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Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.



This report was Commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2018 for their project Linking Indigenous communities with regional development. Intended for international comparison with other OECD nations, it is written more-or-less to a thematic template provided to us for this purpose. The OECD selected the parts they wanted for their project, but we were always at liberty to publish our full report in the name of transparency.

This report discusses key issues in demography, governance and policy as they relate to Indigenous Peoples in Australia. It focuses on the ‘governance of government’, including the difficult institutional environment that many Indigenous communities and organisations face. It provides a brief history of policy approaches that the settler colonial state has adopted in relation to Indigenous peoples in Australia, from the violent dispossession of the early stages of colonisation through protection and assimilation to the current concern with ‘Closing the Gap’. It acknowledges the active campaigns of Indigenous Peoples in Australia over many decades to progress agendas of structural change including calls for treaties, land rights and self-determination.

We conclude the report with a discussion of several issues that should be central to policies and programs seeking to promote economic development of, for and by Indigenous Peoples.

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CAEPR Commissioned Report No. 5