Sydney Morning Herald
Roulla Yiacoumi looks at the people, culture, health, music and art of
Saturday, March 31, 2001
Stories of the Dreaming
Australians believe Dreamtime was when everything on Earth was created. This
contains a wonderful collection of Dreamtime stories from around the country.
Read how the emu
being, why the waratah, which was once white, is now red, and how water first
plains of central Queensland. You can read, listen or watch the stories, which
aloud by various narrators. The site explains the importance of storytelling in
this culture and why
are sacred and can be told only to certain people.
National Native Title Tribunal
you have no idea what native title is, or what the difference between native
title and land rights
is, this site is worth a look. The tribunal doesn't decide whether or not
native title exists; its
purpose is to help people resolve native title applications through mediation.
The site explains how
to make a native title claim and details the lengthy process. Not much in the
way of light reading
here (it's a
Federal Government site) but informative all the same.
Australia's most successful Aboriginal musical export, Yothu Yindi has produced
showcase the band. You can listen to music samples, watch video clips and find
The site has
an annoying Java scroll feature that r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y brings up the text
site. So do
yourself a favour and hit the "Text Version" link and read at your own
pace. By the
way, did you
know Yothu Yindi means "child and mother"?
Art and Culture Centre
Arrernte Aboriginal tribal group, 100km south of Alice Springs, has run the
centre since 1995.
visitors can study the culture, peruse an art gallery and book a desert tour.
can step in to the Didgeridoo University of Central Australia. Odd as this
detailed tutorial outlining the intricacies of mastering the didgeridoo,
and how to make owl and kookaburra sounds.
Australians die, on average, 18 to 19 years earlier than non-indigenous
Babies born to indigenous women are twice as likely to have a low birth weight,
and the level of
kidney failure among indigenous people has reached epidemic proportions. Barely
well-developed site is full of such glum statistics and health information for
HealthInfoNet takes on a broad definition of "health", and also
and cultural factors. There is a noticeboard for job vacancies, a listing of
and even a medical glossary.
Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Art Group
there are some nice paintings and carvings you can buy here, but the best thing
site is the
Indigenous Business Directory. You can support Aboriginal businesses in the
hospitality, arts and culture, and even auto services. The only drawback is that
Victorian-based. A national version should definitely be considered.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
former ATSIC commissioner the late Charles Perkins said visitors to the Sydney
would be met by burning buildings and torched cars as part of an Aboriginal
loose. But while ATSIC has had a colourful past, including controversy over its
it has worked persistently to promote issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres
people. The site addresses several areas of concern, including deaths in custody,
stolen generation, mandatory sentencing, native title, unemployment and housing.
The "Fact or
part of the site is curious; rather than being upfront and dispelling untruths
history and even ATSIC itself (aside from a handful of "fact sheets"),
the section is used to
promote the sale of a $9.95 book which will do just that.
Languages of Australia
Australians spoke hundreds of languages but most are now extinct, according to
editor David Nathan. The site contains detailed information about 40 of the
including Arrernte, Yolngu, Noongar, and Pitjantjatjara. There are excellent
references to further
offline reading materials, including a link to the Aboriginal Studies WWW
extremely thorough and user-friendly site, aboriginalaustralia.com brings
together a bunch of
enterprises. You can shop for books, homewares, art and clothing; plan a holiday
Aboriginal flavour; and learn about various aspects of Aboriginal culture,
and bush medicine.
no getting around this: most inmates in Northern Territory correctional
Aboriginal. This site takes a peek inside to see how education, art and music
are being used to help
overcome alcohol and drug-abuse. The Prisoner Education Unit offers courses in
hospitality and horticulture. More than 100 inmates are enrolled in
as songwriting, stage lighting and band management.
always a nasty lawyer somewhere ready to rip down unauthorised fan sites. This
Aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman, formerly lived at cathyfreeman.org. "Cathy's
wanted me to
remove it," writes the site's creator, Woopa Nice. So here it is, in a new
of a URL. The site takes a while to download, but persevere. Grammar aside, a
been put into creating a slick, one-stop site for Cathy Freeman photos, press
and vital statistics. Hopefully, the site will be relocated soon. Currently
hosted on a free
hosting service, an annoying pop-up window activates every time you click on a
have all seen the distinct red, black and yellow Aboriginal flag, but did you
know it was born out
of a need to
stand out at demonstration rallies? Aboriginal artist Harold Thomas designed the
after attending land rights campaign marches and decided a more visible presence
required. The black symbolises the Aboriginal people, the red represents the
earth and the yellow
circle in the centre is the sun. Interestingly, Thomas has dismissed the
much-mooted idea of
somehow combining the Aboriginal flag with the Australian flag, declaring
"our [Aboriginal] flag is
not a secondary thing".
National Parks and Wildlife Service
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is responsible for protecting and
including burial grounds, carved trees, engravings and paintings. There are more
sites in NSW, many dating back thousands of years. This site explains the
of the protected areas and where they can be found. The service also maintains a
the sites that will cost you $30 a pop to access.
bit thin on graphics, this site contains a basic assessment of various
student Stephanie Hawkins at the Australian National University in Canberra, it
series of early tools used by Aborigines, including grinding stones, blades,
history of the implements explains their origins and uses, and a detailed
useful references for further investigation. The Aboriginal tools are on loan
Australian Museum, Sydney.
site is provided in good faith as an opportunity for the people of Australia to
the suffering of the stolen generation," writes webmaster Anthony Shipley.
Almost 20,000 people
answered the call, visiting the site to register their names. The site doesn't
tell you what will
this list, whether it be presented to the Government or simply act as a peaceful
There are Sorry T-Shirts ($15) and Sorry Song CDs ($10) to buy, as well as a
list of upcoming
reconciliation events in each State.
"Bringing Them Home" Report
August 1995, then attorney-general Michael Lavarch asked the Human Rights and
Opportunities Commission to examine laws that had facilitated the removal of
from their parents. This controversial report does not make easy reading. It
accounts of babies taken from their mothers at birth, young children kidnapped
and abused by
and Aboriginal camps raided so children could be taken and placed into homes.
that the laws that separated indigenous children from their families "have
the alienation of indigenous societies today".
for Native Title and Reconciliation
official as "Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation" sounds,
this group is a non-political,
self-funded outfit seeking to raise awareness of reconciliation issues. Its
most successful campaign
to date has
been a "Sea of Hands" in 1997, where thousands of plastic hands
and Torres Strait Islander flags were planted in front of Parliament House. Some
people have signed an online petition calling for justice and reconciliation.
The site also
easy-to-understand background to native title, including a summary of the High
and Wik decisions.
sites dealing with indigenous issues:
for Aboriginal Reconciliation
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
posting is provided to the individual members of this group without
from the copyright owner for purposes of
and research under the "fair use" provisions of the Federal
laws and it may not be distributed further without permission of
copyright owner, except for "fair use."