Define It!!!

1. When you receive your task you need to first understand what it is asking you to do.

What does the question mean??? This is a link to a list of question words and their meanings

2. Before you go searching the web or the library catalogue you should first establish some key search terms and questions. A way to help you do this is by using these resources from the school library catalogue and the internet:

The Australian Encyclopaedia Vol 1 R 994.003 AUS

This resource is useful for establishing a good understanding of the topic and identify possible key search terms. It contains extensive information on the history and culture of Australia but with a limited introduction to music or art.

Wikipedia [1]

This is an excellent source of general information on history, geography, music and art but you will need to follow the links within its pages. Search using terms such as Australian Aboriginal history/culture, Aboriginal Art/music.

Online Dictionaries, Thesaurus, and Encyclopaedias

School Catalogue[[2]]

Anyword or Keyword search will look for that word or phrase anywhere in an items bibliographic record.

For this task search under the words:

             Indigenous Art/History

A subject search however will search for all the items in the library catalogue that are filed under a specific subject.

For this task search under the words:

             Art, Aboriginal

Search Engines And Website Evaluation

Searching the web can be very time consuming if you are not specific in your search terms and remain focused on your search questions. Using Boolean will also help you refine your search. (Check out more about how to use boolean on the school library intranet page at Use the following link to choose Australian search engines as these will produce the best results. Evaluating Search Engines and Websites And this link for evaluating the websites you find. Evaluating Websites

For this task search under the words:

             Aboriginal Settlement
             Australian Aboriginal Art/History/Culture
             Aboriginal Fire
             Aboriginal Environment Impact

Below are some websites that will also be of assistance to your search.

Internet Gateways

These are human collected catalogues of websites on particular topics

              The Internet Public Library [3]
              The Internet public library – Kids space [4]

Find It!!!

While you are researching make sure you write down your notes and bibliographical references as you go. One way to keep this information organised is by using the school note-taking sheets available on


Before the invasion : Aboriginal life to 1788 / Colin Bourke, Colin Johnson, and Isobel White (Text) NF 994.004 BOU

A descriptive text outlining the life and culture of Aboriginal Australians before European settlement. It includes information on tribal relations and wars, food, use of fire, the place of music and art within their culture and the diversity of Aboriginal settlement.

Australian Museum Online – Indigenous Australia [5]

This site contains a good overview of Aboriginal life before European settlement. It also contains audio files of narrated dreamtime stories. And through it's factsheet category for students there are good links to other aborignal organisations and information on the internet.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Website [6]

This site provides access to two excellent resources and comprehensive number of websites. It was a chronology of Aboriginal history located under the heading 'Aboriginal and Islander History'. And a database of information on specific topics under the heading of 'Resource Directory'.

Early Images of Australian Aboriginies [7]

This is a collection primary documents written by early explorers and settlers in observation of the the Aboriginal people. The documents show the general perceptions held by the Europeans of their life and culture. Accompanying these are a collection of early drawings and paintings of the aboriginal daily life and individual portraits.

Ngadonji...rainforest people [8]

This is about a Queensland tribe who lived in the rainforest and had quite unique practices. The site offers information on their land, history, language, technology and art of tree climbing. And because Northern Queensland was not settled until mid 1800's more of their culture has been preserved.


Under a southern sun : stories from the Australian landscape / National Library Archives of Australia (CD-ROM) AV 709.94 UND

This is a comprehensive work on Australian art and its expression of the landscape. It contains specific examples of Aboriginal aerial landscape paintings and discusses the importance of this style of art to the aboriginal people and their community.

A dictionary of Australian music / edited by Warren Bebbington NF 780.994 DIC

This is a comprehensive work on Australian music that contains an excellent chapter on Aboriginal music. Specifically their use of instruments, creation of songlines, music for special events (corroboree) and the place that the music had within the community.

Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre – Central Australia [9]

This is a comprehensive site on the culture and history of the Aboriginal peoples of this region but it also has excellent information on the music traditions, instruments and practices of the Aboriginal people. The Didgeridoo originated in this area and is therefore a feature on the site.

Aboriginal Art Online [10]

Comprehensive information on traditional art and their practices can be found under the headings 'Art and Artists' and 'Land and Culture' in the navigation bar on the left. Including drawings and descriptions of the symbols used in Aboriginal art. And there is also a tabulated list of the various musical instruments used by the Aboriginal people under land and culture.

National Film and Sound Archive - 1899 - Fanny Cochrane Smith’s recordings of Tasmanian Aboriginal songs [11]

The recording was made in 1899 by Fanny Cochrane Smith an aboriginal woman from the tribes of Tasmania. This is the only recorded example of Tasmanian Aboriginal songs and language. The recordings are in both the Tasmanian Aboriginal Language and English and contain all the songs that she was able to remember.


Department of Environment and Heritage - Pre-contact Aboriginal, and Contemporary Fire Regimes of the Savanna Landscapes of Northern Australia: Patterns, Changes and Ecological Processes [12]

This site is an excellent resource to understanding what kind of an impact the Aboriginal people had on the Australian landscape. There are two very good articles entitled 'Fire regimes under aboriginal custodianship at the time of European colonisation' and 'Ecological responses to changes in fire regime from Aboriginal to contemporary practice'.

Macquarie Atlas – Indigenous Atlas [13]

This site allows you to see certain aspects of Aboriginal culture, life, settlement and the natural environment depicted on a map of Australia. These features can be overlapped and evaluated in any order however the additional information function is disabled for those without a macquarie account.

Australian Plants Online - The Impact of Fire: An Historical Perspective [14]

This is a comprehensive article on the Australian Aboriginals use of fire and its impact on the environment. It outlines why fire was used, how it effected plant germination, its possible role in the extinction of the megafauna (dinosaurs) and the observations of early settlers.

Where We Have Come From

AV 03:07, 22 October 2007 (UTC)By Alyssa Veltkamp

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