Aboriginal artwork with yellow, orange, white, brown, pink and red colours

Kinship Module

Learn about Aboriginal Kinship systems
This online learning module covers the systems of social organisation that traditionally govern Aboriginal societies and explains this significant cultural difference.

Aboriginal Australians were multicultural long before European settlers came to Australia. Traditionally, there were more than 500 different Aboriginal Nations across Australia with different languages, social structures and modes of behaviour, but also with many common denominators – specifically religious ties and Kinship systems.

This module will help you to gain a better understanding of:

  • Aboriginal Kinship systems and how they operate
  • Aboriginal social structures and how these are different to Western societies
  • potential conflict in working with people from differing cultural backgrounds
  • how cultural difference impacts upon Aboriginal people in the social systems which operate in Australia (through education, criminal justice systems and the legal system more broadly, etc.).

Learning module

Get started

Each module section includes a video, a series of related questions and a list of useful resources to help you learn more about the Kinship system.

Community narratives

Find out more from Aboriginal people who provide examples from their lives of times when cultural difference was not understood and created conflict and/or trauma in their lives.

Who will find the module useful?

  • Educators
  • Legal practitioners
  • Government personnel
  • Magistracy and judiciary
  • Police
  • University students
  • Members of organisations who work with or for Aboriginal people
  • Anyone who wants to know more about Aboriginal Australians

Stories and images

These pages may contain reference to Aboriginal people who are deceased. Story providers have given permission to use their images and stories on this website.