Opinions on Indigenous Australians

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Indigenous Australians are members of groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands prior to European colonisation. The phrase is therefore somewhat broad in scope, including such ethnically diverse groups as Tiwi people, Noongar people, and Torres Strait Islanders, and does not generally imply a close relationship or common origin of all included groups.

The relationship between modern Indigenous Australians and Australia's earliest inhabitants remains a matter of scholarly debate. The earliest definite human remains found to date in Australia are those of Mungo Man, which have been dated at about 40,000 years old, but comparison of the mitochondrial DNA with that of ancient and modern Aborigines indicate Mungo Man is unrelated to any modern Indigenous Australians. The time of arrival of humans in Australia is also a matter of debate among researchers, with estimates dating back as far as 125,000 years ago.

Recent findings indicate that Indigenous Australians are probably descendants of the first modern humans to migrate out of Africa to Asia, roughly 70,000 years ago, arriving in Australia around 50,000 years ago. The Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands, which are at the northernmost tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea. The term "Aboriginal" is traditionally applied to only the indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia and Tasmania, along with some of the adjacent islands, i.e., the "first peoples". Indigenous Australians is an inclusive term used when referring to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders.

There is great diversity among different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia, each with its own unique mixture of cultures, customs and languages. In present-day Australia these groups are further divided into local communities. Although there were over 250 languages at the time of initial European settlement it is currently estimated that from 120 to 145 of these remain in use, and all but 13 are considered to be endangered. Aboriginal people today mostly speak English, with Aboriginal phrases and words being added to create Australian Aboriginal English (which also shows the influence of Indigenous languages in the phonology and grammatical structure). The population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement has been estimated at between 318,000 and 1,000,000 with the distribution being similar to that of the current Australian population, with the majority living in the south-east, centred along the Murray River.

Since 1995, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag have been among the official "Flags of Australia".

In the image below, you can see a graph with the evolution of the times that people look for Indigenous Australians. And below it, you can see how many pieces of news have been created about Indigenous Australians in the last years.
Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Indigenous Australians has and the evolution of its popularity.

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