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Diversity and language


Term Meaning or usage
Indigenous (capitalised) used extensively throughout Australia when referring to the Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.

Koorie/ Koori/ Gurri/Gooris/

These are generic terms used by contemporary Aboriginal people and communities to identify and differentiate themselves from Aboriginal groups from other parts of Australia.

Queensland and north-west New South Wales Aboriginal people refer to themselves as Murris.

Victoria and southern N.S.W Aboriginal people refer to themselves as Kooris. Goori is usually used by Aboriginal people in northern N.S.W coastal regions.

Aboriginal people and communities of South Australia refer to themselves as Nunga, and Nyoongar in southern Western Australia.

Read some of the Library's works by Australian Indigenous authors to experience diverse voices.

Browse the collection

First Nations voices

Cover art: Growing up Aboriginal in Australia

Growing up Aboriginal in Australia

What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology attempts to showcase as many diverse voices, experiences and stories as possible to answer that question.

Cover art with dot painting and book title.

Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia: Second Edition

A resource for exploring and understanding the lives and cultures of Australia's First Peoples. Presented in a graphic form, it shows a pattern of human activities in space and time.

Cover art: red cross-hatched background with title

Guwayu - for all times : a collection of First Nations poems

This uncensored collection features 61 poems from First Nations poets in 12 First Nations languages.


United Nations International year of Indigenous Languages 2019

In 2019 the United Nations partnered with governments, private organisations and community groups to promote Indigenous languages

View IYIL 2019 website

United Nations General Assembly - Rights of Indigenous peoples

Australian initiatives

The National Indigenous languages report is one of the key achievements of the Australian Government in partnership with AIATSIS.

The Report strengthens the evidence base regarding the use, importance, and state of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. It identifies the strengths and speaker numbers of Australia's Indigenous languages, as well as the many economic and social benefits gained through the recognition, use and reawakening of those languages. -- (viewed 20 January 2023)

View the report

Selected Australian languages in Library Search filtersBond University Library participated in a national effort by Australian libraries to add Austlang language codes to works in our collection that contain Indigenous languages. This is now standard practice for any new resources. The languages are searchable and can be used to filter search results from the Language facet in Library Search

International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022–2032

The United Nations has designated a decade to draw attention to the critical status of Indigenous languages around the world. All Australian Indigenous languages are under threat and need ongoing work to be maintained.

The Australian Government's Office for the Arts established the International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group to work in partnership with the Australian Government to develop initiatives. An action plan has been developed. 

Learn more

Selected articles & resources

The Conversation articles:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge