I believe that the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander people of Australia are communities guided by cultural and social aspects. Their culture and social setting enhances group cohesion, shared responsibility in the community and identity. Moreover, this culture provides a sense of belonging and connection to family and each other. Therefore, I believe that their culture and social setting was used as a protective feature in needy situations. This perspective is shaped by the tools, information, ideas, tips and encouragement to know and strengthen the relationship between non indigenous people and the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander people.
Most of the information and ideas were gotten from literature and mass media which focused on the aboriginal people. Through these literature and media I gathered compelling information about the family structures, culture, historical and social contexts facing these people and the modern family of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Literature mostly books presented numerous cases and the family relationships profiles which inspired me to read on so as to know more about the organization and life of the aboriginal people. Books helped in making informed choices and shaping the perspective on the issue.
Some organizations, resources and publications offered support by guiding my analysis and final perception of the Aboriginal people. For instance, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations such as The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organization (NACCHO) and Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) provided online publication with information concerning child rearing and the family in general. Moreover Government websites and other organizations provided extensive insight into the social and cultural aspects of the aboriginal and Torres communities (The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2017).
Series broadcast on television and accompanied websites presented additional information on the history, culture and life of these communities. Moreover, culture, history and society perspectives of the indigenous people were inspired by Indigenous Australian websites featuring the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, society and history. I also found more information from a film series which used animation to represent dreaming stories which shed more light on the society’s way of living. Besides, an interactive online multimedia series was helpful in informing me of the exchange of culture experiences and the creativity of the young indigenous people (ABC, n.d). Hence, this information formed a basis or the strength for a practical and feasible perception concerning the Aboriginal people.
Impact of Personal History to the Perception
My great grandfather lived in Japan long time ago and later he migrated to our current home town. I lived with him and my extended family for a long time before joining college and I was able to learn few things which I consider the culture of the family. My grandfather valued his family very much to an extent he would not allow anybody to relocate to an unknown location. He wanted us to live in the small town and desired us to have a sense of identity in the family. There were events set every year to celebrate life and he required everybody to attend. In these events he would tell us stories of the origin of our family through drawing family trees and elaborating on them. He wanted the family name to be continued and he would call children of my uncles and aunties after the names of his mother and father and other members of the community. This experience while growing up played a significant role in formation of the perception concerning the indigenous people as I could relate to their situation in a family level.
Similarities between the Aboriginals and Torres communities
According to SNAICC regarding the aboriginal communities, the main difference between the aboriginals and the Torres people is the languages spoken and the original geographical location they were living before colonization. Therefore, their cultural norms, beliefs, values and style of communication are diverse, complex, and distinct from one region in Australia to another. However, common threads among these communalities living in different parts of Australia include their history and their current situations. Basically, the people belonging to these communities value the sense of community despite their geographical locations in Australia. Moreover, the people from both communities value and respect their elders. They believe that the elder have the knowledge, trust and the understanding of their people’s cultures and are expected to give advice, share wisdom and provide support to the community members especially the young people.
What is more, the communities had beliefs and value system which played an important role of providing a sense of identity to the people. Therefore, these communities emphasized the relation of an individual to the community and integration of the material to spiritual wellbeing. Both the two aboriginal communities placed a higher value to the environment and they formed relationships with the weather, water, land, skies, animals, plants and spirits. Furthermore, the aboriginal language remains to be very diverse, strong and enduring. Presently, in rural parts of Australia English is used as a second, third or even the fourth language (Hampton & Toombs, n.d). In conclusion, they have the dreamtime culture which provides information about the culture and the origins of the people. The most important is the culture of the aboriginals which placed emphasis on the social relationships and the shared obligations. Every person had a different role in the community and they are also obligated to share what they have to the rest of the members (SNAICC, n.d).
ABC. (n.d). Media Cultural protocols for Reporting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and Communities in the Media Ethics and Codes of Conduct – Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). Retrieved from www.abc.net.au/indigenous/education/ethics_codes.htm
Hampton, R. & Toombs, M. (n.d). Culture, Identity and Indigenous Australian Peoples Retrieved from http://lib.oup.com.au/he/health/samples/hampton_indigenousaushealth_sample.pdf
SNAICC (n.d). Working and Walking Together Supporting Family Relationship Services to Work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families and Organisations. Retrieved from https://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/SNAICC%20Working%20and%20Walking%20Together%20-%20Supporting%20Family%20Relationship%20Services%20to%20work%20with%20Aboriginal%20and%20Torres%20Strait%20Islander%20Families%20and%20Organisations.pdf
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. (2017) Guidelines for Ethical Research in Indigenous Studies, The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra, p. 2.