In her Lands of Shame, a book that is probably influential in the Howard cabinet, Helen Hughes argues that public funding to Indigenous Australians should focus on their health and education, to equip them for the labour market. She condemns as 'exceptionalist' policies that offer them any less than full labour market participation, and she suggests that by encouraging people to settle in about 100 'core centres' public assistance to improve education and health would be provided more economically. In this critique, Tim Rowse points to two problems in Lands of Shame: Hughes is ambivalent about Indigenous Australians who are already economically effective, suspecting skilled Aborigines of corrupt use of institutions; and she does not say where the 100 'core centres' should be, thus avoiding the central policy issue of the future of Indigenous 'homelands'.

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