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The Australian National University

Indigenous Familes and the Welfare System: Two Community Case Studies

Research Monograph 17 / 2000

Abstract

Given their historic and ongoing position of economic disadvantage, many Indigenous families have a long-term dependency on welfare, and their well being will continue to be a critical challenge for government and Indigenous organisations. This monograph presents data from the first year of a longitudinal field-based research project carried out in two Indigenous communities Kuranda in rural north Queensland, and Yeundumu in remote Central Australia.

The research is designed to collect quantitative and qualitative data that identify the range of factors influencing the delivery of, and access to, welfare transfers to Indigenous families for the care of their children (focusing on Parenting Payment and Family Allowance). The implications of these factors for welfare policy and service delivery are highlighted at the community, regional and national levels.

The monograph sets out recommendations for fine-tuning welfare policy and service delivery that are consistent with the key principles of equity, simplicity, transparency, implementation of its welfare reform agenda. However, the findings also highlight the need for new approaches in welfare policy and service delivery that reflect the realities of the day-to-day lives of Indigenous families, and that would directly improve their economic circumstances.

The volume includes contributions by Tony Auld, Anne Daly, Julie Finlayson, Yasmine Musharbash, and Diane Smith.

ISBN: 
0 7315 5101 0
ISSN: 
1036 6962

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