LEARN WHICH ABORIGINAL COUNTRY OR ISLAND OF ZENADTH KES YOU ARE ON
Mainland ‘Australia’ is comprised of over 250 Aboriginal nations each with their own language, culture, customs and communities. The AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia (below) provides a good visual representation of this diversity.
Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait Islands) comprises eighteen islands and two Northern Peninsula Area mainland communities. The islands are located north of Cape York and are arranged in five island clusters. The TSRA Map of the Torres Strait Region provides a visual representation of the Islands.
Many people only know places of this continent by their assigned settler colonial names such as 'New South Wales', 'Perth' and 'Grampians'. However, it is important to remember that all of this content is - and always has been - Aboriginal land. Knowing the traditional name of the Country you are on, and other significant places, is important for recognising Aboriginal knowledge systems, peoples and custodianship, and for acknowledging the true history of this continent.
This map attempts to represent the language, social or nation groups of Aboriginal Australia. It shows only the general locations of larger groupings of people which may include clans, dialects or individual languages in a group. It used published resources from the eighteenth century-1994 and is not intended to be exact, nor the boundaries fixed. It is not suitable for native title or other land claims.
David R Horton (creator), © AIATSIS, 1996. No reproduction without permission.
To purchase a print version visit: https://shop.aiatsis.gov.au/
The following resources are useful for learning about the Aboriginal Country you are on:
Aboriginal Land Councils
Aboriginal Land Councils are a reliable source for learning which Country you are on.
To find out more information, Google the name of your town and "Aboriginal Land Council".
The following is listed clockwise from 'Queensland' to 'Northern Territory':
The AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia provides a good visual representation of Aboriginal Countries. However, this is not a final source for knowing which Aboriginal Country you are on. That is, it is important to recognise that this map is a combination of languages, dialects, tribes and Communities and is therefore not perfect.
The Gambay First Languages Map is an interactive map of Australia’s first languages that reflects the names and groupings favoured by community. Gambay is the product of a collaborative effort between First Languages Australia and language centres across the continent, and has been designed and produced in such a way that allows language centres and communities to update information as they require.
Gambay means "together" in the Butchulla language of the Hervey Bay region.
AUSTLANG provides a vocabulary of persistent identifiers, a thesaurus of languages and peoples, and information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
AUSTLANG supports archives, libraries, galleries, etc., to identify materials or projects in or about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and peoples, without the confusion of a multitude of language names and spellings.