Culture Is Life
The following list of predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and websites has been compiled to direct you to a range of cultural, educational and health related resources – it is far from complete and will be updated regularly.
If you know of any additional organisations, websites or Apps that you have found helpful in any of the following areas,
please email and tell us about them.
To go straight to ‘The Elders’ Report’ – please click here
To go straight to ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project Report’ – please click here
You can click the below links to jump to the corresponding section:
When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use the word ‘Country’ it encompasses not just the land, but also its nature and culture – a cultural connection to the land is based on each community’s distinct culture, traditions and laws.
If you’re interested in finding out whose Country you are on, and learning about the local people, take a look at the Aboriginal Language Map, and then contact the Aboriginal Land Council responsible for that region.
Aboriginal Language Map
Created by David R. Horton, the map attempts to represent the language, tribal or nation groups of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia. It shows only the general locations of larger groupings of people – which may include clans, dialects or individual languages in a group – and is not intended to be exact nor the boundaries fixed. For more information about the groups of people in a particular region contact the relevant Land Councils.
Aboriginal Land Councils
Land councils are generally organised by region, and have been formed to represent the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who occupied a particular region prior to colonisation. They have historically advocated for recognition of traditional land rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and provide representation and organisation in relation to Native Title matters.
Contact your local Land Council (listed below) to find out more about whose Country you’re on.
New South Wales
New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council
Available at: http://www.alc.org.au/
Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly (MPRA) is the peak representative structure that represents the interest of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 16 communities across Western NSW.
MPRA and its membership of Community Working Parties, CWPs, form the governance framework that provides strategic engagement and co-ordination from Australian and NSW Governments and service providers for the delivery of services and programs against priorities determined by Aboriginal people through a comprehensive planning process. After some years of activity, membership was extended to include 4 Young Leader representatives who change from time to time and representatives from the 3 zone Land Council representatives covered by the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly area.
MPRA’s governance model promotes the practice of good governance, responsible leadership and empowerment, this is a legacy of the former Murdi Paaki ATSIC Regional Council.
Anindilyakawa Land Council, Northern Territory
Available at: http://anindilyakwa.com.au/
Central Land Council, Northern Territory
Available at: http://www.clc.org.au/
Northern Land Council, Northern Territory
Available at: http://www.nlc.org.au/
Tiwi Land Council, Northern Territory
Available at: http://www.tiwilandcouncil.com/
Cape York Land Council
Available at: http://www.cylc.org.au/
Central Queensland Land Council
No website available
North Queensland Land Council
Available at: http://nqlc.com.au/
Torres Strait Regional Authority
Available at: http://www.tsra.gov.au/
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara
Available at: http://www.anangu.com.au/
Available at: http://maralingatjarutja.com/
Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre
Available at: http://tacinc.com.au/
Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: http://www.bglc.com.au/
Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: http://www.djadjawurrung.com.au/
GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: http://www.gunaikurnai.org
Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: https://www.gunditjmirring.com/
Martang Party Ltd
No website available
Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: http://taungurung.com.au/
Wathaurong Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: http://www.wathaurong.org.au/
Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council Incorporated
Available at: http://www.wurundjeri.com.au/
Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: http://www.yynac.com.au/
The Boon Wurrung Foundation represents the traditional people and custodians of the lands from the Werribee River to Wilson Promontory and we are proud members of the Kulin People – the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung.
The Kaiela Institute supports collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leaders to envision, design and implement an inclusive future for all people in the Goulburn Murray region.
Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre is about bringing life to the history and culture of the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung and aboriginal communities of south-western Victoria.
Ownership of Brambuk is shared between five Aboriginal communities with historic links to the Gariwerd-Grampians ranges and the surrounding plains. Since their dispossession. Aboriginal people have moved trough two phases – resistance and persistence – and have now entered a third phase, renewal. Brambuk stands as a symbol and affirmation of that process of renewal.
We intend to provide visitors with the very best of park and cultural information, to make your stay in the Grampians a satisfying and memorable experience.
Yorta Yorta Country
Goldfields Land and Sea Council
Available at: http://www.glsc.com.au/
Kimberley Land Council
Available at: http://www.klc.org.au/
Ngaanyatjarra Council Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: https://www.ngaanyatjarra.org.au/
South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council
Available at: http://www.noongar.org.au/
Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation
Available at: http://ymac.org.au/
ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation)
ANTaR is an independent, national network of organisations and individuals working in support of Justice, Rights and Respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.
Available at: https://antar.org.au/
Australian Human Rights Commission
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice section on the website contains information on Native Title, Indigenous international rights, information sheets and more.
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
Drawing strength from culture and history, Congress is the national representative body for its membership – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and organisations – and an independent national voice, leader, advocate and source of advice and expertise for First Peoples and the wider community.
Available at: http://nationalcongress.com.au/
Oxfam’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s Program undertakes strategic initiatives to help build Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s capacity, political participation, community action, and health and wellbeing to challenge injustice. It is also a founding member of the Close the Gap Coalition.
Reconciliation Australia is an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes and facilitates reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Supply Nation, established in 2009 to connect our membership of Australia’s leading brands and government with Indigenous businesses across the country, is the Australian leader in supplier diversity.
Available at: http://www.supplynation.org.au/
Artists in the Black
A specialised service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, communities and arts organisations, Artists in the Black is operated by the Arts Law Centre of Australia. It provides access to free or low cost, culturally appropriate, specialist legal resources to support and strengthen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts sector, to work towards a sustainable income in a non-exploitative environment for artists, and to achieve better recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander intellectual property.
Available at: https://www.aitb.com.au/
Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA)
The peak advocacy and support agency for Aboriginal artists working individually and through 48 remote art centres in Arnhem Land, Darwin/Katherine, the Kimberley and the Tiwi Islands regions.
Available at: http://ankaaa.org.au/
Deadly Vibe: Our culture, our stories, our health
Deadly Vibe Group is an Aboriginal media, PR and events group of companies with a suite of fully integrated communication products that are utilised and enjoyed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.
Available at: http://www.deadlyvibe.com.au/.
Healing Foundation – Healing Portal
A world-first hub for Indigenous healing resources, this online portal provides culturally appropriate information about what is working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing and the latest research on topics including: trauma, traditional healing, Stolen Generations, children and young people, education, training and employment.
Available at: https://healingfoundation.org.au/healing-portal/
Koorie Heritage Trust
Located in Melbourne’s Federation Square, the Koorie Heritage Trust has the only public collection dedicated solely to Koorie art and culture ; an oral history program and reference library; a cultural education service; an annual exhibition program; a Koorie Family History Service; and a retail outlet showcasing Victorian Aboriginal art and design.
Available at: http://koorieheritagetrust.com.au/
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc.
Located in Adelaide, Tandanya is Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed arts centre. With several gallery spaces, a conference room, theatre and retail outlet, it hosts a vibrant visual arts program dedicated to showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual and performing arts.
Available at: http://www.tandanya.com.au/
Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation
A non-profit community organisation, initiated and directed by Aboriginal people and Elders, established to spread and vitalise Aboriginal culture, and to empower disadvantaged Aboriginal and non-indigenous people by providing specialised training programs leading to employment opportunities in the maritime industries.
Available at: http://tribalwarrior.org/
Share our Pride
This website, hosted by Reconciliation Australia, aims to raise non-Indigenous Australians’ awareness about Australia’s First People by providing resources about First Australians, Our Culture, Our Shared History, Beyond the Myths and Respectful Relationships.
Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL)
VACL, the State body responsible for coordinating Community Language Programs, is focused on retrieving, recording and researching Victorian Aboriginal languages, providing a central resource of programs and educational tools, and reviving, strengthening and speaking Aboriginal languages.
Available at: http://www.vaclang.org.au/
Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Walyalup exhibits the work of local Nyoongar artists and offers programs run by Aboriginal people in Aboriginal art, Nyoongar language, Aboriginal history and cultural tours.
Available at: http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/wacc
Yirramboi First Nations Festival
Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival
The Barunga Festival is an iconic event on the national festival calendar with a long and proud tradition of celebrating the best of remote Indigenous Australia. This much-loved Territory festival attracts a 4000-strong audience of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from all over the world who descend upon the small remote community to camp and take part in a program of music, sport, traditional arts and cultural activities over the 3-day long weekend in June each year, welcomed by the traditional owners.
Boomerang is the first of its kind. Never has an Indigenous festival of this holistic calibre been so accessible; featuring an array of music, dance, theatre, comedy, film and visual arts, along with cultural knowledge exchanges and thought provoking conversations.
Boomerang features the very best our original culture has to offer in the arts, talks and ideas, as well as emerging musicians, and dancers, workshops and much more.
Hosted by the oldest living culture it’s a time to get up close and personal, there is nothing that quite matches the exchanges our audiences experience.
Homeground Festival – Sydney
Education and Research
ABC – First Footprints
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
AIATSIS is a world-renowned research, collections and publishing organisation, which promotes knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories, past and present.
Available at: http://aiatsis.gov.au/.
Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience
AIME Mentoring trains university students to be educational mentors to disadvantaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students.
Available at: https://aimementoring.com/
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
Hosted by the Australian National University in Canberra, the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research or CAEPR is Australia’s foremost social science research body focusing on Indigenous economic and social policy from a national perspective.
Available at: http://caepr.anu.edu.au/
A one-stop website that connects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Australian Government policies, services and programs, and provides resources, contacts and information relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Available at: http://www.indigenous.gov.au/
Kulunga Aboriginal Research Development Unit
Part of the Telethon Kids Institute, Kulunga provides advice, technical and cultural support across the Institute.
Menzies School of Health Research
Menzies is Australia’s leading medical research institute dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and a leader in global and tropical research into life-threatening illnesses.
Available at: http://www.menzies.edu.au/
The Lowitja Institute
Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, named in honour of its Patron Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue, supports the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples through high-impact quality research, knowledge translation and fostering a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers. Available at: http://www.lowitja.org.au/
Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA)
A not-for-profit professional association contributing to equitable health and life outcomes, and the cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, AIDA’s ultimate goal is to reach population parity of Indigenous doctors, and to inform and support a culturally safe health care system.
Available at: https://www.aida.org.au/
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Now in its 20th year the HealthInfoNet is an award-winning web resource, funded by the Federal Department of Health and hosted by Edith Cowan University, that provides evidence-based and culturally appropriate support to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector.
Available at: http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/.
Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM)
The sole representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives in Australia, CATSINaM’s primary function is to implement strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into nursing and midwifery professions.
Available at: http://catsinam.org.au/
Closing the Gap Clearing House
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s clearinghouse for research and evaluation evidence on what works in overcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage
Available at: www.aihw.gov.au/closingthegap
Healthy Vibe (Healthy Mind)
Targeted, culturally sensitive communication services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Available at: www.vibe.com.au
Peak representative bodies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
NACCHO is the national peak body representing more than 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across Australia on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.
Available at: http://www.naccho.org.au/
States and Territories
The following peak bodies represent the ACCHSs in their State or Territory on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (Australian Capital Territory)
Available at: http://www.winnunga.org.au/
Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales
Available at: http://www.ahmrc.org.au/
Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance (Northern Territory)
Available at: http://www.amsant.org.au/
Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Inc. (Northern Territory)
Available at: http://www.caac.org.au/
Queensland Aboriginal & Islander Health Council
Available at: http://www.qaihc.com.au/
Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Inc.
Available at: http://ahcsa.org.au/
Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Inc.
Available at: http://tacinc.com.au/
Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
Available at: http://www.vaccho.org.au/
Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia
Available at: http://www.ahcwa.org.au/
National Indigenous Television (NITV)
NITV is a channel made by, for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that provides a rich diversity of cultures, languages and talent, and informs, educates and entertains all Australians about the issues that matter the most to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Available at: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/
National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS)
A national program distribution service that delivers four radio channels of content produced by First Nations broadcasters via satellite distribution and the Internet, NIRS receives programs from a majority of the 180+ First Nations broadcasting services across Australia.
Available at: http://www.nirs.org.au/
3KND Kool & Deadly 1503AM
3KND, Melbourne’s first Indigenous owned and managed radio station, provides entertainment, information and a vital service not only to the Koori community but also to the wider community.
Available at: http://www.3knd.org.au/
Koori Radio 93.7FM
Gadigal Information Service, a leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts/media hub based in Sydney’s Redfern, is the home of Indigenous community radio station Koori Radio, which broadcasts 24/7 to the Greater Sydney region on 93.7fm and simulcast as KR00 on Digital Radio, with live streaming to the world.
Available at: http://www.kooriradio.com/
Nunga Wangga Radio
Produced by Radio Adelaide 101.5fm, Nunga Wangga Radio provides up-to-date info about cultural and community events, showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, and features new artists and live studio performances.
Available at: https://www.facebook.com/nungawanggamedia/
98.9FM for the Best Country
Based in Brisbane, 98.9FM was the first Australian capital city Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander radio station, with a strong commitment to quality broadcasting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, issues and news.
Available at: http://www.989fm.com.au
Noongar Radio 100.9FM
Managed by Noongar Media Enterprises (NME), Noongar Radio is ‘committed to the broadcast of positive, informed, empowering programs which support and promote the achievements and aspirations of the Noongar community it serves’, and to reconciliation and a more just and equal Australian society.
Available at: http://www.noongarradio.com/
The fortnightly national newspaper the Koori Mail reports on the issues that matter to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and gives them a voice missing in the mainstream media.
Available at: http://koorimail.com/
National Indigenous Times
The National Indigenous Times is an online publication that aims to build a bridge between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians, report on the tough issues, and inform, engage and empower through promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement.
Available at: http://nit.com.au/
CAAMA plays a major role in the maintenance of Indigenous Language and Culture in Central Australia. CAAMA’s social charter is to use the mediums of radio and television to give Aboriginal people a strong voice in the development of country, culture, politics and education; to use the broadcasting arts and sciences to arrest cultural disintegration, to empower people and bring inspiration to their lives.
Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE)
Based in Shepparton, rural Victoria, ASHE uses participation in sport to undertake education and training within a trusted, culturally appropriate environment, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Available at: http://ashe.unimelb.edu.au/
Korin Gamadji Institute
The Institute, an integral part of the Richmond Football Club, delivers with its partners a range of programs in leadership development, education and training, and career pathways within a space that celebrates cultural pride and supports our next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.
Available at: http://www.kgi.org.au/.
National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA)
NASCA utilises the power of structured sporting and cultural programs to harness the educational, employment and health aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
Available at: http://nasca.org.au/
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project 2016
The report – Solutions That Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us – emanating from this project recommended both improvements to existing suicide prevention services and programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and alternative evidenced-based service and program delivery models. It also recommended prioritising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of working; establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth forum; strengthening the evidence base; and developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural framework for suicide prevention services and programs.
Available at: http://www.atsispep.sis.uwa.edu.au/
The Elders’ Report
The Culture is Life Elders’ Report Into Preventing Indigenous Self-harm and Youth Suicide is a solutions-based report (film, photography and written) that was put together under the instruction of Indigenous Elders detailing their experience, concerns and insights into what they see as the solution to lowering, and ultimately ending, the alarmingly high incidence of self-harm and Indigenous youth suicide in Australia. The report has now been distributed widely throughout Australia as well as to the international community. It has also been presented to all members of the State and Federal parliaments, as well as key stakeholder groups in the medical, academic and legal communities. And with this we continue lobbying for change.
“Not supporting homelands, not supporting cultural education, and not supporting cultural activities is actually a matter of life and death for us. It’s not just a nice little thing to support; it’s our people’s inner soul” – Bernard Tipiloura, Melville Island NT
This ground-breaking report, commissioned by the Australian Government and released on 10 November 2016, ‘sets out a new blueprint to improve suicide-prevention services and programmes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on the principle of prioritising community-led, culturally-appropriate services’.
Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
AISRP, the leading Australian centre for research, clinical practice, education and community action for suicide prevention, promotes high-quality research, clinical practice, and education for the prevention of suicidal behaviour in Australia.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
The ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Deaths Overview (3309.0 – Suicides Australia, 2010) presents the total number of suicide deaths, age-specific death rates and rate ratios by sex for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people in NSW, Queensland, SA, WA and the NT, 2001–10.
beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone to assist all Australians achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
Available at: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support, as well as suicide prevention services such as self-help toolkits, facts and information, and real stories.
Available at: https://www.lifeline.org.au/
AISRAP is the leading Australian centre for research, clinical practice, education and community action for suicide prevention, sought after for the quality of the advice and the outcomes it provides in linking research and practice.
AISRAP’s mission is to promote high quality research, clinical practice, and education for the prevention of suicidal behaviour in Australia.
Kurdiji 1.0 is an app being created by Warlpiri Indigenous elders designed to save young indigenous lives
Australian Youth Development Index
A composite index that collectively measures the development of young Australians aged 15–29 using five domains: Education, Health and Wellbeing, Employment and Opportunity, Political Participation and Civic Participation for young people.
Available at: http://www.youthaction.org.au/australian_ydi
Foundation for Young Australians (FYA)
FYA is about inspiring, supporting and connecting the next generation of young people who are going to rethink the world and create a better future.
Available at: http://www.fya.org.au/
headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12–25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ wellbeing, in four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support, and alcohol and other drug services.
Available at: https://www.headspace.org.au/
Koorie Youth Council
The Koorie Youth Council is a Victorian state-wide network of volunteer Indigenous young people between 12 and 25 years who provide a voice to government and community on issues of importance to them within a safe, structured and supportive environment.
Available at: http://koorieyouth.org.au/
National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE)
The NCIE builds capabilities and creates opportunities with and for generations of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through its social enterprise units that support the delivery of life-changing programs such as the NCIE Fitness Centre, Swimming Programs, Accommodation and Conferences, and the Job Ready program.
Available at: http://ncie.org.au/