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1387.3 - Queensland in Review, 2003  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/04/2005  Ceased
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can identify with a unique cultural heritage. For many Indigenous people, participating in the various forms of cultural expression is an important vehicle for personal development, regeneration and healing. Cultural activities have a uniting influence on communities.

Indicators of cultural attachment include identification with a clan or tribe or language group, use of an indigenous language, and attendance at cultural events. Information from the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) indicates higher rates of cultural retention in remote areas and amongst Torres Strait Islander people.

INDICATORS OF CULTURAL ATTACHMENT, Indigenous persons aged 15 years or over, Queensland, 2002


Remote areas
Non-remote areas
Total
Aboriginal
persons(a)
Torres Strait Islander persons(a)
%
%
%
%
%

Speaks an Indigenous language
21.1
13.3
15.2
12.0
31.5
Main language spoken at home is English
72.2
94.2
88.7
95.0
58.0
Identifies with clan, tribe or language group
65.4
53.0
56.2
56.8
58.1
Currently lives in homelands/traditional country
29.4
8.2
13.6
12.7
17.0
Attended cultural event(s) in last 12 months
86.0
70.7
74.5
72.7
87.4
Indigenous persons aged 15 years or over (number)
19,200
56,900
76,000
66,400
16,600

(a) Includes persons identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin
Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Queensland, 2002, cat. no. 4714.3.55.001


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote areas were more likely to be living in their homelands or traditional country (29% compared to 8% in non-remote areas). Similar proportions of Aboriginal people (13%) and Torres Strait Islander people (17%) were living in their homelands or traditional country.


Three quarters of all Indigenous people had attended a cultural event in the last 12 months (87% of Torres Strait Islander people and 73% of Aboriginal people). More than half (56%) of all Indigenous people identified with a clan, tribal or language group.

The survey recorded both the ability to speak an Indigenous language and the main language spoken at home. Torres Strait Islander people and Aboriginal people recorded significantly different results in both categories.

The ability to speak an Indigenous language was higher amongst Torres Strait Islander people where 32% spoke an Indigenous language compared to 12% of Aboriginal people.

English was the main language spoken at home by the great majority of Aboriginal people (95%). By contrast, 58% of Torres Strait Islander people reported English as the main language spoken at home, and another 18% reported an Indigenous language as their main language spoken at home.

Almost a quarter (24%) of Torres Strait Islander people reported their main language spoken at home was neither English nor an Indigenous language, and this figure was 71% for those living in the Torres Strait. Languages spoken include Torres Strait Creole and Oceanian Pidgins and Creoles. (See the table CHARACTERISTICS OF TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS.)

INDICATORS OF CULTURAL ATTACHMENT, Indigenous persons aged 15 years or over, Queensland, 2002
Graph: Indicators of cultural attachment



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