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Submission to the Parliament of NSW, Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues, regarding: INQUIRY INTO OVERCOMING INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE(2008)Working PaperThis submission provides recommendations for improvements to NSW services to overcome Indigenous disadvantage and close the large life expectancy gap. These recommendations are mainly based on research performed by two of the authors of this paper, Sue Green and Dr Eileen Baldry and their peers. This research was largely focused on human services, housing and incarceration and encompasses both analysis of the issues and evidence-based recommendations to improve services. Despite many previous reports outlining past policy failures and the consequent current Indigenous disadvantage, current policy continues to make the same mistakes. The federal intervention in the Northern Territory is a prime example of what not to do. The way forward in closing the gap is to strengthen Indigenous communities, not weaken them as this policy does. Part of the problem is that Australian human services and social work are dominated by Euro-Western theories and practices and consequently have poor records in Indigenous outcomes. This submission proposes commonly agreed elements for an Indigenous social framework. In addition, several vicious cycles are in motion and underpin the life expectancy gap. One of these is the unrelenting criminalisation of and systemic discrimination against Indigenous peoples in, and lack of appropriate support through, the NSW criminal justice and prison systems. This compounds Indigenous disadvantage in NSW. A government framework for social, agency and family support is needed to avoid the cycle of incarceration. Another vicious cycle is that of homelessness and disadvantage. Many suggestions to improve support for the homelessness and stop the cycle are attached in the findings from a related research project. Reference is also made to mental health problems facing Indigenous Australians and the scarcity of policy and resources to address the issue. International research supports national findings that sovereignty matters. ‘When Native nations make their own decisions about what development approaches to take, they consistently out-perform external decision makers…’ on a wide range of policy areas (Harvard University 2003-2004). A Commonwealth analysis of ‘things that work’ supports this view by including the following in their list of ‘success factors’: ‘a bottom-up rather than top-down approach’ (Commonwealth Government of Australia 2007, p.11). There is no mystery to overcoming Indigenous disadvantage. The answers have been well-documented. With a booming economy, Australia, and NSW in particular has an exceptional opportunity to make this a reality. NSW can provide the power, respect and resources to its Indigenous communities to close the gap.
Which Wald statistic? Choosing a parameterization of the Wald statistic to maximize power in k-sample generalized estimating equations(2007)Working PaperThe Wald statistic is known to vary under reparameterization. This raises the question: which parameterization should be chosen, in order to optimize power of the Wald statistic? We specifically consider k-sample tests of generalized linear models and generalized estimating equations in which the alternative hypothesis contains only two parameters. Amongst a general class of parameterizations, we find the parameterization that maximizes power via analysis of the non-centrality parameter, and show how the effect on power of reparameterization depends on sampling design and the differences in variance across samples. There is no single parameterization with optimal power across all alternatives. The Wald statistic commonly used, that under the canonical parameterization, is optimal in some instances but it performs very poorly in others. We demonstrate results by example and by simulation, and describe their implications for likelihood ratio statistics and score statistics. We conclude that due to poor power properties, the routine use of score statistics and Wald statistics under the canonical parameterization for generalized estimating equations is a questionable practice.
(2003)Working PaperThis paper intends to address what implications the research findings have for teaching and make suggestions about how they can or should be utilised for pedagogical purposes. Along with this aim, it will look at, in passing, some methodological problems that appear to be present in the current EA studies in Korean.
(2002)Working PaperThis paper aims to investigate the key lexical areas of difficulty for Australian students of Korean as a foreign language (KFL). Specifically, this study intends to identify the lexical features that present particular difficulties to English native speakers learning Korean; to classify those lexical errors in terms of their type and frequency; and to provide possible explanation for the cause of those lexical problems. The subjects selected in this study are 71 second- and third-year students from three universities. They are native speakers of English or are believed to have English as their first language. The data used in this study come from written examination papers administered at the three universities. 305 lexical errors have been identified for analysis. Among the 11 error categories identified in this study, wrong word choice caused an overwhelmingly high percentage of errors. The study concludes with discussions about theoretical and pedagogical implications.
(2002)Working PaperHigh and persistent unemployment has presented a major challenge for the welfare state from two directions. First, it has eroded the funding base and second, it has increased the demands on welfare programs because of the consequences for poverty and inequality resulting from high unemployment. This paper explores these latter effects using a range of national and international evidence. It is argued that the effects, while generally presumed to exist, are complicated by the ways in which poverty and inequality are measured (on the basis of the economic status of families) and the growth in dual-earner families that has weakened the link between the economic status of families and individual family members. Despite this, there is strong evidence that unemployment increases the risk of poverty and contributes to inequality, and that it also gives rise to a series of debilitating social effects on unemployed people themselves, their families and the communities in which they live. This suggests a need for welfare reform to give emphasis to employment generation, but this should not be the only outcome by which the welfare system should be judged. The provision of an adequate and secure safety net that does not unduly distort incentive structures is also an important welfare objective.