Key Definitions and State-of-Play

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We use the terms ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ and ‘Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’ (where the ‘and/or’ recognises that some individuals belong to both groups) interchangeably with ‘Indigenous’ to refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia.

However, we recognise that this approach is not without contention. First, these terms do not reflect the diversity of Indigenous Australians, and it is important to remember that many Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people prefer to be known by their specific group or clan names, and some by ‘First Nations’. Second, we acknowledge that some Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people do not like being referred to as Indigenous, as this is deemed a catchall term often used by government to include all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We have therefore, wherever possible, referred to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples but, where appropriate and sometimes for brevity, we have used ‘Indigenous’. We apologise if this causes any offense – this is not our intention.

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