The total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings, which is passed on from one generation to the next.
The Indigenous cultures of Australia are the oldest living cultures in the world and go back in excess of 45,000 years. Before the arrival of people from Europe on the First Fleet Australia was populated only by the Indigenous people of Australia – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. In 1788 Aboriginal people inhabited the whole of Australia and Torres Strait Islanders lived on the islands between Australian and Papua New Guinea, in what is now called the Torres Strait. There were many different Indigenous communities made up of people who spoke different languages with various cultural beliefs, practices and traditions.
Before 1788 there were approximately 250 languages spoken throughout Australia with an estimated population of 750 000 people made up of 500 clan groups or nations. Today Indigenous people make up 2.3 per cent of the entire Australian population and in Western Australia 3 per cent of the population is Aboriginal.
To find out more about Aboriginal culture in Western Australia, click on the links below:
Lifestyles and traditions