Cultural Studies: the Aboriginal Society in Australia Report

This report features Australian aboriginal as a marginalized group in the country. Initially, Australian aborigines lived throughout the country, with the biggest number living along the coast. However, things would change for this group of people over the years, possibly as a result of the social exclusions which they have constantly experienced from the other communities, and today they can only be found in some parts of the country.

Even though some members of this group still live in forests and deserts, the majority of the can be found in the outskirts of urban centers. There are various reasons as to why this group of people is marginalized from society. One of the major reasons is because this was something that was started a long time ago by the British colonizers when they robbed the indigenous communities of their values and culture through the way of assimilation.

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As a result of this, the development of policies associated with white people would become dominant among the aboriginal communities over the years, thus exposing them to marginalization from other Australian communities. This marginalization is evident in the way members of this group are treated in society. For example, racist attitudes and incidents of violence against aboriginals are common in Australia.

More significantly, the members of the groups have continued to lose their sources of livelihoods to other people as a result of social exclusion. The main challenges faced by the aborigines include frequent diseases due to terrible living standards, under-representation in the government, and massive depopulation as a result of diseases and massacres (Webb 2009).

According to archaeological evidence, aboriginal communities are said to have entered Australia at around 45,000 years ago through Southeast Asia. In that case, aboriginals have lived in Australia for more than 30,000 years, thus being regarded as the indigenous people of the country. The aboriginal communities comprised of about 500 to 600 distinct groups which spoke about 200 different dialects.

These people were culturally diverse and would practice hunting and gathering as their main activities. Australian aboriginals have been marginalized since the time they had their first contact with British settlers, way back in 1788. In the past, the Australian government had contributed to the plight of this indigenous group by introducing and enhancing policies which promoted its marginalization (Davies et al. 2008).

However, a change in leadership in the recent past has brought hope to the aboriginals. For example, the government has begun to show some concern to the aborigines following the national apology that was made to the group in 2008. This, however, is evident in the efforts that are being applied to address some of the big issues affecting the group.

Several programs and strategies have been put in place to help these indigenous people. For instance, the government has enacted legislations recognizing the title rights of aboriginals on land and property. This intervention has given aborigines great hope of recovering lost assets.

The enactment of legislations that were aimed at increasing welfare and salary benefits to Aborigines in the 1990s was another promising gesture to the group (Chesterman & Galligan 1997). More importantly, there have also been efforts to improve the living standards of these indigenous communities in Australia, and this has helped to increase the group population in recent years.

Non-governmental organizations have also been started to advocate for the rights of the aboriginal society. It is also important to note here that the indigenous groups of Australia have been represented in the government for the first time in history, following the election of one of them as chief minister of Northern Territory in 2013.

Adam Giles has made history as the first Aboriginal to be elected to head a state-level government in the country. This idea of giving aborigines an opportunity to take part in the country’s leadership affairs is a key strategy of ensuring that the group enjoys its rights in society just like the other people.

Australian aborigines are looking forward to a promising future, considering the many federal and state interventions that have been put in place to help them get recognition in society. Even though these groups are still prone to imbalances and injustices, among other notorious issues in society, things are likely to get better for them shortly.

More importantly, Australian aborigines have always been self-determined to go after their land and property rights. This, however, is a clear indication that the group anticipates for a brilliant future for themselves and their children regardless of the many social problems surrounding them. There are several ways through which this group can help itself out of marginalization.

For example, members of the group can establish strong bodies that will represent their rights and demands to the government and other relevant bodies. The aborigines can also make full use of the Aboriginal Development Commission which was started in 1980 for their own benefit.

The commission has over the years continued to be supportive to the group in many ways, thus offering them a base for social and economic development in the society. The government can also play a key role in helping aboriginals by introducing policies that will ensure that the sources of problems for the group are completely eradicated.

Conclusion

The plight of the aboriginal society in Australia is a clear manifestation of the many challenges being faced by indigenous societies in the world today. Despite the role that these indigenous families have played in the cultural and social development of Australia, they have always been marginalized from the society because of their beliefs and cultural values which are thought to be based on the policies of white people.

This has made Australian aborigines victims of social seclusion for more than 200 years, and this has resulted in devastating social and physical problems among the indigenous communities. As it is observed from this report, the background of this group of people informs a rich culture that represents every aspect of the Australian cultural heritage.

In this regard, the Australian government should apply more efforts through relevant programs and strategies to ensure that the problems of these indigenous groups are fully addressed to give them a bright future like all other Australians.

As it is observed from this report, very little is being done to address the big issue of social seclusion facing the aboriginal society of Australia. In this regard, there is the need for further research on this particular group to determine the most appropriate interventions that can be applied to save its members from the bondage of marginalization.

Reference List

Chesterman, J & Galligan, B 1997, Citizens without rights: Aborigines and Australian citizenship, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.

Davies, J, White, J, Wright, A, Maru, Y & LaFlamme, M 2008, ‘Applying the sustainable livelihoods approach in Australian desert Aboriginal development’, The Rangeland Journal, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 55-65.

Webb, S 2009, Palaeopathology of Aboriginal Australians: health and disease across a hunter-gatherer continent, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.

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