A less formal term, used by Indigenous Australians themselves and not normally derogatory, is "blackfellas", as distinguished from "whitefellas".
The initial comparison of the mitochondrial DNA from the skeleton known as Lake Mungo 3 (LM3) with that of ancient and modern Aborigines indicated that Mungo Man is not related to Australian Aborigines.
Genetically, while Indigenous Australians are most closely related to Melanesian and Papuan people, there is also a Eurasian component that could indicate South Asian admixture or more recent European influence.
Research indicates a single founding Sahul group with subsequent isolation between regional populations which were relatively unaffected by later migrations from the Asian mainland, which may have introduced the dingo 4-5,000 years ago.
The population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement is contentious and has been estimated at between 318,000 there are significant differences in social, cultural and linguistic customs between the various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups.
The word aboriginal has been in the English language since at least the 16th century, to mean, "first or earliest known, indigenous".
Eddie Mabo was from "Mer" or Murray Island in the Torres Strait, which the famous Mabo decision of 1992 involved.
While originally related to skin colour, the term is used today to indicate Aboriginal heritage or culture in general and refers to any people of such heritage regardless of their level of skin pigmentation.
It is estimated that prior to the arrival of British settlers, the population of Indigenous Australians was approximately 318,000–750,000 across the continent.
The Torres Strait Islanders possess a heritage and cultural history distinct from Aboriginal traditions.