Aboriginal Welfare Policy in Australia: Has Welfare Intervention Helped or Hindered?

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Since white settlement of Australia in 1788, the Aboriginal population has struggled to prosper. The Aboriginal community remains a conspicuously disadvantaged minority group, and decades of federal and State government welfare policies have not prevented alcoholism, domestic violence and unemployment from undermining life in Aboriginal communities. In fact, the Aboriginal social structure which remained viable for 60,000 years seems to have been quite unable to withstand 60 years of state welfare policy. Significant policy reform is needed if the Aboriginal people are to be better able to participate in modern life and prosperity. Distortions in labour,capital and other markets are considered, and policy solutions from Friedman, Stiglitz and Sen perspectives are offered.


Keywords: Australian Aboriginal Well-Being, Welfare Policy, Welfare Reforms, Market and Government Failures, Discrimination
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Australian Aboriginal Welfare Policy


L. A. Duhs

Senior Lecturer in Politics and Sociology, Business, Economics and Law Faculty, University of Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Alan Duhs teaches development economics, microeconomics for managers and economic philosophy. He researches in areas of development economics, social economics and reforms to the tertiary education sector. He has published in the Journal of Economic Issues, Economic Record, Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, Indian Development Review, Review of Social Economics, International Journal of Social Economics, Australian Psychologist, and Australian Journal of Education. He has acted as a consultant to various government departments and is co-editor of the Australasian Journal of Economics Education.

Ref: I08P0381