Statistics about Indigenous Australians and their families are often presented as stand-alone demographic descriptions and interpreted in the context of non-Indigenous family life. This article presents key demographic data on Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers, derived from the 2006 Australian Census. The data describe the family and relationship status of Indigenous versus non-Indigenous mothers, as well as their education levels, income and labour force status, which provides some indication of the life situations and particular disadvantage experienced by Indigenous Australians. However, these data offer a limited perspective on the lives of Indigenous mothers and their children. To place these data in the wider context of Indigenous culture and society we have included data from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS; Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2009b), and focus on findings relating to cultural identification, and social networks and support.
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