It has become a truism in national public policy discourse that Indigenous affairs are a classic ‘wicked’ problem. The issues and interests in scope are without question all-encompassing and include every level of the Australian federation, social/economic/environmental policy, debates about rights, responsibilities and welfare conditionality, cultural diversity, historical injustices, and geographical disparities from urban to remote communities (see Head 2008). Serious Whitefella Stuff by Mark Moran confronts the conundrum and inevitable complexity of Indigenous policy and shines a very practical light on the mixed results in policy delivery and program implementation. Importantly, Moran proposes doing something about this unsatisfactory reality.
Six case studies relating to remote communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory provide the narrative and evidence base for this book. The policy and delivery issues covered are diverse and complex including alcohol management, the outstations movement, rebuilding local community culture, home ownership and sustainable housing, and local impacts of a ‘shared responsibilities’ agenda.