Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Australia, Indigenous People
Richard T. Schaefer
The Indigenous people of Australia have inhabited the continent continuously for at least 50,000 years. Today, they comprise approximately 2.4% of the total population, and although they are small in number, their presence based on this irrefutable long legacy is highly visible. The phrase Indigenous people refers collectively to a diverse group of people. Often in both popular speech and more scholarly writings, the term Aborigine is used to refer to all Indigenous people, although others argue to differentiate the Torres Strait Islanders, who comprise 11% of the Indigenous population of Australia, from those settled on the Australian continent. In matter of fact, Indigenous or Aboriginal people themselves are most likely to refer to themselves by a more specific term referring to a specific clan or region such as the Koori, Noongar, Anangu, Palawah, or Kulin. Aborigine is also a term that is not exclusive to referring to the Aboriginal ...