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Australian Aborigines

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Deanna Witmer
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« on: October 19, 2010, 01:23:43 pm »

Australian Aborigines

Australian Aborigines (pronounced /ębəˈrɪdʒɨni/, aka Aboriginal Australians) are a class of people who are identified by Australian law as being members of a race indigenous to the Australian continent.

In the High Court of Australia, Australian Aborigines have been specifically identified as a group of people who share, in common, biological ancestry back to the original occupants of the continent.[2]

Justice Deane of the High Court famously described and defined an Australian Aboriginal person as "a person of Aboriginal descent, albeit mixed, who identifies himself as such and who is recognised by the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal."[3]
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Deanna Witmer
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 01:24:07 pm »

Definitions from Australian Aborigines
Eve Fesl, a Gabi Gabi woman, wrote in the Aboriginal Law Bulletin describing how she and other Australian Aborigines preferred to be identified:

The word 'aborigine' refers to an indigenous person of any country. If it is to be used to refer to us as a specific group of people, it should be spelt with a capital 'A', i.e. 'Aborigine'.[4]
While the term 'indigenous' is being more commonly used by Australian Government and non-Government organizations to describe Aboriginal Australians, Lowitja O'Donoghue AC, CBE, commenting on the prospect of possible amendments to Australia's constitution, was reported as saying:

I really can't tell you of a time when 'indigenous' became current, but I personally have an objection to it, and so do many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. [...] This has just really crept up on us ... like thieves in the night. [...] We are very happy with our involvement with indigenous people around the world, on the international forum [...] because they're our brothers and sisters. But we do object to it being used here in Australia.[5]
Ms O'Donoghue went on to say that the term indigenous robbed the traditional owners of Australia of an identity because some non-Aboriginal people now wanted to refer to themselves as indigenous because they were born here.[5]

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Deanna Witmer
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 01:24:24 pm »

Definitions from academia
Dean of Indigenous Research and Education at Charles Darwin University, Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik, has publicly lectured on the ways Australian Aborigines have been categorised and labelled over time:[6]

Professor Bin-Sallik’s lecture offered a new perspective on the terms “urban” and “traditional” and “of Indigenous descent” as used to define and categorise Aboriginal Australians.
“Not only are these categories inappropriate, they serve to divide us,” Professor Bin-Sallik said.

...

“Government’s insistence on categorising us with modern words like ‘urban’, ‘traditional’ and ‘of Aboriginal descent’ are really only replacing old terms ‘half-caste’ and ‘full-blood’ – based on our colouring.”

She called for a replacement of this terminology by the word: Aborigine ... “irrespective of hue”.

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