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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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Options for developing a natural resource-based economy in Arnhem Land: Payments for environmental services

Nanni Concu, Australian National University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are used to simultaneously tackle poverty and environmental degradation. Using data from two field sites, Nanni Concu talks about the potential of PES to promote a natural-resource-based economy in Arnhem Land.

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economy, environment, indigenous

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The 1968–69 introduction of equal wages for Aboriginal pastoral workers in the Kimberley

Fiona Skyring, consultant historian

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Challenging the idea that equal wages caused mass eviction and unemployment for Aboriginal people, Fiona Skyring looks at other factors such as how government investigations in 1965 and 1966 discouraged station owners from appropriating pension payments.

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economy, indigenous, industry, work

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Workfare, welfare and the hybrid economy: The Western Arrernte in Central Australia

Diane Austin-Broos, University of Sydney

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

A self-proclaimed ‘hybrid economy skeptic’, Diane Austin-Broos offers some reasons why the Western Arrernte’s Community Development Employment Project became ‘welfare’ rather than ‘workfare.’

economy, indigenous, work

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Between locals: Interpersonal histories and the Papunya art movement

Peter Thorley and Andy Greenslade, National Museum of Australia

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 9 November 2009

Thorley and Greenslade consider Papunya Tula during the 1970s, as Indigenous art became recognised as fine art, and remote markets developed, shaping the art movement. But local markets persisted, and their effect on the movement warrants further study.

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art, economy, indigenous, industry

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‘Afghans’ and Aborigines in Central Australia

Philip Jones, South Australian Museum

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 9 November 2009

Philip Jones explores the relations between Aboriginal people and ‘Afghans’, whose camel trains linked Central Australian outposts with supply centres and markets in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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colonial, economy, indigenous, industry

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Indigenous modes of exchange and participation in the Indonesian trepang industry

Daryl Guse, Australian National University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 9 November 2009

Daryl Guse discusses archaeological research in north-western Arnhem Land that indicates early Indigenous participation in and trade with the Indonesian trepang maritime industry, and the adaptability of Indigenous coastal communities.

economy, food, indigenous

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Evidently not!

Mike Pickering, National Museum of Australia

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 9 November 2009

Museum collections exaggerate the traditional lives of Indigenous Australians. Here, Mike Pickering seeks to expand Indigenous history to include items that, though the product of western industry, were mostly used by Indigenous workers.

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economy, indigenous, ways of knowing

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The art of cutting stone: Aboriginal convict labour in 19th-century New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land

Kristyn Harman, University of Tasmania

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 9 November 2009

In the first half of the 19th century, at least sixty Aboriginal men from New South Wales were transported as convicts. Kristyn Harman discusses their labours within the convict system, the rationale for putting them to work, and the outcomes.

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colonial, economy, indigenous, work

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The hybrid economy as political project

Professor Jon Altman, Australian National University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 9 November 2009

Altman introduces his conceptual framework ‘the hybrid economy’, devised as a means to overcome the binary between market/non-market and to explore alternative ways of understanding and practising ‘development’.

economy, indigenous, politics

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