Why Is Shared History Important In Maintaining Cultural Identity?

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A large majority of Australians have been presented with a version of Australian history that has minimised and ignored important events regarding Aboriginal people that include many violent and painful deaths that until recently have been hidden quietly. History is extremely important in forming cultural identity which in turn leads to an increased sense of security and belonging. Therefore a need for shared history is required in Australia for recognising the history of both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people (Gore, 2008).

When studying the history of Australia it is important to recognise that it is a shared history. The shared history of Australia acknowledges that the history of Australia began long before the British started to …show more content…

I personally originate from South Africa, a nation with a diverse culture and a history of discrimination and violence. I myself am a white English South African, which has very much impacted on my interactions with people from diverse cultures. For example, I can sympathize and respect the Aboriginals culture due to the fact that the indigenous South Africans were also colonized by the British and underwent horrific ordeals such as segregation, repression and withdrawal of rights (Keogh, 2014).
However the native South African population were and are by far the majority, compared to the white population of South Africans. Therefore as far as cultural identity goes I can definitely understand how important it is for the Aboriginals to maintain their cultural identity due to the fact that my cultural identity was shared by the minority of South Africans. I very much believe that I would feel much less secure and hold less of a feeling of belonging if I had changed my cultural identity to the cultural identity of the majority (Stuurman, …show more content…

Thus acknowledging a shared history is important because it allows Aboriginals to identify with their culture and intern feel a sense of security and belonging, which was absent during the stolen generation.


Beresford, Q. (2006). Rob riley: An aboriginal leader 's quest for justice. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

Keogh, T. (2014). Psychoanalytic reflections on an experience of australian aboriginal culture. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 11(3), 246-264. doi:10.1002/aps.1416

Holliday, A. (2010). Complexity in cultural identity. Language and Intercultural Communication, 10(2), 165-177. Doi: 10.1080/14708470903267384

Gore,J. (2008). A Shared History. Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/shared/rationale.htm

Stuurman, R., & Australian Infant, Child,Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association. (2002). Aboriginal identity in contemporary society. Stepney, S.A:

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