The terms social exclusion and social inclusion originated in Europe (especially France) and were intended to provide a contrast to the notion of poverty which focussed excessively on the lack of money at a particular point of time, rather than the dynamic social processes that perpetuate the lack of social participation and contribution to the workings of society. In a sense it is an attempt to create a positive agenda for social policy, but it can be no less culturally specific than the notion of poverty. Each nation (and communities within nations) can have its own view about what constitutes a good society.
Indigenous people are among the most socially excluded in Australia and Indigenous disadvantage is multidimensional, differing from other forms of poverty in Australia in the incidence and depth of disadvantage experienced.
This paper was presented at the Social Inclusion Down Under symposium hosted by the Brotherhood of St Laurence at the University of Melbourne 26 June 2008.