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Title: Routes and Branches: Residential mobility among Aboriginal people in Western New South Wales
Contributor(s): Burns, Judith (author); Rugendyke, Barbara (supervisor); Walmsley, Dennis (supervisor); Rolley, Frances (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This study of residential mobility among Aboriginal people was undertaken in ten communities in far-western and north-western NSW. Over the last century, the implementation of Aboriginal affairs policy in this area has resulted in the wholesale disruption of ties with traditional country, and episodes of forced mobility. More recently, rural restructuring has radically diminished the economic base which formerly sustained Aboriginal people through the availability of pastoral employment. The research was prompted by casual observation of mobility in the study area, and its service-related consequences, over a period of several years. The study sought: 1. To examine, describe and explore reasons for the spatial and temporal patterns of contemporary mobility among Aboriginal people in the study area 2. To explore the historical and contemporary influences, including availability of services, resources and facilities, on these mobility patterns; 3. To assess the cultural and practical importance to Aboriginal people 1n the study area of the ability to move. The results of the study indicate that Aboriginal people in the study area are more mobile than non-Indigenous study area residents, but less so than Aboriginal people in less remote parts of NSW. Mobility is increasing over time. Levels of mobility vary with age, family structure and with socio-economic variables, including labour force status and housing tenure. Lack of permanent employment, and less secure forms of housing tenure are associated with high levels of mobility. The leading reasons for movement are family and housing related. Mobility patterns conform to a number of types: movement for opportunity, to larger centres such as Broken Hill, Dubbo or Orange; movement from larger centres or within the study area to be with family; return to country; and long-standing movement patterns within the study area associated with familiarity. Movement is affected by provision of services, facilities and resources and vice versa. Provision of employment opportunities and Aboriginal-identified social housing are particularly influential in this regard. Development of economic and human services policy in the absence of an understanding of these influences is likely to have adverse outcomes in terms of place attachment and mobility for Aboriginal people.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2006 - Judith Burns
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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