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Culture and language

Cultural participation

The 2014–15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey (NATSISS) asked Indigenous Australians if they had participated in any of the following cultural activities (including as part of a job):

  • fishing
  • hunting
  • gathering wild plants or berries
  • making Indigenous arts or crafts
  • performing any Indigenous music, dance or theatre
  • writing or telling any Indigenous stories.

In 2014–15, 66% (418,100) of Indigenous Australians aged 3 and over participated in at least one of these cultural activities in the last 12 months, with higher participation levels in remote than non-remote areas (82% or 109,600 compared with 62% or 308,700).

Among children aged 3–14, 70% (132,200) had participated in at least one of these cultural activities. Among those who participated in cultural activities, the majority (69% of 91,500) were taught these activities by a parent.

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In 2014–15, fishing was the most common type of cultural activity for Indigenous Australians living in both remote (68% or 90,400) and non-remote (48% or 238,700) areas (Figure CL 6).

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In 2014–15:

  • 66% (415,300) of Indigenous Australians aged 3 and over were involved in cultural events, ceremonies or organisations in the last 12 months.
  • 73% (137,800) of Indigenous Australian children aged 3–14 were involved in cultural events, ceremonies or organisations in the last 12 months.
  • 81% (107,700) of Indigenous Australians living in remote areas and 62% (307,800) living in non-remote areas were involved in cultural events, ceremonies or organisations in the last 12 months (Figure CL 7).
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In 2014–15, the cultural events, ceremonies or organisations attended by most Indigenous Australians aged 3 and over were NAIDOC week activities (41% or 260,900) followed by funerals/sorry business (33% or 209,300) and sports carnivals (27% or 173,200) (Figure CL 8).

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