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Aboriginal self-determination in Australia by Christine Fletcher

By Christine Fletcher

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Extra resources for Aboriginal self-determination in Australia

Sample text

That conference opened up an important level of awareness. There was another rather special conference early in the 1980s at which Koiki Mabo was introduced to some key lawyers and other people, some of whom are at this conference here in Townsville today. That conference was held at the James Cook University and, as a direct result of a workshop, Koiki Mabo took his case to the High Court. So, I have absolute faith in the outcome of a conference here in Townsville on Aboriginal self-determination.

It should be said that many have performed with credit over the years and they have served the Aboriginal people and Australia well. However, the last 10 years has seen a withering away of effort and commitment. Many organisations, including some of their leaders, have lost their commitment, purpose and the 'fire' in their organisational belly. They have become areas of employment per se and, ultimately, conservative and somewhat reactive - once again - survival economics. What I am suggesting is that many Aboriginal organisations should change their direction and their mode of operation completely.

Our economy is in reality a false economy. Arrangements can be terminated or drastically reduced at any time by any government. We must therefore consider several options. To begin with, Aboriginal people should be aware of the false economy which now forms the basis of Aboriginal affairs in this country. The economic lifeline is maintained only at the discretion of politicians and a fickle public. We must therefore develop and consolidate a viable economy for our various communities and organisations that will sustain us into the future.

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