Australia has many striking features that make it one of the best countries in the world. While these features may not include its people, no description of the continent is completed without a mention of its original inhabitants–the Aboriginals.
The world’s oldest civilisation, dating back to over 60,000 years ago, is still alive today thanks to the Australian culture and government. Although the aboriginals are 3.3% of the country’s total population, they have a significant influence on the country and its culture.
The indigenous people, however, are yet to have significant power to make their own rules and protect their culture. Having produced the likes of Neville Bonner, Albert Namatjira, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and Adam Goodes, one would expect that the Dreamtime proponents would have spread its wings by now to cover other parts of the world.
Let’s have a look at how the civilisation and the tribes have influenced Australia
Australia has a multicultural community comprising the Greek, the Japanese, and the Chinese, among others. The nature of the aboriginals has helped to foster peace and unity within the communities, making Australia one of the safest places to live in. Before its colonisation, the indigenous people lived in peace and harmony, keeping over 500 nations together. The Pama-Nyungan family had over 300 languages–the largest of the civilization–and covered the Ngunawal in Canberra, Woiwurrung in Melbourne, and the Daruk/Iyora in Sydney.
Aboriginal culture is flourishing in Sydney. Sydney’s Blak Markets feature songs, dance displays, and the profit made is used to develop the local community. The Blue Mountains walkabout also provides insight into the ancient cultural world and knowledge of the Aboriginals. The Yabun Festival, held every 26th January in Sydney, celebrates the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week, held in July across the country, is dedicated to the indigenous people, celebrating their history, achievements, and culture. These festivals are part of the cultural identity of the Australians, drawing tourists from all around the world annually.
Most natural tourist sites in Australia are traced to the Aboriginals. In Sydney alone, there are many significant Aboriginal sites which attract tourists every year. Shipping from Auckland to Sydney with experienced movers, ausmove.co.nz? You will find interesting sites that share similarities with those of the Maori like Blue Mountains, Taronga Zoo, and the Yiribana Gallery. Other places like the Ayers Rock/Uluru which is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people, Tjapukai Cultural Park, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Purnululu National Park are testaments of the significance of the Aboriginals to Australia in terms of Tourism.
Between 100 and 120 aboriginal languages are still spoken today. Places like Bondi and Canberra got their names from the Aboriginals. The tribes also named Australian finest fauna and flora like the Koala, kangaroo, and Billabong. Around Sydney, the Dharuk language was spoken during the pre-colonial times and words such as wallaby, boomerang, dingo, gibber, paddymelon, and corroboree were derived from the language.
The Aboriginals have contributed their bit in promoting the country on the world sports map. Players like Cyril Rioli, Lance Franklin, Jonathan Thurston, and Greg Inglis contributed to the Australian Rules football and rugby league. Some other world-renowned Aboriginal sports players include Evonne Goolagong, Patty Mills, and Lionel Rose. The famous 1868 cricket team had players from Jardwadjali, Wotjobaluk, and Gunditjmara. They were discovered by Charles Lawrence, a former first-class cricketer who discovered them while in Sydney.
Music and Theatre
Artistes like Jimmy Little, Christine Anu, and Archie Roach were popular Aboriginals in the entertainment sector. The National Black Theatre in Sydney became the country’s first Aboriginal theatre in 1972. The Didgeridoo is a popular indigenous instrument whose sound is still widely featured in Sydney and New Zealand. The culture itself has influenced the music of the country, resulting in a melodious blend of European and Aboriginal influences.
Laura Fisher in her book Aboriginal Art and Australian Society explains how Aboriginal art has shaped people’s lifestyle in Australia. Aboriginal art is centred on the ancient stories about the civilisation and the concept of Dreamtime. There are many Aboriginal art galleries in Sydney. Notable Aboriginal art influencers include Geoffrey Bardon and Albert Namatjira.
The Aborigines in Australia are getting more involved in the country’s politics. Australia has had 40 indigenous citizens elected to its ten legislatures since 1971. This is unlike that of the Maori who have enjoyed over 150 years of representation in the New Zealand Parliament. In 2016, Linda Burney became the first female indigenous Australian to be elected to the country’s federal parliament. Current notable names in the chambers include Cynthia Lui, Lawrence Coaster, and Chansea Paech. Sydney is known as the starting point of the Aboriginal political protests in the country and was the place where the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association was formed in 1924. This shows how significant the Aboriginals are in the political history of the city.
The influence of the Aborigines can be seen in its largest city, Sydney, and other notable cities in the country. This has made the city a desirable place to live in. With the city ranking 5th in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index, you are guaranteed to enjoy your time in the city. If you love the Maori culture in New Zealand, you will be drawn to the Aboriginals in Sydney.