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Indigenous Communities



Although a wealthy, highly developed country, Australia’s indigenous communities continue to suffer from deeply entrenched and persistent disadvantage. In particular, deep social problems – substance dependency, violence, and abuse – threaten the very fabric of many indigenous communities. These problems have been documented endlessly, and yet despite the stated intentions of governments around Australia to ‘close the gap’ and hundreds of millions of dollars spent in welfare programs and other interventions, they remain stubbornly persistent.

Perhaps one reason for this is that we have not fully faced up to the cataclysm that the original act of dispossession was for Aboriginal society. Not only were indigenous peoples denied basic rights for almost two hundred years, they were also stripped of an economic way of life – an economy that provided meaningful labour, the dignity of economic self-reliance, the capacity to provide and care for families, and opportunities for gift, exchange and commerce. If the Australian vision of reconciliation is to involve healing for indigenous communities, then it must also include the restoration of a meaningful economy to indigenous peoples.

The Economics of Remote Aboriginal Communities:

  1. History
  2. Today’s economy
  3. Moving beyond dependency
  4. Building indigenous communities
  5. The need for flexibility


Future Dreaming Conference Audio

Purpose, Passion & Power in Remote Indigenous Communities

A conference led by the AHED Project in collaboration with Manna Gum, TEAR Australia, Surrender, Essendon Baptist Church and Tabor College (24 May 2014).

Session 1: The history of economic activity of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land – then and now.   Joanne Garnggulkpuy (Managing Director, Yalu Marnggithinyaraw) and Gwenda Baker (Monash University)

Session 2: How did we get here? The social, political and economic story of Arnhem Land and hopeful ways forward.   Tim Trudgen (AHED Project team leader and Director of Why Warriors)

Session 3: The Road to Healing & Restoration - A Biblical perspective.   Jonathan Cornford (Manna Gum)

External links:


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