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Indigenous Australian: Religion

Transcript: Celebrating Lives Basic Beliefs of the Religion VIDEO Ceremonies are very important in all Aboriginal culture. After the death of a person, the community will often perform a set of rituals including painting themselves white, perform rituals, songs and dances and cut themselves to show remorse for the loss of life. Dances, rituals and songs ensure that the spirit leaves the area and returns to its birthplace where it can later, be reborn. Aboriginal burial varies all across Australia. In Northern Australia burial has to stages, while in Central and Southern Australia it is much different. A way that is used in Northern Australia has two processes the primary and secondary. The primary Burial is when the body is laid out on an elevated wooden platform and is then covered in leaves and branches and is left for several months till the flesh has rotted away from the bones. When the bones are collected the secondary burial begins. Sometimes a relative will carry a portion of the bones with them, in other places the bones are wrapped in paper bark and left in a cave to disintegrate with time and in some places the bones are deposited in a naturally hollowed (by termites) tree log and placed in a designated area of bushland. By: Aimee Jinkins, Alana Cairney, Alicia Cardamone & Charlotte Elliott HERE IS A SHORT VIDEO TO JUST SHOW YOU WHAT INDEGENOUS AUSTRALIANS ARE LIKE Statistics THANKS FOR WATCHING! Life and Death The Indigenous Aboriginal religion, like most other religions, is categorized by having one god or gods who created people and the world around them. Most likely at beginning of time known as the creation period. Aboriginal people are very religious and faithful, but rather than praying to a single god they cannot see, each group generally believes in many different individual gods. These individual gods also known as deities have an image that is often showed in some touchable or recognisable object. This form may be a certain image in a rock in the middle of a landscape or even a plant or animal. However, aboriginal people do not believe that all natural forms possess a soul. This means that they do not believe in animism. Key Beliefs They believe the earth is never-ending. The many ancestral figures that live on the world are also never-ending. These figures are frequently linked with particular animals. For example: Kangaroo-men, Emu-men or Bowerbird-women. As they travelled around the world, these beings shaped human, plant and animal life. They left hints of their journeys in the many natural features of the land. They also believe that they associated groups of people with specific languages and regions. Some groups think there is a supreme existence. The belief of the ‘Dreaming’ continues to control the world and the natural things in it. Life Indigenous Australians believe in life through re- incarnation of the spirit or soul. This again points back to the creation period were it was believed that plants were once people. Aboriginal People do not believe in animism. Animism is a belief that all natural objects like a rock have a soul. They might, however, believe that a certain rock or tree possesses a soul as it represents a god or goddess from the Creation Period. Death When someone dies, the community would hold a ceremony in honour of their life. Basic rituals are performed during this time like painting your body white, conducting a series of songs and dances to ensure that the person’s spirit leaves and returns to his or her birth place, from there it is said they can later be reborn. There is also a burial process that is a bit different around all parts of Australia and is also dependent on the community. The primary burial is when the body is laid out on a wooden platform covered in leaves and plants where it is left for several months. After that, the bones are collected and are covered in red ochre. From there, a relative might keep some of the bones and sometime they are wrapped in barked and disposed of in a cave somewhere. This shows us that to Aboriginal culture, it is more the process of letting the soul move on. Whilst burial plays an important part, it does not play the major role. Indigenous Australian Beliefs Australia holds two Indigenous beliefs, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Each different from the other although share similar characteristics. Claiming scientists believe that our Indigenous Australians came from Asia whilst the two countries were connected by a land bridge 40,000 years ago, although they themselves believe in the dreamtime. Together our Indigenous Australian community contains an approximate 145 languages. Based on the 2011 Census, there is approximately 548 370 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders. This shows that throughout the Australian population only approximately 2.5% of the population follows these beliefs. 31% of which live in New South Wales, 28.4% in Queensland, 26.8% in Northern Territory, 3.1% in Western Australia, 1.9% in

Australian Indigenous History

Transcript: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologises formally to Stolen Generations. Commonwealth Electoral Act changed to give the vote to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at Federal elections. James Cook discovers Australia. It is declared the land belongs to nobody (terra nullius) and claimed for the British Crown. Arrival of First Fleet 1788 600 years ago The dispossession of Aboriginal peoples from their land. Resulted in a drastic decline in population. Many Aboriginal people killed over the rights to settle on the land. Many died from malnourishment. Not able to access clean water or an adequate supply of food. More susceptible to fatal diseases. Protection legislation 1911 Native Title Act 1993 Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from Australia’s Constitution. Land Rights 1972 Treaty 1835 Constitutional recognition 2012 The first Fleet arrives and settles in Port Jackson, NSW. Many occurrences have an impact on the Indigenous population: disease killings incarceration forced removal from land Forced removal of children from families. Aboriginal missions set up by churches. The European settlement spread across Australia. When the British arrived there were between 300,000 and 1 million Indigenous people throughout the Australian continent. At least 3 out of 4 Indigenous Australians did not survive colonisation. Options for the future of Indigenous Australia, Australian 2020 Summit - Final Report Federal Government announce an intervention in Northern Territory due to sexual abuse claim. Reconciliation 1990's Some contact. There was starting to be some contact with others, e.g. Indonesians Federation 1901 Australian Indigenous History Apology 2008 Act of Recognition bill is introduced into the House of Representatives. Mabo Decision 1992 The future Land rights fight begins. Department of Aboriginal Affairs established by Federal Government. In 1991, the Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down. Recommends a formal process of reconciliation. 1992: Paul Keating delivers Redfern Address. Commonwealth of Australia proclaimed. Colonies become states. Federal parliament formed. Right to land 1836 Counted as Australian Citizens 1948 Colonisation 1770 High Court of Australia passed recognised that Native Title did exist. Australia was not terra nullius at time of European settlement. The Stolen Generations 1910 - 1970 Intervention 2007 British House of Commons says that Aborigines have a ‘plain right and sacred right’ to their land. 1800s Positives & Negatives Terra Nullius Federal Parliament passes Native Title Act There are attempts to make a treaty in Port Phillip Bay. It is not recognised by the Governor of the time. Laws passed that give governments control over lives of Indigenous peoples. Laws dictate: where people live how and where employed the making of all children wards of the state that children can be removed without permission From Summit 2020: By 2020 we will have capable, productive and confident families, young people and children who are proud, independent and contributing members of society. By 2020 there will be a high level of attention, energy and resources focused on the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. By 2020 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will have parity with other Australians across the spectrum of measures—most importantly, in the strength and wellbeing of their families and young people, safety and security for families and children, decent housing, good health and education. By 2020 at least one person in each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander household will be in ongoing employment. Before European contact. No exchanges between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the world. Commonwealth Citizenship and Nationality Act gives the category of Australian Citizenship to all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Positives: The sharing of technology Negatives: The spread of disease 60,000 years ago Right to vote 1962 Voting not compulsory.

Indigenous Australian

Transcript: THE FINAL OUTCOME -Freedom Rides and Moree Swimming Pool stand -1967 Referendum In the lead up to the referendum Perkins was manager of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs, an organization that took a key role in advocating a Yes vote -1969 began career as public servant as Senior Research Officer with the Office of Aboriginal Affairs -In 1981 he was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the first Aboriginal to become a permanent head of a federal government department. -1981-84 Served as Chairman of the Aboriginal Development Commission -1989 became Chair of the Arrernte Council of Central Australia. -1993 elected commissioner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission for an area of the central Northern Territory. -1994 elected Deputy Chairperson of ATSIC. Vote Yes Jingle, by Peter Best. Vote yes for Aborigines, they want to be Australians too, Vote yes and give them rights and freedoms just like me and you, Vote yes for Aborigines. Vote yes for Aborigines, all parties say they think you should, Vote yes and show the world the true Australian brotherhood Vote yes for Aborigines. Voiceover: Make Aborigines Australians in every sense of the word. Write YES in the bottom square of your ballot paper. REPEAT (Organised by the Aboriginal Australian Fellowship, this jingle was produced for radio throughout Australia.) We are going to Freedom, by Gary Shearston We are going, we are going, we are going to freedom x2 Homes and land, homes and land, homes and land in freedom Lend your hand, lend your hand, lend your hand in freedom We are going, we are going, we are going to freedom x2 Equal pay, equal pay, equal pay in freedom Equal say, equal say, equal say in freedom We are going, we are going, we are going to freedom x2 Equal rights, equal rights, equal rights in freedom Together unite, together unite, together unite in freedom We are going, we are going, we are going to freedom x2 Children run, children run, children run in freedom The time has come, the time has come, the time has come for freedom We are going, we are going, we are going, we are going to freedom We are going, we are going, we are going to freedom Aboriginal Australians could now vote in federal elections if they wanted to. WA gave Aboriginals the right for state vote the same year. Queensland followed, giving them rights in 1965. THE OUTCOME Bark Petition for land rights by the Yirrkala People, NT Charles Perkins In March 1962, the Menzies Liberal and country part government finally gave the right to vote to all Aboriginal people. -Best known for her leadership in the campaign for the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal Australians. - In 1956, Bandler became a full-time activist, becoming involved in the Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI), which was formed in 1957. During this period, Bandler worked with her mentors Pearl Gibbs and Jessie Street. As general secretary of FCAATSI, Bandler led the campaign for a constitutional referendum to remove discriminatory provisions from the Constitution of Australia. THE ROOT 1965 THE ROOT "The land in question has been hunting and food gathering land for the Yirrkala tribes from time immemorial!...These places sacred to the Yirrkala People, as well as vital to their livelihood, are in the excised land." - During the 1960s he was spokesperson for the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. - In 1970 Dixon helped established Australia's first Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern; he co-founded the Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972. - He was the first Aboriginal person to be appointed as a Councillor on the Australia Council and is a former Chairman of the Council's Aboriginal Arts Board. In 1983 Dixon was named the first Aboriginal of the Year. Freedom Rides 1965 THE ROOT THE OUTCOME In August 1966, Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the job on the vast Vesteys' cattle station at Wave Hill in the Northern Territory. At first they expressed their unhappiness with their poor working conditions and disrespectful treatment. Conversations between stockmen who had worked for Vesteys and Dexter Daniels, the North Australian Workers' Union Aboriginal organiser, led to the initial walk off. All these events, the Bark Petition, Freedom Rides in NSW, and the Wave Hill Walk-Off meant that PM Sir Harold Holt was compelled to redress the ‘White Australia’ policy. With the mounting public support and pressure for a referendum, Prime Minister Holt finally gave it to Australians to vote on. An overwhelming 90.7% voted ‘yes’! The Referendum was a fantastic win for the Aboriginal movement for equality. This win gave citizenship, which meant Aboriginal people were able to move around freely, have a choice in governments and finally have policy made by the Commonwealth government, which would mean the same laws, instead of different ones depending on

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