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The Australian National University

Developing a national Indigenous policy framework that recognises needs, rights and legacies and delivers results

Topical Issue 2 / 2009

Developing An Indigenous Policy Framework

Abstract

'Developing a national Indigenous policy framework that recognises needs, rights and legacies and delivers results', based on a presentation to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) National Conference, ‘Building a Fair Australia in Tough Economic Times’, Australian Technology Park, Sydney, on 2 April 2009. This paper examines current Indigenous policy, including Closing the Gap, a monolithic approach that privileges statistical equality over all else and undervalues difference and diversity. It argues for a very different policy framework that looks to openly combine three interlinked elements: needs-based citizenship rights, special Indigenous rights, and compensatory ‘social justice’ rights.

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