Listening but not hearing

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  • Published 20160202
  • ISBN: 978-1-925240-80-1
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS – ONCE the subject of Australian innovation in policy and law reform attended to by the routine scrutiny of an informed and inquisitive Fourth Estate – are no more. Gone is the sophisticated knowledge of the William Stanner, Barrie Dexter and HC ‘Nugget’ Coombs academic-technician-bureaucrat and, dare one say it, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), replete with high-level career public servants of the calibre of trailblazer Pat Turner, who understood the complexity of the community they served, because it was them.

Contemporary policies, erroneously characterised as ‘Nudge’ politics, are by and large brutally and unapologetically straitjackets: choking communities to death, removing autonomy and choice from the individual and collective lives of a profoundly unhappy polity.

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