File(s) not publicly available

Indigenous unemployment in rural and regional Western Australia: A contextual, cultural and bottom-up approach

Version 2 2023-02-07, 03:19
Version 1 2021-01-18, 14:09
journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-07, 03:19 authored by R Tiwari, S Harris, Josina 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.






Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages





University of Western Ontario

Additional Rights

This 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.

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Cultural Warning

This 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 Affiliations

Curtin University

Author Research Institute

  • Centre for Regional Advancement of Learning, Equity, Access and Participation (LEAP)

Era Eligible

  • Yes


Indigenous Policy Journal