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From barter to award wages: Aboriginal labour and Methodist missions in Arnhem Land

Gwenda Baker, Monash University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Gwenda Baker traces the history of Aboriginal labour on Methodist missions in Arnhem Land, where award wages led to fewer jobs. While resenting the low wages, some Aborigines see their work on the missions as a highlight of enterprise and achievement.

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economy, indigenous, work

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Demand responsive services and culturally sustainable enterprise in remote Aboriginal settings

Paul Memmott, University of Queensland

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

In a good-practice study of where the Dreamtime meets the market, Paul Memmott discusses the Myuma Group (of three Aboriginal corporations) in far west Queensland, which successfully manages the interplay between demand for and supply of service.

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economy, indigenous, industry

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Necessity entrepreneurship within a dominant society

Dennis Foley, University of Newcastle

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Dennis Foley describes two kinds of Indigenous entrepreneur: ‘opportunists’ who seize a concept and use their networks to embark on a business venture, and those who lack capital, so out of ‘necessity’ must adapt to dominant culture to provide the basics.

economy, indigenous, politics

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Policy mismatch and Aboriginal art centres: The tension between economic independence and community development

Gretchen Stolte, Australian National University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Gretchen Stolte talks about Aboriginal art centres, arguing that a centre should be funded in accordance with its engagement with the community, because the more community-building it does, the less money it can make.

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economy, indigenous

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Before the mission station: The incorporation of settlers into a seasonal economy

John White, Australian National University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Exploring intercultural relations in the period of pastoral expansion, John White says that working relationships based on reciprocity enabled Aboriginal people to factor settlers into their seasonal movements and carve out a niche in the settler economy.

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colonial, economy, indigenous

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Wrap-up and discussion

Ian Keen, anthropologist

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Ian Keen provides a brief, broad view of the discussions over the two-day conference, its themes and its significance, covering hybrid models, empirical studies and the links between research and practice.

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economy, indigenous

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Understanding Indigenous enterprise on Palm Island: Is resilience more than a metaphor?

Erin Bohensky (paper co-authored by Yiheyis Maru, James Butler, Thomas Stevens, and Kostas Alexandridis)

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Erin Bohensky applies resilience theory to a proposal for an aquaculture farm as a sustainable enterprise on Palm Island, North Queensland, and adds historical analysis and empirical insights from interviews and photographic surveys.

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economy, indigenous

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Animal spirits in the Dreaming and the market: The economic development of caring for country

Geoff Buchanan, Australian National University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Are the Dreaming and the Market mutually exclusive? In economics as in anthropology, ‘animal spirits’ are understood to influence outcomes. Geoff Buchanan explores the hybrid economy (customary, market and state) in the context of caring for country.

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economy, indigenous, spirituality

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A financial scandal

Ros Kidd, historian and consultant

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

For seven decades the Queensland government intercepted Aboriginal people’s wages, child endowment, pensions, inheritances. It controlled their bank accounts, deducted fees, restricted withdrawals. This was wrong. What are the avenues for redress?

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crime, economy, indigenous

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Unfair pay: Tracing tracker wages in New South Wales, 1862–1950

Michael Bennett, historian, Native Title Service Corp

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Hundreds of Aboriginal men were employed as police trackers from 1862. They enjoyed a regular income, but the work was risky and the pay and conditions terrible. Michael Bennett describes the system and makes the case for a compensatory scheme.

economy, indigenous, work

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