|Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders|
|Ernie Dingo, David Wirrpanda, Adam Goodes|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Several hundred Indigenous Australian languages (many extinct or nearly so), Australian English, Australian Aboriginal English, Torres Strait Creole, Kriol|
|Primarily Christian, with minorities of other religions including Islam and various forms of Traditional belief systems based around the Dreamtime|
|Related ethnic groups|
|see List of Indigenous Australian group names|
Indigenous Australians are descendants of the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. Australian English ( AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. Australian Aboriginal English (AAE is a term referring to the various varieties of the English language used by Indigenous Australians. Torres Strait Creole (also Torres Strait Pidgin Torres Strait Brokan/Broken Cape York Creole Lockhart Creole Papuan Pidgin English) is an oral Creole Kriol is an Australian Creole language that developed out of the contact between European settlers and the indigenous people in the northern regions A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. The traditions and lore of Australia's indigenous peoples belongs to what may be the oldest continuous culture on Earth (circa 50000 years See also Indigenous Australians This List of Indigenous Australian group names contains names and collective designations which have been applied either formerly For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The term includes both the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginal People, who together make up about 2. Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands, part of Queensland, Australia. This is an article about a class of people as identified and defined within Australian law 6% of Australia's modern population. The latter term is usually used to refer to those who live in mainland Australia, Tasmania, and some of the other adjacent islands. Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name It is located south of the eastern side of the Continent, being separated from it by Bass Australia has 8222 islands within its maritime borders The largest islands are Tasmania 68332 km² Melville Island 5786 km² Kangaroo Island, 4416 The Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands between Australia and New Guinea. The Torres Strait is a body of water which lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea. New Guinea, located just north of Australia, is the world's second largest island, having become separated from the Australian mainland when the area now known When the first indigenous Australians migrated to Australia is disputed among researchers, as estimates range from 125,000 years ago to 40,000 years ago. 
The term Indigenous Australians encompasses many different communities and societies, and these are further divided into local communities with unique cultures.  Although there are over 250 spoken languages, fewer than 200 of the languages of these groups remain in use — all but 20 are considered to be endangered.  It is estimated that prior to the arrival of British settlers the population of Indigenous Australians was approximately 318,000 - 750,000 across the continent.  The distribution of people was similar to that of the current Australian population, with the majority living in the south east centred along the Murray River. The Murray River, or River Murray and sometimes informally referred to as the "Mighty Murray" is Australia 's largest River. 
Although the culture and lifestyle of Aboriginal groups have much in common, Aboriginal society is not a single entity. The communities have different modes of subsistence, cultural practices, languages, and technologies. However, these peoples also share a larger set of traits, and are otherwise seen as being broadly related. A collective identity as Indigenous Australians is recognised and exists along names from the indigenous languages which are commonly used to identify groups based on regional geography and other affiliations. These include: Koori (or Koorie) in New South Wales and Victoria (Victorian Aborigines); Murri in Queensland; Noongar in southern Western Australia; Yamatji in Central Western Australia; Wangkai in the Western Australian Goldfields; Nunga in southern South Australia; Anangu in northern South Australia, and neighbouring parts of Western Australia and Northern Territory; Yapa in western central Northern Territory; Yolngu in eastern Arnhem Land (NT) and Palawah (or Pallawah) in Tasmania. Koori (also spelled Koorie) is a word which some Indigenous Australians in New South Wales and Victoria use to identify themselves and has become See also Indigenous Australians The Indigenous Australians of Victoria, Australia shared many characteristics with those elsewhere on mainland The Murri are the Indigenous Australians that traditionally occupied most of modern-day Queensland. Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent The Noongar (alternate spellings Nyungar / Nyoongar / Nyoongah / Nyungah / Nyugah) are an Indigenous Australian people who live Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. Yamatji is the name of an important Aboriginal people of the Murchison, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions of the North West of Western Australia and comes from Nunga is a term of self-reference for many of the Aboriginal peoples of southern South Australia. South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country Anangu, more accurately "Aṉaŋu" or "Arnangu" (pronounced mid-way between "Arn Ang Goo" and "An An Ooo" with the stress on the first syllable Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the center of the mainland continent as well as the central northern regions The Arnhem Land Region is one of the five regions of the Northern Territory of Australia. Palawah or Pallawah is a term of self-reference for Aboriginal people of Tasmania. Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name It is located south of the eastern side of the Continent, being separated from it by Bass
These larger groups may be further subdivided; for example, Anangu (meaning a person from Australia's central desert region) recognises localised subdivisions such as Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra, Luritja and Antikirinya. Yankunytjatjara (also Yankuntatjara Jangkundjara Kulpantja is an Australian Aboriginal language. Ngaanyatjarra is an Aboriginal Australian dialectal group of the Western Desert cultural bloc Luritja is a name used to refer to several dialects of the Indigenous Australian Western Desert Language, and thereby also to the people who speak these varieties
The term "blacks" has often been applied to Indigenous Australians. This owes rather more to racial stereotyping than ethnology, as it categorises Indigenous Australians with the other black peoples of Asia and Africa. An ethnic stereotype is a generalized representation of an Ethnic group, composed of what are thought to be typical characteristics of members of the group Ethnology (from the Greek ἔθνος, ethnos meaning "habit custom convention" is the branch of Anthropology that compares and The term black people usually refers to a racial group of Humans with dark Skin color, but the term has also been used to categorise a number of diverse In the 1970s, many Aboriginal activists, such as Gary Foley proudly embraced the term "black", and writer Kevin Gilbert's groundbreaking book from the time was entitled Living Black. Gary Foley (born 11 May 1950 is an Indigenous Australian activist academic writer and actor Kevin Gilbert ( 10 July 1933 - 1 April 1993) was a 20th century Indigenous Australian activist writer and artist In recent years young Indigenous Australians — particularly in urban areas — have increasingly adopted aspects of black American and Afro-Caribbean culture, creating what has been described as a form of "black transnationalism. "
The word aboriginal, appearing in English since at least the 17th century and meaning "first or earliest known, indigenous," (Latin Aborigines, from ab: from, and origo: origin, beginning), has been used in Australia to describe its Indigenous peoples as early as 1789. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States As a means of recording the passage of Time, the 17th Century was that Century which lasted from 1601 - 1700 in the Gregorian calendar It soon became capitalised and employed as the common name to refer to all Indigenous Australians. Strictly speaking, "Aborigine" is the noun and "Aboriginal" the adjectival form; however the latter is often also employed to stand as a noun. Note that the use of "Aborigine(s)" or "Aboriginal(s)" in this sense, i. e. as a noun, has acquired negative, even derogatory connotations among some sectors of the community, who regard it as insensitive, and even offensive.  The more acceptable and correct expression is "Aboriginal Australians" or "Aboriginal people", though even this is sometimes regarded as an expression to be avoided because of its historical associations with colonialism. "Indigenous Australians" has found increasing acceptance, particularly since the 1980s.
The Torres Strait Islanders possess a heritage and cultural history distinct from Aboriginal traditions; the eastern Torres Strait Islanders in particular are related to the Papuan peoples of New Guinea, and speak a Papuan language. Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands, part of Queensland, Australia. New Guinea, located just north of Australia, is the world's second largest island, having become separated from the Australian mainland when the area now known The term Papuan languages refers to those Languages of the western Pacific which are neither Austronesian nor Australian. Accordingly, they are not generally included under the designation "Aboriginal Australians. " This has been another factor in the promotion of the more inclusive term "Indigenous Australians".
The Indigenous languages of mainland Australia and Tasmania have not been shown to be related to any languages outside Australia. Many Australian Aboriginal cultures have or traditionally had a Sign language counterpart to their spoken language In the late 18th century, there were anywhere between 350 and 750 distinct groupings and a similar number of languages and dialects. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system At the start of the 21st century, fewer than 200 Indigenous Australian languages remain in use and all but about 20 of these are highly endangered. Linguists classify mainland Australian languages into two distinct groups, the Pama-Nyungan languages and the non-Pama Nyungan. The Pama-Nyungan languages are the most widespread family of Indigenous Australian languages. The Pama-Nyungan languages comprise the majority, covering most of Australia, and are a family of related languages. In the north, stretching from the Western Kimberley to the Gulf of Carpentaria, are found a number of groups of languages which have not been shown to be related to the Pama-Nyungan family or to each other: these are known as the non-Pama-Nyungan languages. The Kimberley is one of the nine Regions of Western Australia. The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia and bounded on the north by the Arafura Sea (the body of water that lies While it has sometimes proven difficult to work out familial relationships within the Pama-Nyungan language family many Australianist linguists feel there has been substantial success.  Against this some linguists, such as R. M. W. Dixon, suggest that the Pama-Nyungan group, and indeed the entire Australian linguistic area, is rather a sprachbund, or group of languages having very long and intimate contact, rather than a genetic linguistic phylum. Robert Malcolm Ward Dixon ( Gloucester, England, January 25 1939) is a Professor of Linguistics and formerly Director of the Research Centre A Sprachbund (ˈʃpraːxbʊnt in German plural Sprachbünde) from the German word for “language union” also known as a linguistic area, convergence Genetic, in Linguistics, means due to descent from a common ancestor language rather than borrowing at some time in the past between languages that were not necessarily descended 
Given their long occupation of Australia, it has been suggested that Aboriginal languages form one specific sub-grouping. Certainly, similarities in the phoneme set of Aboriginal languages throughout the continent are suggestive of a common origin. The phoneME project is Sun Microsystems reference implementation of Java virtual machine and associated libraries of Java ME with source licensed under the GNU A common feature of many Australian languages is that they display mother-in-law languages, special speech registers used only in the presence of certain close relatives. The position of Tasmanian languages is unknown, and it is also unknown whether they comprised one or more than one specific language family.
The general consensus among scholars for the arrival of humans in Australia is placed at 40,000 to 50,000 years ago with a possible range of up to 70,000 years ago. Consensus has two common meanings One is a general agreement among the members of a given group or Community, each of which exercises some discretion in The earliest human remains found to date are that of Mungo Man which have been dated at about 40,000 years old. The Mungo Man (also known as Lake Mungo 3) was an early Human inhabitant of the continent of Australia, who is believed to have lived about 40000 years At the time of first European contact, it has been estimated the absolute minimum pre-1788 population was 315,000, while recent archaeological finds suggest that a population of 750,000 could have been sustained.  The mode of life and material cultures varied greatly from region to region. The greatest population density was to be found in the southern and eastern regions of the continent, the Murray River valley in particular. Population density (in agriculture standing stock and Standing crop) is a measurement of Population per unit area or unit volume The Murray River, or River Murray and sometimes informally referred to as the "Mighty Murray" is Australia 's largest River.
British colonisation of Australia began in Sydney in 1788. Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 The most immediate consequence of British settlement - within weeks of the first colonists' arrival - was a wave of Old World epidemic diseases. The Old World consists of those parts of Earth known to Europeans Asians and Africans in the 15th century A pandemic (from Greek παν pan all + δήμος demos people is an Epidemic of Infectious disease that spreads through Smallpox alone killed more than 50% of the Aboriginal population. Smallpox is an Infectious disease unique to humans caused by either of two virus variants named Variola major and Variola minor.  It is probable that anywhere between 50-90% of all the Aborigines in the vicinity of Sydney died from the smallpox epidemic within the first three years of the British settlement. Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 Smallpox is an Infectious disease unique to humans caused by either of two virus variants named Variola major and Variola minor. This article is a list of major Epidemics. Worldwide pandemics The following are Epidemics which spread across several continents  The second consequence of British settlement was appropriation of land and water resources. The combination of disease, loss of land and direct violence reduced the Aboriginal population by up to 80% between 1788 and 1900. An infectious disease is a clinically evident Disease resulting from the presence of Pathogenic microbial agents including Pathogenic viruses Pathogenic A wave of massacres and resistance followed the frontier of British settlement. This is a list of massacres of Aboriginal Australians. For discussion of the historical arguments around these conflicts see the articles on the History Wars and the Black By the 1870s all the fertile areas of Australia had been appropriated, and Indigenous communities reduced to impoverished remnants living either on the fringes of cities and towns or on lands considered unsuitable for settlement. Many Indigenous people adapted to European culture, working as stock hands or labourers. Atrocities continued. "The white station owners would go on regular hunts for Aborigines. 'Instead of having a kangaroo hunt, we'll have an Aboriginal hunt'. They would go out and shoot them, men, women and children'". With the exception of a few in the remote interior, all surviving Indigenous communities gradually became dependent on the settler population for their livelihood. By the early 20th century the Indigenous population had declined to an estimated 150,000 from 190,000. The twentieth century of the Common Era began on 
Commonwealth legislation in 1962 specifically gave Aborigines the right to vote in Commonwealth elections. The 1967 referendum allowed the Commonwealth to make laws with respect to Aboriginal people, and for Aboriginal people to be included when the country does a count to determine electoral representation. The referendum of 27 May 1967 approved two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to Indigenous Australians. In the controversial 1971 Gove land rights case, Justice Blackburn ruled that Australia had been terra nullius before British settlement, and that no concept of native title existed in Australian law. In December 1968 the Yolngu people living in Yirrkala, who were the traditional owners of the Gove Peninsula in Arnhem Land, obtained writs in the Terra nullius ( English pronunciation ˈtɛrə nəˈlaɪəs Latin pronunciation ˈtɛrːa nʊlːˈiʊs is a Latin expression deriving from Native title is a concept in the Law of Australia that recognises in certain cases there was and is a continued beneficial legal interest in land held by local Indigenous In 1972, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the steps of Parliament House in Canberra. The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is a Controversial semi-permanent assemblage claiming to represent the political rights of Australian Aborigines The Politics of Australia take place within the framework of parliamentary democracy. Canberra ( is the capital city of Australia With a population of over 340000 it is Australia's largest inland City. In 1992, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in the Mabo Case, declaring the previous legal concept of terra nullius to be invalid. The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. Mabo v Queensland (No 2 (commonly known as Mabo) was a landmark Australian court case which was decided by the High Court In 2004, the Australian Government abolished the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), which had been Australia's peak Indigenous organisation. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission ( ATSIC) ( 1990 &ndash 2005) was the Australian Government body through which Aboriginal The abolition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission occurred soon after rape allegations were brought against its chairman Geoff Clark. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission ( ATSIC) ( 1990 &ndash 2005) was the Australian Government body through which Aboriginal Geoff Clark may refer to Geoff Clark (politician (born 1952 Australian Aboriginal politician and activist Geoff Clark (journalist, BBC On 13 February 2008 prime minister Kevin Rudd issued a public apology to members of the Stolen Generation on behalf of the Australian government.
There are a large number of tribal divisions and language groups in Aboriginal Australia, and, corresponding to this, a wide variety of diversity exists within cultural practices. Aboriginal Australia contains a large number of tribal divisions and language groups, and corresponding to this a wide variety of diversity exists within Kakadu National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km south-east of Darwin. See also Indigenous Australians This List of Indigenous Australian group names contains names and collective designations which have been applied either formerly For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. However, there are some similarities between cultures.
Religious demography among Indigenous Australians is not conclusive because the methodology of the census is not always well-suited to obtaining accurate information on Aboriginal people. Aboriginal Australia contains a large number of tribal divisions and language groups, and corresponding to this a wide variety of diversity exists within Australian Aboriginal myths (also known as Dreamtime stories Songlines or Aboriginal Oral literature) are the stories traditionally performed  The 1996 census reported that almost 72 percent of Aborigines practiced some form of Christianity; 16 percent listed no religion. The 2001 census contained no comparable, updated data.  There has also been an increase in the number of followers of Islam among the Indigenous Australian community.  This growing community includes high-profile members such as the boxer, Anthony Mundine. Anthony Mundine (born 21 May 1975 is an Indigenous Australian boxer and former Rugby league player (See Islam in Australia). Islam is the fourth largest religious grouping in Australia after Christianity, ' No Religion ' and Buddhism.
In the world's oldest continent the creative epoch known as the Dreamtime stretches back into a remote era in history when the creator ancestors known as the First Peoples travelled across the great southern land of Bandaiyan (Australia), creating and naming as they went. The traditions and lore of Australia's indigenous peoples belongs to what may be the oldest continuous culture on Earth (circa 50000 years 
Indigenous Australia's oral tradition and religious values are based upon reverence for the land and a belief in this Dreamtime. Oral tradition, oral culture and oral lore is a way for a society to transmit history, literature, law and other Knowledges The traditions and lore of Australia's indigenous peoples belongs to what may be the oldest continuous culture on Earth (circa 50000 years The Dreaming is at once both the ancient time of creation and the present day reality of Dreaming. There were a great many different groups, each with their own individual culture, belief structure, and language. These cultures overlapped to a greater or lesser extent, and evolved over time. Major Ancestral spirits include the Rainbow Serpent, Baiame, and Bunjil. The Rainbow Serpent (also known as the Rainbow Snake) is an important mythological being for Aboriginal people across Australia Baiame (Baayami or Baayama is a creational ancestral hero in the dreaming of several language groups (e In Australian Aboriginal mythology, specifically Kulin including Wurundjeri and Bunurong, Bunjil is the supreme god the creator The Yowie and Bunyip are also well known Ancestral beings. This article is about a mythical creature There is also a town called Bunyip Victoria The bunyip (usually translated as "devil" One version of the Dreaming story runs as follows:
The whole world was asleep. Everything was quiet, nothing moved, nothing grew. The animals slept under the earth. One day the rainbow snake woke up and crawled to the surface of the earth. She pushed everything aside that was in her way. She wandered through the whole country and when she was tired she coiled up and slept. So she left her tracks. After she had been everywhere she went back and called the frogs. When they came out their tubby stomachs were full of water. The rainbow snake tickled them and the frogs laughed. The water poured out of their mouths and filled the tracks of the rainbow snake. That's how rivers and lakes were created. Then grass and trees began to grow and the earth filled with life.
Aboriginal people developed unique instruments and folk styles. The didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu or didge) is a wind instrument of the Indigenous Australians of northern Australia. Indigenous Australian music includes the music of Australian aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who are collectively called Indigenous Australians; it incorporates The yirdaki or didgeridoo is commonly considered the national instrument of Aboriginal people, and it is claimed to be the world's oldest wind instrument. The didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu or didge) is a wind instrument of the Indigenous Australians of northern Australia. However, it was traditionally only played by Arnhem Land people, such as the Yolngu, and then only by the men. The Arnhem Land Region is one of the five regions of the Northern Territory of Australia. It has possibly been used by the people of the Kakadu region for 1500 years. Kakadu National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km south-east of Darwin. Clapping sticks are probably the more ubiquitous musical instrument, especially because they help maintain the rhythm for the song. Much contemporary Aboriginal music is predominantly of the country music genre. Country music is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Most indigenous radio stations - particularly in metropolitan areas - serve a double purpose as the local country music station. An example is 4AAA in Brisbane. Brisbane ( is the state capital of Queensland. Brisbane is the third most populous city in Australia and the most populous city of Queensland More recently, Indigenous Australian musicians have branched into rock and roll, hip hop and reggae. This is a list of Indigenous Australian musicians. Solo artists Auriel Andrew Christine Anu ( Torres Strait Islander Rock and roll (also known as rock 'n' roll) is a form of Music that evolved in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s with roots in mostly African One of the most well known modern bands is Yothu Yindi playing in a style which has been called Aboriginal rock. Yothu Yindi ( Yolngu for "child and mother") is an Australian band with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members Aboriginal rock refers to a style of Music which mixes Rock music with the instrumentation and singing styles of Aboriginal people
Australia has a tradition of Aboriginal art which is thousands of years old, the best known forms being rock art and bark painting. Indigenous Australian art is art produced by Indigenous Australians, covering works that pre-date European colonization as well as Contemporary art Bark painting is an Australian Aboriginal art-form which is done on the interior strip of a tree bark. These paintings usually consist of paint using earthly colours, specifically, from paint made from ochre. Traditionally, Aborigines have painted stories from their dreamtime. Modern Aboriginal artists continue the tradition using modern materials in their artworks. Aboriginal art is the most internationally recognisable form of Australian art. Several styles of Aboriginal art have developed in modern times including the watercolour paintings of Albert Namatjira; the Hermannsburg School, and the acrylic Papunya Tula "dot art" movement. Albert Namatjira (28 July 1902 &ndash 8 August 1959 born Elea Namatjira, was one of Australia 's most acclaimed Visual artists He was a Western The Hermannsburg School is an art movement or art style which began at the Hermannsburg Mission in the 1930s Papunya Tula, or Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd is an artists' cooperative formed in 1972 that is owned and operated by Aboriginal people from the Western Desert of Painting is a large source of income for some Central Australian communities such as at Yuendumu today. Yuendumu ( is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is one of the largest towns in Central Australia after Alice Springs and Yulara
Australian Aboriginal poetry is found throughout Australia. It ranges from the sacred to the every day. Ronald M Berndt has published traditional Aboriginal song-poetry in his book "Three Faces of Love", Nelson 1976. R. M. W. Dixon and M. Duwell have published two books dealing with sacred and every day poetry- "The Honey Ant men's love song" and "Little Eva at Moonlight Creek", University of Queensland Press, 1994".
The Djabwurrung and Jardwadjali people of western Victoria once participated in the traditional game of Marn Grook, a type of football played with possum hide. Marn Grook (also spelt marngrook) literally meaning "Game ball" is the collective name given to a number of traditional Australian Aboriginal ball games Football is the word given to a number of similar Team sports all of which involve (to varying degrees kicking a Ball with the foot in an attempt to score a A possum is any of about 64 small to medium-sized Arboreal Marsupial Species native to Australia, New Guinea, and Sulawesi  The game is believed by some to have inspired Tom Wills, inventor of the code of Australian rules football, a popular Australian winter sport. Thomas Wentworth "Tom" Wills (19 August 1835 – 3 May 1880 was an Australian all-round sportsman who is credited along with his cousin Henry Colden Harrison Australian (rules football, or simply known as football, footy or Aussie rules, is a Team sport played between two teams of 18 players The Wills family had strong links to indigenous people and Wills coached the first Australian cricket side to tour England, the Australian Aboriginal cricket team in England in 1868. The Australian Aboriginal cricket team in England in 1868 was a Cricket team made up of Australian Aborigines that toured England between May and October Similarities between Marn Grook and Australian football include the unique skill of jumping to catch the ball or high "marking", which results in a free kick. The word "mark" may have originated in "mumarki", which is "an Aboriginal word meaning catch" in a dialect of a Marn Grook playing tribe however most likely the word 'mark' originated from rugby which Tom Wills played and adopted a lot of elements from for Aussie Rules. Indeed, Aussie Rules has seen many indigenous players at elite football, and have produced some of the most exciting and skillful to play the modern game. In 2006, approximately one in ten AFL players were of indigenous origin.  The contribution the Aboriginal people have made to the game is recognised by the annual AFL "Dreamtime at the 'G" match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between Essendon and Richmond football clubs (the colours of the two clubs combine to form the colours of the Aboriginal flag, and many great players have come from these clubs, including Essendon's Michael Long and Richmond's Maurice Rioli). Essendon Football Club, nicknamed The Bombers, is an Australian rules football club and is part of the Australian Football League. Richmond Football Club, nicknamed The Tigers, competes in the Australian Football League. The Australian Aboriginal flag was originally designed as a protest Flag for the land rights movement of Indigenous Australians but has since become a symbol Michael Long (born 1 October 1969 in Darwin Northern Territory) is a former Australian rules footballer of partial Aboriginal decent and spokesperson against racism Maurice Rioli (born 1 September 1957 at Melville Island, Northern Territory) was an Australian rules football player from St Marys Football Club Testifying to this abundance of indigenous talent, the Aboriginal All-Stars are an AFL-level all-Aboriginal football side competes against any one of the Australian Football League's current football teams in pre-season tests. The ATSIC Aboriginal All-Stars are an Australian rules football team composed purely of Aboriginals. The Australian Football League (AFL is both the professional Australian national competition in the Sport of Australian Rules Football and its highest The Clontarf Foundation and football academy is just one organisation aimed at further developing aboriginal football talent. The Clontarf Foundation is a non-profit foundation with the aims to improve the health employment education and life skills of Australia’s teenaged male indigenous The Tiwi Bombers began playing in the Northern Territory Football League and became the first and only all-Aboriginal side to compete in a major Australian competition. The Tiwi Islands Football Club (known as the Tiwi Bombers) began as a representative club competing in the Northern Territory Football League 2006/07 season Clubs Current clubs History See Australian rules football in the Northern Territory The NTFL chose to play in the Northern
The first Aboriginal to captain any Australian national sports team was Arthur Beetson, a Queensland rugby league player. Arthur Henry Beetson, OAM (born 22 January 1945 in Roma Queensland) is an Australian former Rugby league player and coach Australian Aborigines have a strong presence in rugby league in Australia.
The Indigenous Australian population is a mostly urbanised demographic, but a substantial number (27%) live in remote settlements often located on the site of former church missions. A religious Mission or Mission station is a location for Missionary work The health and economic difficulties facing both groups are substantial. Both the remote and urban populations have adverse ratings on a number of social indicators, including health, education, unemployment, poverty and crime.  In 2004 former Prime Minister John Howard initiated contracts with Aboriginal communities, where substantial financial benefits are available in return for commitments such as ensuring children wash regularly and attend school. See also Howard Government John Winston Howard AC (born 26 July 1939 was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 11 March These contracts are known as Shared Responsibility Agreements. This saw a political shift from 'self determination' for Aboriginal communities to 'mutual obligation', which has been criticised as a "paternalistic and dictatorial arrangement". The "Mutual Obligation" concept was introduced for all Australians in receipt of welfare benefits and who are not disabled or elderly. Notably, just prior to a federal election being called, John Howard in a Speech at the Sydney Institute on October 11 2007 acknowledged some of the failures of the previous policies of his government and said "We must recognise the distinctiveness of Indigenous identity and culture and the right of Indigenous people to preserve that heritage. Federal elections for the Parliament of Australia were held on Saturday 24 November 2007 after a 6-week campaign in which 13 The Sydney Institute, founded in 1989, is a privately funded current affairs forum The crisis of Indigenous social and cultural disintegration requires a stronger affirmation of Indigenous identity and culture as a source of dignity, self-esteem and pride. "
In 2002 data collected on health status reported that Indigenous Australians were twice as likely as non-indigenous people to report their health as fair/poor and one-and-a-half times more likely to have a disability or long-term health condition (after adjusting for demographic structures). Events 1258 - Baghdad falls to the Mongols, and the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957 is the 26th and current Prime Minister of Australia and federal leader of the Centre-left Australian Labor  In 1996-2001, the life expectancy of an Indigenous Australian was 59. 4 years for males and, in 2004-05, 65. 0 years for females, approximately 17 years lower than the Australian average. 
Health problems with the highest disparity (compared with the non-Indigenous population) in incidence  are outlined in the table below:
|Health problem||Comparative incidence rate||Comment|
|Dementia||26-fold||26 times more likely to develop dementia than the rest of the Australian population and in some cases, an earlier onset of symptoms|
|Circulatory system diseases||2 to 10-fold||5 to 10-fold increase in rheumatic heart disease and hypertensive disease, 2-fold increase in other heart disease, 3-fold increase in death from circulatory system disorders. Dementia (from Latin de- "apart away" + Mens ( genitive mentis) "mind" is the progressive decline Rheumatic fever is an Autoimmune inflammatory Disease which may develop two to three weeks after a Group A streptococcal infection (such as Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, HTN or HPN, is a medical condition in which the Blood pressure is chronically elevated Heart disease is an Umbrella term for a variety for different diseases affecting the Heart. This is an article about the rock music band "Circulatory System" Circulatory system diseases account for 24% of total indigenous deaths|
|Diabetes||3 to 4-fold||11% incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in Indigenous Australians, 3% in non-Indigenous population. Diabetes mellitus type 2 or Type 2 Diabetes (formerly called non - Insulin -dependent Diabetes mellitus (NIDDM or adult-onset diabetes is a metabolic 7 to 10 times more deaths in Aboriginals from diabetes than expected. Diabetes mellitus (ˌdaɪəˈbiːtiːz or /ˌdaɪəˈbiːtəs/ /məˈlaɪtəs/ or /ˈmɛlətəs/ often referred to simply as diabetes ( Ancient Greek: grc 18% of total indigenous deaths |
|Chronic kidney disease||2 to 3-fold||2 to 3-fold increase in listing on the dialysis and transplant registry, up to 30-fold increase in end stage renal disease, 8-fold increase in death rates from kidney disease, 2. In Medicine, dialysis (from Greek "dialusis" meaning dissolution "dia" meaning through and "lusis" meaning loosening is primarily The kidneys are complicated organs that have numerous biological roles Nephrology (from Greek nephros, " Kidney " and λόγος Logos, "speech" lit 5% of total indigenous deaths |
|Neoplasms (Cancer)||60% increase in death rate||60% increased death rate from cancers. Cancer (medical term Malignant Neoplasm) is a class of Diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled In 1999-2003, neoplasms accounted for 17% of all Aboriginal deaths|
|Respiratory disease||3 to 4-fold||3 to 4-fold increased death rate from respiratory disease accounting for 8% of total indigenous deaths|
|Communicable diseases||Up to 70-fold||10-fold increase in tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus, 20-fold increase in Chlamydia, 40-fold increase in Shigellosis and Syphilis, 70-fold increase in Gonococcal infections|
|External Causes||3-fold increase in fatalities||Of Indigenous fatal injuries, 24% are from suicide, 26% from motor vehicle accidents and 17% from assault. Respiratory Disease is the term for Diseases of the Respiratory system. Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for tubercle bacillus or T u' b' erculosis Bacillus --> is a common This page is for the virus For the disease see Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C virus ( HCV) is a small (50 nm in size Shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery in its most severe manifestation is a Foodborne illness caused by infection by bacteria of the genus Syphilis is a Sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirochetal Bacterium Treponema pallidum pallidum. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, also known as Gonococci (plural or Gonococcus (singular is a species of Gram-negative kidney bean-shaped Diplococci Combined, external causes account for 16% of all Indigenous deaths|
|Vision problems||2-fold||A 2-fold increase in cataracts|
|Oral health||2-fold increase||2-fold increase in children with dental decay|
|Mental health||2 to 5-fold||5-fold increase in drug-induced mental disorders, 2-fold increase in schizophrenia, 2 to 3-fold increase in suicide, 3-fold increase in death rate|
|Infant mortality||2 to 3-fold||Over the period 1999-2003, in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, the national infant mortality rate for Indigenous infants was three times the rate for non-Indigenous infants|
Each of these indicators is expected to underestimate the true prevalence of disease in the Indigenous population due to reduced levels of diagnosis. A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the Eye or in its envelope varying in degree from slight to complete opacity Dental caries is a disease that damages Tooth structures resulting in what is commonly called tooth decay or cavities which are holes in the teeth Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as Schizophrenia ( from the Greek roots schizein (σχίζειν "to split" and phrēn Infant mortality is defined as the number of deaths of Infants (one year of age or younger per 1000 live births 
The following factors have been at least partially implicated in the racial inequality in life expectancy:
Additional problems are created by the reluctance of many rural indigenous people to leave their homelands to access medical treatment in larger urban areas, particularly when they have need for on-going treatments such as dialysis.  However, in some categories of health problems, Aboriginal people living in remote areas have better health outcomes than those in urban areas. The difference is particularly striking in mental health -- living on traditional lands appears to produce better mental health outcomes. 
Successive Federal Governments have responded to the problem by implementing programs such as the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH). There have been some small successes, such as the reduction of infant mortality since the 1970s (down to twice the non-Indigenous levels in 1996-2001), effected by bringing health services into indigenous communities, but on the whole the problem remains unsolved.
According to Western Australian Office of Aboriginal Health Abriginal Australians face a large number of health issues due to their living conditions. In Western Australia, respiratory, gastrointestinal, infectious and parasitic diseases are disproportionately higher among Aboriginal people, especially the young. Factors that put Aboriginal people, especially those residing in rural and remote areas at a higher risk of poor health are related to inadequate housing or harmful levels of community or personal hygiene. A survey of communities in Western Australia reported large problems with water supply and sanitation problems, overcrowding and substandard housing, waste-water disposal problems and the absence of rubbish disposal that resulted in a high prevalence of vermin and pests and a lack of personal hygiene (ABS & AIHW, 2003). Other factors include poor nutrition, obesity, substance abuse and exposure to violence. 
Indigenous students as a group leave school earlier, and live with a lower standard of education, compared with their non-indigenous peers. Although the situation is slowly improving (with significant gains between 1994 and 2004), both the levels of participation in education and training among Indigenous Australians and their levels of attainment remain well below those of non-Indigenous Australians.
In response to this problem, the Commonwealth Government formulated a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy. The Australian National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy (AEP is an agreed national policy between the Government of Australia and each A number of government initiatives have resulted, some of which are listed by the Commonwealth Government's Indigenous Education page.
An Indigenous Australian is 11 times more likely to be in prison than a non-Indigenous Australian, and in June 2004, 21% of prisoners in Australia were Indigenous.  This over-representation of Indigenous Australians in prisons was drawn to public attention by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1987-1991 studied and reported on the high level of deaths of Aboriginal people whilst in custody after being arrested Aboriginal deaths in custody became a major issue because of a widespread perception that a disproportionate number of Indigenous Australians were dying in jail after being arrested
Violent crime, including domestic and sexual abuse, is a problem in many communities. Indigenous Australians are twice as likely to be a victim of violence than non-Indigenous Australians, with 24% of Indigenous Australians reported being a victim of violence in 2001.  This is consistent with hospitalisation data showing higher rates of injury due to assault. 
An estimated three in five children have suffered some kind of sexual abuse in the southeast Queensland Aboriginal community of Cherbourg . In May, 2006, Alice Springs crown prosecutor Nanette Rogers publicly declared child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities a "National problem".  Australia-wide, Indigenous Australian children are 20-fold overrepresented in the juvenile corrective service and 20-fold more likely to be involved in child abuse and neglect cases. 
In August 2007, the government announced the Northern Territory National Emergency Response, a package of welfare reform, law enforcement and other measures designed to address endemic levels of child abuse in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory National Emergency Response (also referred to as "the intervention" is a package of changes to welfare provision law enforcement land tenure and other Legislation was rushed through Parliament in support of the measures. Critics of the Intervention claim that it does not address the problem, but reduces land rights of the Aboriginal communities. Others supported the tough stance on child abuse.
According to the 2001 Census, an Indigenous Australian is almost three times more likely to be unemployed (20. 0% unemployment) than a non-Indigenous Australian (7. 6%). The difference is not solely due to the increased proportion of Indigenous Australians living in rural communities, for unemployment is higher in Indigenous Australian populations living in urban centres (Source: ABS). The average household income for Indigenous Australian populations is 60% of the non-Indigenous average. . Indigenous Australians are 6-fold more likely to be homeless, 15-fold more likely to be living in improvised dwellings, and 25-fold more likely to be living with 10 or more people. 
Many Indigenous communities suffer from a range of health and social problems associated with substance abuse of both legal and illegal drugs. Substance abuse is the overindulgence in and dependence of a Drug or other chemical leading to effects that are detrimental to the individual's physical and mental health This is due to a lack of awareness and services available.
Alcohol consumption within Indigenous communities is seen as a significant issue, as are the domestic violence and associated issues resulting from the behaviour such as incest and gang rape. A large 2004-05 health survey by the ABS found that the proportion of the Indigenous adult population engaged in 'risky' and 'high-risk' alcohol consumption (15%) was comparable with that of the non-Indigenous population (14%), based on age-standardised data. The Australian Bureau of Statistics ( ABS) is Australia 's national statistical agency. 
One study by the Australian National Commission on Drugs (ANCD) published in 2002 attributes the "public misperception of high alcohol use [in Indigenous communities]" to "the disproportionate level of harm caused (to the individual and community) by those drinking at very high levels in public" (ANCD 2002:p. 2). Even so, other studies have indicated that those in the Indigenous communities who do drink excessively are at greater risk of harm (to themselves and others) than similar-level alcohol consumers in the wider population
To combat the problem, a number of programs to prevent or mitigate against alcohol abuse have been attempted in different regions, many initiated from within the communities themselves. These strategies include such actions as the declaration of "Dry Zones" within indigenous communities, prohibition and restriction on point-of-sale access, and community policing and licensing. Some communities (particularly in the Northern Territory) introduced kava as a safer alternative to alcohol, as over-indulgence in kava produces sleepiness, in contrast to the violence that can result from over-indulgence in alcohol. KAVA (1480 AM) is a Radio station broadcasting a Regional Mexican format These and other measures met with variable success, and while a number of communities have seen decreases in associated social problems caused by excessive drinking, others continue to struggle with the issue and it remains an ongoing concern. The ANCD study notes that in order to be effective, programs in general need also to address ". . . the underlying structural determinants that have a significant impact on alcohol and drug misuse" (Op. cit. , p. 26). In 2007, Kava was banned in the Northern Territory. KAVA (1480 AM) is a Radio station broadcasting a Regional Mexican format
Petrol sniffing is also a problem among some remote Indigenous communities. Petrol vapour produces euphoria and dulling effect in those who inhale it, and due to its relatively low price and widespread availability, is an increasingly popular substance of abuse. Proposed solutions to the problem are a topic of heated debate among politicians and the community at large.  In 2005 this problem among Aboriginal communities was considered so serious that a new petrol Opal was distributed across the Northern Territory to combat it. Opal is a variety of low-aromatic Petrol developed in 2005 by BP Australia to combat the rising use of petrol as an Inhalant in remote Indigenous Australian Opal petrol does not give the 'high' that regular petrol does.
Under Section 41 of the Australian Constitution Aboriginals always had the legal right to vote in Australian Commonwealth elections if their State granted them that right. Historically the voting rights of Australian Aboriginals had been restricted in Australian Parliaments and local government bodies This meant that all Aborigines outside Queensland and Western Australia had a legal right to vote. Indigenous Australians gained the unqualified right to vote in Federal elections in 1962. It was not until 1967 that they were counted in the population for the purpose of distribution of electoral seats. Only two Indigenous Australians have been elected to the Australian Parliament, Neville Bonner (1971-1983) and Aden Ridgeway (1999-2005). Neville Thomas Bonner AO ( 28 March, 1922 - 5 February, 1999) was an Australian politician and the first indigenous Aden Derek Ridgeway (born 18 September 1962 Australian politician was a member of the Australian Senate for New South Wales, from 1999 to 2005 representing There are currently no Indigenous Australians in the Australian Parliament.
ATSIC, the representative body of Aborigine and Torres Strait Islanders, was set up in 1990 under the Hawke government. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission ( ATSIC) ( 1990 &ndash 2005) was the Australian Government body through which Aboriginal Robert James Lee (Bob Hawke, AC (born 9 December 1929 was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia and longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister In 2004, the Howard government disbanded ATSIC and replaced it with an appointed network of 30 Indigenous Coordination Centres that administer Shared Responsibility Agreements and Regional Partnership Agreements with Aboriginal communities at a local level. See also Howard Government John Winston Howard AC (born 26 July 1939 was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 11 March 
In October 2007, just prior to the calling of a federal election, the then Prime Minister, John Howard, advocated a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution. Federal elections for the Parliament of Australia were held on Saturday 24 November 2007 after a 6-week campaign in which 13 Reaction to his surprising adoption of the importance of the symbolic aspects of the reconciliation process, was mixed. The ALP supported the idea. Some sections of the Australian public and media  suggested it was a cynical attempt in the lead-up to an election to whitewash Mr Howard's poor handling of this issue during his term in office. David Ross (Central Land Council) said "its a new skin for an old snake. "  (ABC radio 12 October 2007)
Throughout the history of the continent, there have been many different Aboriginal groups, each with their own individual language, culture, and belief structure. See also Indigenous Australians This List of Indigenous Australian group names contains names and collective designations which have been applied either formerly Australian Aboriginal Kinship is the system of Law governing social interaction particularly Marriage, in traditional Aboriginal culture See also Indigenous Australians This List of Indigenous Australian group names contains names and collective designations which have been applied either formerly At the time of British settlement there were over 200 distinct languages. There are an indeterminate number of Indigenous communities, comprised of several hundred groupings. Some communities, cultures or groups may be inclusive of others and alter or overlap; significant changes have occurred in the generations after colonisation.
The word 'community' is often used to describe groups identifying by kinship, language or belonging to a particular place or 'country'. A community may draw on separate cultural values and individuals can conceivably belong to a number of communities within Australia, identification within them may be adopted or rejected. An individual community may identify itself by many names, each of which can have alternate English spellings. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States The largest Aboriginal communities, the Pitjantjatjara, the Arrernte, the Luritja and the Warlpiri are all from Central Australia. Pitjantjatjara ˈpɪcaɲcacaɾa is the name of both an Aboriginal people of the Central Australian desert and their language (for which see Pitjantjatjara The Arrernte (also Aranda and Arrarnta) (pronounced UH-rrahn-da are those Indigenous Australians who are the original custodians of Arrernte lands Luritja is a name used to refer to several dialects of the Indigenous Australian Western Desert Language, and thereby also to the people who speak these varieties The Warlpiri are a group of Indigenous Australians, many of whom speak the Warlpiri language. Central Australia/Alice Springs Region is one of the five regions in the Northern Territory.
The Tiwi islands are inhabited by the Tiwi, an Aboriginal people culturally and linguistically distinct from those of Arnhem Land on the mainland just across the water. The Tiwi Islands are located in Australia 's Northern Territory 80 km north of Darwin at the junction of the Arafura Sea and Timor Sea Groote Eylandt is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northeastern Australia. The Tiwi Islands are located in Australia 's Northern Territory 80 km north of Darwin at the junction of the Arafura Sea and Timor Sea The Tiwi people are one of the many Indigenous groups of Australia. They number around 2,500. Groote Eylandt belongs to the Anindilyakwa Aboriginal people, and is part of the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve. Groote Eylandt is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northeastern Australia. Enindhilyagwa (several other names see below is an Australian Language isolate spoken by the Warnindhilyagwa people on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf
The Tasmanian Aborigines are thought to have first crossed into Tasmania approximately 40,000 years ago via a land bridge between the island and the rest of mainland Australia during an ice age. The Tasmanian Aborigines ( Aboriginal name Palawa) are the indigenous people of the island state of Tasmania, Australia. Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name It is located south of the eastern side of the Continent, being separated from it by Bass An ice age is a period of long-term reduction in the Temperature of the Earth 's surface and atmosphere resulting in an expansion of continental Ice sheets The original population, estimated at 4,000 to 6,000 people, was reduced to a population of around 300 between 1803 and 1833 often due to the actions of British settlers. Almost all of the Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples today are descendants of two women: Fanny Cochrane Smith and Dolly Dalrymple. Fanny Cochrane Smith, (ca 1834 - 1905 was a Tasmanian Aborigine, born December 1834 after relocation of Tasmania's indigenous population to Wybalena Flinders Island A woman named Truganini, who died in 1876, is generally considered to be the last first-generation tribal Tasmanian Aborigine while Fanny Cochrane Smith, who died in 1905, is recognised as the last of the Tasmanian Aboriginals. Truganini (ca 1812 – May 8 1876) is the person generally considered to be the last "full blood" Tasmanian Aborigine.
This conflict is a subject of the Australian history wars, the 2002 publication of The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume One: Van Diemen's Land 1803-1847 by Keith Windschuttle, questioned the historical evidence used to identify the actual number of Aborigines killed stating that it was exaggerated and challenged what is labelled the "Black armband view of history" of Tasmanian colonisation. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The History wars are an ongoing public debate in Australia over the interpretation of the history of the European colonisation of Australia and its impact on Keith Windschuttle (born 1942) is an Australian Writer, historian, and ABC board member who has authored several books from the 1970s The History wars are an ongoing public debate in Australia over the interpretation of the history of the European colonisation of Australia and its impact on  After years of research, though only using officially-recorded deaths, Keith Windschuttle speculated that only 118 Tasmanian Aborigines had been killed in the whole period between 1803, when British settlement began, and 1847, when the frontier nature of Tasmanian society ended. Keith Windschuttle (born 1942) is an Australian Writer, historian, and ABC board member who has authored several books from the 1970s Most Tasmanian Aboriginal deaths were the result of virulent diseases to which the natives had no immunity (including syphilis) and alcoholism. Syphilis is a Sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirochetal Bacterium Treponema pallidum pallidum. Alcoholism is a term with multiple and sometimes conflicting definitions  His argument has been challenged by a number of authors, for example see "Contra Windschuttle" by S. G. Foster in Quadrant, March 2003, 47:3. 
Six per cent of Indigenous Australians identify themselves fully as Torres Strait Islanders. Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands, part of Queensland, Australia. The Torres Strait is a body of water which lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea. A further 4% of Indigenous Australians identify themselves as having both Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal heritage. The Torres Strait is a body of water which lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea. 
More than 100 islands make up the Torres Strait Islands where they come from. The Torres Strait Islands are a group of at least 274 small Islands which lie in Torres Strait, the waterway separating far northern continental Australia's Cape  There are 6,800 Torres Strait Islanders who live in the area of the Torres Strait, and 42,000 others who live outside of this area, mostly in the north of Queensland, such as in the coastal cities of Townsville and Cairns. Many organisations to do with Indigenous people in Australia are named "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander", showing the importance of Torres Strait Islanders in Australia's indigenous population. The islands were annexed by Queensland in 1879.  The Torres Strait Islanders were not given official recognition by the Australian government until the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was set up in 1990.
Eddie Mabo was from Mer or Murray Island in the Torres Strait, which the famous Mabo decision of 1992 involved. Eddie Koiki Mabo ( c.1936&ndash 21 January 1992) was a Torres Strait Islander who became famous in Australian history for his role in campaigning Murray Island (known by the local Torres Strait Islanders as Mer) is a small island of volcanic origin populated by the Melanesian Mabo v Queensland (No 2 (commonly known as Mabo) was a landmark Australian court case which was decided by the High Court 
In 1983 the High Court of Australia defined 'An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives'. The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. This decision legally established that anyone who has a drop of Aboriginal blood can classify himself as an Aboriginal if he is accepted as such by his community. However, there is no formal procedure for any community to record acceptance, so the only method of determining indigenous population is from self-identification on census forms. There is no provision on the forms to differentiate full from part indigenous. 
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005 snapshot of Australia shows the indigenous population has grown at twice the rate of the overall population since 1996 when the indigenous population stood at 283,000. The Australian Bureau of Statistics ( ABS) is Australia 's national statistical agency. As at June 2001, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated the total resident indigenous population to be 458,520 (2. 4% of Australia's total), 90% of whom identified as Aboriginal, 6% Torres Strait Islander and the remaining 4% being of dual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parentage. Much of the increase since 1996 can be attributed to higher rates of people identifying themselves as Aborigines and changed definitions of aboriginality. The preliminary census of Indigenous estimated resident population of Australia, at 30 June 2006, is 517,200. 
In the 2001 census the Aboriginal population in different States was:
While the State with the largest total Aboriginal population is New South Wales, as a percentage this constitutes only 2. Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the center of the mainland continent as well as the central northern regions South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name It is located south of the eastern side of the Continent, being separated from it by Bass } The Australian Capital Territory (ACT is the Capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and its smallest self-governing internal territory 1% of the overall population of the State. The Northern Territory has the largest Aboriginal population in percentage terms for a State or Territory, with 28. The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the center of the mainland continent as well as the central northern regions 8%. All the other States and Territories have less than 4% of their total populations identifying as Aboriginal; Victoria has the lowest percentage (0. 6%).
In 2001 about 30% of the Aboriginal population was living in major cities (a decrease from the 46% living in urban areas in 1971) and another 43% in or close to rural towns. The populations in the eastern states are more likely to be urbanised sometimes in city communities such as at Redfern in Sydney. Redfern is an inner-city suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
There have been many distinguished Indigenous Australians, in politics, sports, the arts and other areas. Lists of Indigenous Australians by occupation and historic contribution These include (in alphabetical order):
Tim Flannery (1994), The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People, ISBN 0-8021-3943-4 ISBN 0-7301-0422-2