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Real and sustained engagement with Aboriginal people should be the starting point in rethinking Indigenous welfare policy. AAP/Marianna Massey

Income management doesn’t work, so let’s look at what does

In recent years, Tangentyere Council Research Hub has undertaken data collection in Alice Springs town camps as part of a longitudinal study of income management. The final report of around 300 pages was…
In an otherwise fraught policy landscape, ‘cheapness’ has been one of the cold hard facts of Indigenous affairs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Cheap in the deep sense: the sorry business of Indigenous affairs

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a bold move in September when he ran the country for four days from a tent at Gulkula in far northeast Arnhem Land in remote Australia. While there, he observed that although…
Mick Gooda has urged policymakers to learn from their mistakes and adopt a consultative and inclusive approach to Indigenous policy. AAP/Alan Porritt

‘Work with us not for us’ to end the Indigenous policy chaos

Deep funding cuts and uncertainty about government plans have created one of the largest-scale upheavals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. That is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander…
A people’s convention could be the circuit-breaker that constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians needs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

A people’s convention can make Indigenous recognition a reality

Important steps have been made in 2014 in the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution. Prime Minister Tony Abbott affirmed his commitment to hold…
Aunty Gayle Rankine, chairperson of the First Peoples Disability Network, is the subject of a portrait from Unfinished Business, a photographic project by Belinda Mason. Belinda Mason/Unfinished Business

Indigenous Australians can take pride in disability policy gains

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), December 3, is important for commemorating the successes and efforts of the disability rights movement. The theme this year is Sustainable Development…
Indigenous Australians see spirituality as central to their wellbeing. Rusty Stewart/Flickr

Indigenous Australians offer a broader concept of wellbeing

The United Nations Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently conducted an assessment of the wellbeing of people around the world. The results indicate that Canberra is a world…
Archie Roach performs at the funeral of Indigenous boxing champion Lionel Rose at Festival Hall in Melbourne, 2011. AAP/Julian Smith

Indigenous Australia’s diverse memorialisation of the dead

Beliefs and ceremonies associated with death in Indigenous Australia are diverse. Death and the deceased are sacred to Indigenous Australians and ceremonies differ between communities. They may involve…
South Australians turned out in numbers to hear the 2008 apology to the Stolen Generations, but a bill before the state parliament fails to live up to the promise of that day. Wikimedia Commons/edna-photos

Australian states can do better for the Stolen Generations

A bill before South Australian parliament would make it the second Australian state to compensate Stolen Generation survivors and their children. Tangible recognition of their suffering is overdue, but…
Convicted sex offender and former Marist Brother Gregory Sutton (left) tries to hide his face while leaving a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse hearing. AAP/Dean Lewins

Breaking the silence about white Australian men’s abuse of children

I have seen firsthand how child sexual abuse is rife in every part of the Australian community – but only sometimes is that abuse reported in full colour. It probably won’t surprise you if I say that I’ve…
Cathy Freeman’s racial background is Chinese, English and Aboriginal. AAP/ Dean Lewins

Culture, not colour, is the heart of Aboriginal identity

All too often the matter of Australian Aboriginal identity is decided superficially – by looking at a person’s face and general appearance. Colour is often the measure of Aboriginality, since the original…
Tony Abbott keeps appointing businessmen like Andrew Forrest, who have limited expertise in analysing evidence and developing social policy, to advise the government. AAP/Nikki Short

Forrest report ignores what works and why in Indigenous policy

The Creating Parity report on Indigenous employment and welfare, released last week by mining magnate Andrew Forrest, is in much the same vein as Tony Shepherd’s recent Commission of Audit. Forrest and…
In recent years, the service of troops from France’s then-colonies in both world wars has been the object of sustained presidential attention. EPA/Philippe Wojazer

Reconciliation or récupération? Indigenous soldiers in WWI

In vogue among the political left during the events in Paris in May 1968, the French term récupération refers to the danger of “the Establishment”, be it the government or a political party, seizing on…
Gavin Jones, the founder of the Deadly Awards, in 2011. Paul Miller/AAP Image

Gavin Jones – may he rest in peace and his legacy live on

Like many of us I am still in shock regarding news of the passing on the weekend of Deadly Vibe founder Gavin Jones at the age of 47. Launched in 1995 the magazine and media company had, in my opinion…
NAIDOC Week celebrates identity on blackfellas' own terms. AAP/Paul Miller

Indigenous identity is settled and must be seen as a positive

NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate many things as blackfellas and as the First Peoples of Australia. This is also a week of reflection. It is a week to reflect on our collective resilience; a time to be…
Are Australian policymakers trapped in a monolingual mindset? Katie Tegtmeyer

Muting Indigenous language support only widens the gap

Indigenous languages are under attack yet again. The federal budget, released on May 13, includes a substantial reduction of A$9.5 million over four years for the Indigenous Languages Support Programme…
Ethnic and Indigenous students report racism in Aussie schools, but who are the perpetrators? Shutterstock

Indigenous students skipping school to avoid bullying and racism

High-profile cases of racial discrimination on the sporting field and on public transport capture the media’s attention, but we hear less about racism in our schools. One survey of secondary students across…
Rosie Tasman Napurrurla, Warlpiri 2002, Ngurlu Jukurrpa (‘Grass Seed; Bush Grain Dreaming’), line etching on Hahnemuhle paper. Warnayaka Art Centre, Lajamanu, and Aboriginal Art Prints Network, Sydney

‘Dreamtime’ and ‘The Dreaming’ – an introduction

In 2002, Jeannie Herbert Nungarrayi, formerly a Warlpiri teacher at the Lajamanu School in the Tanami Desert of the Northern Territory, where I worked for many years first as a linguist and then as school…

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