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Australian public policyProgressive ideas in the neo-liberal ascendency$
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Chris Miller and Lionel Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447312673

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447312673.001.0001

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Indigenous policy: Canberra consensus on a neoliberal project of improvement

Indigenous policy: Canberra consensus on a neoliberal project of improvement

Chapter:
(p.115) Seven Indigenous policy: Canberra consensus on a neoliberal project of improvement
Source:
Australian public policy
Author(s):

Jon Altman

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447312673.003.0007

This chapter does four things. First it provides a brief history of Australian Indigenous affairs in the modern policy era that began with a 1967 Constitutional Referendum. Second, it looks at contemporary Indigenous policy, in particular so called ‘Closing the Gap’ strategies, and its unrelenting focus on convergence and structural adjustment based on Western economic institutions, norms and values as measured by statistical social indicators. Governments of all political persuasions and other powerful interests in Australian society favour such an approach. Next it outlines how this approach, increasingly based on paternalistic intervention is applied to remote living Indigenous peoples especially in the Northern Territory who are both more readily targeted owing to high state dependence and who are also most culturally different. Finally, alternatives better suited to the diversity of Indigenous circumstances and aspirations are outlined.

Keywords:   indigenous peoples, indigenous policy, policy history, closing the gap, Northern Territory intervention

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