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DEVELOPMENT IN THE 'FIRST WORLD': Alleviating Indigenous Disadvantage in Australia - the Dilemma of Difference

  • Year: 2009
  • Author: Mazel, Odette
  • Journal Name: Griffith Law Review
  • Journal Number: Vol.18, No.2
  • Country: Australia

The levels of Indigenous disadvantage in Australia are startling compared with those of the rest of the nation. Despite various government initiatives and legal reforms, systemic poverty remains prevalent in Aboriginal communities. In the Northern Territory, this has culminated in the Emergency Intervention initiated by the Howard government in 2007. In this paper, I explore the way in which the dynamic of difference, or the understanding of difference as 'otherness' which lies at the heart of colonialism, continues to prevail in Indigenous affairs and underlies the latest efforts of the Australian government in the Northern Territory. I apply this notion of difference as a platform for understanding the arguments for and against the Intervention. I suggest that this emergency has opened a new chapter in the dilemma of how we account for this special case of difference in Australian society.

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