Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

1575 Words7 Pages
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have faced disadvantages in various areas, particularly housing. The disadvantages these people face now are the result of policies introduced by the European settlers, then the government. The policies introduced were protection, assimilation, integration and self-determination. It is hard to understand the housing disadvantages faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people if their history is not known. In 1788 when the European settlers “colonised” Australia, the Australian land was known as “terra nullius” which means “land belonging to no-one”. This decision set the stage for the problems and disadvantages faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for 216 years. The protection policy was meant to disperse tribes and force Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people off their traditional land so the “white Australian’s” could have more control. The protection policy enforced by the British colonies drove the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander onto reserves. These reserves were run by religious missionaries and supervised by the Aboriginal Protection Board from 1883. The protection policy was reinforced by the Aborigines Protection Act (NSW) 1909. This Act was in force until 1969. The Act allowed police to withhold rations to pressure the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to move and expelled whole clans from specific districts. Conditions were extremely poor on the reserves. There was little to no hygiene facilities. Often the “houses” were actually tin shacks with dirt floors. The police issued ... ... middle of paper ... ... housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under the “Housing for Aborigines Program”. The actions of the State and Federal Government(s) have being questionable over the centuries since the ‘colonization’ of Australia, but as Australia becomes more of a multicultural and multi-racial society Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people acceptance is rising. The disadvantages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face is decreasing slowly by the government as introduce legislation and form commissions. There will always be problems for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to housing, but the Australia is heading in the right direction to correct this problem and provide a much better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the whole of Australia.
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