Resilience is described as the capacity of an individual or community to withstand and recover from adverse change. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, resilience is not just about individuals adapting to change or recovering from the impact of adverse change but is concerned with tradition and culture, cultural and community relationships, and connection to land. These elements enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities to flourish. In that regard resilience extends to cultural revitalisation and recovery based on reclaiming spirituality, knowledges and practices and collective identity. Further in understanding Indigenous resilience and the impact of adverse circumstances it is necessary to understand the historical relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples particularly the social, political, cultural and economic constraints placed on them throughout history. This can lead to a broader understanding of the Indigenous social, political, cultural and economic situation resulting in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples creating and developing their own ways of achieving cultural revival and self-determination.
The Edmund Rice Centre has worked with Aboriginal communities across Australia to document stories of resilience as it relates to the ability of Aboriginal people and communities to rebuild and strengthen themselves and their communities through their own knowledges, practices and agency.