Section 1: Aboriginal history and culture / Connection to Country

Section 1: Aboriginal history and culture

Connection to Country

Aboriginal peoples have a strong cultural connection to Country – the land and everything on it, from wildlife and plants to rocks, mountains, and water. It is their sacred duty to care for and protect Country. Through cultural practices that hold spiritual significance, Aboriginal peoples are connected to their ancestors, language, ceremonies, laws, identity, and stories.

Places on Country that hold cultural significance are called sacred sites. They include burial sites, sites with artworks, and ceremonial grounds. Natural features such as waterways and rock formations can also be sacred sites. The importance of sacred sites is passed on through stories and songs. Some sacred sites can only be accessed by certain people or genders. You can learn more about identifying and protecting sacred sites from Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Indigenous heritage webpage.

Today, Aboriginal peoples who don’t live on their Country may return to connect with their community and engage in cultural practices.


AIATSIS map - This map attempts to represent the language, social or nation groups of Aboriginal Australia. It shows only the general locations of larger groupings of people which may include clans, dialects, or individual languages in a group. It used published resources from the eighteenth century-1994 and is not intended to be exact, nor the boundaries fixed. It is not suitable for native title or other land claims. David R Horton (creator), © AIATSIS, 1996. No reproduction without permission. To purchase a print version visit: