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Aboriginal life

Analysis and Comment (14)

We still have so much to learn about Aboriginal history and culture. Shutterstock/John Austin

Aboriginal people – how to misunderstand their science

Just one generation ago Australian schoolkids were taught that Aboriginal people couldn’t count beyond five, wandered the desert scavenging for food, had no civilisation, couldn’t navigate and peacefully…
Terry Mills has been sworn in as new chief minister of the Northern Territory. AAP Image

Was the NT election outcome a shockwave or a regional ripple?

The recent Northern Territory election attracted an unusual amount of media attention amongst the “politically informed public”, especially in the south-eastern states of Australia. Media reporting saw…
The High Court decision against Palm Island rioter, Lex Wotton highlights concerns about how little our constitution does to protect us. AAP Image/Ian Hitchcock

Silencing Lex Wotton: Palm Island riot decision a blow for freedom of speech

When a prisoner has served their time, it’s difficult to understand why they would be stopped from engaging in public debate or communicating with the media. But a new precedent has been set by the High…
Many Aboriginal people, like boxer Anthony Mundine, look to Islam as a way of re-connecting with their roots. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Long history with Islam gives Indigenous Australians pride

Muslim conversion is growing in Indigenous communities. In the 2001 national census, 641 Indigenous people identified as Muslim. By the 2006 census the number had climbed by more than 60% to 1014 people…
Government data shows Aboriginal people are twice as likely to have a core activity limitation as non-Aboriginal people. AAP Image/Karen Michelmore

Changes needed to close the gap for Indigenous Australians with disabilities

Alongside high rates of incarceration, unemployment, homelessness and some of the poorest health outcomes in Australia, Indigenous people’s access and use of disability services is under-representative…
There are health benefits for indigenous Australians when they live in smaller homeland communities. Flickr/Rusty Stewart

Homeland communities destroyed to save a bit of cash

Government efforts to “close the gap” between indigenous and white Australians ignore the needs of nearly 1000 homeland communities on the Indigenous estate. Australian citizens living at the most remote…
Acknowledging and honouring the humanity of others is the first step to a high-expectations relationship. AAP/Tony Bartlett

Indigenous policy: be compassionate, be brave

Why do we keep spending billions of dollars in Indigenous communities with so few results? It’s because we don’t have a high expectations relationship between both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians…
Indigenous people traditionally eat kangaroo, but they’re worried about the scale of the hunting. AAP

Food fight – Aboriginal elders take on the kangaroo industry

Last month, an alliance of Aboriginal elders announced their intention to bring a constitutional law challenge against Australia’s kangaroo industry. The announcement follows efforts by the Federal Government…
It’s time to give people a hand up through welfare. Flickr/sidkid

How to get welfare to actually work

As a senior public servant I became increasingly frustrated that too many government initiatives, always well meant and often well implemented, simply ended up compounding the problem of passivity and…
It’s time to look seriously at changing our constitution. An apology is not enough. AAP/Dave Hunt

Indigenous Australians the key to a strong Constitution

There is unfinished business in Australia, and it’s time to start a serious conversation about resolving it. We need to talk about the planned referendum on Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution…
An Arakwal man performs the welcome to country ceremony in Byron Bay. It’s a sight which will be less common now in Victoria. AAP/Torsten Blackwood

Welcome to country. Please show some respect

The recent decision by Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu to drop the protocol for government ministers to “acknowledge country” and thereby recognise Indigenous Australian custodianship does not sit well…
People without basic financial services may approach loan sharks when emergency strikes. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciscel.

Cut off from banks, 15% of Australians vulnerable to loan sharks

Around 15.6% of Australian adults have limited or no access to basic financial services like a transaction account, a credit card or insurance, putting them at risk of predatory lending, a new study has…

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