AusEmade logo
Home • Accommodation • Attractions • Tours • Links • Resources • Transport • Insurance • Travel Articles • Aboriginal Tourism

Aboriginal Tourism Australia

ACT • NSW • NT • QLD • SA • TAS • VIC • WA

Aboriginal Cultural Protocol for Mourning

Indigenous Australia

Aboriginal Tourism
Indigenous Home
  > National Attractions
  > NSW Attractions
  > NT Attractions
  > QLD Attractions
  > SA Attractions
  > VIC Attractions
  > WA Attractions

Art, Craft, Gallery
Shop Online
Other Links

Art, Craft & Culture
  > Sorry Business
Bush Food
Custom Search
Aboriginal Cultural Protocol for the Deceased

Death (Mourning) in a community

‘Sorry Business’ is the time after the death of someone who is from the Community.2

As with many cultures and communities around the world, death in a community is respected in different ways.

Indigenous Australia is made up of many groups, tribes and clans that share similar protocols for the period of mourning for a deceased Aboriginal person, referred to as ‘Sorry Business’.

There may be some local and regional differences between Aboriginal communities for the period of mourning, although broadly speaking it is common courtesy and respectful to not mention the name of the deceased, to not show photographic images of a deceased person unless agreed to by the relevant family, and to vacate the place where a person has died.3

There is a mourning period where the deceased person’s name and image cannot be used. This period differs between communities ranging in length of time from a week, a year or indefinite. Some communities also offer a mourning name.4

A good resource for Indigenous Cultural Protocol is on the ABC Indigenous website.



1 Areyonga Community Inc - Sorry Business, Retrieved July 7, 2008,
2 Dr Ofra Fried, Grief and Loss, Medical Journal of. Australia 1991; 154(20):677–81. 15. Hunter E. Aboriginal mental health awareness; an overview. Part seven; death, loss, dying ..., Retrieved July 7, 2008, from
3 Department of Education and Training, Protocols for Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Traditional Ownership, Retrieved July 7, 2008,
4 ABC Indigenous, Cultural Protocol - Protocol Resources, Retrieved July 7 , 2008,
5 Bob Gosford writes from Yuendumu: No protection for ceremonial and sorry business in the NT, 10 August, 2007,
Back to Top
 AusEmade® Pty Ltd
 ABN 53 091 811 068
Advertise | Free Listing | Contact © 2001-2015 
Privacy | Disclaimer | Copyright