Aboriginal Economic and Human Development in the Northern Territory of Australia: To Work or Not to Work? A Clash of Non-Indigenous Beliefs

by Don Fuller, Susan Bandias and Scott Holmes

Abstract: Although Indigenous people in the poorest developing countries of the world confront the most severe hardships, nevertheless even in the most developed countries such as Australia, Indigenous standards of living in terms of economic, educational and basic human standards are far inferior to other groups within society. It has been argued that Indigenous affairs in Australia is divided into ‘‘two ideological tribes’’ both vigorously opposed with respect to the preferred manner in which the substantial disadvantage of Indigenous Australians can be overcome. Although more complex categorisations of ideological positions are possible, both maintain considerable influence within the field of Indigenous policy formulation in Australia and in the Northern Territory in particular, where nearly 30 per cent of the total population is Indigenous. The main purpose of this paper is to examine the central arguments advanced by these two sides of the debate and the implications for public policy decision making and Indigenous people, within the context of the Northern Territory of Australia.

Published: ECONOMIC PAPERS, VOL. 31, NO. 1, MARCH, 2012, 50–62

.pdf copy of full paper

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One thought on “Aboriginal Economic and Human Development in the Northern Territory of Australia: To Work or Not to Work? A Clash of Non-Indigenous Beliefs”

  1. I found this paper very interesting as I am very passionate about the living environment of the Indigenous Australians. The NT Government however, should not continue to rebuild houses that have been made unliveable by the people who were given the house and simply ask what they want. If they don’t want a new house with the appliances that some people find useful then why continue to give them that? It will only lean to then having to get people back in to replace everything and rebuild the house for this to happen again. Doesn’t make sense to me.

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