Academic Master

English

Aboriginal And The Torres Strait Communities

I believe that the Aboriginal and 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 were 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 Torres Strait Islander people.

Most of the information and ideas were obtained from literature and mass media, which focused on the Aboriginal people. Through this 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 Islanders. Literature, mostly books, presented numerous cases and family relationship 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 publications 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 accompanying websites presented additional information on the history, culture and life of these communities. Moreover, the culture, history and societal 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 society’s way of living. Besides, an interactive online multimedia series was helpful in informing me of the exchange of cultural experiences and the creativity of the young Indigenous people (ABC, n.d). Hence, this information formed a basis for or the strength of a practical and feasible perception concerning the Aboriginal people.

Impact of Personal History on the Perception

My great-grandfather lived in Japan a 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 a few things that I consider to be the culture of the family. My grandfather valued his family very much, to the extent that 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 by drawing family trees and elaborating on them. He wanted the family name to be continued, and he would call the children of my uncles and aunties after the names of his mother, father, and other members of the community. This experience while growing up played a significant role in the formation of the perception concerning the indigenous people as I could relate to their situation at 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 communities 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 elders have the knowledge, trust and 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 systems which played an important role in providing a sense of identity to the people. Therefore, these communities emphasized the relation of an individual to the community and the integration of the material into spiritual well-being. Both the two aboriginal communities placed a higher value on the environment, and they formed relationships with the weather, water, land, skies, animals, plants and spirits. Furthermore, the Aboriginal language remains very diverse, strong and enduring. Presently, in rural parts of Australia, English is used as a second, third or even fourth language (Hampton & Toombs, n.d). In conclusion, they have a dreamtime culture that provides information about the culture and the origins of the people. The most important aspect is the Aboriginal culture, which emphasises social relationships and shared obligations. Every person has a different role in the community, and they are also obligated to share what they have with the rest of the members (SNAICC, n.d).

References

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.

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