#SolidScience – Aboriginal People

According to the latest Census data 812,728 identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, representing only 3.2% of Australia’s population. Before European colonisation, an estimated 320,000 Indigenous People lived in Australia.

With colonisation, came introduced diseases, which exacted a heavy toll on Indigenous Australians likely killing more than direct conflict. For the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population born in 2015–2017, males can expect to live to the age of 71.6 years and females to the age of 75.6 years. This is 8.6 years lower than that of non-Indigenous males and 7.8 years lower for non-Indigenous females born in 2015–2017. A target of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap is closing the gap in the life expectancy of an Indigenous person and a non-Indigenous person within a generation.

More than 250 different languages including over 800 dialects were spoken across the country prior to European settlement. That number is drastically lower in this day and age at a total of 120 languages reported in 2016 with 90% of these languages considered endangered as traditional speakers are forced to speak English in past times or passing and not being able to pass the language down to the next generation. A lot of work is currently being done all over the country to preserve and/or revive many of these languages, with language centers being in almost every town and city in Australia.

A lot of progress is being made in the current day to improve the average Indigenous Australian way of life, especially within the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and Reconciliation Action Plans in most workplaces across the country. Programs like these are needed to ensure that Indigenous Australians feel comfortable across all facets of life.

Taj Mamid – Midwest Aboriginal Ranger Program Administration Support Officer

Related Posts

Leave a reply