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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander' is the preferred term as it recognises the distinct identities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

There are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at UTS.

don't use the acronyms 'ATSI' or 'TSI'


always capitalise when referring to Australia's Indigenous peoples

UTS is committed to providing educational and employment opportunities for Indigenous Australian people.

lower case when generically referring to the original inhabitants of a country

The Koori people are indigenous to New South Wales.


use 'Aboriginal people' or 'Aboriginal Australians' (not 'Aborigines')

Acknowledgement of Country

Information is available in the Guiding Principles for Welcome to and Acknowledgement of Country.


see also Elder in Residence

capitalise when referring to Australian Indigenous Elders

titles such as 'Aunty' and 'Uncle' are used as marks of respect for Elders in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, however, don't use unless familiar with the person, have used the term with them previously or have been invited by the person or advised by a member of the Indigenous community to do so

Elder in Residence

capitalise the 'e' and the 'r'

use the title 'Aunty' or 'Uncle' and the Elder's first name when referring to UTS's Elder in Residence

Aunty Joan Tranter was appointed UTS's inaugural Elder in Residence.

Traditional Owners

see also Guiding Principles for Welcome to and Acknowledgement of Country

use initial capitals

The Traditional Owners of the land that UTS is built on are the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.

Welcome to Country

Information is available in the Guiding Principles for Welcome to and Acknowledgement of Country.

language and age

use 'elderly people' or 'older people' (not 'the elderly')

language and disability

don't define a person by their disability

don't use outdated and inaccurate words such as 'handicapped', 'crippled' and 'invalid'

use positive language

a person with disabilities (not a disabled person)

a wheelchair user (not wheelchair bound)

a person with epilepsy (not an epileptic)

a person with AIDS/a person who is HIV positive (not a person 'suffering' from AIDS)

language, race and ethnicity

see also family names

don't refer to a person's ethnicity unless there is a reason to do so

don't assume that all ethnic groups belong to the same religion

use initial capitals when referring to nationalities and religions, eg Korean, Spanish, German, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic

use the following if relevant/necessary to distinguish between people born in Australia and elsewhere

Vietnamese-born Australians

Australians of Irish background

language, sex and gender

avoid sexism in language

don't use 'man', 'he', 'him' and 'his' as generic terms

spokesperson (not spokesman)

chair (not chairman)

humankind, humanity (not mankind)

artificial, manufactured (not manmade)

use 'his or her', 'he or she' not 'his/her', 'he/she'

an alternative is to use 'their', 'they' and 'them': be aware of using these plural nouns with a singular noun as sentences may need reworking

Each student must be aware of their responsibilities.


Students must be aware of their responsibilities.

If a student fails they will receive extra assistance.


Students who fail will receive extra assistance.


don't use 'Mr', 'Mrs', 'Ms': simply use the name

Mary Smith
D Field

use 'Mr' and 'Ms' if first initial/name is unknown (don't use 'Miss' or 'Mrs' unless specifically requested to do so)