Connected to Country

Indigenous Australians have a remarkably deep cultural and spiritual connection to their country.

Connected to Country

Indigenous Australians have a remarkably deep cultural and spiritual connection to their country. Now, research at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA is explaining the history behind this.

The landmark Aboriginal Heritage Project between the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum is creating a ‘genetic map’ of Australia’s first 50,000 years, using DNA analysis of hair samples collected from Aboriginal Australians between the 1920s and 1960s, together with extensive cultural and genealogical data.

The genetic record is astounding. It reveals remarkable longevity of Aboriginal populations and demonstrates a history unlike anywhere else in the world.

The research will enable Indigenous individuals to retrace their family and regional history, including the displaced Stolen Generations and their descendants.

This fascinating presentation will explore Australia’s history and the team’s collaboration with Aboriginal communities and families, and what they’re working to achieve next.

The Presenter

Professor Alan Cooper is founder and Director of the  Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, and the 2016 South Australian Scientist of the Year. He has led many large international multidisciplinary studies and created major new research areas including ancient human microbiomes (bacteria), ancient human genomes, and reconstructing the genomic history of Europe.

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The genetic record is astounding. Following initial settlement in the north around 50,000 years ago, Aboriginal groups rapidly moved around both coasts before meeting in South Australia.

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