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Australia: Indigenous autonomy matters

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In 2007 the former federal government introduced a far-reaching ‘intervention’ into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. The government claimed that the coercive measures outlined in this policy were aimed at combating child abuse and welfare dependency, arguing that ‘old approaches’ – such as self-determination – had ‘not worked’. In contrast, Sarah Maddison argues that meaningful self-determination has never in fact been tried in Australia, and is likely to be far more effective in addressing indigenous disadvantage than the overtly xenophobic and paternalistic approaches evident in the current policy approach.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2009

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