Abstract: Indigenous Australians in the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme have been working for welfare payments since 1977. One of the objectives of the scheme is to assist Indigenous Australians develop work skills which lead to 'mainstream' employment. This paper uses a case study of a CDEP scheme in Port Augusts, a regional centre in South Australia, to analyse the success sof the scheme as a stepping stone to unsubsidised employment in regional centres and urban areas. The research demonstrates that the scheme can be a steppng stone to 'mainstream' emplolyment for participants wishing to make this move. It also provides an environment that allows them to balance cultural and family commitments with the demands of employment. The factors underpinning the movement to 'mainstream' emplolyment are identified. It is concluded with some of the policy issues arising from the research.
Notes: This paper provides a good analysis of the success of the CDEP scheme, as a catalyst for future unsubsidised employment for indigenous people. The authors use a case study from Port Augusta in South Australia to demonstrate such success. The authors also report how the CDEP scheme provides an environment for indigenous persons to balance their family needs with cultural needs.