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The Australian National University

1999

Document: Discussion Paper

Census data remain the primary source of information on the economic status of Indigenous people in the Australian Capital Territory, but their utility as a tool of public policy analysis is limited. This is because the economic characteristics of individuals who identified as Indigenous in 1991 cannot be re-calibrated in 1996. As a consequence, the fundamental question of whether circumstances for Indigenous people who identified in the 1991 Census were any better or worse in 1996 cannot be answered.

Document: Discussion Paper

Running a business, or otherwise being self-employed, is one avenue for economic advancement for Indigenous people. However, employing oneself or others is a complex process with many potential pitfalls. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, where globalisation and instantaneous information processing have increased the mobility of consumers and producers alike, Indigenous businesses have to be increasingly sophisticated to compete.

Document: Discussion Paper

In 1997, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs commenced an Inquiry into Indigenous Business. However, after a Commonwealth election held late in 1998, the government decided not to continue the Inquiry and its investigations have not been published. This paper summarises some of the evidence given to the Inquiry to see if this increases our understanding of Indigenous businesses.

Document: Discussion Paper

Policy-makers have become increasingly interested in the use of micro-credit models to alleviate poverty among Australian Indigenous communities. These models, such as the model developed by the Grameen Bank, work to extend small amounts of credit to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for commercial lending. The key element of the Grameen Bank model is its peer group lending structure, which fosters mutual accountability for loans among borrowers.

Document: Discussion Paper

While there is evidence in recent years of increasing levels of participation in post-secondary education by Indigenous students, until now it has been unclear to what degree that trend has carried over into the health field. This paper reports the results of an exploratory study of recent (1994-97) Indigenous participation in health sciences education and training in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

Document: Discussion Paper

This discussion paper was commissioned as material for a Northern Land Council submission to the Reeves review of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA). It addresses the question, a specific term of reference for the conduct of Reeves' inquiry, of the ëeffectiveness of the legislation in achieving its purpose. Any answers to such a question can only be assessed once we are clear about what Justice Woodward saw as, and how he interpreted, his own terms of reference in formulating the Act.

Document: Discussion Paper

The paper presents an analysis of Indigenous household demography and economic status relative to non-Indigenous Australian households. An innovative combination of economic analysis of 1996 Census data and ethnographic research is used, and reveals that Indigenous households are experiencing substantial and multiple forms of economic burden in comparison to non-Indigenous Australian households and that they display significantly different characteristics. The findings highlight a number of policy implications.

Document: Discussion Paper

Can service delivery and program development accommodate cultural parameters? What bureaucratic mechanisms could encompass such accommodations in program delivery and/or policy stance?

Document: Discussion Paper

The myth of equality in Australian society is clearly exposed by the large income gap between Indigenous and other Australians. Data from the 1986, 1991 and 1996 Censuses is used to conduct a cohort analysis of the income distributions for Indigenous and non-Indigenous males and females. Single-year age cohorts are used in the first longitudinal regression analysis of Indigenous income. Trends in relative income deprivation are identified.

Document: Discussion Paper

In his 1993 Boyer lecture, Getano Lui (Jnr) called for a change in the status of Torres Strait governance structures within the Australian federation, nominating the Centenary of Federation on January 1, 2001 as a possible time for change. In 1996, the Commonwealth Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs initiated a Parliamentary Committee inquiry into greater autonomy for the people of Torres Strait, which reported favourably in 1997.

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