Articles on indigenous affairs

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Malcolm Turnbull explicitly chose to assume the mantle of his predecessor Tony Abbott as ‘prime minister for Indigenous affairs’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Can Turnbull change course in Indigenous affairs?

For many, relations between Indigenous Australians and the government are best described as being in a state of crisis.
Of 1082 Indigenous specific. programs identified in the report, 92% have never been evaluated to see if they are achieving their objectives. AAP/Dan Peled

How to get a better bang for the taxpayers’ buck in all sectors, not only Indigenous programs

A new report highlights how little we know about what works and what doesn't when it comes to publicly-funded Indigenous programs. It's a similar story in other policy areas – but we can do better.
The Ord River was targeted for agricultural expansion in the 20th century. isthatdaves/Wikimedia Commons

Water in northern Australia: a history of Aboriginal exclusion

Ever since British settlement, water rights in Australia's north have favoured landowners over traditional owners, effectively locking Aboriginal people out of agricultural development.
Malcolm Turnbull’s criticism of Bill Shorten’s remarks on a treaty with Indigenous Australians reflects genuine anxiety that support for recognition is cooling. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Treaty debate will only strengthen Indigenous recognition process

If we are to have a mature and sensible debate on Indigenous recognition, we must be more willing to embrace difficult issues and diverse perspectives.
In Ali Curung, 400km north of Alice Springs, the things that work for the community, including a local broadcasting and computer centre, are a response to local strengths and needs. AAP/Dan Peled

Ideas for Australia: Closing the gap is proving hard, but we can do better by working developmentally

In some Indigenous communities, the ratio of programs to people served is possibly the highest in the world. Somehow, for many, Closing the Gap remains an elusive goal. A rethink is needed.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is calling for innovation to improve the lives of Indigenous people, but must beware of causing instability with new policies that dismiss everything before them. AAP/Mick Tsikas

How community-based innovation can help Australia close the Indigenous gap

Across Indigenous Australia, innovation is occurring locally, under the radar of government policies and support. We can look to this innovation and stop fixating on finding the elusive policy solution.
Police often don’t recognise that someone has an intellectual disability or brain injury due to a lack of training in this area, researchers have heard. Brian Yap (葉)/flickr

Aboriginal people with disabilities get caught in a spiral of over-policing

Police have become the default frontline response to Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disabilities, setting this group up for a lifetime of 'management' by the criminal justice system.
Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disability are ‘managed’ by police, courts and prisons due to a lack of appropriate community-based services. Kate Ausburn/flickr

Why Aboriginal people with disabilities crowd Australia’s prisons

Australia's high rates of imprisonment and re-imprisonment of Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disabilities is not only shameful, it is entirely predictable and preventable.
While Adam Goodes is the public face of the debate, almost any Indigenous Australian can speak of the day-by-day experience of a lack of respect for who they are. AAP/Paul Miller

White Australia needs to take responsibility for reconciliation too

For at least some Australians, it seems that Indigenous culture is acceptable only as an object of consumption for tourists visiting the remote north.
If a way ahead on constitutional recognition is to be forged, it must be through political leadership and genuine public consultation. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Leadership is key to breaking the impasse on constitutional recognition

The parliamentary committee's report highlights the deep division between those who want to advance Indigenous recognition through minimal constitutional change and those who seek more substantive reform.
Indigenous young people are 25 times more likely to be detained than non-Indigenous young people. AAP/Jesse Roberts

‘Tough on crime’ is creating a lost generation of Indigenous youth

A new generation of Indigenous youth is being separated from their families and culture – this time by the force of criminal law that ignores the proven alternative of community-based justice.
Giving constitutional status to an Indigenous advisory body would give Indigenous Australians a say about laws that directly affect them. AAp/Tracey Nearmy

Putting words to the tune of Indigenous constitutional recognition

Proposals for constitutional recognition of Indigenous people are gaining momentum but also raising legal concerns. Here is a form of words to create an advisory council that overcomes those concerns.
Man in the middle: former Labor MP turned independent Billy Gordon (centre) is now one of three crucial cross-bench MPs in the Queensland parliament. Dan Peled/AAP

North Queensland’s powerful trio will shake up the state

Three north Queensland MPs representing just 3% of the state's population will wield huge power in Queensland's parliament when it resumes on Tuesday.

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