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Indigenous Understanding PLT: Indigenous Women

Strand 1 PLT

Acknowledgement of Country

Visitors should be aware that this Research Guide may contain images or documentation relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are deceased.

Mount St Benedict College acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Ancestors have walked this country and we acknowledge their special and unique place in our nation’s historical, cultural and linguistic identity.




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Indigenous women have made significant contributions both in peacetime and in war. Many of the books in this reading list discuss Indigenous women's contributions particularly those listed.

ABC Education

In Northern Territory's Katherine region, a group of Aboriginal women continue to practise a 'baby smoking' ritual that has been passed down for many generations. In the ritual, different parts of a baby's body is warmed by a specially prepared smoke. What does this act signify? Can you think of other cultures or religions where there is a ritual attached to a newborn baby?


NAIDOC Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and this year's theme is "Because of her, we can". It's dedicated to all of the Indigenous women who've made a difference and inspired others. So, we decided to ask some school kids about the famous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who've inspired them.


Rhonda Radley is a descendant of the Gathang and Dunghutti speaking people. She sees a need in her community to bring women from all the different Aboriginal groups together. She has found strength within herself to drive a movement that does just that, and to revive culture through language and practices.

Nova Peris, Australia's first Indigenous female politician, sheds tears as she describes her journey to Parliament

Marlee and Keely Silva are young Gamilaroi and Dunghutti sisters who co-founded Tiddas 4 Tiddas, a popular social media platform. The English translation of Tiddas 4 Tiddas is Sisters 4 Sisters, and the platform showcases stories of excellence from women from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Aboriginal activist Margaret Valadian on why the Women's Movement and International Women's Day are foreign concepts to Aboriginal women.

Women's 400m Final - Sydney 2000 Olympic Games featuring Cathy Freeman (AUS), Lorraine Graham (JAM) and Katharine Merry (GBR)

The legacy of Cammeraygal woman Barangaroo resonates in the local Aboriginal community today. This oral history of her contribution is told by influential contemporary Aboriginal women living and working in Sydney who are inspired and influenced by Barangaroo

The story of a nation coming together around Indigenous athlete Cathy Freeman who delivered when it mattered on the greatest stage on earth. 20 years on, FREEMAN sheds light on one of Australia's proudest moments.


NITV has put together a list of 20 trailblazing Indigenous women who have changed Australia.

Creative Spirits

Not many Australians know a famous Aboriginal person although most have one in their wallet. Aboriginal role models and activists influence the next generation of Australian youth.

Women's Museum of Australia

The Herstory Archive includes the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from across Australia.
Some of these women have passed away and their families should be aware that there are photographs included in the Archive, alongside the written text.


Music and dance are an integral part of ongoing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional culture. Like mainstream music, First Peoples' music followed and reinterpreted international music trends like jazz, hip hop and R&B. Jazz singers Georgia Lee and her niece Wilma Reading were among the first Aboriginal female artists to be recognised by the music industry and enjoyed flourishing international careers

Tiddas 4 Tiddas