Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment policy and Welfare to Work: The Community Development Programme and the need for new narratives, new alliances and new institutions

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment policy and Welfare to Work: The Community Development Programme and the need for new narratives, new alliances and new institutions Journal Article

Australian Journal of Social Issues

  • Author(s): Jordan, Kirrily
  • Published: 2018
  • Volume: 53

Abstract: The way Australian federal governments have approached Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and welfare policy over the last two decades has been a paradigmatic example of what not to do in policymaking. In the absence of effective engagement or consultation, a series of decisions under Coalition and Australian Labor Party governments have had a range of negative consequences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These changes – centred around the closure of the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme and implementation of the Community Development Programme (CDP) – have resulted in increased unemployment, inadequate support for job creation, a dramatic over-application of income penalties to social security recipients and reduced capacity in many community organisations. This article argues that these outcomes constitute policy failure, especially given that genuine engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people could have prevented many of these consequences. It then turns to an exploration of three ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are responding to such policy failure: through promotion of new narratives, new alliances, and new institutions. The study concludes that while we should avoid “specious hope”, there is room for optimism in a renewed push for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty.

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Suggested Citation
Jordan, Kirrily, 2018, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment policy and Welfare to Work: The Community Development Programme and the need for new narratives, new alliances and new institutions, Volume:53, Journal Article, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=13496.

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