Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Finding Indigenous Australian Information


This guide provides a starting point for finding Indigenous Australian information sources.

See the search tips below then use the tabs on the left side of the page to find out how to access books, journal articles and other sources for your research topic.



Image by AndrewGerkens from Pixabay

Starting your search

 Start by looking for the main ideas or concepts in your assignment topic.

Let's look at this sample topic: Discuss the effectiveness of community led health services in Indigenous communities

In the topic above there are three main concepts:

  • Community led
  • Health services
  • Indigenous communities

When searching in the catalogue and databases, you can join these keywords using AND. This narrows your search, instructing the catalogue or database that you're only interested in items that contain both of your terms. For example, a search for community-led AND health services will only return records containing both the terms community-led and health services.

Finding alternative terms

Authors may use different keywords to describe the same concept so it is a good idea to identify alternative keywords (also known as synonyms or similar terms) to broaden your search.

For our sample topic some alternative terms for each main concept could be:

  • Community-led: Community managed, Community controlled
  • Health services: Health care
  • Indigenous: Aboriginal, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Indigenous Australian

Combine these similar search terms with OR. This broadens your search, instructing the catalogue or database that you're interested in items that contain either of your terms. For example, a search for health services OR health care will locate all records containing either the terms health services or health care.

Note that the terms "Indigenous Australians" and "Aboriginal Australians" are often used interchangeably in books and articles so including both in your search may increase relevant results.

Search tips

You can use these tips in the Library catalogue, databases and Google to enhance your search:

  • Phrase searching means searching for two words or a string of words as an exact phrase. By using this technique you will only retrieve items where those words appear together in the text. To search for a phrase, add double quotes around the terms. For example: "Indigenous Australian".

  • Truncation (usually an asterisk *) is useful for finding different endings of a word. The asterisk is added after the last common letter of the variations. For example the search term teen* will search for teen, teens, teenage, teenager, teenagers.