Australian Identity & Culture

culture [n.]

1. the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. 2. the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society. 3. Biology, the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc. in an artificial medium containing nutrients. 4. the cultivation of plants.
- ORIGIN Middle English [denoting a cultivated piece of land] : the noun from French culture or directly from Latin cultura ‘growing, cultivation’; the verb from obsolete French culturer or medieval Latin culturare, both based on Latin colere ‘tend, cultivate’ [see Cultivate]. In late Middle English the sense was ‘cultivation of the soil’ and from this [early 16th century], arose ‘cultivation [of the mind, faculties, or manners’]; CULTURE [Sense 1 of the noun] dates from the early 19th century
Oxford Dictionaries

Australia has many things in common with the rest of the world. There are though, several parts of our national identity and culture which are peculiar to us. These are detailed in the sections below. They include emphasis on physical as opposed to mental achievement, the concept of mateship, Australian idiom, language and humour, … . The concept of multiculturalism is also included. Be aware culture and national identity are always changing.

Other specific information relating to Indigenous culture and beliefs can be found on this page for Indigenous Resources.

This page covers topics A to L including areas such as Art & Culture, Australian Identity, Humour, Educational Activities, Australian Values, Language, … .

The Second Page covers topics M to Z including areas such as Mateship, Myths & Stereotypes, Multiculturalism, Social & Cultural Features and Sport.

Journals, databases, primary documents, reference material and other information are included where these are relevant.

A - F

Arts & Culture

The role of Arts, Music and Literature within the Australian culture.

  • About Australia : Society and Culture
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Sections cover Education, Innovation, Sport, Health care, Media and Communications, Creative Australia and Visiting Australia.
  • Art in Australia [National Library of Australia]
    ‘Art in Australia has been made permanently available online through Trove as a result of a joint project between the University of Wollongong Library, the University of New South Wales Library and the National Library of Australia. It will appeal to followers of early twentieth century art and the wonderful aesthetics of those years. It contains articles by or about significant Australian artists’.
  • Arts & Culture [ABC]
    A compilation of programs on iView covering a range of areas such as Arts Docuseries, Australian Made Music, Australian Artists, Art and Culture Revealed, Arts and Culture : A-Z, … .
  • Arts in Australia [Wikipedia]
    ‘The Arts in Australia refers to the visual arts, literature, performing arts and music in the area of, on the subject of, or by the people of the Commonwealth of Australia and its preceding Indigenous and colonial societies. Overview, Visual Arts, Literature, Performing Arts, References, Links’. Wikipedia.
  • Australian Art
    National Gallery of Australia. ‘We are not aiming to present a comprehensive story of Australian art and the imagery used by Australian artists, but rather to select key moments which tell us something about our nation’s identity. We will be regularly changing these displays so that over time we can rotate far more works from our extensive collection and build up layers of meaning and experience’.
  • Contemporary Australian Poetry
    An Introductory Sampler. Recommendations from the ABC Radio National program Poetica. Links to a range of books demonstrating this style.
  • Culture and Arts
    Includes sections from Arts to Recreational Activities. It also has links to Australian programs, policies and biographies linked to these areas, e.g. Cultural institutions and Indigenous culture and history provide further, specific information.
  • Curator Insights
    ‘Free Podcast. Explore works from the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Australian collection and discover how local history and art intersect’. Individual items relate to specific artists of renown [19 listed].
  • How Australian Traditions Work
    ‘G’day, mate ! You didn’t think we could start an article about Australian traditions without the ubiquitous greeting of the continent, did you ? While that tradition has been globally recognised as genuine Aussie, there are plenty of other Australian cultural customs that may come as a surprise’. Multiple pages and topics.
  • Humanities Networked Infrastructure - HuNI
    ‘HuNI [Humanities Networked Infrastructure] combines data from many Australian cultural websites into the biggest humanities and creative arts database ever assembled in Australia. HuNI data covers all disciplines and brings together information about the people, works, events, organisations and places that make up the country’s rich cultural landscape’.
  • List of Australian Artists
    Vast, alphabetical listing of artists of all types and all periods of Australian history. Links to further information. Wikipedia.
  • Portrait Stories
    ‘The Gallery displays hundreds of famous Australian faces, from Nick Cave to Captain Cook, Deborah Mailman to Princess Mary of Denmark and uses ’video, multimedia and sound to present some of the stories of the artists and subjects in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection’ Portrait Stories - National Portrait Gallery ‘Portrait Stories is a trusty digital companion [ iPad App] to the collection. Use it to peruse the portraits and learn more about the people who have shaped Australia’. [App. Rating - 5.0].
  • Donald Horne and the story of the publication of The Lucky Country
    Article by his son, in response to another commentary.
  • Top 10 Aussie songs [Australian Geographic]
    The best Aussie songs since 1990. ‘Music has played a huge part in shaping the Australian culture. Here’s their list of the 10 most iconic Aussie songs’.

Australian Humour

What sort of humour is considered Australian ?

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Aussie Humour
    ‘Australians’ unique strain of humour [combined with the accent and the Australian slang], has been bewildering visitors for decades. Here are a few pointers to help you navigate the murky waters’. Several aspects with links to fairly current examples of each.
  • Aboriginal Humour [Creative Spirits]
    ‘Aboriginal humour has carried people over many an abyss. Meeting Aboriginal people on Koori Time usually means you have to wait. Sections include - Humour is part of being Aboriginal, Aboriginal humour is different, Sample Aboriginal jokes, Aboriginal sketch shows, Australia’s only Aboriginal comedy competition’.
  • An International Student’s Guide to Aussie Humour
    ‘Welcome to the strange world of Australian humour. You’re in for a bumpy ride ! Australians love to … Make fun of friends, Self-deprecate, Use sarcasm, Share black humour and Stereotype. Deciphering Aussie humour might not always be easy, but you’ve got to love the Australian way of always seeing the funny side in things’.
  • Aussie Jokes for Kids
    ‘All the Australian themed jokes may not always lighten up your kid’s mood but a joke with a good comic sense might at least get a chuckle. Here is our best collection of Australian Jokes especially for kids’.
  • Australian Comedy
    ‘Comedy is central to Australian cultural identity. The history of Australian comedy and the distinctly Australian humour, reflects the country’s search for a national identity based on both Australia’s convict origins and the convict sense of humour and also Australia’s physical characteristics’. Overview and extensive links. Now archived on Trove Most links from the page also go to Trove versions of those pages.
  • Australian Comedy films - Wikipedia
    Search alphabetically or by subcategories [the latter take you to further collections of films about specific comedy types]. Films range from the early 1900s through to the 2000s. Each link goes to a new page with a significant amount of further information for each film. Wikipedia
  • Australian Humour
    ‘What Makes Aussies Laugh ? We don’t want to offend anyone with a sensitive nature so please be aware that the Australian Humour page contains some swear words’.
  • Australian Humour - Larrikin
    ‘Australian humour shows the fingerprints of convicts who lived their lives by challenging taboos, breaking rules and being different. Today, the humour makes some people laugh, but can also put a few noses out of joint’.
  • Australian Humour - What makes us laugh ?
    ABC. ‘One expert says it is most notable because there is no place or occasion where a good joke is considered inappropriate. So what makes you laugh ?’ Comedy excerpts included. Full audio of the presentation is available.
  • Behind the Lines - 2020
    ‘In this year’s exhibition, visual cues from overlapping crises pepper the cartoons : Hawaiian shirts and burnt trees give way to masks and spiky balls. Fortunately, our cartoonists have also captured moments of goodness and humour amid the rolling drama. With luck, we can look back on 2020 – a masked, sloppy mess of a year – and send it firmly back to the doghouse where it belongs’. Check other exhibition years [2019, 2018, 2017, …] by clicking on the ← Previous Exhibition Button at the bottom of the page.
  • Cartoons and Comics : Bill Leak
    Political Cartoons by one of Australia’s best ever cartoonists. Interestingly enough, he was followed by his son Johannes Leak, who is just as good.
  • Nicholson
    A country’s culture is often reflected in the cartoons about its way of life. This is one example. Cartoons by Nicholson that reflect Australian, rather than international events. Multiple items included as well as several other sections [e.g. Rubbery Figures, Animations, … ].
  • The Loaded Dog
    The quintessential, humorous Short story by Henry Lawson. Provides a perfect example of ‘Aussie humour’. Audio version available on the site.
  • The Political Cartoon Gallery
    ‘The Political Cartoon Gallery is Australia’s largest and finest on-line gallery for original Australian political cartoons and caricatures’. Copies available for sale.

Australian Identity

Identity, and what makes it, is an integral part of any culture. The following provides information about the ‘Australian’ identity.

  • Aboriginal Identity [Aboriginal Stories]
    ‘A Story About Aboriginal Identity’. More information on Aboriginal Culture, as well as other articles like this, are available from the site.
  • Aboriginal Identity : Who is ‘Aboriginal’ ?
    Creative Spirits. ‘People who identify themselves as ‘Aboriginal’ range from dark-skinned, broad-nosed to blonde-haired, blue-eyed people. Aboriginal people define Aboriginality not by skin colour but by relationships. Light-skinned Aboriginal people often face challenges on their Aboriginal identity because of stereotyping’.
  • An Australian Identity - Is it needed ?
    Incorporates general information, quotes, videos, a timeline review of changes, the present day. A related article on Language and Identity in Australia can be found here.
  • Australian Democracy and Identity
    ‘Year 8 Civics and Citizenship LibGuides at Presbyterian Ladies’ College [WA]. Looks at Australian Identity, Australian Values and Multiculturalism and Indigenous Australians and the Australian Identity’. Includes multiple sub-topics and several video clips.
  • AOS : Australian Identity
    ‘As part of this AOS you will be able to closely examine how the idea of a ‘typical’ Australian is portrayed in a variety of texts in different media - film, novel, art, popular culture, the media and song’. Three main areas : Culture, Identity and Stereotypes; ‘The Castle’; and Australia Now.
  • Australian Identity - AT The Australian Curriculum
    ‘In age- or stage-equivalent groups, students participated in a series of structured, teacher-moderated discussions of Australia’s democratic institutions and their personal understanding of, and engagement with, notions of diversity, difference and unity’. Video presentation.
  • Australian Identity [Australian Literary Studies Journal]
    Using Australian literature as the basis of a range of articles about Australian Identity. Uses material developed over nearly 5 decades.
  • “Australian Identity Quotes, Quotations & Sayings 2021”
    ‘Results for “Australian Identity” sorted by relevance. 523 matching entries found’.
  • Australian Identity : What does it mean to you ?
    ‘Trying to define national identity is like searching for the end of a rainbow. It isn’t something that can be found or a place we can collectively reach; it’s something that unfolds over time and through generations. It’s also something that is contested and evokes a sense of belonging individually’. Article with images and video from Monash University.
  • Australian Identity : Who is an Australian ?
    ‘This topic starts with a fun introductory activity in which students can learn some facts while getting to know their classmates better. A Worksheet provides a focus to extract and summarise material relating to cultural identity’. Unit of work.
  • Australian Identity : A Cinematic Roll Call
    ‘Since the beginnings of cinema in Australia from around 1896, Australian films have charted a range of views of the Australian identity, and in this article, I have identified four main strands’. Fee-based. Links to related material.
  • Celebrating Australia : Identity By Design
    ‘Celebrating Australia : identity by design revealed how concepts and symbols of national identity have been used and developed by Australian graphic designers throughout the 20th century’. Article.
  • Community and Remembrance
    ‘This topic provides a study of identity and diversity in both a local and a broader context. Moving from the heritage of their local area, students explore the historical features and diversity of their community. They examine local, state and national symbols and emblems of significance and celebrations and commemorations, both locally and in other places around the world’. Other Sample Scope and Sequences can be found on the History K-10 Syllabus 2012 page.
  • Exploring Australian Identity ideas |
    Australian art, Australian artists, Australian painting. 100+ pins, most having an article plus image and links to related material.
  • Humour, Multiculturalism, and the Aussie Spirit : The Australian Identity in 2012
    This is a serious, social review. It can be freely downloaded in PDF format. You can also connect to the following : Australia’s National Identity and The New Australian identity : Five shifts Either/Both can be downloaded.
  • Our People
    A ‘wide variety of backgrounds, together with the culture of Indigenous Australians who have lived on the Australian continent for more than 50 000 years, have helped create a uniquely Australian identity and spirit’.
  • The Changing Face of Modern Australia
    This is the period from the 1900s to the 1940s. Other periods and aspects are also covered. Click on the More Information link for related information..
  • The Influence of the Bush on European-Australian Identity in Australian children’s literature
    Lengthy text article from 2007.

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Australian Values

What values do Australians see as important ? Also check the sections on Mateship and Myths on the second page.

  • Australian Aboriginal Values
    ‘Prior to European colonisation, there were between 350 and 750 distinct Aboriginal social groups in Australia. Each social group had distinct customs, traditions and values. Nevertheless, living as hunter gatherers resulted in all the groups sharing common values in regards to their social organisation and their relationship to the environment’.
  • Australian Cultural Values
    Lisa's Study Guides. ‘A focal point of the English Language Study Design is the construction of the Australian identity through language. In order to understand how language is used to reflect the Australian identity, it is important to first understand what values or standards of behaviour an Australian identity is comprised of’.
  • Australian Values
    ‘Australian values based on freedom, respect, fairness and equality of opportunity are central to our community remaining a secure, prosperous and peaceful place to live. Our values define and shape our country and they are a reason why so many people want to become Australian citizens’.
  • Australian Values : What do Australians value ?
    ‘So what are Australian values, what does an Aussie truly value, what do we really care about ?’ Listing, then brief commentary on each item on the list.
  • Life in Australia : Australian Values
    ‘We have introduced the Australian Values Statement and the Life in Australia booklet. Learn more about the Australian Values Statement and our history, culture and society from the booklet’. Department of Home Affairs.
  • What are Australian values ? [The Values Project]
    ‘As part of the Values Project, we collected data from over 7 000 Australian adults between 18 and 75 years of age. And, here is what we learnt’. Brief summary of the results.

Educational Activities

Educational units and lessons about Australian Identity, most developed by education departments.

  • Australian Identity : Who is an Australian ?
    Developed for secondary school level by Making Multicultural Australia. All resources can be accessed, all details provided.
  • Australian Identity Worksheets & Teaching Resources
    Teachers Pay Teachers. A significant range of activities of various kinds based around the theme of Australian Identity. Fee-based, but very cheap
  • Australian Painting - Redefining the Landscape and Identity
    Artist information from early Indigenous to Pro Hart. This is followed by a series of discussion points related to specific art pieces.
  • Dictionary of Sydney - Education
    ‘We are pleased to extend our resources to include units of study for primary and secondary students. We believe that an understanding of Australian history cultivates a rich foundation for school students to acquire an understanding of global perspectives and to honour our past and present heritage’.
  • Discovering Democracy Units - The Units
    ‘The Discovering Democracy Units are the electronic version of the Discovering Democracy Units books’. Select the specific unit based on the topic and the school level.
  • Learning About Identity Through Art and Self Portraits - An Art Lesson Plan for F-2
    Australian Curriculum Lessons. ‘Students learn to understand who they are in terms of identity and begin to understand how history can affect their identity. They also learn about common characteristics of Aboriginal artwork and its different interpretations, as well as attempting to draw human characteristics or faces’.
  • National Identity
    Presentation from Radio National by Sara Cousins. Based around the theme of National Identity it poses a range of questions and ideas that could lead to interesting discussions.
  • Popular Culture 1945 - Present
    History Teachers’ Association of Australia. ‘Music has been chosen as the exemplar to indicate the range of approaches and activities that can be utilised in a study of popular culture’. Program, Learning Sequences, resources, even Unit Assessment.
  • Raffaello Carboni’s Perception of Australia And Australian Identity
    Article by G Rando on Carboni and his views of an emerging Australian identity. [Carboni was involved in the Eureka Stockade.] Secondary students.
  • RacismNoWay
    ‘Resources developed to support the delivery of anti-racism education in the classroom. They will assist students to engage positively with other peoples and cultures and to better understand Australia’s cultural diversity and history’. Activities for Years K-2, Years 3-12 and Activities on computers.
  • Sport and Australian Culture [National Library of Australia]
    ‘This resource is aligned to the Australian Curriculum : Health and Physical Education for Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students. Students will engage with a rich selection of sources and be challenged to draw their own conclusions about the role of sport in Australia’s culture and history’.
  • This Australian Nation : We Are Australian
    This is the introduction section for this Civics topic. ‘To explore this theme there are five sets of activities which use different elements of the Australian Readers. The activities can be completed as stand-alone exercises or used as integrated sets’. Activity 1 is - Setting the scene : ‘What is Australian identity ?’. The others start from this. Education Services Australia.
  • This Australian Nation :
    Who are we ? What do we value ?. Presentation from Civics & Citizenship Education. Three main activities. Secondary level. Linked through use of the Australian Readers.
  • New !This Australian Nation :We Are Australian
    A Civics & Citizenship Education unit. Multiple activities. Primary Level. Linked through use of the Australian Readers.
  • Voices of Australia
    An education resource for Australian secondary school teachers. ‘Allows for the different stories of Australian people to be heard and celebrated in the classroom. Students will increase their awareness about experiences of diversity, discrimination, race relations, friendship, and respect. Curriculum linked’.
  • The Road to Australia
    Mawson Primary School. ‘This is a Year 6 unit integrating History, Geography, English and Technology curriculum areas. It is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and addresses the question : Who were the people who came to Australia and why did they come ?’
  • What Sort of Nation ?
    Teaching unit, Discovering Democracy series.
  • Who’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me ?
    ‘Aims to reveal some of the important primary and secondary sources that have informed the stories, myths and interpretations behind the song. Explore the original sources that tell the multiple stories of Waltzing Matilda’. Archived site on Trove.
  • Why are Australians perceived to be racist ?
    Background commentary and information includes images, video and links to related information but most importantly, poses the following - Questions to think about - Look at comments about Australians made by outsiders and decide if they are beneficial or harmful.

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G - L

General Sites

  • Australian Culture
    Category listing for Wikipedia pages. 42 sub-categories listed, plus 59 further pages at time of inclusion.
  • Australia’s Cultural Diversity
    Includes ‘Overview; Diversity of birthplace; Diversity of language; Diversity of religion and spiritual beliefs’. From RacismNoWay.
  • Australia’s Culture Portal
    ‘Connecting you with Australian Culture online’. Now archived through Trove.
  • Australian Wisdom - Quotes by Australians
    ‘Although Australians may be descended from convicts and other underclasses of the world, it seems the underclasses have some interesting things to say’.
  • Cultural Cringe
    Origin, cultural alienation, occurrence in five [5] countries including Australia, bibliography, references. Wikipedia.
  • Culture of Australia
    Historical development of Aust. culture, Symbols, Language, Humour, Arts, Religion, Cuisine, Clothing and Apparel, Sport, Folklore, Attitudes, Beliefs and stereotypes, See also, References. Wikipedia.
  • Culture of Australia [2]
    Article with extensive data on many aspects of Australia and Australian life.
  • Explore Inked : Australian Cartoons [National Library of Australia]
    ‘Please enjoy this journey through Australian history with some of the best cartoons from the collections of the National Library of Australia’. The Stan Cross inclusion is among the best ever.
  • Oral History and Folklore [National Library of Australia]
    ‘Our Oral History and Folklore collection records the voices that describe our cultural, intellectual and social life. The collection consists of around 45 000 hours of recordings, the earlier ones dating back to the 1950s when the tape recorder became available’. Folklore recordings Interviews with distinguished Australians, Interviews with people who have lived through significant social trends and conditions and Environmental sounds.
  • Popular Culture [ NAA]
    ‘Popular culture – magazines, music, radio, television and social media – have helped create a shared Australian identity. It is continually changing and reflects Australian society at the time’.
  • Popular Culture - Year 10 Modern History
    ‘Culture, in the broadest of terms, refers to the meanings, values and ways of life of particular groups, nations and classes. Popular culture is generally seen as a set of ‘signifying practices’ that produce meaning’. A range of background readings and videos provide significant information for discussion.
  • The Cultural Atlas
    SBS. ‘The Cultural Atlas is an educational resource providing comprehensive information on the cultural background of Australia’s migrant populations. The aim is to improve social cohesion and promote inclusion in an increasingly culturally diverse society’. Australian Culture is one major area covered as part of this. Information on other cultures is provided, including specific areas such as Core Concepts, Religion, Family, … .There is also a Glossary and Training and Resources.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following may contain images and voices of deceased persons.

Indigenous Beliefs and Culture


The Dreamtime and other General Beliefs.

  • Aboriginal Dreamtime
    A wide range of videos [including a few listed below] covering the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Some cover specific stories, others lead to story groups, some feature discussions and explanations. You may need to be selective in regard to some of the offerings which appear to be out of place.
  • Aboriginal Dreamtime – also known as The Dreaming
    ‘The oldest stories in Australia are the oral Aboriginal stories passed down through generations for thousands of years’.
  • Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories
    ‘Here are Dreamtime stories from Aboriginal Australia’. They include the story titled Thukeri. ‘This Dreamtime story is about two men who lived on the shores of Lake Alexandrina and who belonged to the Ngarrindjerri people’. This story is also available as a video. Thukeri [video] was made for secondary classes.
  • Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories - Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery
    ‘The history of the Dreamtime word and its meanings says something about the development of the ideas held about the Aboriginal world and how they are expressed through art. Dreamtime Stories List - Click on any of the Dreamtime stories in the visual list below to read. Learn More About the Dreamtime’.
  • Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories, Year 3 and 4
    ‘This series of lessons will allow students to explore and analyse traditional Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories. Upon completion of the program, students will write their own Dreamtime stories’. Displays links to Australian curriculum.
  • Australian Dreamtime
    ‘Aborigines have the longest continuous cultural history of any group of people on Earth, dating back - by some estimates - 65 000 years. Dreamtime is Aboriginal Religion and Culture’. Explanations of these beliefs.
  • Dreamtime Introduction - Aboriginal Australian Art & Culture
    Multi-section presentation. Dreamtime Introduction, Dreamtime Meaning, Songs of the Dreamtime, Dreamtime Chart and Dreamtime Symbols.
  • Dust Echoes
    Dust Echoes is a series of twelve beautifully animated dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land, telling stories of love, loyalty, duty to country, Aboriginal custom and law’. Select the remainder from the listing at right. Further information can be found via FUSE.
  • How the Kangaroo got its Pouch
    One of a number of Dreamtime stories. There are links to other stories from this page.
  • The Dreaming
    ‘The Dreaming is an award winning animation series recommended by educational institutions throughout Australia and is widely used as a teaching resource for across the curriculum studies in schools and learning institutions in each State & Territory for Years 1-10. These animated films are based on Australian Aboriginal storytelling [oral histories] that have been maintained as a body of knowledge for over 40 000 years’. Purchase details available.
  • What are Wandjinas ?
    Creative Spirits. ‘Wandjinas are sacred. Inappropriate Wandjina figures. Where can you purchase Wandjina images ?’


  • 12 Canoes
    ‘We are the Yolngu people of Reimagining, in the northern part of Central Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory. This website is built for us, for everyone. There are 12 stories here about where we live, about how we came to be, about our history and about how we live now. We welcome you to know about us, about our culture, this way’. Requires Adobe Flash to run.
    Brilliant !
  • Aboriginal & Islander Cultures and Stories
    State Library of Queensland. Includes sections covering Languages, Community History, Contemporary Stories, Blogs,Exhibitions and Recordings, Showcases, Family History, various Collections and Indigenous Knowledge Centres.
  • Aboriginal Culture
    ‘Australian Aboriginal culture varies throughout the continent and people from different regions have different languages, weaponry, utensils, tools, basketry, art styles, ceremonial dress and beliefs in their Ancestral Beings’. 15 Aboriginal Culture Topics are listed.
  • Aboriginal Culture and Heritage [Victoria]
    ‘Discover more about how to recognise, respect and protect Aboriginal culture and heritage’.
  • Aboriginal Culture and History - Aboriginal Cultural Capability Toolkit
    Victorian Public Sector Commission. Though opening at this section, there are multiple sections available from the menu on the right side of the page. Some sections will prove of greater value than others.
  • Aboriginal Culture [Creative Spirits]
    ‘The pages on this website are a collection of what I read about Indigenous culture mainly in Aboriginal newspapers. Select from the [following] categories to learn more about a specific field of Aboriginal culture’.
  • Aboriginal Culture - Culture Victoria
    ‘Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is rich and diverse. Discover stories spanning from traditional to contemporary life, of land and spirit, art and artefacts. Explore stories by theme’.
  • Aboriginal Symbols Glossary
    ‘Many of the symbols used by Aboriginal artists are a variation of lines or dots. Similar symbols can have multiple meanings according to the art region and the elaborate combination of these can tell complex Dreamtime stories’. There is also access to Aboriginal Symbols & Iconography
  • Australian Aboriginal Culture [ Wikipedia]
    ‘Oral tradition, Arts and Crafts, Astronomy, Beliefs, Customary Law, Ceremonies and sacred objects, Cuisine, Drugs, Fire practices, Language[s], Literature, Medicine, Music, Sport and games, References, Further reading’.
  • Australian Aboriginal Astronomy [Wikipedia]
    Also see Michael Michie’s Aboriginal Astronomy Links [books, articles, websites], Aboriginal Astronomy [Behind The News, ABC] [video plus Teacher Resource and links to further information] and Aboriginal Astronomy resources [UniMelb. These are linked to the curriculum].
  • Australian Indigenous Astronomy
    ‘This website explores the many aspects of Indigenous Astronomy in Australia. Learn how Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities perceive various types of astronomical phenomena, how elders read the stars, or watch videos of animations, dances, and songs related to the stars. You can find educational curricula, information about degree programs, and learn about the generation of Aboriginal students studying astrophysics who are quickly becoming the new faces and voices of this work’.
  • Brief Introduction to Australian Aboriginal Culture
    ‘This presentation was made to briefly educate people on the culture of Aboriginal Australian people. This presentation was created by two Aboriginal university students with the purpose to create awareness in the workplace’.
  • Gadi Mirrabooka - Aboriginal story book - Aboriginal Culture
    ‘Gadi Mirrabooka, which means Below the Southern Cross, contains thirty-three Dreaming stories from the Australian Aboriginal culture, recognised as the oldest continual culture on earth. The stories in this collection, unlike many previous collections of Aboriginal stories, are told by Aboriginal storyteller custodians’.
  • Hidden Histories
    ‘Wangka Maya’s Hidden Histories Project shed new light on some of the little known stories of early contact between Aboriginal people and white people. While some of these stories are extremely sensitive, Wangka Maya believes it is important they are recorded’.
  • Indigenous Culture and History
    Annotated links from
    ‘NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in the first full week in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week [see History of NAIDOC], and its acronym has become the name of the week itself’.
  • Our Dreamings
    ‘Our Dreamings is an interactive Multimedia CDRom. This educational resource with comprehensive educational notes and links is highly recommended for teachers, students, art lovers and anyone wanting greater understanding and appreciation of Australian Aboriginal art and culture’.
  • The Flight of Ducks
    ‘Australian online documentary spanning more than 70 years. It began when F.J.A. Pockley [my father] travelled to Central Australia in January 1933 where he undertook a private camel expedition from Hermannsburg Mission to Mount Liebig. He brought back cinefilm, photographs, journals, Aboriginal objects. The collection provides insight into the end of the frontier period when there were still isolated groups of Aborigines yet to experience non-Aboriginal contact’. Click on the top duck for an index.
  • The Role of Family & Kinship in Aboriginal Culture
    ‘The notion of family in Aboriginal culture is closely tied to themes of connectedness and kinship. In this setting, family structures are pivotal to identity formation, understanding one’s own spiritual and cultural belonging and assists in establishing strong links with community. Ultimately, family and kinship are a cohesive forced that bind Aboriginal people together’.
  • Understanding Aboriginal Dreaming
    ‘The Dreaming explains the origin of the universe and workings of nature and humanity. It shapes and structures life through the regulation and understanding of family life, the relations between the sexes and obligations to people, land and spirits’.
  • Why are culture and identity important ?
    ‘No matter who you are, we all have culture. Each person’s culture is important; it’s part of what makes us who we are. As we learn about Indigenous culture, we can begin to relate to each other better, recognise the cultural history of this land and value the ongoing, rich cultural legacy of this place we call home’.

Guidelines for Indigenous Cultural Representation

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Includes not only general language but also information on Idiom, Slang and ‘Strine’ Indigenous language information can be found on the Indigenous Languages page.

  • 400+ Fair Dinkum Aussie Slang Terms
    “The Official Australian Dictionary”. ‘Before you test out a new Aussie slang phrase, consult the official Australian slang dictionary and make sure you actually know what you’re saying’.
  • Australia Decoded
    ‘Lavishly Illustrated, Fully Searchable Australian English Dictionary. Including : Strine and rhyming slang; Words borrowed from the Aborigines; Information about government, settlement [colonisation], Aboriginal culture, geology, flora and fauna, cities, national parks and much, much more’. Go to Site Map : Australia Decoded page and select the initial letter[s] for the word[s] you are seeking.
    Highly Recommended !
  • Aussie Slang
    Interesting introduction on the home page. Examples of different aspects. Finally - ‘Below you will find an A to Z list of Aussie words spoken in everyday speech. You may find some of these words unusual to say the very least but many are spoken with a serious tongue. Many of course, are humorous in themselves’.
  • Aussie Slang Dictionary
    ‘Fair Dinkum Australian Slang Mate’. You can also select special areas e.g. Food Slang, Rhyming Slang and The Outback.
  • Australian Slang
    ‘Australia has one of the most unique languages referred to as Strine a term for Australia and the word used to describe Aussie slang. It’s hard to imagine such a dialect sprouting from a vast continent referred to as the sun burnt country’.
  • Australian Slang Dictionary ‘It wasn’t easy but we’ve tried to include uniquely Australian slang here and to exclude British and American slang even though these are commonly used in Australia’.
  • Australian Slang Dictionary [R-Z]
    ‘Completing the guide to speaking ’Strayan. We conclude the list of fair dinkum Aussie slang terms and phrases. Have a stickybeak’. Sections for [A-F] and [G-Q] can also be accessed by links from this page. Australian Times.
  • Australian Slang - Speaking Like An Aussie
    ‘English is the main language of Australia but for the first time visitor or uninitiated you could be forgiven for thinking you’d come across an entirely new language’.
  • Colloquialism and Slang Collections
    If you become interested in slang, its origin and use, you could do worse than access some of the items listed in this bibliography. The same applies to information with Regional Australian English.
  • Let Stalk Strine !
    ‘Taken from a publication called “Strine” by Afferbeck Lauder. Published by Ure Smith, Sydney. A lexicon on modern Strine usage’.
  • Meanings and Origins of Australian Words and Idioms
    ‘A selection of Australian words, their meanings, and their etymologies’. Listed alphabetically. Australian National Dictionary Centre.
  • Slang and Peculiar Terms in Use in the A.I.F. 1921-1924
    ‘Compiled by the newly formed Australian War Memorial’s librarians over the period 1921 to 1924. A snapshot of the language of the soldiers who had fought for Australia and the Empire in the Middle East and Europe. Over 900 terms are included. We can get a real sense of how the average soldier spoke [the swear words that no doubt were also a central part of the soldiers’ vocabulary did not make it, although some are alluded to]. We also gain a sense of how Australian soldiers brought to the battlefields a distinct Aussie identity revealed in this language’. Australian National Dictionary Centre.
  • Slang in Australian English
    Several page articles looking at a range of influences that have influenced what we say.
  • Strine [“Ow’re yer going”]
    History, with some examples of rhyming slang and even some interpretations.
  • New !The Australian Slang Dictionary : …
    Containing the words and phrases of the thieving fraternity, together with the unauthorised, though popular expressions now in vogue with all classes in Australia. Compiled in 1895. Even the introduction is fascinating. Many of the words and expressions have now gone out of use, but the book provides a narrow window to a much earlier age. Read Online. New !The Catalogue entry at the National Library provides other details as well as links to related works also available through the National Library.
  • The Gold Rushes and Australian English
    A Resource for Researchers, Teachers, and Students. ‘The documents are intended to encourage students to do their own work with source material’. 13 groupings. Australian National Dictionary Centre.
  • The Macquarie Australian Slang Dictionary
    Download the Introduction here. You can also download the whole of the dictionary as a PDF if you are interested. There are 24 downloads altogether to get a complete copy.
  • The Vocabulary of Australian English
    ‘Borrowings from Australian Aboriginal Languages; English formations; The convict era; British dialect; British slang; Gold; Wars’. Australian National Dictionary Centre.
  • The Ultimate Aussie Slang Dictionary
    Wander Inn Bunbury Backpackers. ‘Australia’s everyday language, which is rich with slang, reflects experiences from the country’s history. From borrowings of Aboriginal language words, through convict sources, the gold rushes and bushranging to the First World War, words have emerged to describe essential aspects of the Australian character and identity’. Go to page 14 to start the actual listing. Be sure to read the Disclaimer.
  • New !Yeah, nah : Aussie slang hasn’t carked it, but we do want to know more about it
    Monash Lens. An interesting article linked to research into ‘Metaphors and Identities in the Australian Vernacular’.

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