CULTURE, HERITAGE AND LEISURE – KEY MESSAGES

This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.

Note: In this section ‘children’ refers to people aged 3–14 years (unless otherwise stated). The terms ‘youth’ and ‘young people’ refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0).

KEY MESSAGES

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in 2008:
49% identified with a cultural group, such as a clan, tribal or language group
52% recognised an area as their homelands or traditional country
8% spoke an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language as their main language at home
65% attended an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural event in the last year.
Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in 2008:
42% were spending some time with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander elder, including 31% who were spending time with an elder at least once a week
63% aged 5–14 years, who were attending school, were being taught about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture at school
96% were playing with other children their own age at least once a week.

Identification with culture can form an important part of our identity. Although the role of culture is complex, feeling a strong attachment to culture may contribute to high self-esteem and wellbeing for children and young people. The Framework for Measuring Wellbeing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010 (cat. no. 4703.0) identifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage as a major domain that contributes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing.

Topics covered in this article include:
Connections with cultural groups and the land
Speaking Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander languages
Traditional knowledge and cultural education
Involvement in cultural events and activities
Participation in leisure and play activities
Other resources
Note:
This chapter only discusses the information collected about identification with, and participation in, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. This information is not exhaustive and it is acknowledged that there are many other ways cultural identification and participation could be measured, explored and discussed.
Elsewhere in this publication, people aged 0–14 years are referred to as ‘children’. However, most data items about culture and language were collected for children aged 3–14 years. A note has been included in sections where the age groups differ.

This section contains the following subsection :
      Connections with Cultural Groups and the Land
      Speaking Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Languages
      Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Education
      Involvement in Cultural Events and Activities
      Participation in Leisure and Play Activities
      Other Resources About Culture and Languages
This page last updated 28 April 2011

Source: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4725.0Chapter200Apr%202011

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