Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous rights and Australia’s future

Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous rights and Australia’s future Book

  • Author(s): Behrendt, L.
  • Published: 2003
  • Publisher: Federation Press
  • ISBN: 1862874506

Abstract: This new work argues that a broad Indigenous rights framework is crucial to achieving positive change in the socio-economic disadvantage into which Indigenous Australians are born. It explains why addressing problems in Indigenous communities at a practical level needs to be done in conjunction with rights protection. Redefining the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is a challenge that involves assessing the impact of historical injustice. It is only when we understand how the ideologies of colonialism have permeated today's institutions that we can begin to break the grip of the historical legacy. Once that grip is broken, Australians will be free to explore alternatives to colonisation and assimilation. "Achieving Social Justice" seeks to inject the current debates with some possible options, bringing attention to the inherent inequities within the system and highlighting the pervasiveness of Australia's psychological terra nullius. The author proposes longer term, aspirational initiatives leading to institutional change that will facilitate greater rights protection and the exercise of self-determination. Contents 1. Why question the rules? 2. The myth of law's neutrality: why formal equality doesn't work 3. Nationalism and identity: why 'western' institutions don't work for everyone 4. Indigenous aspirations: the starting point for rights protection 5. New strategies, improved rights protection: some first steps and some alternative futures 7. Some conclusions.

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Suggested Citation
Behrendt, L., 2003, Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous rights and Australia’s future, Book, viewed 15 June 2024,

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