Clash of the paradigms: night patrols in remote central Australia

Clash of the paradigms: night patrols in remote central Australia Thesis

Law School

  • Author(s): Turner-Walker, Jennifer
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: University of Western Australia
  • Volume: Master of Criminal Justice

Abstract: Introduction: Includes a brief history of Patrol origins, and how they arose from the necessity to develop new forms of social regulation from a basis of extant cultural law after the colonisation of central Australia. Research Methodology: Delineates the field work methods and action research with remote settlement Patrols that informs this thesis. Some discussion of key reports and other publications that refer to, or are particularly relevant to Patrols. Local Knowledge: Describes some of the physical, cultural, and environmental factors that affect Patrols and their operations. Settlement Origins and Patrols: Describes how the differing origins of remote Aboriginal settlements (mission or pastoral) impacted on the functionality of settlements and their Patrols. Risk: Describes the most significant forms and sources of risks to health and safety in remote Aboriginal settlements in the region, with a particular focus on alcohol, substance misuse and violence. Culturally Specific Conflict: Investigates some forms of Aboriginal conflict such as 'jealousing' that have no non-Aboriginal equivalent. Functional Patrols, being cultural insiders, are particularly good at mediating and resolving these forms of conflict. Job Descriptions and Night Patrol Strategies: Descriptive chapter, using the picture reports developed by RANP and data generated from them, to describe in some detail some of the most common challenges for remote settlement Patrols, and the Patrol strategies and responses that are used to address them. These are all based in the primary cultural imperatives of Aboriginal cultural law. Lost Opportunities: The most significant threats to the functionality and sustainability of remote settlement Patrols are a result of the recent imposition of culturally alien operational modes and models, largely as a result of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER, or the Intervention), and the simultaneously implemented new NT Shire system of local government. Conclusion is that the new operational Patrol regimes are not congruent with the essential basis in cultural law of remote Aboriginal settlement Patrols, and that this is the factor that represents the most significant threat to their ongoing effectiveness, functionality and existence.

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Suggested Citation
Turner-Walker, Jennifer, 2012, Clash of the paradigms: night patrols in remote central Australia, Volume:Master of Criminal Justice, Thesis, viewed 19 May 2024,

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