Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Essay

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Essay

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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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