Koorie People Today

When developing units of work on this particular topic, the following learnings need to be considered:

  • There is diversity of lifestyles amongst Indigenous communities today.
  • Kinship ties are integral to Koorie identity and lifestyles.
  • A sense of belonging to 'a place' is an important feature of Koorie identity, although this has been impeded by the dislocation suffered by Indigenous people. Members of regional populations are knitted together by reciprocal relationships of hospitality and help and by lifelong bonds of affection, duty and loyalty to relatives and friends.
  • Over half of Victoria's Koorie people live in Melbourne. Those in country areas are centred on Mildura, Robinvale, Swan Hill, Echuca, Shepparton, Mooroopna, Warrnambool, Morwell, Bairnsdale and Orbost.
  • A strong sense of identity is maintained by Koorie people and is being supported by the establishment of cultural camps and cultural centres throughout the state, and by the growth of sporting clubs and activities.
  • Important insights about the identity and culture of Koorie people are contained in their songs, stories, films, poetry and art.;
  • Many contemporary representations of Koorie culture draw on, reflect and interconnect with Indigenous life and cultures in recent and distant eras. A recurring theme or focus in many of these representations is that of survival.
  • The ways that Koorie people have been represented in history texts and in the media do not necessarily reflect the experiences of most Koories. Increasingly, Koorie people are representing their own views and experiences.
  • Indigenous and Koorie arts are receiving growing respect and attention in the wider Australian community, and distinctive innovations are also developing.
  • The maintenance and use of Indigenous languages are being actively promoted in Koorie communities.
  • The recording of oral histories is helping to maintain cultural continuity and identity.
  • Significant advances have been made by Koorie organisations and people seeking to overcome the long history of discrimination and disadvantage in mainstream social, educational and economic structures.
  • Efforts to redress past injustices and to advance the status and cultural integrity of Indigenous people are responsibilities which belong to all Australians.