Positive and negative welfare and Australia’s indigenous communities

Positive and negative welfare and Australia’s indigenous communities Journal Article

Family Matters

  • Author(s): Pearson, N.
  • Published: 1999
  • Volume: 54

Abstract: Focusing on the indigenous community of Cape York Peninsula, the author states that their economic and social situation is parlous, and the statistics so outrageous that they are routinely greeted with numb acceptance. The problems are so overwhelming that even the Aboriginal society comes to accept its own state of dysfunction. He describes policy failure and the entrenchment of welfare, and argues that the key problem with welfare is that it inherently does not demand reciprocity. The provision, without reciprocity, of income support to able bodied people of working age can be seen as 'negative' welfare, inducing passivity and dependence. The author argues that we need to develop policies and make the decisions about changing the way in which things are done in our communities, and the way in which economic resources are distributed throughout our society. Leaders in disadvantaged locations like Cape York must develop a conscious and long-term strategy for their home regions and communities, and work with the state in reforming welfare resources into sources of personal empowerment. They must understand the central importance of education and the encouragement of enterprise, achievement and success amongst their people.

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Suggested Citation
Pearson, N., 1999, Positive and negative welfare and Australia’s indigenous communities, Volume:54, Journal Article, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4175.

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