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LSBM306 Indigenous Australian Assignment Level 6

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Australian policy for Indigenous Australian peoples

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INTRODUCTION

Indigenous Australians are the people and communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Australia. Indigenous Australians are perceived as a part of Australoid race and there are significant differences in social, culture and linguistic customs of indigenous communities (Liberman, 2017). Due to difference in skin, culture and language, aboriginal people living in Australia faced ample of difficulties and racial discriminations. Due to which there population within the country kept on decreasing. Though, government of Australia formulated and implemented various policies in order to provide protection and preservation to them. In this context, the following essay will focus on the core policies and regulations the government of Australia formulated in order to enhance protection and boost up their motivation. The position of indigenous Australians will be assessed in this assignment and eventually the similarities and difference evident in goals, position of Indigenous Australians and implied relationship between Indigenous Australians and wider Australian society will be assessed in this assignment.

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MAIN BODY

Almost from the beginning of colonisation, Aboriginal populations were devastated by introduced diseases and the loss of land and livelihood (Sandall, 2018). Despite the high loss of life and widespread ill health, little was done to provide medical aid. It was not until 1837 that a policy of “protection” was enacted, after decades of frontier violence (Turner, Fiske and Hodge, 2016). Before 1967, the policies developed by Australian government for Aboriginal and Indigenous people were not efficient. In 1909 to 1920, many acts and policies such as NSW Aborigines Act, The Victorian Aborigines Act, The Aborigines Protection Board Act and The Northern Territory Aboriginal Ordinance Act has been passed in order to provide protection and basic amenities to community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community (Ranzijn and et.al., 2008). Though these acts and policies were not robust as throughout this era the prevailing attitude was that Aboriginal peoples were inferior to white races and would unavoidably die out. Non indigenous Australians does not treat the Aboriginal communities well and often practice racial discrimination at work place or in society (Short, 2016). This degrades the value of Aboriginal communities. Furthermore, the governmental interventions were not adequate in this period as basic amenities such as food, shelter, employment, eduction and health were not adequately provided to people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Australian referendum of 27 May 1967, called by the Holt Government, approved two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to Indigenous Australians. More than 95 per cent of Australians voters agreed to consider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to count them in census (Moran, 2011). As the federal constitution proposed in 1900 stated that Aboriginal would not be counted in any state or federal census (Michie, 2014). Thus, in order to protect the indigenous rights, non indigenous Australians protests and asked for referendum for indigenous rights in Australia. In 1969, Aborigines Welfare Board in NSW is abolished. By 1969 all states have repealed the legislation allowing for the removal of Aboriginal children under the policy of ‘protection’ (Moore and et.al., 2015). Many Aboriginal Child Care agencies have been established in order to protect children of indigenous people from slavery. In 1972, Aboriginal Heritage Protection Act has initiated in Western Australia. In similar trends, many acts such as Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld), etc. has proposed by Australian Government in order to enhance the protection and preservation of Australian indigenous communities (Rigney, 2017). The relationship between indigenous and non indigenous Australians been significantly improved. Earlier where indigenous people were not allowed in non indigenous societies, now people of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are working in many small and large scale multinational organisations. Non indigenous communities are respecting the thoughts, beliefs and culture of indigenous communities of Australia.

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Aboriginal people have a unique position in Australian societies. Before the referendum of 1967, non indigenous treated indigenous communities as inferior (Hunt, and et.al., 2015). They have not been provided with any facilities such as access to health care, eduction and employment. Moreover, the children of Aboriginal people were taken away by the government and given to foster families in order to protect them (Moore and et.al., 2015). The children then were treated as slaves of foster families which negatively affect their psychology. After 1967 referendum, the condition and position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has drastically transformed. Due to abundance of policies, laws, regulations and practices, the condition of indigenous communities are now improving. Schools, employment, health facilities and other amenities has been provided to them in order to enhance their protection and preservation (Bodkin-Andrews and Carlson, 2016). In organisations, many indigenous people have been found on senior positions where they are allowed to take decisions (Ridani and et.al., 2015). This implied that the aboriginal people are now taking part in the society and cultural events along with non indigenous people in order to create harmony and peace within the country. Organisations have developed strict policies such as prohibiting racial discrimination within the organisation, providing equal opportunities to employees, etc (Briskman, 2016). so that Indigenous people can work within the organisation with full confidence and motivation. Before 1967, the condition of indigenous communities was not good (Short, 2016). They were not treated as Australians and faced many challenges and adversities. During colonisation, Britishers practised ethnocide where they brutally murdered and tortured indigenous people living in Australia. As an end result, the population of Aboriginal people started decreasing and came to verge of extinction. In 1937, protection created way for an official policy of “assimilation” especially of mixed race Aboriginal people (Rigney, 2017). With this effect, many indigenous people expected to live life like non indigenous Australians. Yet, the discriminatory practices controlled some aspects of indigenous peoples lives (Sandall, 2018). These practise include inequality in wages, poor employment conditions, unfair treatment at workplace and social welfare was not provided to the indigenous people. Since, 1970s many indigenous communities developed their own organisation where they provide employment to their people in order to raise their standards of living (Thill, 2015). These organisations include independent community controlled health services, schools, etc. Australia is one of the biggest multi cultural country in the world (Moran, 2011). Due to so many cultures exists in Australia, it is difficult to identify the specific culture of country. The cultural norms in Australia dominates indigenous people before 1967. Racial discrimination and cultural discrimination practices followed widely by non indigenous dominant cultural norms (Hunt, and et.al., 2015). The differences in cultural norms affects the psychology of indigenous communities. Since 1970, there has been significant transformations in Australian's cultural norms and policies. Now indigenous communities and peoples can have specific rights to celebrate their festival with non indigenous communities (Bodkin-Andrews and Carlson, 2016). From this it can be understood that the cultural norms proposed by Australian government helps in constructing indigenous communities (Ranzijn and et.al., 2008). In order to enhance their motivation and reduce the issues faced by communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, government of Australia have formulated various policies and norms. The cultural difference between aboriginal and non indigenous people are clearly attributable to poverty, unemployment and lack of education (Turner, Fiske and Hodge, 2016). The present and previous government of Australia have formulated various norms and policies in order to enhance the protection and preservation of Indigenous communities of Australia (Briskman, 2016). Now the people of these communities have rights to participate in decision making and are treated equally with non indigenous communities. The conditions of indigenous population has been improving in the country after 1967. The population is increasing due to effective norms, policies and legislations. Since 1970, many indigenous communities established their own corporations in order to provide livelihood to their own community members. With effective organisational policies and laws, cases of racial discrimination has been minimised and eliminated in most of the areas of countries (Thill, 2015). Government have implemented various measures and allowed indigenous Australian to take the podium so that they can feel more motivated (Liberman, 2017). In order to enhance the harmony between non-indigenous and indigenous Australians, government have developed polices and procedures which are mandatory to be followed in the country.

CONCLUSION

In the above essay it was identified that the conditions of indigenous communities have been significantly improved after 1967. It was further discovered that before the referendum of 1967, people of Aboriginal and Torres Islander were not counted in census. In this context, it was identified that from the beginning of colonisation, Australian indigenous people were died due to lack of health care, prolonged disease and murder. In the essay it was discovered that Aboriginal people have a unique position in Australian societies. Before the referendum of 1967, non indigenous treated indigenous communities as inferior. They have not been provided with any facilities such as access to health care, eduction and employment. Thus, in the above essay, the position of indigenous people have been identified from pre and post 1967.

REFERENCES

  • Bodkin-Andrews, G., & Carlson, B. (2016). The legacy of racism and Indigenous Australian identity within education.Race Ethnicity and Education,19(4), 784-807.
  • Briskman, L. (2016). Decolonizing social work in Australia: Prospect or illusion. InIndigenous Social Work around the World(pp. 111-122). Routledge.
  • Hunt, L., Ramjan, L., McDonald, G., Koch, J., Baird, D., & Salamonson, Y. (2015). Nursing students' perspectives of the health and healthcare issues of Australian Indigenous people.Nurse education today,35(3), 461-467.
  • Liberman, K. B. (2017).Routledge Revivals: Understanding Interaction in Central Australia (1985): An Ethnomethodological Study of Australian Aboriginal People. Routledge.
  • Michie, M. (2014). Introduction. InWorking Cross-culturally(pp. 1-12). SensePublishers, Rotterdam.
  • Moore, S. P., Antoni, S., Colquhoun, A., Healy, B., Ellison-Loschmann, L., Potter, J. D., ... & Bray, F. (2015). Cancer incidence in indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA: a comparative population-based study.The Lancet Oncology,16(15), 1483-1492.
  • Moran, A. (2011). Multiculturalism as nation-building in Australia: Inclusive national identity and the embrace of diversity.Ethnic and Racial Studies,34(12), 2153-2172.
  • Ranzijn, R., McConnochie, K., Day, A., Nolan, W., & Wharton, M. (2008). Towards cultural competence: Australian Indigenous content in undergraduate psychology.Australian Psychologist,43(2), 132-139.
  • Ridani, R., Shand, F. L., Christensen, H., McKay, K., Tighe, J., Burns, J., & Hunter, E. (2015). Suicide prevention in Australian Aboriginal communities: a review of past and present programs.Suicide and life-threatening behavior,45(1), 111-140.
  • Rigney, L. I. (2017). Indigenist research and aboriginal Australia. InIndigenous peoples' wisdom and power(pp. 61-77). Routledge.
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