Policy approaches to addressing Aboriginal social inclusion in South Australia

Elizabeth Robbins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The concept of social inclusion has been influential in shaping many aspects of social policy in Australia over the past decade. In SA the Rann Labor government established a Social Inclusion Board in 2002, which made an important contribution to development of the SA Strategic Plan that framed SA policy directions under that government. This article considers the relevance of the concept of social inclusion for addressing the disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal South Australians. It examines the SA Social Inclusion initiative and some national measures such as the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage and Closing the Gap initiatives and discusses the appropriateness of the methodology adopted. A number of issues are addressed: the extent of Indigenous involvement in setting targets and devising programs to achieve improved social outcomes, the relevance of the targets identified, and the problem of overlapping policy initiatives at state and national level obscuring the measurement of change against specific indicators. A particular concern is that the social inclusion approach embedded in these policies pays too little attention to the priorities and preferences of Aboriginal people and interprets 'inclusion' in ways that assert the cultural paradigm of non-Indigenous Australians.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-189
    Number of pages19
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


    • Aboriginal people
    • closing the gap
    • overcoming Indigenous disadvantage
    • social inclusion


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