From an early age the children are not in the care of their real parents but in the collective custody of the group. Enjoy a CovidSafe visit to the National Library. This may sound off topic but I have been researching Australian Aboriginal and abriginal culture in general and it has led me to so many questions!!! There … Polygamy is not legally recognised in Australia. i understand why polygamy existed as a survival and economic tool but I also read this Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. [22], In 2013, the 'Polyamory Action Lobby' submitted a petition to federal parliament saying, "For too long has Australia denied people the right to marry the ones they care about. Australia. You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded. In this case the old wives are looked after by their married daughters, but they eke out a very miserable existence. A man may thus find himself in the odd situation of not knowing how many wives he will finally get. "[8] (Subsequently, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 changed the legal definition from "the union of a man and a woman" to "the union of two persons".)

Many young men of marriageable age cannot find wives because the girls in their group have already been assigned to older men. Under Australian law, marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. ][24][25][26][27], A number of Australian Facebook sites are dedicated to polyamory, including 'Sydney Polyamory'[28] and 'Poly Mardi Gras Float'. I shall try to explain how this came about, but I warn the reader that he may find the riddle highly confusing to follow. Social welfare - Government - Social security payments. [31][32] Polyamory groups in Sydney and Brisbane have a reported 1,900+ members. The principle whereby each individual in a group is related to all other members of the group creates a unity among them of a most remarkable kind.

and Australia. Ask Login. So far as is known there is little difference between the number of boys and girls born, and polygamy is made possible by the fact that the men seldom marry before they are twenty-five, while the women marry as early as twelve. [35], CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, Last edited on 26 September 2020, at 04:24, Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017, Ghazel & Ghazel and Anor [2016] FamCAFC 31, "Rights charter is from 2009 BC | The Australian", "Why the Bigamy Offence Should be Repealed", "Recognition of international marriages in Australia", "No recognition for polygamous marriage: A-G", "Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee", "Family Law Judgements: Divorce Validity of foreign marriage under Part VA of the Marriage Act", "Potentially polygamous marriages recognised under Australian legislation", "Polygamy, multiple relationships and welfare", "Aboriginal Marriages and Family Structures", "How common is polygamy in Australia? We find this abhorrent. [4] Whether or not either or both partners were aware of the previous subsisting marriage, the second marriage is void. The primary significance of this system is that each group or family carries prescribed responsibilities.

The man marries the daughter of a certain woman because that woman, together with other women in her group, is already his future mother-in-law according to the marriage rules. Read more... Pennington, Bill. Again on this basis if a man entitled to marry a certain girl married her widowed mother instead, he, too, would be guilty of incest. [11][12] The court also ruled that if the husband took a second wife, the second marriage would not be legally recognised while the husband was still married to his first wife. 1990, Polygamy in transition : the treatment of Aboriginal polygamy by the Department of Social Security / [Bill Pennington] NADU Darwin. [5] Foreign polygamous marriages are not recognized in Australia. Yet there are people who believe, because the Aborigines are physically under-developed, that they are also mentally backward. Their communities are not made up in our sense of families related by blood, but by groups and sub-groups formally distinguished by the different ways in which they pronounce the names of the individuals within their groups. These family relationships sound elaborately confusing to us and appear to involve flights into higher mathematics; but ask a little Aborigine about his present and future family identity and he can at once point out and name all uncles, aunts, in-laws and possible wives; further, he can tell the names of all his future children and to whom these will probably be married! Polygamy is not legally recognised in Australia. We will contact you if necessary. Darwin :  NADU, Pennington, Bill. North Australia Development Unit, Response to the central office discussion paper on polygamous marriages / compiled by Bill Pennington, Discussion paper on remote area allowance / prepared by Bill Pennington, The investor and the law [by] R. R. Pennington, Emergent inequalities in aboriginal Australia / J.C. Altman, editor. The son or daughter of any one of them calls them all ‘father.’ It is easy to see how there emerge from this habit such paradoxes as that a man may sometimes be older than one of his ‘fathers.’ Or, similarly, that a child may call his real father, ‘uncle.’ The same principle applies in all other family relationships. Polygamy has been around for a long time, there is nothing new about it. The logical result of these automatic procedures is that no form of marriage ceremony exists among the Aborigines. "[10][23], In 2014 and 2015 further recognition for, and acceptance of, polygamy was sought[who? [7], In 2008, Australia's then Attorney General Robert McClelland said that "There is absolutely no way that the government will be recognising polygamist relationships. A man can only marry a woman of a certain sub-group of the opposite main group and only if, according to her ‘rating,’ it is her ‘turn’ for his special group. [19] On an SBS, Insight program seeking to answer the question, "How common is polygamy in Australia? The mother of a small girl decides that she shall be given to a candidate who, according to the pattern of group relationships, has qualified as a son-in-law to the girl’s mother. The rituals of the Australian Aborigines are so involved and obscure that scientists who have studied them for many years are confronted with complicated mathematical conundrums; yet when these are at last solved, they turn out to be unexpectedly logical. The basis of the Aborigines’ family system is extraordinary. Jens Bjerre: Marriage Rules and Family Life of the Aborigines of … [21] The 2014 Mardi Gras hosted the, "Polyamory Sydney ‘Birds of a Feather, love together’ – the infinite love Nest". 1990,  Polygamy in transition : the treatment of Aboriginal polygamy by the Department of Social Security / [Bill Pennington]  NADU Darwin. Some of the men are apt to neglect, and even turn out, their old wives in favour of young and fresh ones. Selected excerpts from Jens Bjerre’s The Last Cannibals on primitive beliefs and customs. As a result of the rule that every widow is automatically transferred to one or more of her husband’s brothers, there are no lonely widows or orphan children. As a rule the wives seem to live in tolerable harmony, but it does sometimes happen that the older, neglected wives get jealous of the younger ones and this, of course, leads to trouble. & Australia. From this moment of decision, even though she is still only a child, she is looked upon as the man’s fiancée, until, at the age of twelve or fourteen, she is finally transferred to the husband’s keeping. There are, also, manifest disadvantages in this polygamous practice.

Polygamous marriage necessarily offends this definition. Young newly-married girls can arrange beforehand that their own daughters, when they appear, shall eventually marry a certain man within the group who is entitled to the child on the basis of the relationships I have described. Wikipedia Citation.

A marriage is ‘potentially polygamous’ if it is not polygamous but the law in the country where the original marriage took place allows a polygamous marriage of one or both partners to the original marriage at a later date. Polygamy among the Aborigines, as among other primitive peoples, is the result of the environmental condition in which they live. I soon became friends with all the children who hung on my arms in clusters when I walked about.

Legally recognised polygamous marriages may not be performed in Australia,[1][2] and a person who marries another person, knowing that the previous marriage is still subsisting, commits an offence of bigamy under section 94 of the Marriage Act 1961, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. Polygamia (m.kreik. I learned their names and took much trouble to pronounce them properly. All the members of the main group, similarly, are regarded as brothers though they are not related by blood. ), Australian social security law recognises that multiple partners are assessed exactly the same as any other person, with no additional payments for having multiple partners. [9][10], On 4 March 2016, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia ruled in the case Ghazel & Ghazel and Anor [2016] FamCAFC 31 that a polygamous marriage is illegal in Australia but a foreign marriage, which is ‘potentially polygamous’ when it is entered into, will be recognised as a valid marriage in Australia. When a man marries, his wife’s mother does not become his mother-in-law merely in virtue of the marriage.

Polygamy in transition : the treatment of Aboriginal polygamy by the Department of Social Security / [Bill Pennington]  NADU Darwin  1990, Pennington, Bill.

To learn more about Copies Direct watch this. Can I get copies of items from the Library? Thus the group as a whole is held responsible for the action of its individual members. If the offence committed is punishable by death, the group does not demand the execution of the real culprit, but is content with the life of any of his group relations. In considering these matters we should remember that the Christian practice of monogamy, itself relatively new in history, was determined very largely by economic and not religious considerations. Please see Wikipedia's template documentation for further citation fields that may be required. Former High Court Judge, the Hon. Dead men’s widows become other men’s wives, and are now looked upon as being duly married to these men who, in any case, according to the marriage rules, were always among the possible ‘husbands.’ The widow’s children are absorbed into the other man’s family, whom they have always, in any case, called ‘father.’. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Before trying to comprehend their patterns of marriage and family relationships, one must exclude from one’s mind our own familiar conception of such relationships which are, of course, based upon consanguinity. 26-30, Adam and Eve, 1954. The fundamental difference is caused by the fact that the Aborigines do not regard children as simply the result of sexual intercourse, but as spirits appearing yet again in a process of reincarnation.

North Australia Development Unit. Youth is naturally drawn to youth, and because of this obstacle many unlawful relationships develop, not to mention outright theft and abduction of wives. They are unlawful and they will remain as such. The child’s name provides, so to speak, the child’s permanent identity disc within the group relationship. 1, Gender and Indigenous Peoples from their communities in search of work, in some cases leaving women and children behind.

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