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Settlement and livelihood: A positive perspective
journal contributionposted on 27.05.2019, 00:00 authored by Hilary WinchesterHilary Winchester
There has been a tendency in the study of "Settlement and Livelihood" to focus attention on issues of contemporary concern, such as inequality, immigration, and access to resources. Often these are viewed almost solely as problems and it can be difficult to find positive examples for use in teaching. This paper offers two short examples which relate particularly to generalisations five (and also six) of the "Settlement and Livelihood" syllabus. Both examples are ta.ken from Greater Sydney including the Central Coast. The first is concerned with positive aspects of ethnic segregation, using the example of Cabramatta. The second is a broader study of resident action groups within Sydney, using particularly the example of the action group Central Coast_Against Chemicals (CCAC) based in Wyong shire. The Cabramatta example emphasises that residential concentration gives an underpriveleged group of Indo-Chinese refugees and migrants improved access to resources. These resources consist of both informal and fonnal networks. The i11fom1al resources include social and family support, and assistance for new migrant~ to find jobs. The formal welfare networks can be more appropriately ta:.geted using trained interpreters and social workers because of the concentration of recent refugees. The Central Coast example emphasises the increasing capacity ()f residents to participate in the political decision-making process. Ordinary people have been able to grasp the political opportunity to influence decisions which they felt could damage their environment and their families. On the Central Coast the decisions they successfully opposed were the location of noxious chemical industries. A study of resident action groups throughout greater Sydney shows that these groups have been increasingly active and successful throughout the 1980s.