Indigenous health and community services employment in remote Northern Territory: a baseline examination of 2006 and 2001 Census data

Dean Carson, Fred McConnel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    To establish a baseline of levels of Indigenous professional engagement in the health and community services sector in remote Northern Territory. Design: Analysis of data from 2001 and 2006 Census. Setting: Northern Territory - Balance Statistical Division. Participants: Persons employed in health and community services sector in 2006. Main outcome measures: Indigenous status, level of education, current education status, occupation type and residential mobility. Results: Indigenous employment grew by 137% between 2001 and 2006. In 2006, 42% of Indigenous employees were labourers and 9% professionals, in contrast to non-Indigenous workers of whom 41% were professionals and 5% labourers. Over 50% of workers who moved into the region between 2001 and 2006 were professionals, compared with 20% of those who had remained in the region. Indigenous in-migrants were twice as likely as Indigenous people who had stayed in the region to be professionals. Indigenous workers were much less likely to have post-school educational qualifications than non-Indigenous workers. Indigenous workers were also less likely to be studying for a post-school qualification. Indigenous in-migrants were three times as likely to have post-school qualifications than Indigenous people who had remained in the region and were also more likely to be enrolled in post-school education. Conclusions: The baseline is low Indigenous engagement as professional labour, and low Indigenous engagement in formal education. Mobile Indigenous people have higher levels of engagement. The situation might be addressed by increased formal education in remote areas and increased mobility of Indigenous health labour.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-258
    Number of pages4
    JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


    • Indigenous health
    • Professional mobility
    • Professional pathway
    • Remote health education


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