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                             Free Pint
         "Helping 35,000 people use the Web for their work"

ISSN 1460-7239                               15th February 2001 No.81
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                           IN THIS ISSUE


                        MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                         from Tim Houghton

                           FREE PINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company
                     Reviewed by Simon Collery

                        TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
                        "Economics sources"
                           By Paul Pedley

              "The Non-Designer's Web Book" (2nd Ed.)
                    Reviewed by Rachel Newcombe

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
            "Aboriginal Australia on the World Wide Web"
                           By Helen Clegg


                        CONTACT INFORMATION


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                      >>>  ABOUT FREE PINT  <<<

Free Pint is a community of business professionals who use the Web for
their research. Members receive this free newsletter every two weeks
packed with tips on finding quality and reliable business information
on the Internet. Signing up at provides
free access to the substantial archive of articles, book reviews,
industry news and events, with answers to your research questions and
networking at the "Free Pint Bar" and "Student Bar". This newsletter
is best read when printed out and viewed in a Courier font.

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Practically every edition of the BBC's "Bare Necessities" survival
series has seen my wife and me cheering the team which eventually lost
the final challenge. It's been proven time and again that if you're
the stronger team throughout the week then you're pretty much bound to
lose in the end game.

From the many emails and postings at the Bar on the topic, it seems
that many of you enjoyed last week's edition too when I appeared with
two fellow librarians in the Arizona Desert.  You saw us have a great
week but lose out on the luxury night in a hotel when we got stuck in
the final challenge trying to throw horse droppings into a bucket ...

  "We were rooting for you all and on the edge of our seats in the
  final test. It was frustrating as the librarians were so obviously
  the better team all the way through. I think my overriding memory 
  will be your expression as you ate those maggots and crickets!" AC

  "After all, not many people have come that close to throwing up on
  national TV" MH

  "Things looked like fun for the most part (including bedding down
  with your teammates) and I hope you're fully recovered.  I haven't
  watched the programme before, but was hooked for the hour.  Don't
  envy you the survival bloke, he looked like hard going." SC

  "I liked the expression on your face when you said you were going to
  bed with two lovely women!" DS

  "The librarian team should all get honorary Fellowships from the
  Library Association for service to librarianship." MW

  "The landscape was beautiful and you certainly experienced Arizona
  in a way that few other people have." LC

  "I suspect that you will all appreciate home comforts differently
  now!" CHW

Thank you all for your support and the message that "We woz robbed"!
There are a couple of photos on the site if you want to see the teams
looking rugged (or ragged!)

In today's edition of the newsletter we cover a wide range of topics,
including economics resources, Aboriginal sites and a book about
designing Web sites for the non-designer.

Simon walks us through the latest happenings at the busy Bar which, as
I mentioned in the last issue, had a record breaking month in January.
My Free Pint Fact later in this edition reveals that usage of the Free
Pint Web site is doubling every six months! In January 1999 we showed
21,000 pages, in January 2000 84,000 pages, and in January 2001 we
served up a staggering 284,000 pages. Now that's exponential growth!

Thanks as always to the sponsors of this issue (Factiva, Esmerk, 
NewsEdge, NetAlert and Learned Information) and do let them know 
where you saw their advert if you respond. Also, if you know anyone
who might enjoy this issue then feel free to pass it on to them.


William Hann BSc MIInfSc
Founder and Managing Editor, Free Pint
t: +44 (0)1784 455435
f: +44 (0)1784 455436

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              ******HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?******
NewsEdge is a leading provider of business-oriented eContent for
websites and corporate intranets. We provide the highest quality,
most cost effective and flexible solutions for serving the
information needs of thousands of corporate and Internet online
communities. To find out more about how to make your website
stickier and your employees smarter, visit
or call us now on +44 (0) 20 7448 4400

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              >>>  WANT TO RESEARCH A UK COMPANY?  <<<

      Get the low-down on a supplier, customer or competitor.
 Search Companies House records for free. Purchase financial reports
 and accounts by credit card or invoice. No setup or monthly charges.

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                        MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                         from Tim Houghton

* C:net Search - A meta news searcher. Useful if you want to quickly 
  overview media coverage of a subject. Plenty of customisation 

* - Pithy, incisive, opinionated and topical 
  commentary on business and financial topics. Good journalism in other

* - Comprehensive, well written technology news covering 
  most sub-sectors.

* Editor & Publisher News Media Listing - Need to find international 
  online newspapers? This makes it simple.

* MultiMap - Online mapping site that allows postcode searches. Great 
  for finding out where you're supposed to be going next!

Tim Houghton is a Director at Parallel54,
an online media monitoring and web research firm.

Tell us about your top five favourite Web sites. See the guidelines at
<> or email <>

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Factiva is delighted to announce that from 1st March
Reuters Business Briefing users will have access to the full
Financial Times and all its supplements. In addition, 
RBB users will be able to access all the articles which
are written exclusively for the web site.
Watch our web site for more details.

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                 >>>  WANT YOUR MESSAGE HERE?  <<<
   If you want to contact business information researchers then
       you need to advertise with Free Pint. You'll receive
         free banner exposures and discounts of up to 23%.

            "The cost per response was certainly lower
                 than any other mechanism we used"
       Find out more at

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                           FREE PINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company
                     Reviewed by Simon Collery

          Free Pint Bar -

[Note: To read a posting enter the message number in place of XXXX in 
the address or enter
the number in the "Jump To" box on the Bar homepage]

Search engines have been undergoing substantial changes recently and
consequently attracting a lot of attention (7433).  Now that Google 
are indexing PDF files, previously invisible to search engines, 
Altavista and others are sure to follow (7311).  Maybe we'll get a
rash of claims about trawling the parts other search engines can't

Apparently BigHub has disappeared (7363).  Anyone know where it's
gone?  And Webrings have been taken over by Yahoo! (7352).  Is this
the end of Webrings or a new lease of life?

The number of technical and Web mastering questions waxes and wanes
but it's certainly been waxing recently.  There have been questions
about topic maps (7404), visual navigation tools (7229), Personal
Data Assistants (7274), instant messaging (7192), free Web hosting
(7281), software services (7199), domain names (7208), mobile phone
alerts (7211), firewalls (7278), the Web as a whole (7306), portals
(7233) and tracking Web site visitors (7184).

Questions yet to be answered include one about a leasing management
system called 'Flame' (7360), MS Exchange training (7210), telephone
networks in contact centres (7405) and the best Web exhibitions
(7188).  There was also one about Web based disc space, but
specifically in the UK (7247).  You may think it doesn't matter where
the provider is based but it might if there were any legal issues to
be handled.

If anyone knows about patenting software cheaply or free of charge in
the UK, do get in touch (7412).  Likewise, if you know about the
copyright issues involved in digital libraries, don't keep it to
yourself (7234).  A good place to start may be the thread on
copyright and business libraries, which elicited quite a number of
responses (7381).

Recent ecommerce related questions have mainly been about credit
cards (7318, 7275, 7248).  Any help with credit card queries would be
much appreciated.  We also had a request for help with finding
sponsorship or finance of some kind for an ecommerce site (7266).

We have received industry questions about insurance (7334), medical
supplies in the UK health service (7336), training consultancy
(7305), US defence standards (7409), cotton dealing (7237), genealogy
(7374) and the history of lifestyle magazine publishing (7195).

Following the ADSL article in the last issue of Free Pint there has
been a healthy discussion of broadband on the Bar (7223).  If you
have any strong feelings on the matter you can air them here.  The
ebooks article also attracted some interesting comments on one of the
ebook readers reviewed (7446).

We have had the usual wide range of recommended resources, including
ones on cine clubs (7242), royalty free maps (7185), telecommuting
(7252), film extras agencies (7390), directories of TV documentary
makers (7203), power and other commodity prices (7260), emarketing
news (7365) and possible contacts in Kenya, Kerala (in India) and
Peru (7330).

Miscellaneous questions have ranged from Knowledge
Management/Competitive Intelligence recruiters (7206) and
bibliography (7263) to animatics (7316) and long term stock options
(7434).  There were also ones on tracing people (7317), autism
training (7224), research in Ireland (7239), induction of new
directors (7287) and a speech by Norman Tebbit which turned out to be
an interview (7194).

    Free Pint Student Bar -

[Note: To read a posting enter the message number in place of XXXX in 
the address]

In the Student Bar we have had some questions raised about the
history of interior design and interior design software (1139),
summer placements in an information or communications environment
(1128), funding for the gap year (1124) and copyright on the Internet
(1121).  We have also been reminded about the ARLIS event, for
library students and trainees (1125).

Students have been researching Web sites as communication tools
(1114), the clubbing market (1126), information overload (1132) and
lifelong learning (1136).  If you can help out with any of these
subjects, do pay a visit to the Student Bar.

      Simon Collery, Content Developer <>

If you have a tricky research question or can help other Free Pinters
then do post a message at the Bar or
the Student Bar

Visit daily for "Today's Tipple" - a different Web site reviewed every
working day at the Bar. Every Tuesday there is the "Pub Crawl", a look
at full text articles from a range of information and Internet 
publications. Access the archive of Tipples and Pub Crawls at

To have the latest Free Pint Bar postings sent to you every other day,
send a blank email to <>. For the Student Bar
Digest send an email to <>.

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Get up-to-date news, reviews, career moves and profiles, PLUS free
access to the online archive, by subscribing to Information World
Review - the information industry's leading monthly news magazine.

>>  Information World Review - addressing the agenda of information
professionals and those working in an information-based career.

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                        TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

                        "Economics sources"
                           By Paul Pedley

It is essential in business today to have a thorough understanding of
economic information; and, thankfully, there is now a wealth of
economic information on the Internet. Indeed, over the past five years
or so I have seen a major transformation of the Internet. Five years
ago it was largely a resource for academics where the vast
majority of material was of north American origin. Now, by contrast,
there are a vast number of business and economy Internet resources,
and the coverage is truly global.


A useful starting point is to identify a good portal of economics
data. There is a WWW virtual library covering economics In fact, this URL actually leads
to two portals - the Resources for Economists on the Internet site which is maintained by Bill Goffe and contains
hyperlinks to around 1200 sites. Then there is WWW resources in
economics which is maintained by Lauri

Inomics: the Internet site for economists
includes a search engine for economic information (EconSearch) as well
as a directory (EconDir) of economics resources. Inomics also includes
job openings for economists and conference announcements. Another
portal - VIBES - virtual international business and economic sources covers around 1600
resources for economists which are available free of charge in
English. This includes articles, research reports, statistical tables
and graphs, and "meta pages" containing links to other resources. contains links to
research, jobs information, courses in economics as well as study
guides and practice questions, and a bulletin board to enable
economists to network with one another.

International organisations

International organisations publish various national and international
data. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) site
is quite extensive, and includes the IMF staff country reports. There
is also an email notification service to keep up to date with new
developments. One of the most useful IMF publications - the
International Financial Statistics (IFS) is currently available on the
web to hard-copy subscribers of the publication, although at the
moment it seems unclear as to how this service will develop in future,
or on what basis the charging will work. The World Bank also has an extensive site. Information
from a number of key publications is available on the site - for
example World Development Indicators. However, when you explore this,
you then find that only part of the data which appears in the hard
copy publication is actually available on the website. The
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) website which underwent a makeover in 2000
organises its content into over 30 themes such as Economics, Emerging
and transition economies, or Finance and Investment. "Source OECD" was
launched in Autumn 2000. This service makes available on subscription
the full text of OECD publications. Another international organisation
whose website is worth looking at is that of the Bank for
International Settlements In addition to
providing links to the central banks of member countries, the full
text of a range of publications is available from the site. In the
past I have found the reports on payment systems particularly useful.
These cover the number of credit and debit cards in circulation, the
number of ATMs, etc.

Regional organisations

In addition to the international organisations, it is also worth
taking a look at the websites of the various regional organisations.
The African Development Bank promotes economic
and social development through loans, equity investments and technical
assistance; Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation is a vehicle for promoting open trade and
practical economic co-operation; the Asian Development Bank is a multilateral development finance
institution; the mission of the Economic Community of West African
States is to promote economic integration; the
South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation's primary objective is the acceleration of
the process of economic and social development amongst the member
states; the Southern African Development Community has a website at; and the European
Investment Bank exists to finance capital
investment furthering European integration by promoting EU economic

Central banks

The websites of central banks around the world are an excellent source
of macroeconomic data. There are a number of listings of central
banks. One of the best known is Mark Bernkopf's central banking
resource centre; the Bank for
International Settlements also has a listing at; and on my site I have listed other
sets of hyperlinks to the websites of central banks at The
European Central Bank has a number of
publications available in pdf format, both regular titles and ad-hoc
publications on topics such as inflation, the euro, or payment
systems; and the Bank of England website is at

Ministries of Finance

The websites of ministries of finance are a good source of economic
data. A couple of websites that are good for locating the sites of
ministries of finance are Worldwide Governments on the WWW where you can look up a
specific country, and then the links to the websites of government
departments for that country; and Mark Bernkopf's Central Banking
Resource Centre which has a page of
links to Ministries of Finance and Economy.

Economics news

There are lots of sources for economics news. But I have tried to
select just a handful of sites which give a good overview. is a news aggregator drawing on news from around 1800
sources. There is a heading for economics news and it is possible to get the
headlines sent to your email box on a daily or weekly basis; there is
an excellent section of economic news on the BBC's website which
covers the world economy; The Economist is
a leading source of analysis on international business and world
affairs. The website recently introduced a Global Agenda service with
concise analysis of the most important international issues;  while is another good source of economics news.
The site has a section on the global economy plus an area
covering economic indicators for the world's most important economies.


* The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is the website of the central 
  Bank of the United States

* The Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis website includes GDP data, balance
  of payments data, and the national income and product 
  account tables

* The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics website has data on the US economy,
  particularly about employment, including international comparisons

* The Economics Policy Institute is an 
  independent think tank whose mission is to provide high-quality 
  research and education to promote a prosperous, fair and 
  sustainable economy
* The International Finance Corporation is part 
  of the World Bank Group and promotes private sector investment in 
  developing countries

* from the EIU 
  provides insight and analysis to help senior executives build 
  successful strategies for doing e-business in the global digital

*'s economics home page
  is a guide to economic resources on the web, including articles on
  economics, and an economics glossary

* Biz/ed is a 
  catalogue of resources for students, researchers and practitioners 
  in the areas of business, management and economics

* The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has a number of publications 
  available in full, including "Current issues in economics and 

* The Economic & Financial Affairs directorate general of the 
  European Commission has a website at

* Both Middle East Economic Digest and Middle 
  East Economic Survey have some free 
  information on their websites, although it is necessary to take out 
  a subscription to their sites in order to get full access to the 
  resources available

* ECLAC  - the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has detailed statistics on the region 
  available from the site under the "statistics" heading

* The Economist Intelligence Unit continuously 
  assesses and forecasts political, economic and business conditions 
  in 195 countries. It prides itself on a wholly international and 
  impartial view
* Finally, there is The World in 2001
  from the Economist Group and EIU Viewswire
  which is a daily intelligence service on 195 countries.

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Paul Pedley <> is Head of Research at the Economist
Intelligence Unit. Paul is a Fellow of the Library Association and
current Chairperson of the Industrial and Commercial Libraries Group of the Library Association. He is also a
special libraries representative on the Library Association Copyright
Alliance Paul is the
author of two Aslib Know How Guides - "Copyright for library and
information service professionals" and "Intranets and push technology
- creating an information sharing environment"; and the recently
published "Free business and industry information on the web". Paul is
currently working on a new book on "The invisible web". He also edits
a large list of resources online at

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Related Free Pint links:

* "Economy" links, articles and news in the Free Pint Portal
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
* Post a message to the author now at the Free Pint Bar
* Access the entire archive of Free Pint content

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Last year over 5000 sites were defaced, and a recent survey showed
only one out of 250 ISPs managed a month without downtime. If your
site isn't working, your competitors are just a mouse click away. The
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and if it is unavailable or there are unauthorised content changes, we
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                     >>>  FREE PINT FACT  <<<

Whilst preparing for a presentation I'm making soon in New York, I
realised a staggering fact about the usage of the Free Pint Web site.
The number of pages viewed each month has doubled every six months:

                            Jan 99  21,000
                            Jul 99  46,000
                            Jan 00  84,000
                            Jul 00 128,000
                            Jan 01 284,000

      William Hann, Managing Editor <>

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                        FREE PINT BOOKSHELF

              "The Non-Designer's Web Book" (2nd Ed.)
                    Reviewed by Rachel Newcombe

Now in its second edition, the "Non-Designer's Web Book" is aimed
specifically at people without web design skills.  Claimed as being an
"award winning and best-selling" book, it offers a straightforward,
jargon-free and easy-to-follow approach to helping people create,
design and produce their own web sites. The new edition has been
updated to include current web technology, new software tips, design
ideas, and links to a variety of online sites and search engines.

Aimed at both novices and the more experienced web users, the book
covers a range of key issues and important questions likely to be
associated with the whole process of web design. It assumes little or
no previous knowledge and stresses the joy of using web authoring
packages that automatically add the HTML coding for you and therefore
take away some of the strain of designing.

The content is split into five main sections: Using the World Wide
Web, Making Web Pages, Design Issues on the Web, Colour, Graphics and
Type, and You're Done - Now What? Each chapter is split into a number
of short sections, offering bite-size, digestible elements and
ensuring that information-overload is unlikely to occur. Interspersed
throughout the text are colourful graphics, hints, examples and advice
that help to make even the complicated aspects seem easier. Many of
the sections also have quizzes, "Self-guided Tours" and checklists of
key points that help the reader to learn how to use the information
given and to start spotting particular techniques when surfing the

It's good to note that the authors do not only focus on good web
design, but bad design, too. They highlight some of the areas where
beginners often go wrong -- flashy sites, too many colours, strange
background designs that make text impossible to read -- and attempt to
lure people away from making those same mistakes. They also actively
encourage people to continually question their own sites and consider
the functionality, design and usability and from all angles.

The final part of the book deals with the all-important task of what
do to when you've finished your site, an area that is often overlooked
by design books. Step-by-step guides on how and where to register your
site, how to use meta tags and ways to ensure your site is noticed and
not forgotten the minute it goes live, are all covered.

Overall, the book clearly and precisely deals with every aspect of web
design. It takes the mystery away from the process and opens up a
world of opportunity for beginners. It would be perfect for anyone
who's ever dreamed of creating a site, but has been put off due to
lack of technical or design experience, but would also make a great
reference guide for the more experienced user.

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Rachel is a writer and researcher for online and print media. She
writes features, news, web site and book reviews for a range of
publications including UK Plus, iCircle, Health Media, Freelance
Market News, Inkspot and She can be found on the web at:

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Related Free Pint links:

* "Webmaster" links, articles and news in the Free Pint Portal
* Find out more about this book online at the Free Pint Bookshelf
* Read about other Internet marketing books on the Free Pint Bookshelf
* Read customer comments and buy this book at
* Details: ISBN 0201710382 published by Peachpit Press and written by
  Robin Williams and John Tollett
* Search for and purchase any book from Amazon via the Bookshelf

To propose an information-related book for review, send details 
to <>.

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          The Free Pint Student Bar is there to help you.
  Post a question about your dissertation, funding or recruitment.
         Find links to agencies, courses and associations.


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                          FEATURE ARTICLE

            "Aboriginal Australia on the World Wide Web"
                           By Helen Clegg


There was much media coverage of Australia in September, October and
November 2000 due to the city of Sydney hosting the Olympic and
Paralympic Games.  This article looks at a different Australia -
Aboriginal Australia - and evaluates some useful websites aimed at
promoting an understanding of Australia's indigenous people, their
history and culture.  It also gives examples of how some Aboriginal
groups are using Internet technology to promote an awareness of their
groups on the World Wide Web.

Official websites

The Australian government's main indigenous agency is the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Commission- ATSIC.  The agency is "an important international
resource for information on indigenous programs, activities and
issues".  Its website is a good starting point for anyone wanting to
know more about Aboriginal affairs.  The site is divided into five
main areas - Media, Programs, Issues, Fact versus Myth and Our People.
The media section gives details of the material ATSIC has produced for
inclusion in mainstream TV programs to highlight Aboriginal issues,
whilst the Programs section is aimed at highlighting some of the
Commission's projects, which play an important role in maintaining,
protecting and developing the different cultures of Aboriginal
Australians.  One of the links in this section is to a Visual Arts and
Crafts Resource Directory. The section on Issues gives information on
the major issues which have affected Aboriginal people since the First
Fleet arrived in 1788, including Native Title, Indigenous Rights and
Law and Justice.   A list of ATSIC's publications and fact sheets can
be found in the Fact v Myth section.

The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation was established in 1991 by the
Commonwealth Parliament.  It comprises 25 community leaders drawn from
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Upon formation, the
Council set up a formal nine year reconciliation process, which
culminated in National Reconciliation Week in May 2000. This website
is clearly laid out and easy to navigate.  It has informative sections
on the Council's goals, the Coroborree 2000 Document (the formal
Australian Declaration Towards Reconciliation) and the Roadmap for
Reconciliation. The Roadmap is another good place to look for
information on the history of Aboriginal people. Moreover, it also
examines the present day national strategy aimed at sustaining this
reconciliation process.  A host of pictures showing events which took
place throughout Australia during National Reconciliation Week have
been posted on the website.  For example there is a picture showing
Cate Blanchett and Yvonne Goolagong-Cawley taking part in the Sydney
Harbour Bridge Walk.  Seeing the pictures of the events in Alice
Springs, Brisbane, Lismore and Adelaide brings the theme of
reconciliation alive and underlines the importance of this movement in
Australia today.

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Studies is the place to start serious
research on Aboriginal history and culture.  AIATSIS is an independent
Commonwealth government statutory authority dedicated to Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander studies.  Although this is much more of an
academic site, there are sections of it which are of interest to the
casual visitor.  For example, the section on Native Languages has a
"Language of the Month" webpage.  Here you can find poems and songs in
different Aboriginal languages, with both a proper and literal English
translation.  The most recent addition to this section is a thought-
provoking poem by Emily Walker called "Ownership".  It is written in
her native Gumbaynggir language, which is spoken around the north
coast of  New South Wales.  Language enthusiasts should also visit
David Nathan's aboriginal language resource webpage  Although this is not an
official website,  is an excellent place to discover which indigenous
languages are still in use.  When the First Fleet arrived in Botany
Bay in 1788, around 270 indigenous languages existed.  Today, that
number has been reduced to about 40 and these are all in danger of
dying out. Thirty percent of the resources on this website are
maintained by Aboriginal people.

As land issues are an important theme in Australia, two sources
providing useful information on this topic are The Indigenous Land
Corporation (ILC) and the Central Land Council
9CLC.  The Indigenous Land Corporation was
established in 1995 and has two main functions:

  * to assist indigenous people to acquire land
  * to manage indigenously held land

The ILC's website gives information on land acquisition policy, land
management and land needs.  The Central Land Council on the other
hand, is a council of Aboriginal people, representing a number of
communities in Central Australia.  This website gives excellent
information on land-related issues, from land acquisition and land use
to mining and travel permits.  There is a webpage on the Council's
Rural Enterprise Unit, which provides a range of services to support
the planning and execution of new Aboriginal tourism ventures.  The
Council's 16 page publication entitled "The Truth about Mining on
Aboriginal Land" is also available as a free PDF download from the

One last official website worth mentioning is that run by
the National Native Title Tribunal This is a
Commonwealth Government body that facilitates "the making of
agreements among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,
government, industry and others, whose rights or interest may co-exist
with native title rights and interests."  One of the most useful parts
of the website is the Fact Sheet section, where online visitors can
download free fact sheets in PDF or HTML format.  Some of the topics
covered are:

  * What is Native Title?
  * What does Native Title mean for rural Australia?
  * What's the difference between Native Title and land rights?

The website also posts a list of its publications, most of which are
available for free.   An online order form is available for those
publications which have to be purchased.

Art, Culture and History

The National Indigenous Media Association of Australia (NIMAA) has put
together an indigenous portal,
to assist online visitors to access information on Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people and culture in Australia.  Through this
portal, NIMAA aims to ensure that indigenous people are both the
source and providers of the content.  The website covers a whole
spectrum of subjects and concentrates more on present day issues
rather than the historical aspect of indigenous culture.  There are
interesting sections on Education, Womens' Issues, Mens' Issues,
Elders, Kids, Teenagers, Tourism and Business.  The most recent
article in the Teenager section has a report on the first cyber café
for indigenous youth, which has just opened in Brisbane.

One of my favourite websites is
This website aims to offer Internet users "unique opportunities to
discover and explore the history, culture and spirituality of
Aboriginal people throughout Australia".  Moreover, the website has
significant Aboriginal ownership and offers direct web access to
indigenous communities and enterprises.  The homepage is clearly
divided into nine main areas - Shop, Travel, Postcards, Education,
Arts Centres, Areas of Interest, Special Features, Forum and

All of these areas are fascinating, but particularly the section on
Areas of Interest, which has sub-sections on spirituality, art and
bush medicine.  The sub-section on bush medicine requires online
visitors to register with the site, but this is free.  The section on
education delves deeper into Dreaming and sensitive issues, providing
visitors to the site with a good overview of these topics. For
visitors who are primarily interested in Aboriginal art, the Art
Centre section is a must.  Here you can see and buy wonderful
paintings by talented artists, for example the Warlayirti Artists,
Iwantja or Warumpi Group artists.  Before leaving the site, don't
forget to send a postcard! Some great Aboriginal designs are available
in postcard format for online visitors to e-mail for free.

Another interesting website concentrating mainly on Aboriginal art is
the Tobwabba website.  This website
promotes the Tobwabba artist collective, which provides employment and
income for 22 artists and staff and advertises their paintings, which
can be bought online in a secure environment in either Australian or
US dollars!  As well as being a showcase for some beautiful paintings,
the website is informative, telling the history of the Worimi people,
who were the original inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of coastal
New South Wales, from where the Tobwabba collective now operates.
Five years ago, Joanne Nangala, an Aboriginal artist originally from
Papunya in Central Australia, started selling her work at a small
stall at Mindil beach market in Darwin, where she now lives.
Gradually she sold to galleries in Australia and now she is using
Internet technology to reach potential buyers all over the world.

Her website depicts authentic
Aboriginal arts and crafts, ranging from boomerangs, carvings and
digeridus to Top End paintings, bark paintings and prints.  These are
offered for sale on behalf of artists from the Northern Territory.
Biographical details of the artists have been posted on the site too -
an easy way of learning something of the lives of Aboriginal people
today. "Dreaming" is an English word associated with Aboriginal
culture for which there really is no good definition.  Find out more
about it by visiting , which provides a
good selection of stories, both in text and audio format. Turning to
music, one of the most famous Aboriginal bands, Yothu Yindi, is making
the World Wide Web work for them.  The band has its own website and is using it to promote
itself as well as other aspects of Aboriginal life.

Aboriginal Groups

There are many, many different Aboriginal cultural groups in Australia
today and each has its own history.  Four such groups which have
embraced Internet technology to promote an awareness of their history
and culture are the Puerte Marnte Marnte, the Tjapukai and the
Yarrabah and Wadeye Aboriginal Communities. has been created by the Southern
Arrernte Aboriginal Group - the Puerte Marnte Marnte, whose homelands
are in Central Australia, about 100 kilometres south of Alice Springs.
The website is divided into a number of different sections, two useful
ones being Culture and Tourism.  The Culture section looks
specifically at the Arrente culture, describing in detail their family
systems, languages, music, ceremonies and religion.  The Tourism
section gives details of tours operated by the Group. Some examples
are a two-day Uluru trip or a six-day Uluru and Simpson Desert tour,
which no doubt will emphasize the Aboriginal aspects of the places
visited. In the Digeridu section, traditional Aboriginal music is
explained, as well as the history of this instrument and how to play

The Tjapukai, a people who originally inhabited the region around
Cairns, Port Douglas and Kuranda in Far North Queensland run the
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns.  This group is using
the Internet to promote their Cultural Park, which includes 5
theatres, a museum, an art gallery as well as a traditional Aboriginal
camp.  Using the website, online visitors can also find out about
different tour packages, book the tours online and even shop at their
art gallery. There is an excellent section on Aboriginal Art too. See  The Yarrabah Aboriginal Community is
another Aboriginal group of just over 3000 people, living near Cairns
in Far North Queensland.  This community's website describes their history, from a
very traditional lifestyle to settlement on a mission station founded
in the early 1900's by Anglican Ernest Gribble.  There is a section
advertising pottery made by community members, which is sold in local
retail outlets and another webpage is very informative about the
community's tea tree plantation.  Situated on the western edge of the
Daly River Aboriginal Reserve in the Northern Territory lives the
Wadeye Community, also known as the Port Keats Community.  The Wadeye
Community has put together an interesting website covering the
community's history, the role its Council plays in community life,
languages and clans, literacy, paintings and crafts.  Amongst the crafts made by this
group are beautiful dilly bags and batik T-shirts, with original
Aboriginal designs. Online visitors to this website can also send an
e-mail to the community.

Further resources

One of the best maintained resources on the World Wide Web for all
things Aboriginal is Professor Ciolek's website.  His website is divided
into different subject areas.  The second resource worth consulting is
the Indigenous Australian Resource Directory, hosted by the University
of Sydney.  This website
attempts to maintain a register of all current World Wide Websites
for/about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Like
Professor Ciolek's website, it is divided into a number of subject
areas, such as Education, Music, Dance, Literature, Justice and Law,
Government, Art and Artifacts.


The World Wide Web offers a large variety of resources on Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, from official
government and Aboriginal cultural organization websites to those
privately run.  Whatever angle these websites take, they all have the
same fundamental aim - to raise the profile of Australia's indigenous
people.  Online visitors to any of the websites mentioned in this
article will find food for thought on one of the world's most ancient
and fascinating cultures.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Helen Clegg is Market Analyst with RR Donnelley and Sons Company
Europe, in Amsterdam.  She holds an M.Sc. in Library and Information
Studies and has worked for a number of organizations in Europe
including Bain and Company, BNFL plc and AT Kearney Ltd.  Helen is a
member of the Special Libraries Association and has recently compiled
a list of Internet marketing resources for its Business and Finance
Division. One of her main interests is Australia - its geography,
culture, history and music.  Helen can be contacted at
<>.  She writes here in a personal capacity.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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