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Exploring Indigenous social attitudes and priorities in Australia
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by L Thompson, Bronwyn Fredericks, D Wadley, C Bean, M Walter
Given significant government attention to, and expenditure on, Indigenous equity in Australia, this article addresses a core problem: the lack of a sound understanding of Indigenous social attitudes and priorities. An account of cultural theory raises the likelihood of difference in outlook between Indigenous and non-Inidgenous people, including those making and implementing policy. Yet, years of scholarly research and official statistical collections have overlooked potenttially critical aspects of Indigineity. Suggestions of difference emerge from reference to the 2007 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA). If the attitudes recorded a small sample in this instrument manifest in the Indigenous population at large, policy priorities and directions should be reviewed and possibly revised. Despite inherent methodological difficulties, the article calls for targeted social attitude research among Australia's Indigenous peoples so that future policy can be better oriented and calibrated. The national benefits would outweigh the costs via better directed policy making.