The future of remote Indigenous outstations: Options for living well on country after the bulldozers come

The future of remote Indigenous outstations: Options for living well on country after the bulldozers come Conference Proceedings

AMPS Conference 7: Future Housing: Global Cities and Regional Problems

  • Author(s): Parnell, M
  • Secondary Author(s): Cairns, Graham, Day, Kirsten, An, Eric
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Architecture_Media_Politics_Society
  • ISBN: ISSN 2398-9467

Abstract: Indigenous community governance in Australia is currently undergoing a change through an emerging economically rationalist approach, as promoted by Australian Federal, State and Territory Governments. This approach characterises outstation life as a lifestyle choice at the taxpayer’s expense (Martin & Owens, 2015). This change is manifested through increasing rhetoric about the withdrawal of funding for services to outstations and in some cases, the “closing” down of remote outstations (or homelands) due to their “unviability”(Altman, Kerins, Fogarty, & Webb, 2008; Kerins, 2009; Solonec, 2011). There are serious questions about the impacts of such closures on the residents themselves as well as the impacts on the larger communities and towns to which outstation people are re-settled. Such drastic measures have deep effects on Indigenous people, especially elders with a deep cultural need to maintain connection to country; yet this does not appear to be a consideration of policy under such an economically rationalist approach. This paper therefore reviews recent outstation policy at Federal, State and Territory levels and proposes some alternative ways to enable outstation people to live well on country. The points of view expressed in this paper are based on my experience working with people in remote indigenous communities between 1995 and 2008, and observation of the direction in Indigenous policy from then to the present.

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Suggested Citation
Parnell, M, 2016, The future of remote Indigenous outstations: Options for living well on country after the bulldozers come, Conference Proceedings, viewed 30 November 2021, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=16633.

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