Section 1: Aboriginal history and culture / Kinship

Section 1: Aboriginal history and culture


Family relationships are viewed holistically and are connected to Country, language, stories, and images. Your family is a wider group of people in Aboriginal culture – not just parents and siblings – it can include cousins, aunts, uncles, and community. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are formed through kinship, which includes each person’s relationship to their own family, the land, and their wider community.

Kinship is a key feature of culture, determining roles, responsibilities, and relationships to each other. It’s important to Aboriginal peoples, helping them maintain connections with community and land. These links were broken when governments, churches and welfare organisations forcibly removed children from their families, communities, and culture, or placing them in institutions.

You can watch a video about Family and kinship by Reconciliation Australia which shows the complexity of kinship structures.