Aboriginal family and relationship structures

Practice Implications: Family and Kinship: Working with Indigenous Australians :

aboriginal family and relationship structures

Aboriginal kinship and family structures are still cohesive forces which bind Aboriginal of the groups by the same relationship terms which apply in the family. The kinship system is a feature of Aboriginal social organisation and family relationships across Central Australia. It is a complex system that determines how . Aboriginal concept of family and community. 13 open and trusting relationships with Aboriginal people and vice structures and a lack of Aboriginal people in.

When listening to Aboriginal people talk to each other you may notice that they rarely address each other by name.

Kinship and Skin Names

They often use relationship terms such as brother, aunt, cousin etc. Again, their name is rarely used. Personal names are viewed as an integral part of the individual and are always used with discretion pg Aboriginal Australia. Intake and assessment processes need to include detailed questions concerning family to establish a picture of significant relationships and the extra responsibilities associated with this.

aboriginal family and relationship structures

Remember to be sensitive in your use of personal names during this process. Aboriginal people refer to these children as "taken" or "stolen". It is one of the most significant Government policies to impact on the Aboriginal community and its effects are still reverberating in the Aboriginal community.

As a Worker it is important to have an understanding of the effects of this policy in order to challenge the misconceptions of the wider community and the on-going disadvantage that affects many Aboriginal families today. As a Worker in the Human Services sector it is very likely you will support clients who have relatives that were removed as children.

  • 12. Aboriginal Marriages and Family Structures
  • Family and kinship

They may even have been removed themselves. Many Aboriginal people are currently dealing with the issues associated with not having their extended Aboriginal network around them as they grew up. Aboriginal adults who were removed from their families as children may experience difficulties with their parenting skills.

They may not understand their own identity and culture. This may than lead to difficulties in teaching and connecting their own children with their Aboriginal heritage. Your local Aboriginal Support Worker will be able to provide you with appropriate contacts within the wider Aboriginal community.

Kinship and Skin Names | Central Land Council, Australia

It has only been recently that Government policy has recognised the importance of placing Aboriginal children within their own community to keep them connected with their culture. Past Government policies have resulted in inappropriate placements with non-Indigenous families where their Aboriginal culture was largely ignored or misunderstood.

aboriginal family and relationship structures

As a Worker you need to remember the importance of extended family for your Aboriginal client and your Aboriginal Workers. Family teaches one how to live, respect and how to treat people. These learnings are passed down through the generations by sharing all aspects of their lives including food, money, clothes, homes and child-rearing.

This may impact on the Service you offer or on the needs of an Aboriginal Worker in a generalist service. You may find that the material assistance you have just provided your Aboriginal client has been shared with their extended family.

You need to recognise that although your assistance may no longer be meeting the direct needs of your clients it is enabling them to meet their familial responsibilities. Aboriginal Workers may also feel obligated to share Service resources with their family members.

A result is that families are attempting to accommodate the contradictions that this presents for the kinship system.

aboriginal family and relationship structures

This relationship requires a social distance, such that they may not be able to be in the same room or car. Aspects of this system of social organisation differ between regions. A moiety system i. Alternatively, the Pitjantjatjara, for example, are classified into moiety groups — ngana nt arka lit.

Aboriginal Family and Child Care Arrangements | ALRC

You will notice in the chart below that the same skin names are spelled differently across different languages and dialects, eg. Warlpiri, Warumungu, Pintupi-Luritja and Pintupi. This is simply because different symbols have been used in the different languages for writing particular sounds. A mother's brother, being on the same sibling line but of the other sex, is identified as an uncle.

A father's sister is an aunt See Edwards, When speaking to, or about, another person in Aboriginal societies, the person's personal name is rarely used.

Culture: Family and Kinship

A person is addressed by the appropriate relationship term, e. Another person is referred to as so-and-so's son or mother.

The personal names are seen as essentially part of the person and are used with discretion. These family members can be both genetic and classificatory. It is the kinship ties which determine a person's rights, responsibilities and behaviour. Aboriginal kinship ties, values, beliefs, identity and language are maintained by the family. The continuance of Aboriginal society is dependent on keeping Aboriginal families strong and healthy both physically and culturally.

University of Queensland Press.