Lost opportunities

Prospects for a treaty

Featured in

  • Published
  • ISBN: 9781925603316
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

GRIFFITH REVIEW IS not, according to its ‘Writers’ Guidelines’, an ‘academic journal’. This leads me to pause and consider how I can establish what I want to be the starting point for this essay, which is that Australia cannot ‘make peace and firmer ground for laws, policies and outcomes that improve Indigenous and non-Indigenous life’ unless it accepts the need for Indigenous peoples to exercise a high degree of autonomy and govern their own affairs.

As an academic, my normal approach would be to provide numerous citations to the growing body of long-term economic research from the United States, Canada and Australia that provides definitive evidence for the link between political autonomy and Indigenous economic development. I would cite an equally impressive body of evidence from these countries and from New Zealand which demonstrates that health, education, housing and other public services are much more effective in ‘improving Indigenous life’ when they are designed and delivered by Indigenous people themselves. Finally, to complete the trifecta, I would refer to the large body of evidence which shows that unilateral policy interventions by non-Indigenous governments rarely improve Indigenous lives, and that where they do, the impact is short-term, and is followed by debilitating effects on Indigenous capacity and confidence.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

About the author

Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh

Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh is professor of politics and public policy in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University. His recent publications include...

More from this edition

My grandfather’s equality

EssayWHAT WOULD MY grandfather make of our world today? I have wondered about that lately. What would he make of this age of hyper-identity?...

Changing the channel

EssayLAST NIGHT, FOLLOWING the tenth anniversary of the national Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, a former host of online rotational curation account IndigenousX made...

For her, we must

EssayI LISTENED TO the radio broadcast of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Closing the Gap address in parliament on 12 February 2018 and, gritting my...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.