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An exploration of the issues associated with the increasing Indigenous population in the greater Brisbane area
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Bronwyn Fredericks
The locations and settings in which Australian Indigenous people live varies, however over 70 % of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia now live in urban or regional urban areas (ABS 2007). Over half of the total population lives in Queensland and New South Wales. The 2006 Census data indicates that 146,400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or 28.3% live in Queensland (ABS 2007: 2). Of the Queensland population 28% live in South East Queensland. There are other sizeable urban Indigenous populations along the Queensland coast including WideBay, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, and Cairns. Other geographic localities in New South Wales and Victoria additionally have large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, as do other Australian capital cities. The statistics demonstrate that living in urban centres is as much part of reality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as living in a remote discrete Aboriginal community. Historically, discrete rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been the focus of most of the research conducted with Indigenous populations. These locations have provided researchers with an easily identifiable study population. However, unlike rural and remote communities, identifying and accessing urban Indigenous communities can be much more difficult despite the growing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in urban areas. This paper will explore some of the issues associated with the increasing Indigenous population in the greater Brisbane are and the need for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focused research. It will additionally provide some health research examples to highlight ways of working more responsively with urban Indigenous peoples.