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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander verification

It is extremely important to verify words and names which relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and languages. It is considered disrespectful to incorrectly name or spell these terms, especially the names of people and Country. There are hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, but you will find commonly used words and names in this article. You can always use a search engine to find words, remembering to use a reliable source like a community support centre or a university website.

If an Indigenous language is spoken and you know the name of the language, you should include it in the descriptive label, for example (SPEAKS NOONGAR). If the name of the language is not known, you should use (SPEAKS AN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE). If you aren’t familiar with Indigenous languages, it can be hard to identify when one is spoken in a file. Keep an ear out for relevant words, such as those in the table below. These words must always be capitalised in contexts which relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and languages.

Common Words:
Aboriginal
Torres Strait Islander
Indigenous
Elders
Traditional Owners
Traditional Custodians of the land
Country (refers to land that is cared for by Aboriginal people)
Welcome to Country
Acknowledgement of Country

Common words

WordMeaningSounds like
Boodjar
Booja
Land, ground, earthBoo-ja
Womindjika
Womindjeka
Wominjeka
Womin-dji-ka
“Welcome”Wom-in-jeeka

Common names

NameSounds likeWhereAlternative spelling(s)
Anaiwan peopleAn-ay-wanArmidale
New England
New South Wales
Anewan
Anaywan
Bidjigal peopleBidge-ee-gulNew South WalesBedegal
Bediagal
Biddegal
Boon Wurrung peopleBoon-wah-rungPort Phillip
Melbourne, Victoria
Boonwurrung
Darug peopleDuh-rugSydney, New South WalesDharug
Dharawal peopleDah-rah-woolSydney
South Coast
New South Wales
Tharawal
DhunguttiDun-gutt-eeNorthern Tablelands
Mid North Coast
New South Wales
Dhunghutti
Dhanggati
Dunghutti
Djangadi
Dainggati
Tunggutti
Dja Dja WurrungJar-jar-wor-rongDja Dja Wurrung Country
Bendigo, Victoria
Eora nationYor-rahWollongong
Sydney
New South Wales
Gadigal peopleGad-ee-galSydney, New South WalesCadigal
Gamilaraay peopleGah-mill-ah-royNorthern New South Wales
Southern Queensland
Kamilaroi
Gomeroi
Gunditjmara peopleGoon-it-ji-mah-rahGunditjmara Country
Warrnambool
Victoria
Gunditjamara
Gumbaynggirr peopleGoom-bayn-geerMid North Coast, New South Wales
Koori peopleKoo-reeNorth to South coastal areas, New South Wales
Northeastern Victoria
Koorie
Goori
Goorie
Kulin nationCool-lanMelbourne
South Central Victoria
Noongar nationNoong-ahPerth
Southwestern Western Australia
Nyungar
Nyoongar
Ngunnawal peopleNun-ah-wallCanberra, Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Wadawurrung peopleWad-ah-wah-rungDjillong Country
Geelong, Victoria
Wathaurung
Wathaurong
Whadjuk peopleWud-jookNoongar Country
Perth, Western Australia
Wadjuk
Wiradjuri peopleWor-ad-joo-reeCentral West, New South Wales
Wongutha peopleWung-guth-ahKalgoorlie
Nullarbor Plain
Goldfields-Esperance region, Western Australia
Wangkatha
Wurundjeri peopleWor-un-joo-reeWoiwurrung Country
Melbourne, Victoria
Yorta Yorta peopleYor-da-yor-daYorta Yorta Country
Northeastern Victoria near the Murray and Goulburn Rivers
Jotijota
Yugambeh peopleYoog-gum-bareTweed Heads
Gold Coast
Logan City
Southeast Queensland
Northern New South Wales
Yugumbir
Yuggera peopleYug-ah-raMoreton Bay
Toowoomba
Brisbane, Queensland
Yaggera
Yugara
Yagarr
Jagera
Jagara
Yuin nationYoo-inSouth Coast
Wollongong,
New South Wales

If you have tried to verify a word and cannot find what you are looking for in a verified source, you can use (UNKNOWN). If you come across an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander name or word that you would like added to this page, contact Online Support via email!

Updated on July 30, 2020

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