Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Jon Altman, Emeritus Professor/Foundation Director

BA, University of Auckland
MA (Hons), University of Auckland
PhD (Anthropology), Australian National University

CAEPR's Foundation Director

Emeritus Professor Jon Altman is currently located at Deakin University, Melbourne.

Jon Altman has a disciplinary background in economics and anthropology. From 1983­-90 he was a postdoctoral fellow, research fellow and senior research fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change in the HC Coombs Building. From 1990-2010 he was Foundation Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) when it was a university centre and then a research professor there till 2015. Since 2001 he has also been an adjunct Professorial Fellow at the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University in Darwin.

In 2003, Professor Altman was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. He held an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship between 2008 and 2013 focusing his research efforts on the project 'Hybrid Economic Futures for Remote Indigenous Australia'. In October 2012, Professor Altman was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand; and in 2013 took up a Visiting Research Fellowship with the Native Title Research Unit at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, where he has been a member since 1978.

In 1979 and 1980 he undertook fieldwork for his doctorate in the Maningrida region, central Arnhem Land. Since then, Professor Altman has maintained vibrant and diverse research relations with people in this region that he has visited on over 50 occasions. He has also undertaken field research in north Queensland, the Torres Strait, the Kimberleys and Central Australia.

Jon Altman has a disciplinary background in economics and anthropology, and was the Foundation Director of CAEPR from April 1990 to April 2010. Since 2001 he has also been an adjunct Professorial Fellow at the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University in Darwin. In 2003, Professor Altman was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. He held an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship between 2008 and 2013 focusing his research efforts on the project 'Hybrid Economic Futures for Remote Indigenous Australia'. In October 2012, Professor Altman was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand; and in 2013 took up a Visiting Research Fellowship with the Native Title Research Unit at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, where he has been a member since 1978.

From 2007-2012 he led the major project 'People on Country, Healthy Landscapes, and Indigenous Economic Futures' funded by the Sidney Myer Trust.

Professor Altman maintains strong research linkages, especially with AIATSIS and the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. He also regularly collaborates with Aboriginal land councils in the Northern Territory, the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in Maningrida, and the Laynhapuy Homelands Association in Yirrkala. He is currently a director and trustee of Karrkad-Kanjdji Ltd and the Jimmy Little Foundation and is the Chair of the Research Committee of the Australia Institute.

Research interests:

At the broadest level Professor Altman's research focuses on social justice and human rights for minority groups globally. More particularly, appropriate economic development and associated policy for Indigenous Australia; hybrid economy theory and practice; the economic engagement of Indigenous people with the Australian and global economies (especially in mining, tourism, the arts and emerging industries like carbon farming); commercial utilisation of wildlife and fisheries; the Indigenous customary economy and its articulations with market capitalism; land rights, native title and Indigenous land and sea management; and theoretical issues in economic and development anthropology.

Empirical focus:

Alternate development; Indigenous cultural and natural resource management; Indigenous economies, Indigenous policies, critical theory, neo-liberalism and the state in relation to marginalised groups; property rights, intercultural governance and the limits of western governance in cross-cultural settings.

Methodological interest:

Hybrid forms of development and governance and empirical means to document such alternatives in the face of neoliberal hegemony; empirical measures of inputs, outputs and outcomes in diverse economic settings based on primary data collection.

Research projects:

Alternate Economic Futures for Remote Indigenous Australia (2015 - current)

This research focuses on the theorisation of economic hybridity as an alternative to incorporation in market capitalism especially in remote Australia but also elsewhere where indigenous minorities are seeking to develop viable alternatives to late capitalism while living on their ancestral lands. This research builds on efforts to advocate using evidence based research for alternatives that are sustainable and work and that challenge the current hegemonic approach promulgated by the Australian state that imagines mainstream capitalist development for Indigenous peoples who live remotely, generally on indigenous titled land in difficult postcolonial circumstances. A particular aspect of this research is a focus on the Indigenous community-based organisations that play a pivotal role in promoting such hybrid possibilities and the governance and resourcing challenges that they face.

Indigenous natural resource management and livelihoods (2015 - 2018)

Jon Altman is co-leader of Axis 3: livelihoods and food security: coping with neoliberal growth in the major international comparative project Centre pour la conservation et le développement autochtones alternatifs (CCDAA) or Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives (CICADA) administered by McGill University, Montréal, Québec under the overall direction of Professor Colin Scott. In this research Professor Altman will focus on his ongoing research with ranger groups working in the vast region from Kakadu National Park to North East Arnhem Land.

The domestic moral economy in the Asia and Pacific region (2011 - 2015)

This project involves international comparative work with the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester under a project 'The domestic moral economy: an ethnographic study of values in the Asia and Pacific region' funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK). This project is due for completion in 2015.

Welfare to work or work to welfare? Will reform of the Community Development Employment Program help close the employment gap? (2011 - 2015)

This ARC Discovery project is due for completion in 2015 and is a collaboration between chief investigators Jon Altman, Will Sanders, Boyd Hunter and research fellow Kirrily Jordan all from CAEPR at the ANU. This legacy project seeks to examine emerging labour market programs in remote Australia and their merits in comparison to the historically significant and now largely defunct Community Development Employment Projects scheme. This research is linked to Jon Altman's abiding interest in Basic Income schemes for remote Indigenous Australia daring back to 1987 and his links as life member and benefactor of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).

Key publications & research

A full listing of Professor Jon Altman's publications is available for download. This listing contains links to the actual documents whenever available.

Professor Altman's comprehensive Curriculum Vitae and an Annotated bibliography (1979–2014) are also available for download.

Career highlights

 

CAEPR publications & research outputs

Discussion Papers

Discussion Paper
287
Discussion Paper No 287/2008
Jon Altman
Nicholas Biddle
Boyd Hunter
Discussion Paper
286
Discussion Paper No 286/2007
Jon Altman
Geoff Buchanan
Libby Larsen
Discussion Paper
1
Discussion Paper No 1/1991
Jon Altman
William Sanders
Discussion Paper
3
Discussion Paper No 3/1991
Habtemariam Tesfaghiorghis
Jon Altman
Discussion Paper
5
Discussion Paper No 5/1991
Jon Altman
William Sanders
Discussion Paper
12
Discussion Paper No 12/1991
Jon Altman
Discussion Paper
14
Discussion Paper No 14/1991
Jon Altman
Linda Allen
Discussion Paper
276
Discussion Paper No 276/2005
Jon Altman
Craig Linkhorn
Jennifer Clarke
Discussion Paper
272
Discussion Paper No 272/2005
Matthew Gray
Jon Altman
Natane Halasz
Discussion Paper
271
Discussion Paper No 271/2005
Jon Altman
Matthew Gray
Robert Levitus
Discussion Paper
270
Discussion Paper No 270/2004
Jon Altman
Michael Dillon
Discussion Paper
266
Discussion Paper No 266/2004
Jon Altman
Nicholas Biddle
Boyd Hunter
Discussion Paper
254
Discussion Paper No 254/2003
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
Discussion Paper
247
Discussion Paper No 247/2003
Jon Altman
Michelle Cochrane
Discussion Paper
235
Discussion Paper No 235/2002
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
Sally Ward
Felicity Wright
Discussion Paper
209
Discussion Paper No 209/2000
Jon Altman
Victoria Johnson
Discussion Paper
193
Discussion Paper No 193/2000
Jon Altman
Discussion Paper
185
Discussion Paper No 185/1999
Jon Altman
Diane Smith
Discussion Paper
169
Discussion Paper No 169/1998
Jon Altman
David Pollack
Discussion Paper
168
Discussion Paper No 168/1998
Jon Altman
David Pollack
Discussion Paper
152
Discussion Paper No 152/1998
Jon Altman
David Pollack
Discussion Paper
148
Discussion Paper No 148/1997
Jon Altman
Discussion Paper
135
Discussion Paper No 135/1997
Jon Altman
Linda Roach
Lynette Liddle
Discussion Paper
127
Discussion Paper No 127/1997
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
Discussion Paper
121
Discussion Paper No 121/1996
Jon Altman
William Sanders
Bill Arthur
Discussion Paper
112
Discussion Paper No 112/1996
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
Discussion Paper
107
Discussion Paper No 107/1996
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
Discussion Paper
105
Discussion Paper No 105/1996
Jon Altman
Discussion Paper
95
Discussion Paper No 95/1995
Jon Altman
Hilary Bek
Linda Roach
Discussion Paper
88
Discussion Paper No 88/1995
Jon Altman
Discussion Paper
76
Discussion Paper No 76/1994
Jon Altman
Jin Liu
Discussion Paper
73
Discussion Paper No 73/1994
Jon Altman
Bill Arthur
Hilary Bek
Discussion Paper
70
Discussion Paper No 70/1994
Jon Altman
John Taylor
Discussion Paper
64
Discussion Paper No 64/1994
Jon Altman
Discussion Paper
63
Discussion Paper No 63/1994
Jon Altman
Diane Smith
Discussion Paper
53
Discussion Paper No 53/1993
Jon Altman
K. Gaminiratne
Discussion Paper
45
Discussion Paper No 45/1993
Jon Altman
Anne Hawke
Discussion Paper
36
Discussion Paper No 36/1992
Jon Altman
Anne Daly
Discussion Paper
26
Discussion Paper No 26/1992
Jon Altman
Julie Finlayson
Discussion Paper
21
Discussion Paper No 21/1992
Jon Altman
Anne Daly
Discussion Paper
20
Discussion Paper No 20/1992
Jon Altman
K. Gaminiratne
Discussion Paper
19
Discussion Paper No 19/1992
Jon Altman
Diane Smith

Research Monographs

Research Monograph
1
Research Monograph No 1/1991
Linda Allen
Jon Altman
Elizabeth Owen
Bill Arthur
Research Monograph
14
Research Monograph No 14/1999
Jon Altman
Frances Morphy
Tim Rowse
Research Monograph
11
Research Monograph No 11/1996
Jon Altman
John Taylor
Research Monograph
3
Research Monograph No 3/1992
Jon Altman
Research Monograph
2
Research Monograph No 2/1991
Jon Altman
Research Monograph
30
Research Monograph No 30/2009
Jon Altman
David Martin

Topical Issues

Topical Issue
17
Topical Issue No 17/2008
Jon Altman
Seán Kerins
Bill Fogarty
Kate Webb
Topical Issue
10
Topical Issue No 10/2008
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
8
Topical Issue No 8/2008
Jon Altman
Nicholas Biddle
Boyd Hunter
Topical Issue
5
Topical Issue No 5/2008
Jon Altman
William Sanders
Topical Issue
4
Topical Issue No 4/2008
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
3
Topical Issue No 3/2008
Jon Altman
Kirrily Jordan
Topical Issue
14
Topical Issue No 14/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
12
Topical Issue No 12/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
11
Topical Issue No 11/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
10
Topical Issue No 10/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
9
Topical Issue No 9/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
7
Topical Issue No 7/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
5
Topical Issue No 5/2007
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
William Sanders
Topical Issue
4
Topical Issue No 4/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
3
Topical Issue No 3/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
1
Topical Issue No 1/2007
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
8
Topical Issue No 8/2006
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
7
Topical Issue No 7/2006
Jon Altman
Libby Larsen
Topical Issue
4
Topical Issue No 4/2006
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
8
Topical Issue No 8/2005
Jon Altman
Geoff Buchanan
Topical Issue
7
Topical Issue No 7/2005
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
1
Topical Issue No 1/2005
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
6
Topical Issue No 6/2004
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
4
Topical Issue No 4/2004
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
2
Topical Issue No 2/2004
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
Melissa Johns
Topical Issue
1
Topical Issue No 1/2004
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
Topical Issue
8
Topical Issue No 8/2003
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
3
Topical Issue No 3/2003
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
2
Topical Issue No 2/2003
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
1
Topical Issue No 1/2003
Jon Altman
Michelle Cochrane
Topical Issue
5
Topical Issue No 5/2002
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
4
Topical Issue No 4/2002
Jon Altman
Michelle Cochrane
Topical Issue
3
Topical Issue No 3/2002
Jon Altman
John Taylor
Topical Issue
2
Topical Issue No 2/2002
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
5
Topical Issue No 5/2009
Jon Altman
Kirrily Jordan
Topical Issue
8
Topical Issue No 8/2009
Jon Altman
Seán Kerins
Emilie Ens
Geoff Buchanan
Katherine May
Topical Issue
2
Topical Issue No 2/2010
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
3
Topical Issue No 3/2010
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
4
Topical Issue No 4/2010
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
2
Topical Issue No 2/2011
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
3
Topical Issue No 3/2011
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
5
Topical Issue No 5/2011
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
6
Topical Issue No 6/2011
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
9
Topical Issue No 9/2011
Jon Altman
Seán Kerins
Janet Hunt
Emilie Ens
Katherine May
Susie Russell
Bill Fogarty
Topical Issue
10
Topical Issue No 10/2011
Jon Altman
Topical Issue
2
Topical Issue No 2/2016
Kirrily Jordan
Lisa Fowkes
Jon Altman
Inge Kral
William Sanders
Joe Morrison
John Paterson
Elise Klein

Working Papers

Working Paper
44
Working Paper No 44/2008
Jon Altman
Melissa Johns
Working Paper
34
Working Paper No 34/2006
Jon Altman
Working Paper
20
Working Paper No 20/2003
Jon Altman
Peter Whitehead
Working Paper
12
Working Paper No 12/2002
Jon Altman
Siobhan McDonnell
Sally Ward
Working Paper
9
Working Paper No 9/2001
Jon Altman
Working Paper
54
Working Paper No 54/2009
Jon Altman
Working Paper
57
Working Paper No 57/2009
Jon Altman
Bill Arthur
Working Paper
60
Working Paper No 60/2009
Janet Hunt
Jon Altman
Katherine May

External publications

Research publications outside the CAEPR publications series, including books, book chapters, journal articles and reports.

External Publications

2012
Jon Altman
2012
Jon Altman
Elisabeth Yarbakhsh
2011
Jon Altman
2011
Jon Altman
2011
Jon Altman
2011
Jon Altman
2010
Jon Altman
2010
Jon Altman
2009
Jon Altman
Kirrily Jordan
Seán Kerins
Geoff Buchanan
Nicholas Biddle
Emilie Ens
Katherine May
2009
Jon Altman
Kirrily Jordan
Seán Kerins
Geoff Buchanan
Nicholas Biddle
Emilie Ens
Katherine May
2009
Jon Altman
2009
Jon Altman
Nicholas Biddle
Kirrily Jordan
2008
Jon Altman
2008
Jon Altman
2007
Jon Altman
2007
Jon Altman
2006
Jon Altman
2006
Jon Altman
2006
Jon Altman
Geoff Buchanan
Nicholas Biddle
2005
Jon Altman
Boyd Hunter
2005
Jon Altman
Craig Linkhorn
Bill Fogarty
2005
Jon Altman
2005
Jon Altman
2005
Jennifer Koenig
Jon Altman
A.D. Griffiths
2013
Jon Altman
2003
Jon Altman
Julie Finlayson

about this site Updated: 10 January 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, CAEPR / Page Contact:  CAEPR Administrator