An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives.
Australian Aborigines are one of the best known and least understood people in the world. Their culture, art and stories are in popular demand all over the world. Aboriginal artwork and music has been incorporated in most things Australian, and has become a recognizable feature of Australia.
Prior to colonization which began in January 1788, the Australian Aborigines lived a lifestyle based on their Dreamtime beliefs. Aboriginal people caught and collected their food every day. They had an intimate knowledge of food-chain cycles, the migration patterns of birds and of the habitat where they lived.
However, the settlers that had arrived in this country to build a new life for themselves and their families, paid no attention to the Dreamtime. Most were not interested in the affects colonization was having on the Aborigines. They were considered to be a pest and a nuisance by most. Many Aboriginals were killed by diseases such as influenza, and thousands were massacred by settlers to make way for farms and settlements.
The Aboriginal culture has been handed down by countless generations through their Dreamtime stories, which still exist today
When touring the more remote regions where there are large areas of Aboriginal land, it is a good idea to respect the different regulations that are associated with each.
- Permits are required to travel on Aboriginal Lands in the Goldfields region.
- The Great Central Road, between Laverton and Uluru is patrolled and fines result if visitors have not obtained a permit.
- Permit application forms are available from any Department of Indigenous Affairs office or on the internet at www.dia.wa.gov.au/alt. Allow 2-3 weeks in advance for applications to be processed. It is the right of the Traditional Owners to refuse an entry permit.
- When travelling through Aboriginal Lands it is prohibited to divert off the main road.
- Unleaded petrol can not be purchased within the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku. Only Avgas is available at the three fuel stops within the Shire - Warburton, Docker River and Giles. Unleaded fuel can be purchased at Yulara to the west and Tjukayirla to the east.
- It is prohibited to take jerry cans of unleaded fuel into the Shire.