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Indigenous unemployment in rural and regional Western Australia: A contextual, cultural and bottom-up approach
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-07, 03:19 authored by R Tiwari, S Harris, Josina van den AkkerJosina van den Akker
Historically, Australian policy makers have associated rural Indigenous community’s high un-employment levels and low labour force participation rates with poor livelihood outcomes. This is primarily a result of a ‘one size fits all’ approach where labour market outcomes are seen not within their geographical and cultural contexts (Biddle, 2017; Altman et al, 2007), and where the indigenous unemployment issues are often seen through a western lens (Lawrence, 2005). This paper develops further on these ideas to propose that the patterns of Indigenous unemployment must be considered within a complex and colonising system. These patterns need to be recognised, admitted to, and amended in partnership with the local communities taking into account the specific geographical and cultural concerns. Sustainable livelihood solutions must be sought to address economic development in remote Indigenous communities, and this would require challenging the value perspectives informing government policy. Transformation must come from within the local communities and governments need to change how they conceptualise Indigenous peoples’ ‘issues’. Otherwise, colonising and disempowering processes will continue to be reinforced. The researchers explore the ideas through fieldwork in Wakathuni, a remote Aboriginal community settlement located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Number of Pages18
PublisherUniversity of Western Ontario
Additional RightsThis journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Cultural WarningThis research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.
External Author AffiliationsCurtin University
Author Research Institute
- Centre for Regional Advancement of Learning, Equity, Access and Participation (LEAP)