Australia or the continent known by the Latin term ‘Terra Australis’ the Great Southern Land in ancient history was once part of the greater landmass Gondwanaland. It is also home to the oldest continuous cultures in the world, the Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.
For over 60,000 years the Indigenous with at least 250 distinct language groups, lived with diverse cultural practices within ‘Nation’s’ and ‘Tribal or Clan’ groups. They share a profound Elder hierarchy, a Dreamtime and a connection to country, a connection to their land.
The Colonisation of Australia significantly impacted on the local Indigenous Australian Aborigine’s health and population. What is known as the ‘Frontier Wars’ created a significant divide between the settling English & Europeans with the local population who were deeply connected to country.
The Aboriginal customs and culture were significantly depleted and their “Dreamtime” “Corroborees” art, and traditional hunting & gathering and traditional language, law and practices were soon diminished and only practised and preserved in more remote locations.
The adoption of the ‘White Australia Policy’ by the Government 1901 and the internment of Aboriginals into ‘missions’ and then the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their homes and families known as the “Stolen Generation” 1910 – 1970 continues to be unresolved issues. Despite progress such as Voting rights 1962, legislated Land Rights land claims 1982, restoration of local decision making, language nests and improved education, employment and health strategies, Over representation in the Judicial system and Constitutional recognition pursuits continue to divide the population.
With white settlement particularly in Western and remote communities a number of prominent Aboriginal Grant families live in Australia.