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Ideas@TheCentre

Ideas@TheCentre brings you ammunition for conversations around the table.  3 short articles from CIS researchers emailed every Friday on the issues of the week.

  • Hard conversation about Aboriginal culture and child protection

    19 Sep 2014

    Conservative social commentators have indulged in 'divisive grandstanding' by linking Aboriginal culture to the abuse and neglect of Aboriginal children, according to Ngiare Brown, the deputy chairman... Read More

  • A tale of two houses

    24 May 2013

    For years, excuses have been used to hide the discriminatory state and federal policies that deny individual property rights on Indigenous land. Read More

  • Education is key for Aboriginal Australia

    24 May 2013

    This budget is further evidence that governments remain addicted to spending, and that is why it is time for TARGET30. Read More

  • Funding students based on Indigeneity demeaning and wasteful

    03 May 2013

    The Labor government continues to ignore the overwhelming evidence that funding is not a principal constraint on Indigenous educational outcomes in Australia. Read More

  • The phantom coup and poll-driven politics

    28 Mar 2013

    Pointing the finger at the apparent shortcomings of Australia’s political culture is a convenient explanation for the recent bout of infighting among key ALP figures. Read More

  • Don’t blame corporate sector for low Indigenous employment

    22 Mar 2013

    Look to education rather than blaming the corporate sector for low Indigenous employment. Read More

  • Time for some commonsense in Indigenous affairs

    01 Mar 2013

    Marcia Langton this week called for more partnerships between Indigenous communities and high-performing schools. Read More

  • Justice Reinvestment no ‘panacea’ to prison

    01 Feb 2013

    To address the underlying causes of Indigenous offending, we need to focus on education and employment. Read More

  • Australia Day, Invasion Day or Survival Day?

    25 Jan 2013

    Many Aboriginal people view Australia Day as a day of mourning and refer to it as Invasion Day or Survival Day. Read More

  • Crying foul over alcohol laws

    14 Dec 2012

    The Aboriginal Industry focuses on racism rather than supporting practical measures to address Indigenous disadvantage. Read More

  • Right idea, wrong approach

    30 Nov 2012

    Aboriginal people living on Indigenous land should have the same opportunities for private homeownership as all other Australians. Read More

  • Making the moral case for capitalism

    23 Nov 2012

    Popular conceptions of capitalism are tinged with images of indecency, rapaciousness and greed. Read More

  • The emperor’s new clothes

    16 Nov 2012

    We need to start treating Indigenous disadvantage as a problem that can be solved. Read More

  • The right to drink

    12 Oct 2012

    Not everyone behaves responsibly when consuming alcohol, and some restrictions on alcohol are arguably necessary for a civil society to exist. Read More

  • Protectionism is socialism

    28 Sep 2012

    Australia has had a long history of protectionism but the onus to support Australian production should lie with the consumers of those goods. Read More

  • First things first ... Priorities in Indigenous education

    21 Sep 2012

    Doubling the proportion of Indigenous students at universities would add to the plethora of pointless programs aimed at closing the ‘gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Read More

  • Productivity Commission misleads on Indigenous expenditure

    07 Sep 2012

    The Productivity Commission’s second Indigenous Expenditure Report, released earlier this week, shows that Commonwealth, state and territory taxpayer spending on Indigenous Australians has risen by 16%... Read More

  • Government responsible for poor Indigenous outcomes, not culture

    31 Aug 2012

    Aboriginal people, like all other Australians, should have the opportunity to become private home and business owners on their own land if they choose. Read More

  • No need for universal dole increase

    16 Aug 2012

    A targeted financial supplement for Newstart aimed at the long-term unemployed who are looking for work would be cheaper and more appropriate than a broad increase in the base rate of Newstart for everyone. Read More

  • Indigenous benefits need disadvantage test

    09 Aug 2012

    Identity alone can no longer be the basis for awarding Indigenous benefits. Read More

  • Putting children’s needs before issues of racism

    09 Aug 2012

    The voices of women and children suffering in remote Indigenous communities are often silenced by the more powerful men in their communities – and human rights groups. Read More

  • The nanny state is responsible for all business success

    27 Jul 2012

    Success in business is primarily about ideas and risks. Read More

  • When to move town

    20 Jul 2012

    Should small remote Indigenous towns be allowed to naturally decline or do we do something about it? Read More

  • Home, sweet home

    13 Jul 2012

    After generations of decrepit public housing, Baniyala families will finally have the option of building and living in new houses built to capital city standards. Read More

  • Is preventing ‘another stolen generation’ racist?

    06 Jul 2012

    Aboriginal children are placed in inappropriate and dangerous situations because the suitability of kinship carers is overlooked in the rush not to repeat past racist errors. Read More

  • Indigenous education – a poor performer

    29 Jun 2012

    Government needs to respond to poor NAPLAN results for Indigenous students by bringing non-performing and under-performing schools up to speed within the decade. Read More

  • Mabo and the concept of ownership

    08 Jun 2012

    The 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision is a timely opportunity to review the perception that the only way Aboriginal people can own land is communally. Read More

  • Address the demand for alcohol, not the supply

    25 May 2012

    For long-term changes, governments should be tackling the reasons why people are drinking rather than simply controlling the consumption of alcohol. Read More

  • Government furphy on Indigenous homeownership

    11 May 2012

    It is disingenuous to ask Aboriginal people to build houses on Indigenous land without letting them access money from the new Indigenous homeownership program or giving them security of tenure. Read More

  • No more dreaming of CDEP

    04 May 2012

    Despite its good intentions, CDEP ended up hindering rather than helping Indigenous people. Read More

  • I never said Aboriginal health workers are charlatans

    13 Apr 2012

    Criticism of the Aboriginal health industry and RTOs is not the same as attacking AHWs personally. Read More

  • Separate training system fails Aboriginal people

    23 Mar 2012

    Aboriginal Health Workers are being short changed when it comes to training and position description. Read More

  • Separate schools not the answer

    09 Mar 2012

    Separate doesn’t mean better and throwing money at a problem isn’t an effective way to solve the education gap between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal students. Read More

  • Amnesty on truth

    10 Feb 2012

    Amnesty International complains a lot without offering any real solutions. Read More

  • Individualism does not mean being self-centred

    04 Nov 2011

    Individualism is not about being self-centred but about recognising that you are responsible for your own actions and how your life turns out. Read More

  • Sigh, another review

    07 Oct 2011

    Another government review into Aboriginal welfare but will it result in any policy changes? Read More

  • Bolt tongue tied

    30 Sep 2011

    The Federal Court’s verdict in the Andrew Bolt case for racial discriminatory comments regarding Aboriginal people is an attack on freedom of speech. Read More

  • Dying before their time

    23 Sep 2011

    Sara Hudson writes about the deplorable condition and despair in Aboriginal communities she saw on her recent trip to Central Australia. Read More

  • Missing the point with silly questions

    26 Aug 2011

    To properly evaluate income management we need to look beyond people’s perspectives of it and explore whether or not it is meeting its objectives. Read More

  • Census Apartheid

    05 Aug 2011

    Tuesday, 9th August, is Census night. Across the country Australians will be filling in the official Census Household Form. The Census is an important source of statistics for government and is used to... Read More

  • A day of transformation

    08 Jul 2011

    NAIDOC week is good time for all Australians to celebrate Indigenous culture. Read More

  • Dump deal showcases Aboriginal property issues

    17 Jun 2011

    Controversial nuclear facility on Aboriginal land highlights the inadequacy of Indigenous land rights. Read More

  • Indigenous private property rights ignored again

    27 May 2011

    Government ignores Indigenous private property rights and creates more bureaucracy. Read More

  • Polarisation in Indigenous Affairs

    06 May 2011

    Increasing polarization emerges in the aftermath of Larissa Behrendt’s tweet on Bess Price’s support of the NTI. Read More

  • Census apartheid

    15 Apr 2011

    With preparations well in hand for the 2011 Census in August, we are assuming that the separate Census Interviewer Household Form, which has been administered to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders... Read More

  • Double standards to blame for alcohol problem

    08 Apr 2011

    Many of the alcohol restrictions now in places across the Far North may not have been necessary if existing liquor legislation had been enforced properly. Read More

  • Straddling black fella and white fella laws

    25 Mar 2011

    Bess Nungarrayi Price, an activist against violence and chairwoman of the Northern Territory’s Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council, gave a moving talk at CIS this week about the problems faced by Central... Read More

  • Money well spent?

    11 Mar 2011

    A new report confirms that Indigenous disadvantage is not the result of insufficient government expenditure. Read More

  • Absence of controls on alcohol and too much welfare a deadly combination

    04 Mar 2011

    The difference between Sydney and Alice Springs are the different standards applied to alcohol consumption. Read More

  • Banging on about homeownership is starting to have an effect but will bureaucrats bungle it?

    Sara Hudson | 10 Dec 2010

    Thankfully governments are slowly waking up to the importance of private homeownership on Indigenous lands. Read More

  • Rebuilding social norms

    Sara Hudson | 03 Dec 2010

    The building of social norms is the impetus behind the Cape York Welfare Reform project being trialed in four Cape York communities. Read More

  • Private property will save a culture, not destroy it

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 19 Nov 2010

    One of the main causes of Indigenous dysfunction in remote communities is the denial of private property rights. Read More

  • Separate is never equal

    Sara Hudson | 05 Nov 2010

    There is not a black way of educating a child or a white way of educating a child but the right way. Read More

  • A dangerous coupling

    Sara Hudson | 22 Oct 2010

    Although the NT government's report 'Growing them Strong, Together' notes the impact of alcohol on Indigenous children and families, it makes no recommendations concerning the supply of alcohol. Read More

  • Overcoming a culture of low expectations

    Sara Hudson | 08 Oct 2010

    The different standards between remote Indigenous schools and mainstream schools, and the culture of low expectations, are a travesty of justice. Read More

  • Community initiatives more effective

    Sara Hudson | 17 Sep 2010

    A while ago, in an attempt to install some order into my chaotic household, I followed some advice I had read in a parenting book. I asked my children what they thought would be suitable punishments for... Read More

  • Education key to living in two worlds

    Sara Hudson | 30 Jul 2010

    In his speech at the opening dinner of the Centre’s annual Consilium conference last week, Noel Pearson raised the point that Jews and the Roman Catholics have found ways to reconcile communalist loyalties... Read More

  • A world away - Halls Creek, a remote town in WA

    Sara Hudson | 16 Jul 2010

    Inspired by the alcohol restrictions in the nearby town of Fitzroy Crossing, two local women lobbied to have the same rules introduced in Halls Creek. Read More

  • Income Management for all a courageous step forwards

    Sara Hudson | 25 Jun 2010

    Federal parliament this week passed laws that will subject non-Indigenous welfare recipients in the Northern Territory to income management for the first time. Read More

  • The forgotten Indigenous Australians

    Sara Hudson | 23 Apr 2010

    This week Channel Ten’s 7pm Project did a report on whether Australia is racist. It raised a few questions – specifically can you define a whole country as racist just because a proportion of Australians... Read More

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees

    Sara Hudson | 19 Mar 2010

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s decision to support Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin’s income management bill signals a much-needed change in attitudes to welfare in Australia. Read More

  • Indigenous Australians denied employment by inept policies

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 05 Mar 2010

    Indigenous unemployment is three times non-Indigenous unemployment, and Indigenous non-participation in the labour force is even higher. Read More

  • Groundhog Day for new housing

    Sara Hudson | 26 Feb 2010

    Despite extensive consultation with communities in the Northern Territory about what type of new houses they would like as part of the government’s Indigenous housing program, government is still following... Read More

  • Indigenous people need less not more discrimination

    Jeremy Sammut | 12 Feb 2010

    The shocking state of child protection services in the Northern Territory has been revealed by a leaked 2007 report by Dr Howard Bath which details numerous cases of Indigenous children failed by the system. ... Read More

  • Report card on Indigenous disadvantage

    Sara Hudson | 29 Jan 2010

    Last year, the Prime Minister failed to keep his election promise to deliver a report card on the government’s progress on Indigenous affairs on the first sitting day of Parliament. In case this happens... Read More

  • End exploitative practices in the outback

    Sara Hudson | 22 Jan 2010

    The Australian recently reported Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin’s scathing response to the loan shark who plagues outback communities by charging up to 50% interest on loans and taking bank... Read More

  • Latest Indigenous health scheme shows policymakers are still in ‘la la land’

    Sara Hudson | 18 Dec 2009

    Chronic diseases, in particular cardiovascular disease, are the biggest single killers of Indigenous people. But the government’s plan to tackle chronic diseases amongst the Aboriginal population owes... Read More

  • Latest Indigenous health scheme shows policymakers are still in ‘la la land’

    Sara Hudson | 18 Dec 2009

    Chronic diseases, in particular cardiovascular disease, are the biggest single killers of Indigenous people. But the government’s plan to tackle chronic diseases amongst the Aboriginal population owes... Read More

  • Indigenous health suffers from lack of accountability

    Sara Hudson | 04 Dec 2009

    Given the abysmal health of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders living in Indigenous communities, no one disputes the need for improving health services. Read More

  • Aboriginal men need jobs, not more programs

    Sara Hudson | 13 Nov 2009

    A new Australian Medical Association (AMA) report says a lack of purpose in Aboriginal men’s lives has had a profound impact on their health and well-being—not to mention the lives of their women and... Read More

  • Blinding trachoma still plagues Australian outback

    Sara Hudson | 09 Oct 2009

    Australia has the unenviable distinction of being the only developed country in the world to still have trachoma. Read More

  • Child Care Reforms Fail Flexibility Test

    Jessica Brown | 04 Sep 2009

    By boosting child-to-staff ratios and lifting the qualifications of staff, a federal government proposal to change child care regulations aims to provide a higher level of care and an educationally-focused... Read More

  • A tale of two houses

    Sara Hudson | 04 Sep 2009

    Once upon a time in a community called Baniyala, the houses were old, there weren’t enough houses, and there was no house for the school teacher. However, the community didn’t have very much money... Read More

  • Picking on soft targets

    Sara Hudson | 12 Jun 2009

    The case of the Northern Territory teenager known as Kunmanara is yet another example of the failure of government to protect children from abuse Read More

  • Reducing the longevity gap for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 05 Jun 2009

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced that it has reduced the longevity ‘gap’ for Indigenous Australians from 17 years to 11.5 years for men and 9.7 for women Read More

  • Indigenous university students are quietly making the grade

    | 22 May 2009

    Contrary to popular myths, Indigenous students in mainstream society, representing the majority of Indigenous children and youngsters, are doing well at school, staying to Year 12, and doing professional... Read More

  • Reducing the longevity gap for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 22 May 2009

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics announced this week that it has reduced the longevity ‘gap’ for Indigenous Australians from 17 years to 11.5 years for men and 9.7 for women. Read More

  • What this week’s NAPLAN tests mean for Indigenous Education

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 08 May 2009

    This week all Australian children in school years 3, 5, 7 and  9 sat numeracy and literacy tests for the second time. Read More

  • Indigenous education ‘gap’ a cover up for policy failure

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 17 Apr 2009

    Governments have been setting targets to ‘close the gap’ in Indigenous education for the past 20 years, and yet literacy and numeracy have not improved Read More

  • Homeownership for remote Indigenous communities

    Sara Hudson | 06 Mar 2009

    As part of the ‘Apology to the Stolen Generation,’ the Rudd government promised to spend $1.6 billion on a five-year housing strategy for remote Indigenous communities. Read More

  • Publications

    1. Helen Hughes: A Tribute

      Glenys Byrne, Greg Lindsay, Noel Pearson, Ron Duncan, Tony Abbott | 27 Aug 2014 | Policy Forum

      CIS Senior Fellow Professor Helen Hughes AO passed away on 15 June 2013 after a lifetime dedicated to working passionately... Read More...

    2. The Right to the Good Life: Improving Educational Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children

      Marcia Langton | 01 Oct 2013 | Occasional Papers

      Indigenous students should be treated not as incommensurately different but like all other students who are required to become... Read More...

    3. FEATURE: Reconciling Culture and Advancement

      Alison Anderson | 25 Feb 2013 | POLICY Magazine

      This is the address and reply by Alison Anderson, NT Minister for Indigenous Advancement, to the NT Legislative Assembly... Read More...

    4. FEATURE: Enabling Indigenous Prosperity

      Sara Hudson | 25 Feb 2013 | POLICY Magazine

      Indigenous prosperity on Indigenous lands is possible only when we stop treating Aboriginal people as inherently different.

    5. Panacea to Prison? Justice Reinvestment in Indigenous Communities

      Sara Hudson | 31 Jan 2013 | Policy Monographs

      High Indigenous incarceration has elicited a long list of so-called solutions over the years. Yet the percentage of Aboriginal... Read More...

    View All

    Opinion & Commentary

    1. Let’s get serious about tackling indigenous violence

      Sara Hudson | 05 Mar 2013 | The Punch

      For many remote Indigenous people, life is so bad that jail is often a better option.... Read More

    2. To get Aborigines out of jail give them education and jobs

      Sara Hudson | 07 Feb 2013 | The Australian

      Rather than continuing to focus on applying 'culturally appropriate' responses to indigenous disadvantage, we should focus ... Read More

    3. Progress is possible in remote Aboriginal lands

      Sara Hudson | 02 Jan 2013 | The Australian

      It is possible to make a real difference in remote Aboriginal communities, provided there is genuine commitment and engagement.... Read More

    4. Better schooling, not uni quotas

      Sara Hudson | 02 Oct 2012 | The Australian

      LARISSA Behrendt's recent report recommends doubling the proportion of indigenous students at universities. Only 1.09 per ... Read More

    5. What Price friends?

      Sara Hudson | 23 May 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

      Price has been called a puppet because of her support of the intervention, but it is hard to argue with what she wants for ... Read More

    View All

    Ideas@TheCentre

    1. Hard conversation about Aboriginal culture and child protection

      Jeremy Sammut | 19 Sep 2014

      Conservative social commentators have indulged in 'divisive grandstanding' by linking Aboriginal culture to the abuse and ...

    2. A tale of two houses

      Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013, Mark Hughes | 24 May 2013

      For years, excuses have been used to hide the discriminatory state and federal policies that deny individual property rights ...

    3. Education is key for Aboriginal Australia

      Nigel Parbury | 24 May 2013

      This budget is further evidence that governments remain addicted to spending, and that is why it is time for TARGET30....

    4. Funding students based on Indigeneity demeaning and wasteful

      Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013, Mark Hughes | 03 May 2013

      The Labor government continues to ignore the overwhelming evidence that funding is not a principal constraint on Indigenous ...

    5. The phantom coup and poll-driven politics

      Benjamin Herscovitch | 28 Mar 2013

      Pointing the finger at the apparent shortcomings of Australia’s political culture is a convenient explanation for the recent ...

    View All