Talking back to policy: Aboriginal participation in policy making

dc.contributor.advisor Baldry, Eileen en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Skattebol, Jen en_US Walden, Inara en_US 2022-03-22T12:41:13Z 2022-03-22T12:41:13Z 2016 en_US
dc.description.abstract Past Australian government policies have controlled, disenfranchised and infantilised Indigenous people, strongly contributing to their ongoing disadvantage and poverty. During Australia’s formal policy phase of self-determination, 1972 to 2004, Aboriginal people emphasised their fundamental desire to define and control their own priorities and destinies. This desire continues today, however the policy landscape is now more ambiguous than ever about the role of Aboriginal people in policy making. This thesis makes a case study of processes taking place when a remote NSW Aboriginal community asserted its right to participate in policy planning and decision-making. The research focused on negotiations between the Aboriginal community and government as a particular policy was implemented. The study aimed to investigate the extent to which Aboriginal people desire and pursue participation in policy making, and whether this is valued and enabled by governments. The methodology is informed by grounded theory and Indigenous research methodologies. Data was collected primarily via semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal community representatives and government officers over a three year period, along with policy analysis and observational data. Reciprocity and relationship building were vital to sustaining the researcher’s collaboration with the community over time. Now enshrined in the Declaration of Indigenous Rights, participation is an emerging concept and site of debate within the scholarship and practice of Indigenous policy making. This thesis makes a timely contribution to that scholarship by applying concepts of participation developed through four decades of practice, critique and theorising in the sphere of international development. Debates about what constitutes participation are salient to analysis of everyday negotiations between Aboriginal people and governments. The research reveals a strong drive and commitment from Aboriginal community representatives to participate as local decision-makers, and a range of imperatives that urge governments to strive to enable this. However structural and resource challenges undermined the level of Aboriginal involvement and quality of participation achieved. The study indicates that Aboriginal participation in policy decision-making may be essential to re-empower those affected by colonization, and enable Aboriginal agency in setting goals and aspirations to improve their own lives and livelihoods. en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.publisher UNSW, Sydney en_US
dc.rights CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject.other Aboriginal policy en_US
dc.subject.other Participation en_US
dc.subject.other Indigenous policy en_US
dc.subject.other Indigenous decision-making en_US
dc.title Talking back to policy: Aboriginal participation in policy making en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dcterms.accessRights open access
dcterms.rightsHolder Walden, Inara
dspace.entity.type Publication en_US
unsw.relation.faculty Arts Design & Architecture
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Walden, Inara, Social Policy Research Centre, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Baldry, Eileen, Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Skattebol, Jen, Social Policy Research Centre, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW en_US Social Policy Research Centre *
unsw.thesis.degreetype PhD Doctorate en_US
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