Locating Indigenous Australia within community development practice : clients, consumers or change makers?

Bond, Chelsea & Brady, Karla (2013) Locating Indigenous Australia within community development practice : clients, consumers or change makers? New Community, 11(43), pp. 33-39.

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Abstract

The philosophical promise of community development to “resource and empower people so that they can collectively control their own destinies” (Kenny 1996:104) is no doubt alluring to Indigenous Australia. Given the historical and contemporary experiences of colonial control and surveillance of Aboriginal bodies, alongside the continuing experiences of socio-economic disadvantage, community development reaffirms the aspirational goal of Indigenous Australians for self-determination. Self-determination as a national policy agenda for Indigenous Australians emerged in the 1970s and saw the establishment of a wide range of Aboriginal community-controlled services (Tsey et al 2012). Sullivan (2010:4) argues that the Aboriginal community controlled service sector during this time has, and continues to be, instrumental to advancing the plight of Indigenous Australians both materially and politically. Yet community development and self-determination remain highly problematic and contested in how they manifest in Indigenous social policy agendas and in practice (Hollinsworth 1996; Martin 2003; McCausland 2005; Moreton-Robinson 2009). Moreton-Robinson (2009:68) argues that a central theme underpinning these tensions is a reading of Indigeneity in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, behaviours, cultures, and communities are pathologised as “dysfunctional” thus enabling assertions that Indigenous people are incapable of managing their own affairs. This discourse distracts us from the “strategies and tactics of patriarchal white sovereignty” that inhibit the “state’s earlier policy of self-determination” (Moreton-Robinson 2009:68). We acknowledge the irony of community development espoused by Ramirez above (1990), that the least resourced are expected to be most resourceful.; however, we wish to interrogate the processes that inhibit Indigenous participation and control of our own affairs rather than further interrogate Aboriginal minds as uneducated, incapable and/or impaired...

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ID Code: 82178
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Community development, Urban, Inala, Self-determination, Aboriginality
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy (160501)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Counselling Welfare and Community Services (160702)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 New Community
Deposited On: 04 Mar 2015 23:21
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:48

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