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Indigenous Australian Cultures & Heritage: Cultures & Heritage

Student and Teacher resources for study of Indigenous Australian cultures and heritage, and reconciliation

Acknowledgement of Country

We humbly and respectfully acknowledge the mouheneenner people of the South East Nation as the original custodians of the unceded kriwa lands on which this School stands; lands taken violently and without consent. We sadly acknowledge that none of the mouheneenner people are believed to have survived colonisation. We acknowledge that these lands have been nurtured and protected by countless generations of Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The Hutchins School recognises and is deeply grateful for the continuing custodianship of their land. We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their Elders, past, present, and emerging, as well as First Nations people from other lands who may be here. As a school, we commit to walking together with Tasmanian Aboriginal people to pursue healing through Voice, Treaty and Truth-Telling.

First Nations Peoples

Take a closer look at a variety of First Nations topics with the following resources:


The Australian Institute for Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

  AIATSIS is an Indigenous-led, national institute that celebrates, educates and inspires people from all walks of life to connect with the knowledge, heritage and cultures of Australia’s First Peoples. As well as research and publishing, AIATSIS curates a collection of more than 1 million items - encompassing films, photographs, audio recordings, art and objects, printed and other resource materials - dedicated to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. Their website offers opportunities to search their collection; access guides and resources to assist with family history research; curriculum resources; explore cultural and historical aspects of the diverse story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia, as well as news, events, podcasts, blogs, and more. - Australian Government

   This website is designed to connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Australian Government policies and programs and raise awareness about the initiatives that affect them most. It shares news and events as well as stories from individuals, communities and organisations across Australia; real stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the challenges and opportunities facing them, and the successes and achievements being demonstrated every day.

National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)

   The role of the NIAA is to  implement the Government’s policies and programs to improve the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The site goes into detail about the various areas of government focus with regard to First Nations peoples and includes news and associated resources.



ABC Indigenous Portal

   This site collects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories from around Australia, showcasing the latest Indigenous stories and features from ABC radio, news and current affairs, TV, and iview. Podcasts, documentaries, language and NAIDOC focused articles, as well as news and opinion pieces can all be accessed via this resource.

Koori Mail: The Voice of Indigenous Australia

   The Koori Mail is a fortnightly national newspaper reporting on issues of importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and those interested in Indigenous affairs. Established in 1991, and still Aboriginal-owned, this publication provides news, views, advertisements, and other material of interest to its readers. Their back archive is available and fully searchable via the AIATSIS website.

Behind the News - Indigenous Culture

   Behind the News is an educational program for upper primary / lower secondary level, explaining news and current affairs. This page provides access to a collection of short, easy-to-understand videos about First Nations events and topics. 


Culture and Heritage

Creative Spirits

   This site explores aspects of First Nations culture with well-referenced articles, infographics and multimedia. Divided into four main sections - Culture, Resources, Multimedia, and Interactive - the site deals with a variety of cultural topics, provides access to appropriate resources from an educational standpoint, photo galleries and videos, as well as trivia and quizzes to test newly acquired knowledge.

Share Our Pride  

   An initiative of Reconciliation Australia, this website is designed to give non-Indigenous people a glimpse into the lives and cultures of Australia’s First People. Providing simple and introductory content it aims to raise awareness and can be used as a starting point for a number of First Nations topics such as identity, culture, intergenerational trauma, and family and kinship.


   This website focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing and storytelling, recording information about the lives, careers, and works of First Nations writers and storytellers, as well as their formative and influencing literary cultures and traditions. Covering all forms of creative writing, including film television, criticism, and scholarship, BlackWords also publishes research outcomes, full text, datasets, teaching material, and other curated content to deepen knowledge and understanding of storytelling in Australia. Be aware that some full text content is subscriber access only.

The First Australians - National Museum of Australia

   Referring to the National Museum's largest gallery, First Australians enables the exploration of shared stories and experiences of First Nations people across Australia. The page provides links to a variety of text, audio, and video resources about Indigenous culture and history, defining moments in Australia's history, an additional focus on the Torres Strait Islands, as well as touching on the museum's Talking Blak to History exhibition which explores the aftermath of colonisation and issues such as land rights, sovereignty, the Stolen Generations, and deaths in custody.

First Nations at the Australian Museum

Ghost Net Sculpture

 Ghost Net Sculpture from Garrigarrung: Sea Country Exhibition

The Australian Museum has one of the world's most significant First Nations collections, representing First Nations communities from across Australia with a diverse range of artworks, technologies, and cultural material. As a platform for First Nations voices this website includes a collection of articles on issues important to First Nations people by First Nations writers; the First Nations lecture series and links to explore the museum's collections. 

Investigate further with the following exhibitions.

Indigenous Australians: Australia's First Peoples exhibition 1996-2005

   Through multimedia, art, cultural material and collection objects, this exhibition explored five core themes: Family; Social Justice; Cultural Heritage; Spirituality; and The Land. This page provides detailed information about many aspects within these themes, including the stolen generation, reconciliation, and land rights, among others.


   Presenting a First Nations perspective of the foundation of Australia, this exhibition is divided into eight thematic sections: Introduction, Signal Fires, Recognising Invasions, Fighting Wars, Remembering Massacres, Surviving Genocide, Continued Resistance, and Healing Nations. It features over 190 objects and images, many of which have not before been publicly available to view. As well as detailed descriptions of each section and a selection of its exhibits, this page includes a full virtual tour of the exhibition as a whole.

Bayala Nura: Yarning Country

   This exhibition is a celebration of Australia's Indigenous communities through objects and stories of living culture, with a focus on the yarning (storytelling) tradition. This page gives a summary and highlights of the exhibition.

Garrigarrang: Sea Country

   In this exhibition, discover Australia's Salt Water People, and their cultures and spiritual traditions. From the Sydney Basin to the Torres Strait, 'Sea Country' encompasses the entirety of Australia's coastline. This page gives a summary and highlights of the exhibition, with links to Ghost Net sculptures as a way of telling traditional stories.

Terminology & Language

These terms are acceptable to the community:  Tasmanian Aboriginals

                                                                            Tasmanian Aboriginal Peoples

These terms are acceptable globally:  First Nations

                                                             First Nations Peoples 

The following resources discuss appropriate language and terminology to use when referring to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and topics:
Indigenous Australians: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - AIATSIS

Terminology Guide - Narragunnawali

Demonstrating inclusive and respectful language - Reconciliation Australia

Appropriate words & terminology for First Nations topics - Creative Spirits

What is the correct term for Aboriginal people? - Creative Spirits

Glossary of Healing Terms: A guide to key terms related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing - Healing Foundation

Gambay First Languages Map

This interactive map has been developed by First Languages Australia with regional language centres across Australia. Reflecting names and groupings favoured by community the map promotes the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Additional resources and teaching notes are available.

Audio-Visual Resources

This Land is Mine by Kev Carmody & Paul Kelly was written for the film One Night the Moon. The film tells us the true story of a station owner’s refusal to accept help from an Aboriginal tracker in the search for his missing daughter. The song explores the different ways in which the tracker and farmer relate to the land. In the second video Kev Carmody discusses writing the song and the perspectives behind it.



   This ABC Radio National program focuses on Aboriginal arts and culture from across Australia, as well as highlighting radio from Indigenous broadcasters worldwide. A regular feature is 'Word Up' which allows guests to share words from their Indigenous language and the meaning they hold. The show is presented by Bundjalung and Kullilli man Daniel Browning.

Speaking Out

   Presenting politics, arts, and culture from a range of Indigenous perspectives this ABC Radio program can be accessed as a podcast. It is presented by Gamilaroi and Eualeyai woman Professor Larissa Behrendt.

Fierce Girls

   This collection of educational podcast episodes explores the lives and achievements of significant Indigenous Australian women. Includes: Ash Barty; Molly Kelly; Mary Ann Bugg; Queenie McKenzie; Mumaring Daisy Bindi; Yukultji Napangati; and Faith Coulthard.



Log into ClickView to view the following videos; most of these have additional resources or notes available to download, so check out the Resource tab to the right of the video screen.

Land, Kinship, and Culture [24:06 min]

   Exploring the role of Indigenous culture in traditional and urban societies, this resource focuses on such issues as how culture has changed over time, how Indigenous people survive in modern Australia, and determining the role of the arts and importance of language.

Cooldrink and Culture [22:20 min]

   Discover the importance of bush food in Indigenous culture and its relationship to good health and quality of life. A group of young women from the Aboriginal community of Mt Liebig (300km west of Alice Springs) discuss community life, the effect of outside influences, and teach a group of children how to find and prepare bush foods.

Modern Indigenous Culture [35:03 min]

  Looking at a variety of new and emerging artists, and their artistic expressions, see how they maintain the integrity, connectedness, authenticity, and originality in a cultural context.

Walking, Dancing, Belonging [22:16 min]

   Three female Indigenous artists share how they express their sense of belonging and relationship to country through artwork, dance, and song, as well as their reasons for doing so. Hear stories of their Dreaming, land, and experiences growing up as station workers in the Kununurra area. This film presents the views and stories of Elders in the community and is spoken in language. 

Aboriginal Art: Materials and Practice [28:20 min]

   This interview-based program explores the relationship between country, perspectives and context, materials and process, technique, style, and the Aboriginal art industry, as well as how personal and cultural identity is represented through artistic expression. Guests include: Brook Andrew; Bindi Cole; desert artist, Otto; Australian art historian, Dr Susan Lowish; and curator, Phillip Batty, among others. This resource is useful for the fine art, art history, and cultural studies topics.

Aboriginal Art: Philosophy and Culture [28:21 min]

   This interview-based program explores what is meant by 'Aboriginal art', inspiration and influence, interpretation and symbolism, meanings and messages, and the cultural functions of art. Guests include: Brook Andrew; Bindi Cole; desert artist, Otto; Australian art historian, Dr Susan Lowish; and curator, Phillip Batty, among others. This resource is useful for the fine art, art history, and cultural studies topics.

First Australians [series, runtime approx. 52 min per episode]

   This SBS documentary series explores the history of Australia from an Indigenous perspective, from the first fleet's arrival in Sydney in 1788 to the Mabo case for Indigenous land rights in 1993. All 7 episodes are available via ClickView, SBS On Demand, and YouTube.