Background

Yulunga: Traditional Indigenous Games is a selection of games and activities from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies all around Australia.  It provides an opportunity to learn about, appreciate and experience aspects of Indigenous culture.

Indigenous games and activities have a rich history as some were recorded by explorers, government officials, settlers, scientists and missionaries in the nineteenth century.  They have also been past down through generation by Indigenous Australians.

The games and activities in Yulunga: Traditional Indigenous Games are:

  • played in their traditional forms with modern equipment
  • modified for safety, ease of use or to cater for all ages and abilities
  • reconstructed from incomplete accounts

It is possible to use the Traditional Indigenous Games as skill games or lead-up games in physical education lessons or in specific sport practice sessions.

Approval was sought from the traditional owners of the games or from a representative Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation. When the games are used as part of school or sporting program it is recommended that local elders and Indigenous groups are informed of plans and invited to participate in some way.

Acknowledgments

The Australian Sport Commission acknowledges Ken Edwards for the extensive and thorough research undertaken to collate the Yulunga: Traditional Indigenous Games.

To create this resource, Ken Edwards with the assistance of Troy Meston reviewed almost every available account of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander games from all parts of Australia.

The Australian Sports Commission recognises the traditional owners of the games and activities that formed the basis of this resource. This resource is dedicated to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Traditional Indigenous Games consultants

Ken Edwards (PhD) is a former physical education teacher and academic in the Faculty of Health (School of Human Movement Studies) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. He is currently a staff member in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (School of Humanities — Education) at Bond University on the Gold Coast.

Troy Meston is a graduate of the Faculty of Education at QUT and currently Director of Blackbase in Brisbane. He is actively involved in the promotion of Indigenous traditional games in schools and community groups.

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