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What does land mean to Aboriginal people?

Aboriginal people consider land (or Country) to be more than a place. The land is a connection built between all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s existence — from spirituality, culture, language, family to law and identity. Each individual is entrusted with the cultural knowledge and responsibility to care for the land they identify with through kinship systems.

Aboriginal people have a profound spiritual connection to land, including law and spirituality, people and creation. These elements also form a large part of their culture and sovereignty. The quality of land and health of the water system is also primary to Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal languages make up the land and the culture of the people who spoke them. That is why dismissing of Aboriginal people from their lands has been so treacherous — the loss of country ultimately destroys language and culture.

The cornerstone of the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Country is ensuring unity and reciprocation — meaning mutual respect, maintaining balance, and nurturing the connection. A common expression is “healthy Country, healthy people”. Acknowledging Country is a way for us all to demonstrate respect to the Traditional Owners and custodians of the place we all call home. 

To learn more about implementing Aboriginal Culture and Education into your workplace or classroom — contact our team on (02) 4730 0400 or


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111 Henry Street, Penrith NSW 2750
(02) 47 300 400