CULTURE, HERITAGE AND LEISURE
This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.
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).
Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth in 2008:
Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 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 or Torres Strait Islander language as their main language at home
- 65% had attended an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural event in the last year.
- 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
- 67% 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
(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:
- 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.