Indigenous Population In Australia Essay

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Medieval alchemists would have been astounded that ‘flora and fauna’ could be turned into a human being with the simple tick or stroke of a writing instrument. Yet Australia’s indigenous population were considered as ‘flora and fauna’ up until 1967, when a referendum was held as to whether they should be afforded the same basic human right to be officially recognised and counted as Australian citizens. An overwhelming 90.77% (www.aph.gov.au), of Australia’s other eligible and recognised citizens thought that Australia’s indigenous population should be afforded the right.
While this referendum had corrected a long standing wrong, Australia’s indigenous population with their varied tribes, languages and customs still bear the brunt of marginalisation in all aspects of modern life. Poor healthcare, poor education, lack of opportunity for progress, lack of funding for continuity of culture and language, higher rates of imprisonment, systematic paternalistic interference and a general apathy for indigenous causes can be attributed to a system of racist beliefs and practices that continue to permeate Australian mainstream society and that this inherent racism
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Education determines the probability of what type of career and employment an individual will seek. (Van Krieken, Smith et al 2000). Income and wealth from employment or inheritance determine where an individual will live, what economic benefits they will receive, what healthcare they will receive and what lifestyle they will live. Politically, this group of upper class people will have a higher input towards policy and decision-making. As only a small percentage of indigenous Australians have access or accessed higher education (ABS 2003) it stands to reason that political opportunity through education, whilst in theory is achievable for indigenous Australians is in practice very difficult to achieve. (Aspin L.J

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