Since European 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, 60 years of government welfare policy, resulting from the initial, paternalistic policies from the Colonial era, appears to have been one major force that Aboriginal social structure has been quite unable to withstand, despite its viability for the previous 60,000 years. Radically different policies are now being trialled, in recognition of the continuing large gap between indigenous and non-indigenous living standards. Some Aboriginal leaders themselves have called for a rejection of the passive welfare policies of the past, in acceptance of a Friedman-style critique of ‘money for nothing’ welfare handouts, while simultaneously calling for a Sen-style capabilities approach to the policy needs of the future.
|Keywords:||Australian Aboriginal Well-Being, Welfare Policy, Welfare Reforms, Market and Government Failures, Discrimination|
University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
Senior Lecturer in Politics and Sociology, Business, Economics and Law Faculty, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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