Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have inhabited Australia for at least 40,000 years. Nowadays they account for just under 3% of the national population. More than 250 languages and 600 dialects existed when Europeans arrived in Australia, but this number has dwindled and all but 20 are considered to be in danger of dying out.
The Torres Strait is made up of around 100 islands, and was annexed by Queensland in 1879. The culture and history of Torres Strait Islanders is distinct from Aboriginal traditions, with Islanders sharing many connections with their Papuan neighbours.
Nearly a third of Indigenous Australians live in remote settlements, which brings significant challenges in terms of providing access to health care, education, and economic opportunity.