From Indigenous Cultural Recognition to Economic Mainstreaming: A Case Study of Indigenous Australian Communities
Significant (2007) policy prescriptions were proposed solutions for the social problems of Australian remote Indigenous communities. These are contiguous with certain descriptions of contemporary neoliberal policy orthodoxy. Though these ideas are viewed by advocates as constituting a ‘new’ approach to Indigenous affairs they resemble policy approaches which have encouraged Indigenous assimilation into a 'mainstream' society. Such an approach seems like common-sense from within this mainstream neoliberal world-view, but when viewed critically is epistemologically flawed, culturally chauvinistic, and contains within it the seeds of more rather than less problems. This paper examines contemporary views of Australian Federal Government policy intentions for remote Indigenous Australians. It critiques some specific value-based interpretations of Indigenous behavior and the processes which are assumed strategies for behavioral change. The paper highlights logical issues in such policy approaches and ends in some general recommendations for social policy.
Keywords: Social Policy, Indigenous, Ideology, Policy Analysis
Dr. Lester J. Thompson
Lecturer, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology
Dr. Richard Hil