Vacuums and veils: Engaging with statistically ‘invisible’ Indigenous population dynamics in Yamatji Country, Western Australia

Vacuums and veils: Engaging with statistically ‘invisible’ Indigenous population dynamics in Yamatji Country, Western Australia Journal Article

Geographical Research

  • Author(s): Prout, S.
  • Published: 2009
  • Volume: 47

Abstract: Although much is known about broad trends in Australian Indigenous geographies, particular aspects of Indigenous spatiality continue to be rendered invisible by standard statistical measures. The national census, for example, only registers moves at one and five year intervals. Any mobilities enacted within these timeframes are not measured. Yet these statistically ‘un-captured’ mobility processes are often integral to Indigenous lived experiences and have a significant dialectical relationship to government service delivery processes. Understanding these population dynamics is therefore a critical, though underdeveloped, consideration within geographic enquiry and contemporary debates about State and Federal Indigenous policy directions and initiatives. This paper presents qualitative research findings regarding local experiences and perceptions of Indigenous spatiality in Yamatji country, Western Australia. Within this grounded framework, the paper builds on existing literature by drawing out some of the common spatial, temporal and demographic characteristics, or dimensions, of statistically un-captured Indigenous mobility processes. With this discursive, albeit generalised and malleable, typology established, the analysis turns to a reflection on some of the methodological and conceptual complexities of measurement, interpretation, and translation of these mobility processes across the policy-research nexus.

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Suggested Citation
Prout, S., 2009, Vacuums and veils: Engaging with statistically ‘invisible’ Indigenous population dynamics in Yamatji Country, Western Australia, Volume:47, Journal Article, viewed 17 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3728.

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