, the participants contributed significantly to the health of their extended families and communities. The research also shows that many Aboriginal people, no matter what their material and personal resources, are conscious of how fragile and unpredictable their economic lives can be, and that involvement in the customary economy is a kind of mutual insurance to guarantee survival if times get tough.
This paper examines the institutional, political and cultural conditions in which Aboriginal Community Police Officers work. The paper contends that as a result of these conditions and their interconnections, various kinds of work carried out by Aboriginal Community Police Officers are inadequately recognised locally within the Northern Territory Police Force, as well as more broadly in the policymaking discourse that constitutes the (Aboriginal domain' (Rowse 1992). While policymaking has fashioned the emergence of modern Aboriginal communities, in particular through the deployment of (Aboriginal culture' as a definitional property, the institutional imaginary in which Aboriginal policing is conceived remains remarkably bereft of any specific notion of cultural work. This paper seeks to address the institutional imaginary by connecting the failure to think of the cultural work involved in Aboriginal community policing to the failure to conceive bureaucratic work as culturally specific. Through the analysis of research and data gathered through focus group interviews with Aboriginal Community Police Officers in the Northern Territory, I demonstrate how the policing bureaucracy inhibits the potential of Aboriginal policing. This analysis calls for the development of Aboriginal career pathways, suggesting that this would ameliorate the pressure placed on Aboriginal Community Police Officers to assimilate to non-Aboriginal policing. By simultaneously recognising and acting on the reproduction of the cultural and normative values of whiteness in the administration of policing, the institutional advancement of Aboriginal policing could strengthen existing Aboriginal Community Policing work, as well as catalyse the means to resist institutional racism. © 2015, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. All rights reserved.
This paper examines some of the ethical dilemmas for the proper management of research collections of Indigenous cultural materials, concentrating upon the use of such material for Native Title purposes. It refers directly to a number of points in the draft of the revised AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Indigenous Studies and draws upon both actual and hypothetical examples of issues that may arise when requests are made for Indigenous material. Specific concerns about ethical practices in collecting data and the subsequent control of access to both the data itself and to published works based upon it are raised within the context of several types of collections, including those held by AIATSIS and by Native Title Representative Bodies.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in cities and towns are often thought of as 'less Indigenous' than those who live 'in the bush', as though they are 'fake' Aboriginal people - while 'real' Aboriginal people live 'on communities' and 'real' Torres Strait Islander people live 'on islands'. Yet more than 70 percent of Australia's Indigenous peoples live in urban locations (ABS 2007), and urban living is just as much part of a reality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as living in remote discrete communities. This paper examines the contradictions and struggles that Aborigitial and Torres Strait Islander people experience when living in urban environments. It looks at the symbols of place and space on display in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Brisbane to demonstrate how prevailing social, political and economic values are displayed. Symbols of place and space are never neutral, and this paper argues that they can either marginalise and oppress urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or demonstrate that they are included and engaged.
The Kamilaroi people and their neighbours, the Euahlayi, Ngemba and Murrawarri, are an Aboriginal cultural grouping located in north-west and north central New South Wales. They have a rich history, but have been missed in much of the literature concerning sky knowledge in culture. This study collected stories, some not previously reported in an academic format, from Aboriginal people practising their culture, augmented with stories from the literature, and analysed the data to create a database of sky knowledge that will be added to the larger body of Aboriginal cultural knowledge in Australia. We found that there is a strong sky culture reflected in the stories, and we explored the stories for evidence of an ethno-scientific approach to knowledge of the sky.
In 1973 the Aboriginal Task Force was formed in the South Australian Institute of Technology to provide Indigenous South Australian welfare workers with qualifications commensurate with the duties they were already performing in the workforce. It was so successful that the program quickly expanded into a national Aboriginal-focused tertiary education facility that was the forerunner of the University of South Australia's David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research (DUCIER) and the model for other Australian university Indigenous centres. To commemorate DUCIER's twenty-first anniversary and the fortieth anniversary of the Task Force, in 2013 a team of DUCIER academics began researching this history in order to showcase the outstanding achievements of the alumni and staff of the Task Force. Central to the research is the collection of oral histories from participants. These are being recorded through either (or both) audio and video media, with segments being used in an exhibition. Oral history is considered imperative to the project because a history taken solely from the scant archival records will not reflect the processes involved in the program's development, nor the impact of the Task Force on the lives of those who contributed to the program and benefited from it. These issues are discussed in relation to the first years of the Task Force program.
The overseas marketing of translated Aboriginal literature has received scant scholarly attention. This paper examines three examples of Aboriginal literature that have been translated into German and produced as audiobooks by two Austrian publishers. This special format, unique in comparison to other types of German translations, has implications for the representation of Aboriginal people. This paper focuses on the translation and promotion of these audiobooks by their Austrian publishers and argues that an understanding of the representation of Aboriginal people in these audiobooks is informed by different aspects of translation and advertisement, as well as the format of the medium itself.
Using the experience and reflections of a non-Indigenous clinician and researcher, Randolph Spargo, who has worked in remote Aboriginal Australia for more than 40 years, this paper tracks how those at the clinical coal-face thought and responded as cardiovascular and other chronic diseases emerged as new health concerns in the 1970s to become major contributors to the burden of excess ill health across Indigenous Australia. The paper cites research evidence that informed prevailing paradigms drawing primarily on work in which the clinician participated, which was undertaken in the remote Kimberley region in the north of Western Australia.
The Violence Intervention Program at the lngkintja (Male Health) branch of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress in Alice Springs treats Aboriginal offenders and victims of all types of interpersonal violence. By treating both offenders and victims, staff members are able to observe the effects of ongoing intergen-erational violence and its consistency with violence and trauma research drawn from around the world. This paper1 presents several brief case studies to illustrate some of the complex interactions between the current state of Aboriginal culture in Central Australia and the behavioural responses of those who have been impacted by exposure to violence and trauma. Some cautious suggestions for long-term change are made.
Structure of the model employed to classify Aboriginal games and pastimes (Salter 1967:62) 
Proposed taxonomy to represent the traditional games of Aboriginal and torres Strait Islander people 
Sports history in Australia has focused almost entirely on modern, Eurocentric sports and has therefore largely ignored the multitude of unique pre-European games that are, or once were, played. The area of traditional games, especially those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, is an important aspect of the cultural, social and historical experiences of Indigenous communities. These activities include customs of play that are normally not associated with European notions of competitive sport. Overall, this paper surveys research undertaken into traditional games among Indigenous Australians, as well as proposals for much needed further study in this area.
A commonality of A boriginal social organisation exists across the continent in communities as different as those from the Western Desert across to Cape York, from the towns of New South Wales and Western Australia to cities like Adelaide. This is found in the colloquial expressions 'mob' and 'boss', which are used in widely differing contexts. Mobbing is the activity where relatedness, in the sense of social alliances, is established and affirmed by virtue of a common affiliation with place, common experience and common descent, as well as by the exchange of cash and commodities. Bossing is the activity of commanding respect by virtue of one's capacity to bestow items of value such as ritual knowledge, nurturance, care, cash and commodities. Mobbing and bossing are best understood as structures in Giddens' sense of sets of rules and resources involved in the production of social systems, in this case social alliances. Mobbing and bossing imply a concept of a person as a being in a relationship. Attention needs to be given to the way these structures interact with institutions in the wider Australian society.
The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games generated a national media celebrationof Aboriginal 400 metre runner Cathy Freeman. The construction of Freeman as the symbol of national reconciliation was evident in print and on television, the Internet and radio. In contrast to this celebration of Freeman, the letters to the editor sections of 11 major newspapers became sites for competing claims over what constitutes Australian identity and the place of Aboriginal people in national culture. We analyse this under-explored medium of opinion and discuss how the deep feelings evident in these letters, and the often vitriolic responses to them, illustrate some of the enduring racial tensions in Australian society.
Top-cited authors
Michael J. Rowland
  • James Cook University
Peter Veth
  • University of Western Australia
Kim Akerman
  • Akerman Anthropology
Richard Fullagar
  • University of Western Australia
Annelou van Gijn
  • Leiden University