Indigenous Ontologies in 'Caring for Country': Indigenous Australia's Sustainable Customs, Practices and Laws

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Indigenous Australians are often referred to as ‘the First Peoples’ of Australia, and the inclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in being recognised as official national flags in 1995 by the Keating Federal Government, alongside the Australian flag, embues First Peoples with national recognition. The national discussion and consultation to reform Australia’s Constitution has failed to progress a proposal to enshrine Australia’s First Peoples recognition in the preamble of the constitution. The Australian Federal Government also dismissed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for a national Indigenous voice to parliament and the concept of a Makarrata, to facilitate the truth-telling about Australia’s violent history. This great southern continent experiences long periods of drought, intense fires and periodic intense flooding across Australia. However, Australian society has barely engaged with First Peoples and their unique knowledge of this land, whether traditional or revitalised, including their exemplary sustainable management through ‘Caring for Country’. This chapter examines the benefits of Indigenous people’s knowledge exercised through their laws, customs, practices and polity, and analyses the significant impact resulting from generations of settler Australians ignoring Indigenous ontology and knowledge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationClan and Tribal Perspectives on Social, Economic and Environmental Sustainability
    Editors James C. Spee, Adela McMurray, Mark McMillan
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherEmerald Insight
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78973-366-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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