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A statistical overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia: Social Justice Report 2008

A statistical overview of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia

2008

see also - 2006 Statistics


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1.
Introduction

This collection of statistics has been chosen to highlight the current
situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia (hereon
referred to as Indigenous peoples) across a range of indicators including:
health; education; employment; housing; and contact with criminal justice and
welfare systems. Where possible, data is also provided that identifies:

  • absolute change in the situation of Indigenous peoples over the past five
    and ten years; and
  • relative change in relation to the non-Indigenous population over the past
    five to ten years.

While reducing people and their experiences to
percentages and numbers is problematic, statistics are useful as indicators of
trends over time and disparities, as well of similarities, between Indigenous
peoples and the non-Indigenous population.

I also note that the statistics reproduced here are not exhaustive of data
available on Indigenous peoples in Australia.

The main sources of information used here are the national censuses
undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), particularly the 2001
and 2006 Census; as well as the following ABS Indigenous specific surveys:

  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (2002)
    (NATSISS 2002) sample size 9,400
    persons;[1] and
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (2004-05) (NATSIHS 2004-5), sample size 10,439
    persons.[2]

Data from
these and other sources (including administrative data sets) is drawn together
in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and ABS biennial publication The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples
, the latest being released in May
2008.[3] This comprehensive
publication is acknowledged as the source of much of the information presented
here.

Statistics on Indigenous peoples are subject to a range of data quality
concerns. In addition to cultural considerations in relation to statistical
matters (such as concepts, definitions, collection practices), data quality
issues arise from the relatively small size of the Indigenous population in
comparison with the total population, the dispersion of the Indigenous
population, particularly across remote areas of Australia, and the way in which
Indigenous persons are identified in statistical
collections.[4] When appropriate,
these issues are explained here.[5]

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2. Population figures

Aboriginal people were first counted as citizens in the
1971 Census. Since then, censuses have shown a significant increase in people
identifying as Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander peoples:

  • Between the 1991 and 1996 Census there was a 33% increase recorded in the
    numbers of Indigenous peoples.
  • Between the 1996 and 2001 Census there was a 16% increase.
  • Between the 2001 and 2006 Census there was an 11%
    increase.[6]

The increases
in the Indigenous population cannot be accounted for by the birth rate alone.
The ABS attributes the increase to a growing propensity of people to identify as
Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander, and the greater efforts made to
record Indigenous status in the
censuses.[7]

Because of the recorded increases in the number of Indigenous peoples, the
ABS has warned that comparisons made between two censuses must be made with
caution. They recommend comparing percentages from two censuses, rather than
directly comparing counts or
numbers.[8]

Despite the increases in the numbers of people identifying as Indigenous in
censuses, however, there are still believed to be significant undercounts
occurring. In the 2006 Census, Indigenous status is unknown for 1,133,466
people, comprising 5.7% of the total number of people
surveyed.[9]

Because some of these people will be Indigenous, the ABS calculates what it
calls 'experimental estimates' of the true number of Indigenous
peoples.[10] It is important to
distinguish actual counts from the experimental estimates when considering the
size of the Indigenous population.

2.1 Size and characteristics of the Indigenous
population

In the 2006 Census, 455,028 people identified themselves as being of
Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander origin, comprising 2.3% of the total
population.[11]

There were approximately 409,729 people of Aboriginal origin (90% of the
total) and 29,239 of Torres Strait Islander origin (6%). A further 19,552 people
(4%) identified as of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
origin.[12]

As explained above, due the undercount believed to occur in the Census the
ABS has estimated that the Indigenous population in 2006 numbered 517,174, or
approximately 2.5% of the total Australian
population.[13]

2.2 Growth of the Indigenous population

While an overall decline in the Indigenous fertility rate has been reported
since the 1960s, in 2006 the rate was still higher than for the non-Indigenous
population at 2.1 babies per Indigenous woman compared to 1.8 babies per
non-Indigenous woman.[14]
The ABS
notes that the fertility of Indigenous women may be underestimated because of
the incomplete identification of Indigenous status of the mother in birth
registrations. Further, because Indigenous babies are born to non-Indigenous
women (with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander father), estimates of
population growth based exclusively on the fertility of Indigenous women results
in an underestimate of the actual growth of the Indigenous
population.[15]

Teenage births are more common among Indigenous women than among other women.
In 2006 the teenage birth rate among Indigenous women rose to be more than five
times the overall Australian teenage birth
rate.[16] Teenage pregnancies are
associated with low birth weight
babies.[17]

2.3 Age structure of the Indigenous population and
the cohort of young Indigenous peoples

As illustrated by Graph 1 below, the Indigenous population has a different
age structure to the rest of the Australian population. In common with many
other developed countries, the non-Indigenous population of Australia is ageing,
whereas Indigenous peoples are facing increased growth in younger age groups.

In 2006, the median age was 21 years for Indigenous Australians, and 37 years
for the non-Indigenous population. Thirty eight (38) percent of the Indigenous
population were under 15 years of age compared with 19% of the non-Indigenous
population.[18] Indigenous persons
aged 65 years and over comprised 3% of the total Indigenous population in
2006.[19]

Graph 1: Estimated
resident population, comparing Indigenous and non-Indigenous age structures,
2006:[20]

Graph showing resident population comparing Indigenous and non-Indigenous age structures 2006

2.4 Where Indigenous peoples
live

In 2006, over half of the total Indigenous population lived in New South
Wales and Queensland (29% and 28% of the total Indigenous population
respectively). Despite this, Indigenous peoples make up a small minority of the
total population of these States (2% and 3.5% respectively). In the Northern
Territory by contrast, while total numbers are relatively small, Indigenous
peoples constitute 32% of the total
population.[21]

Table 1 below details the percentage of the total number of Indigenous
peoples that lives in each State and Territory, and the proportion of each State
and Territory's population that is Indigenous.

Table 1: Location of Indigenous peoples - by State and
Territory (2006)
[22]
Percentage of the total Indigenous population living in a
State or Territory
Percentage of the State or Territory's total population
that is Indigenous
NSW
28.7
2.2
Vic
6.0
0.6
Qld
28.3
3.6
SA
5.0
1.7
WA
15.1
3.8
Tas
3.3
3.4
NT
12.9
31.6
ACT
0.8
1.2

The majority of Torres Strait Islanders (86.2%) live on mainland Australia,
with 13.8% living in the Torres Strait region. In 2006, 64% of the Torres Strait
Islander population lived in
Queensland.[23]

(a) Remoteness

With reference to the categories of the Australian Standard Geographical
Classification Remoteness Structure, in the 2006 Census almost one third of the
estimated Indigenous population resided in Major Cities (32%); 21% lived in
Inner Regional areas; 22% in Outer Regional areas; 10% in Remote areas and 16%
in Very Remote areas.

In contrast, with the non-Indigenous population there was a much higher
concentration in Major Cities (69%) with less than 2% living in Remote and Very
Remote areas.[24]

^top

3. Indigenous households and families

An Indigenous household is defined by the ABS as being one
in which an Indigenous person was resident and present on census night. These
are further classified as family, multi-family, group and lone person
households.[25]

In the 2006 Census there were 166,668 Indigenous households recorded. Of
these, 76% were one family households, of the remaining 24%, 5% were
multi-family households, and 5% were group households. Approximately 14% were
lone person households.[26]

Couples with dependent children comprise 40% of Indigenous families, whereas
30% were one parent families (as opposed to 10% of non-Indigenous families) and
33% were couples without children (compared with 53% of non-Indigenous
couples).[27]

Indigenous peoples are more likely to live in one or multi-family households
than non-Indigenous peoples (81% compared with 68%) and less likely to live in
lone person households (14% compared with
23%).[28]

Living arrangements vary according to remoteness. For example, multi-family
households increase with remoteness whereas one parent families tend to live in
major cities.[29]

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4. Language and culture

Indigenous cultures today reflect both traditional
elements and the influence of non-Indigenous cultures. The 2006 Census reported:

  • 86% of Indigenous respondents reported speaking only English at home, which
    is about the same as the non-Indigenous population (83%);
  • 12% of Indigenous respondents reported speaking an Indigenous language at
    home; with three quarters of those recording they were also fluent in
    English;
  • Many Indigenous peoples are bilingual; however, the pattern varies with
    geographical location with 56% of respondents living in remote areas reported
    speaking an Indigenous language, compared with one per cent in urban centres;
  • Older Indigenous peoples (over 45 years) are more likely to speak an
    Indigenous language than younger Indigenous peoples. (Of those Indigenous
    peoples aged 45 years and over, 13% speak an Indigenous language, compared with
    10% of 0-14 year olds);
  • Indigenous languages are more likely to be spoken in the centre and north of
    Australia than in the south.[30]

The Indigenous social surveys indicate Indigenous peoples are
maintaining their links to Indigenous cultures. The 1994 National Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Survey (the predecessor of the NATSISS 2002) reported
approximately 60% of Indigenous respondents identified with a clan, tribal or
language group.[31] The NATSISS 2002
shows a similar proportion (just over half) of Indigenous respondents continued
to identify with a clan, tribal or language group despite there being a decline
in the proportion (29% to 22%) of people who lived in homelands and traditional
country over the period of the social
surveys.[32]

^top

5. Health

5.1 Self reported health status

In the
NATSIHS 2004–05:

  • 43% of Indigenous respondents aged 15 years and over reported their health
    as very good or excellent;
  • 35% reported their health as being good; and
  • 22% reported their health as fair or poor.

After adjusting for differences in the age structures of the
Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, Indigenous Australians were twice as
likely as non-Indigenous Australians to report their health as fair or poor in
2004–05.

Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over in non-remote areas were more
likely than those in remote areas to report fair or poor health (23% compared
with 19%).[33]

5.2 Life expectation and mortality

Under the life expectation estimation formula adopted by the ABS in
2003,[34] Indigenous males' life
expectation was estimated to be 59.4 years over 1996-2001, while female life
expectation was estimated to be 64.8 years: a life expectation inequality gap
when compared to the general Australian population of approximately 17 years for
the same five year period. The ABS has not released a life expectation estimate
for Indigenous peoples for the years 2002
on.[35]

Indigenous peoples’ life expectation appears to be similar to that of
people in developing countries. Although international comparisons should be
made with some caution because of the different formulae with which life
expectation is calculated between jurisdictions, with reference to the 2005
United Nation's Human Development Index Indigenous peoples appear to have a life
expectation approximating that of the people of Turkmenistan (62.4
years).[36]

The gap in life expectation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
exists in part because of the dramatic increase in life expectation enjoyed by
the non-Indigenous population over the past century. Over the period 1890
– 1997, for example, it has been estimated that, for the non-Indigenous
population, women’s life expectancy increased around 26 years; while for
males, 28 years. In contrast, while figures are not available, much smaller
gains appear to have occurred in the Indigenous population contributing to the
development of a 17 year life expectation
gap.[37]

In 2006, the median age at death for the general population in Australia was
77.3 years for males and 83.3 years for females. This represents an increase of
6.2 years and 5.7 years for males and females respectively since 1986
alone.[38]

Other statistics show remarkable reductions in the impact of diseases in the
general population. These statistics demonstrate that significant improvements
in the health and life expectation of population groups can occur within
decades. For example, in the general population:

  • death rates from cardiovascular disease have fallen 30% in Australia since
    1991, and 70% in the last
    35-years;[39] and
  • the infant mortality rate in 2006 was 4.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births
    -- 46% lower than the 1986 rate which was 8.8 deaths per 1,000 live
    births.[40]

Because of
these rapid health gains in the general population, and despite some significant
health gains being made by Indigenous peoples in the 1970s and 1980s, the
relative health status of the two population groups is marked by a significant
equality gap that has remained static or even grown wider across a number of
indicators as set out below in the text under various sub-headings.

Text Box 1: International comparisons in Indigenous peoples’ life
expectancy

Approximately 30 years ago, life expectation for Indigenous peoples in
Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America was, like Indigenous
peoples in Australia today, significantly lower than that of the respective
non-Indigenous populations of those countries.

However, significant gains in life expectation by Native Americans and
Canadians and the Maori have been made in recent decades. Today, Australia has
fallen significantly behind in improving the life expectation of its Indigenous
peoples. Although comparisons should be made with caution (because of the way
different countries calculate life expectation) data from the late 1990s
suggests Indigenous males in Australia live between 8.8 and 13.5 years less than
Indigenous males in Canada, New Zealand and the USA; and Indigenous females in
Australia live between 10.9 and 12.6 years less than Indigenous females in these
countries.[41]

(a) Mortality

For the period 2001–05, among the residents of Queensland, Western
Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory (jurisdictions where the
data is deemed reliable), deaths recorded as being of an Indigenous person
accounted for 3.2% of all deaths, higher than their presence as a percentage of
the total population (as noted, estimated at
2.5%).[42]

In Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory
combined, approximately 75% of Indigenous males and 65% of Indigenous females
died before the age of 65 years. In contrast, in the non-Indigenous population
26% of males and 16% of females died aged less than 65
years.[43]

For the period 2001–05, Indigenous infant deaths represented 6.4% of
total Indigenous male deaths and 5.7% of total Indigenous female deaths compared
with 0.9% and 0.8% of the total for non-Indigenous male and female infant
deaths.[44]

(b) Years of life lost

Years of Life Lost (YLL) is an indicator of premature mortality.

A 2003 study on the burden of disease and injury among Indigenous peoples
found there were an estimated 51,475 YLL due to disease and injury for the
Indigenous population, or approximately 4% of the total YLL for disease and
injury for the total Australian
population.[45] This is
significantly higher than their presence as a percentage of the total
population.

Cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of years of life lost accounted
for around one-quarter of total YLL among Indigenous peoples; followed by cancer
(14% of YLL); unintentional injuries (11%), intentional injuries (9%) and
diabetes (7%).[46]

5.3 Infant and child health

(a) Low birth weight infants

Indigenous infant and child health is significantly poorer than that of
non-Indigenous infants and children. A 'low birth weight baby' weighs less than
2,500 grams at birth[47] indicating,
among other things, foetal malnutrition. There is a growing body of evidence
that suggests a malnourished foetus will program its body in a way that will
incline it to chronic diseases later in
life.[48]

Approximately twice as many low birth weight infants were born to Indigenous
women compared to those born to non-Indigenous women over 2001 and
2004.[49] The ABS reported in 2005
that since 1991 there appears to be no change in both the rates of low
birth-weight infants being born to Indigenous women and the mean birth weights
of those infants.[50]

(b) Infant mortality

After significant reductions to the Indigenous infant mortality rate in the
1970s and 1980s, there was a levelling out of the rate in the mid 1990s. The
decline is believed to have halted because of the generally poorer health of
Indigenous mothers; their exposure to risk factors; and the poor state of health
infrastructure in which infants were
raised.[51]

The infant mortality rate is expressed as the number of deaths in the first
year per 1,000 births in a population. The ABS concluded in 2001 that no
reliable Indigenous infant mortality rate national trend (either for better or
worse) was identifiable, largely because of the poor quality of
data.[52] In jurisdictions where the
data is deemed reliable, for the period 2001 to 2005, approximately two to three
times the number of Indigenous infants died before their first birthday, as
non-Indigenous infants.[53]

5.4 Chronic
diseases

Chronic
diseases, and in particular cardiovascular disease, are the biggest single
killers of Indigenous peoples and an area where the Indigenous and
non-Indigenous health equality gap is most apparent.
The rates of death from
the five main groups of chronic diseases compared to the non-Indigenous
population over 2001-05 is set out in Table 2 as a Standardised Mortality Rate
(SMR). The SMR is calculated by dividing recorded Indigenous deaths by expected
Indigenous deaths (with the latter based on the age, sex and cause specific
rates for non-Indigenous
Australians).[54]

Table
2: Indigenous Deaths, main causes, 2001-05 - Standardised Mortality
Rate.
[55]

Cause of Death Males SMR Females SMR
Diseases of the circulatory system 3.2 2.7
Neoplasms (including cancer) 1.5 1.6
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases 7.5 10.1
Diabetes 10.8 14.5
Diseases of the respiratory system 4.3 3.6
Diseases of the digestive system 5.8 5.1

 

5.5 Communicable diseases

Data highlighting the significantly higher rates of communicable diseases
among Indigenous peoples compared to the non-Indigenous population is presented
here from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. The ratio is
calculated by dividing reported Indigenous notifications divided by expected
Indigenous notifications. Expected notifications are calculated based on the
age, sex and disease-specific rates of other
Australians.[56]

Table 3: Communicable diseases in Indigenous peoples reported as multiples
of the rates in the non-Indigenous population
(2004-05)[57]

Communicable disease
Detected in Indigenous peoples at...
Hepatitis A
11.7 times the rate detected in the non-Indigenous population
Hepatitis B
5.4 times the rate detected in the non-Indigenous population
Meningococcal infection
7.8 times the rate in the non-Indigenous population
Salmonellosis
4.3 times the rate in the non-Indigenous population
Chlamydia Infection
7.9 times the rate detected in the non-Indigenous population
Tuberculosis
1.6 times the rate in the non-Indigenous population

5.6 Eye and ear health

Indigenous peoples reported having cataracts and either complete or partial
blindness at higher rates than non-Indigenous people. Within the Indigenous
population, those living in non-remote areas were more likely to report eye and
sight problems (32%) than those living in remote areas
(25%).[58]

Otitis media is a common childhood disease of the inner ear and easily
treated. Untreated recurrence of chronic otitis media is often characterised by
a perforated eardrum, which can lead to hearing loss and even deafness,
impacting on a child’s ability to learn, and gain employment later in
life.

In 2004–05, rates of otitis media were three times as high among
Indigenous children aged 0–14 years as non-Indigenous children. In
2004–05, a higher proportion of Indigenous peoples than non-Indigenous
people reported ear and hearing problems across all age groups, except for those
aged 55 years and over.[59]

5.7 Social and emotional well being

The NATSIHS 2004-5 was the first Indigenous-specific survey by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics that aimed to measure the emotional and social health of
Indigenous adults. In this, more than half the adult Indigenous population
reported being happy (71%), calm and peaceful (56%), and/ or full of life (55%)
all or most of the time. Just under half (47%) said they had a lot of energy all
or most of the time.[60] And
Indigenous peoples in remote areas were more likely to report having had these
positive feelings all or most of the time, than were Indigenous peoples living
in non-remote areas. Conversely, about 15% of the total number of adults who
were asked felt these things only a little of the time, or none of the time.
Results again were better for Indigenous peoples in remote
areas.[61]
The NATSIHS 2004-5
also included five questions designed to highlight psychological distress.
Responses showed that almost one in ten Indigenous adults reported feeling
nervous all or most of the time. When asked how often they felt without hope, 7%
said that they had this feeling all or most of the time. Similarly, 7% said that
they felt so sad that nothing could cheer them up, all or most of the time. A
higher proportion of the Indigenous population reported feeling restless (12%)
and/ or that everything was an effort all or most of the time
(17%).[62]

The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey collected data on
approximately 5,000 Indigenous children over 2000-01. It reported that one in
four Aboriginal children were at high risk of developing serious emotional or
behavioural difficulties. This compares to about 1 in 6 or 7 of non-Aboriginal
children.[63]

5.8 Mental health

Data on hospitalisations for mental and behavioural disorders provide a
measure of the use of hospital services by those with problems related to mental
health. In 2005–06 there were more hospitalisations of Indigenous males
and females than expected based on the rates for other Australians for most
types of mental and behavioural
disorders.[64] In particular,
hospitalisations for 'mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive
substance use' were almost five times higher for Indigenous males and around
three times higher for Indigenous
females.[65]

Hospitalisation rates for intentional self-harm may also be indicative of
mental illness and distress. In 2005–06, Indigenous Australians were three
times more likely to be hospitalised for intentional self-harm than other
Australians.[66]

5.9 Health risk
factors

(a) Tobacco smoking

Tobacco smoking was the leading cause of the burden of disease and injury for
Indigenous Australians in 2003, accounting for 12.1% of the total burden and 20%
of all deaths.[67] In 2004–05,
half (50%) of the adult Indigenous population were current daily (or regular)
smokers, approximately twice the rate in the non-Indigenous
population.[68]

While smoking rates have decreased slightly for the total Australian
population over the ten years to 2004–05, there has been no significant
change in smoking rates for the Indigenous population in this period. For both
men and women, smoking was more prevalent among Indigenous adults than
non-Indigenous adults in every age
group.[69]

(b) Obesity

High body mass and obesity was the second leading cause of the burden of
illness and injury among Indigenous Australians in 2003, accounting for 11% of
the total burden of disease and 13% of all
deaths.[70]

In 2004–05, it was reported that 38% of Indigenous peoples aged 15
years and over were a healthy weight, 28% were overweight, and 29% were obese.
Overall, more than half (57%) of Indigenous peoples aged 15 years and over were
overweight or obese.[71]

Between 1995 and 2004–05, rates of overweight/ obesity among Indigenous
peoples aged 15 years and over in non-remote areas increased from 48% to
56%.[72]

Overall, rates of overweight/ obesity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous men
are similar. In contrast Indigenous women are more than one and half times more
likely to be overweight/ obese than non-Indigenous
women.[73]

(c) Excessive alcohol consumption

In 2003, alcohol was associated with 7% of all deaths and 6% of the total
burden of disease for Indigenous Australians. Excessive alcohol consumption also
accounted for the greatest proportion of the burden of disease and injury for
young Indigenous males (aged 15–34 years) and the second highest (after
intimate partner violence) for young Indigenous
females.[74]

In the NATSIHS 2004-5, Indigenous peoples aged 18 years and over were found
to be more likely than non-Indigenous people to abstain from drinking alcohol.
Of those who did consume alcohol in the week prior to the survey, one in six
Indigenous adults (16%) reported long-term (or chronic) risky/ high risk alcohol
consumption, up from 13% in 2001. In non-remote areas, the proportion of
Indigenous adults who drank at chronic risky or high risk levels increased from
12% in 2001 to 17% in
2004–05.[75]

While rates of risky/ high risk drinking were similar for Indigenous peoples
in remote and non-remote areas, people in remote areas were nearly three times
as likely as those in non-remote areas to report never having consumed alcohol
(18% compared with 6%).[76]

(d) Petrol sniffing

Petrol sniffing is reported in many Indigenous communities across Australia,
but it is a particular problem in central Australian Indigenous communities.
While it is not a major determinant of poor health in Indigenous Australians
nationally, it is included here because of the public interest shown in petrol
sniffing and Indigenous communities following media attention to the subject in
recent years.

Where it occurs, petrol sniffing is also associated with a range of health
and social harms including increased violence, acquired brain injury, property
damage, child abuse and neglect, dispossession of Elders and
theft.[77]

It is difficult to obtain definite figures on the numbers of people engaging
in petrol sniffing. However, when looking at trends from various reports, it
appears that over 2006-08 the incidence of petrol sniffing in central Australia
has reduced significantly coincident with the roll out of Opal fuel across
central Australia.

Across reports there appears to have been a drop from approximately 600 to 85
sniffers in central Australia with a drop from 178 to 80 sniffers on the Anangu
Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands also reported over
2005-08.[78]

5.10 Disability

In the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, a total
of 19,600 Indigenous peoples (approximately 4% of the total Indigenous
population) were recorded as requiring assistance with core function activities
(self-care, mobility and/ or communication) on a consistent basis. The level of
assistance required by the Indigenous population was twice as high as that
required by the overall Australian
population.[79]

According to the NATSISS 2002, due to differences in the way disability data
were collected in remote and non-remote areas, comparisons with the
non-Indigenous population are limited to those Indigenous respondents living in
non-remote areas. When the effects of age differences were removed, the
disability rate among Indigenous respondents was 1.4 times higher than among the
non-Indigenous population.[80]

^top

6. Income

Estimates of household income are adjusted by the ABS according to
'equivalence factors' in order to recognise the impact of different household
compositions and different household
sizes.[81]

In the 2006 Census, the mean equivalised gross household income for
Indigenous persons was $460 per week, which amounted to 62% of the rate for
non-Indigenous Australians ($740 per
week).[82]

For Indigenous persons, income levels generally decline with increased
geographic remoteness. In the 2006 Census, in major cities the average
equivalised incomes for Indigenous persons was 69% of the corresponding income
for non-Indigenous persons. This declined to approximately 40% in remote
areas.[83]

Between 2001 and 2006 the average equivalised gross household income for
Indigenous persons increased by 9% (after adjustment for inflation) which was
the same increase for non-Indigenous
people.[84]

In 2006, the median weekly gross individual income for Indigenous peoples was
$278, this represented 59% of the median weekly gross individual income for
non-Indigenous peoples
($473).[85]

^top

7. Employment

7.1 Participation in the labour
force

The census data shows slight but significant
improvements in Indigenous participation in the labour force over
2001–06.

In the 2006 Census, 55% of Indigenous peoples aged 15 years and over were
participating in the work force (i.e. were engaged in mainstream employment,
participating in CDEP or unemployed) up from 52% in
2001.[86]

The labour force participation rate for the non-Indigenous population was 63%
in 2001 compared with 65% in 2006. When adjusted to include only people aged
15-64 years, the disparity in labour force participation widens further. In 2001
there were 54% of Indigenous peoples in this age group in the labour force
compared with 73% of the non-Indigenous population. In 2006, 57% of the
Indigenous population in this age group was participating in the labour force
compared with 76% of the non-Indigenous
population.[87]
Labour
force participation rates for Indigenous peoples declines with remoteness, with
a 57% participation rate in major cities compared with 46% in very remote
areas.[88]

Nationally, 46% of all Indigenous peoples aged 15-64 years were not in the
labour force in 2001. This figure dropped to 43% in 2006. (This indicates that
they were not actively engaged in the labour market, for reasons including carer
responsibilities, illness, disability or lack of market opportunities.) In 2002,
27% of the non-Indigenous population in the same age group were not
participating in the labour force, while in 2006 this figure dropped to
24%.[89]

7.2 Employment and unemployment

The unemployment rate is the
number of people unemployed expressed as a proportion of the total labour force.
The ABS does not classify participation in the CDEP scheme as unemployment. The
CDEP Scheme enables participants to earn the equivalent of unemployment benefits
with some extra payment for undertaking work and training in activities managed
by local Indigenous community organisations.

Within these parameters, the census data shows slight
but significant reductions in Indigenous unemployment over 2001–06, and
from 1996 - 2001. In the 2006 Census, the unemployment rate for Indigenous
peoples was 16%, whereas in 2001, the unemployment rate for Indigenous peoples
was 20%. The rate in 1996 was 23%.

In 2006, 14,200
Indigenous CDEP participants identified themselves in the census. Compared with
all Indigenous peoples who were employed, Indigenous peoples identified as CDEP
participants were:

  • twice as likely to work part time (75% compared with 39%);
  • more likely to report working in a low skilled occupation (78% compared with
    60%); and
  • one third as likely to report having a non-school qualification (13%
    compared with 37%).[90]

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8. Education

Educational attainment among Indigenous peoples
continues to improve. Between 2001 and 2006, the proportion of Indigenous
peoples aged 15 years and over who had completed Year 12 increased from 20% to
23%. There was also an increase in the proportion of people who had completed a
non-school qualification (20% to 26%).

Higher educational attainment was associated with better employment prospects
and higher income in 2006. The NATSIHS 2004-5 results also demonstrate that
higher levels of schooling were also linked with improved health outcomes.

8.1 School retention

The National Schools Statistics Collection showed that, in 2007, the apparent
retention rate for Indigenous full-time students from Year 7/8 to Year 10 was
91% and to Year 12 was 43%.[91]

Indigenous retention to Year 10 and beyond has steadily increased over the
last 10 years. This trend is particularly evident at the Year 11 level, where
the apparent retention rate from Year 7/8 rose from 52% in 1998 to 70% in
2007.[92]

While Indigenous retention rates remain considerably lower than those for
non-Indigenous school students, the disparity between the two groups is slowly
lessening. In Year 11, the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
students decreased by 13 percentage points between 1998 and 2007. While the Year
12 differences decreased by 8 percentage points over this time period,
Indigenous students were still much less likely than non-Indigenous students to
progress to the final year of schooling in
2007.[93]

8.2 Year 12 completion rates

In the 2006 Census, among those who reported their highest year of schooling,
the proportion of Indigenous peoples aged 15 years and over who had completed
school to Year 12 increased from 20% in 2001 to 23% in 2006.

Rates of Year 12 completion improved in all states and territories, with the
largest increases recorded in Tasmania (17% to 22%), the ACT (42% to 46%) and
Queensland (26% to 30%).

Younger Indigenous peoples were more likely than older Indigenous peoples to
have completed Year 12. The proportion of Indigenous peoples who had completed
Year 12, as shown in the 2006 Census, ranged from 36% of people aged
18–24 years to 9% of people aged 55 years and over.

Overall, Indigenous males and females reported similar rates of Year 12
completion (22% compared with 24%).

Indigenous peoples living in rural or remote areas of Australia were less
likely than those in urban areas to have completed Year 12. In 2006, 31% of
Indigenous peoples living in major cities had completed school to this level,
compared with 22% in regional areas and 14% in remote areas.

Despite these improvements however, Indigenous peoples aged 15 years and over
were still half as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to have completed school
to Year 12 in 2006 (23% compared with 49%). They were also twice as likely to
have left school at Year 9 or below (34% compared with 16%). These relative
differences have remained unchanged since
2001.[94]

8.3 Post secondary education

Although there have been continued improvements in the educational attainment
of Indigenous Australians in recent years, levels of attainment remain below
those of non-Indigenous Australians. Non-Indigenous people were twice as likely
as Indigenous peoples to have a non-school qualification in 2006 (53% compared
with 26%). Non-Indigenous people were more than four times as likely to have a
Bachelor Degree or above (21% compared with 5%) and twice as likely to have an
Advanced Diploma or Diploma (9% compared with
4%).[95]

8.4 Impact of educational attainment on employment, income and
health

The positive effect that education has on an individual’s economic
outcomes, particularly employment and income, has been well established. Results
from the 2006 Census show that Indigenous peoples aged 15 years and over with
higher levels of schooling were more likely than those with lower levels of
attainment to be in full-time employment.

This was particularly the case for young people aged 18–24 years, where
the rate of full-time employment among those who had completed Year 12 was four
times as high as among those who had left school at Year 9 or below (37%
compared with 9%).[96]

Correspondingly, Indigenous peoples who had completed secondary school had
higher incomes than those who had left school at lower grades. Among those who
were employed, Indigenous peoples aged 15 years and over who had completed Year
12 had a median gross individual income of $620 per week compared with $405 per
week for those who left school at Year 9 or
below.[97]

The NATSIHS 2004-5 allows for the interactions between educational attainment
and health outcomes to be explored. Results show that educational attainment was
positively associated with health status.

Indigenous adults aged 18–34 years who had completed Year 12 were more
likely than those who had left school at Year 9 or below to rate their health as
excellent or very good (57% compared with 45%), and were less likely to rate
their health as fair or poor (10% compared with 16%). They were also around half
as likely to report high/very high levels of psychological distress in the last
four weeks (19% compared with 35%). A similar pattern of association between
educational attainment and health outcomes was also observed for Indigenous
peoples aged 35 years and over.[98]

The likelihood of engaging in health risk behaviours also decreased with
higher levels of schooling. In 2004–05, young adults who had completed
Year 12 were half as likely as those who had completed Year 9 or below to
regularly smoke and to consume alcohol at long-term risky/ high risk levels. In
non-remote areas, Indigenous young people with higher educational attainment
were also less likely to be sedentary or engage in low levels of exercise, and
to have no usual daily intake of fruit or
vegetables.[99]

Education level has also been shown to be positively associated with
reductions in the rates of long-term health conditions, particularly heart
disease and diet-related illnesses. In 2004–05, Indigenous peoples aged 35
years and over who had completed school to Year 12 were around half as likely to
report having diabetes or cardiovascular disease as those who had left school at
Year 9 or below. They were also less likely to report eye/ sight problems,
osteoporosis and kidney
disease.[100]

^top

9. Housing and homelessness

9.1 Housing
tenure

Indigenous households have been defined as households containing at least one
Indigenous person of any age, excluding visitors. Of the 166,668 Indigenous
households identified in the 2006 Census, 34% were home owners (with or without
a mortgage), 59% were renting and 3% had other types of
tenure.[101]

Between 2001 and 2006 the proportion of Indigenous home owner households
increased from 31% to 34%. The proportions of Indigenous households renting from
Indigenous or mainstream community housing organisations and those renting from
private or other providers, fell by around two percentage points between 2001
and 2006, while the proportion of Indigenous households renting from state
housing authorities remained relatively unchanged over this
period.[102]

In comparison, 69% of the estimated 7 million other Australian households
were home owners (with or without a mortgage) 26% were renting and 2% had other
tenure types.[103]

Generally speaking, in remote areas, Indigenous peoples are less likely to
own their home than in urban centres. This, in part, reflects the type of
tenures available to people on traditional Indigenous
lands.[104] However the issue of
ownership in remote communities is more complex than simply relating to
“types of tenure”. Issues such as availability of housing purchase
stock, affordability and regular employment/ income streams are contributing
factors.

Of among the 98,100 Indigenous households in rental accommodation, 27% were
renting privately, 20% were renting from state or territory housing authorities,
and 9% were renting from Indigenous or mainstream community housing
organisations.

Of the 1.8 million Other Households that were renting, the majority were
renting privately (1.4 million or 20% of other households), with just 4% renting
from state or territory housing authorities and 1% from Indigenous or mainstream
community organisations.[105]

9.2 Household size and overcrowding

Households with Indigenous person(s) tend to have more residents than other
households. At the 2006 Census, there was an average of 3.4 persons in
households with Indigenous person(s), compared with 2.6 persons in other
households.

Both household size and the proportion of households requiring at least one
additional bedroom rose with increased geographic remoteness. The size of the
average household with Indigenous person(s) increased from 3.2 residents in
major cities to 5.3 residents in very remote
areas.[106]

Although there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes
overcrowding, data presented below uses the Canadian National Occupancy Standard
as a measure. This standard specifies who should reasonably be expected to share
bedrooms, dependent on age and
sex.[107]

Based on this definition, 14% of households with Indigenous person(s) were
considered to be living in dwellings requiring at least one additional bedroom,
compared to 4% of other households. This was a decrease from 16% in
2001.[108]
Overcrowding rates
varied according to tenure, with the highest rates of overcrowding found in
Indigenous households renting Indigenous/ mainstream community housing (40% of
Indigenous households and 64% of Indigenous peoples). In contrast, home owners
(with or without a mortgage) had the lowest rates of overcrowding (7% of
Indigenous households and 11% of Indigenous
peoples).[109]

The highest rates of overcrowding among Indigenous households were in the
Northern Territory (38%) followed by Western Australia (16%). Rates of
overcrowding were especially high in the Indigenous/ mainstream community
housing sector in the Northern Territory, where 61% of households were
overcrowded.[110]

In terms of numbers of overcrowded Indigenous households, in 2006, Queensland
had the largest number (6,200) followed by New South Wales
(5,200).[111]

9.3 Housing quality

The most recent national survey to include measures of housing quality was
the NATSISS 2002. It reported approximately one-third (35%) of Indigenous
households were living in dwellings that had structural problems (e.g. rising
damp, major cracks in floors or walls, major electrical/ plumbing problems and
roof defects). Just over half (55%) of Indigenous households renting mainstream
or community housing reported that their dwellings had structural
problems.[112]

In 2006, the ABS Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Survey (CHINS)
also collected information about the state of repair of houses in discrete
Indigenous communities, and their connection to essential services. This is also
discussed in the next section.

The CHINS data on dwelling condition were collected for permanent dwellings
and categorised according to the cost of repairs required to the dwelling. No
data were collected on the 1,596 temporary or improvised dwellings in these
communities which are likely to have been in the poorest condition. Some 4,039
Indigenous peoples (4% of the usual resident population) were living in
temporary or improvised dwellings in
2006.[113]

In discrete Indigenous communities across Australia, there were around 6,674
dwellings (31%) that required major repair or replacement (table 4.13).
Dwellings in remote and very remote areas tended to be in the poorest condition,
with 9% requiring replacement compared with 4% of dwellings in non-remote
areas.[114]

The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey developed a measure of
housing quality based on the healthy living practices outlined in the National
Framework for Indigenous Housing. The survey classified 16% of dwellings with
Aboriginal children as being of 'poor housing quality'. Dwellings with poor
housing quality were more likely to be rented, and to be located in areas of
extreme isolation and areas of relative socioeconomic disadvantage.

Households living in poor quality dwellings tended to have poorer economic
wellbeing, lower levels of family functioning, experienced more life stresses
and their members were more likely to overuse
alcohol.[115]

(a) Discrete Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
communities

'Discrete' communities are those that comprise predominantly (i.e. over 50%)
Indigenous peoples.[116] While
they are found across Australia, the majority are situated in the Northern
Territory and Western
Australia.[117] They are primarily
located in remote and very remote areas. Conditions in these communities were
until very recently far poorer than conditions in non-Indigenous communities.

The Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Surveys (CHINS) have been
carried out every two years since 1997 by the ABS. They aim to provide a picture
of life in discrete communities and allow government programs to improve
conditions there to be monitored. In 2006, these communities had an estimated
population of 92,960
people.[118]
The 2006 CHINS
collected data on the main source of water, sewerage and electricity at the
community level for all discrete Indigenous communities:

  • The main source of drinking water for the majority of permanent dwellings
    (53%) was bore water; 30% were connected to a town supply and for 11% the source
    was a river or reservoir.
  • In relation to sewerage, 33% of buildings were in communities with some type
    of septic system. The next most common type of sewerage system was a town system
    (30%) followed by community water-borne systems (30%) of dwellings).
  • The main type of electricity supply for the majority of permanent dwellings
    (53%) was a community generator; 37% of dwellings were connected to the state
    grid and 3% relied on domestic
    generators.[119]

Between the 2001 and 2006 CHINS there was a decrease in the number
and proportion of permanent dwellings not connected to an organised sewerage
system or an organised water supply. However, there remains a small but
significant number of dwellings without an organized sewerage system or water
supply.[120]

Note that there are improvised
dwellings in these communities for which data were not collected in the
survey.[121]

^top

10.
Indigenous peoples and criminal justice systems

10.1 Indigenous adult prisoners

The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC)
reported in 1991. At that time, Aboriginal people made up 14% of the total
prison population and were up to 15 times more likely to be in prison than
non-Aboriginal people. The Report made a large number of recommendations to
address this issue.[122]

Despite this, the number of Indigenous prisoners has increased significantly
over the 17-years since the RDIADC. Indigenous prisoners represented 24% of the
total prisoner population (6139 males and 567
females)[123] as of the
30th June 2008, a proportion unchanged from the previous
year.[124] The ABS notes that
caution must be taken in interpreting the increases in the percentage of
Indigenous peoples in the prison population, the increase may be due to
alterations in the method of data collection and/ or the willingness of
Indigenous prisoners to participate and identify themselves as
Indigenous.[125]

Age standardisation is a statistical method that adjusts crude rates to
account for age differences between study populations. Age standardisation
enables better comparisons between different populations. In the context of such
a comparison, the key variable interests are the ratio of rates, rather than the
age standardised rates alone. Using this, the ABS calculates that at June 2008
Indigenous peoples were 13 times more likely than non-Indigenous people to be in
prison, unchanged from 2007.[126] Between jurisdictions, rates vary. For example, as of June 2008, Indigenous
peoples in Western Australia were 20 times more likely to be imprisoned than
non-Indigenous people. This was the highest age standardised ratio in
Australia.[127]

A 2003 study demonstrates the extent of contact Indigenous peoples have with
criminal justice processes in New South Wales. Between 1997 and 2001, a total of
25,000 Indigenous peoples appeared in a NSW Court charged with a criminal
offence. This constitutes 28.6% of the total NSW Indigenous population. In the
year 2001 alone, nearly one in five Indigenous males in NSW appeared in Court
charged with a criminal offence. For Indigenous males aged 20-24 years, this
rate increased to over 40%.[128]

The median age of all prisoners as of June 30 2007 was 33 years, while the
median age of Indigenous male prisoners was 31 years, and the median age of
Indigenous female prisoners was 30
years.[129]

10.2 Indigenous women

Although there are less Indigenous women in custody they are currently the
fastest growing prison population and are severely overrepresented.

Incarceration rates for women generally have increased more rapidly than for
men and the increase in imprisonment of Indigenous women has been much greater
over the period compared with non-Indigenous
women.[130] The Indigenous female
imprisonment rate has increased by 34 % between 2002 and 2006 while the
imprisonment rate for Indigenous men has increased by
22%.[131]

Indigenous women are also 23 times more likely to be imprisoned than
non-Indigenous women while Indigenous men are 16 times more likely to be
imprisoned than non-Indigenous
men.[132]

10.3 Indigenous juveniles

In 2005-06, Indigenous young people are significantly overrepresented in the
juvenile justice system: 44 per 1,000 Indigenous youths were under juvenile
justice supervision, while only 3 per 1,000 non-Indigenous youths were under
such supervision.[133]

A study in Queensland has tracked the trajectory through the criminal justice
system of young offenders who first appeared in the juvenile justice system from
1994-95 (through custodial and non-custodial orders) up to September
2002[134]. The study reported that
by September 2002, 89% of Indigenous male juveniles on supervised orders had
progressed to the adult system, with 71% having served at least one term of
imprisonment. It also reported there was an increased likelihood that those
juveniles who were subject to a supervised justice order and had been the
subject of a care and protection order would proceed to the adult criminal
justice system, with 91% of all such juveniles having some contact with the
adult system, and 67% having served at least one term of imprisonment.The study concluded that 'over time, the probability of those juveniles on
supervised orders in 1994-95 who are subject to multiple risk factors (e.g.
male, Indigenous, care and protection order) progressing to the adult
corrections system will approach 100 per
cent.'[135]

10.4 Indigenous prisoner health status

Data collection on Indigenous prisoner health status is very poor, however,
given the extensive evidence of Indigenous health inequality, it is reasonable
to assume that Indigenous prisoners would experience ‘a health status the
same or probably worse than that of the general prisoner
population’.[136]

The National Prison Entrants Bloodborne Virus Survey found that levels of
Hepatitis B exposure is considerably higher for Indigenous prisoners, with 29%
of Indigenous prisoners reporting exposure compared to 18% of the non-Indigenous
prisoner population.[137] Similar
levels of Hepatitis C were found for Indigenous and non-Indigenous prisoners,
with 37% of Indigenous prisoners compared with 34% of non-Indigenous prisoners,
having Hepatitis C
antibodies.[138]

Another way of looking at the health inequality of Indigenous prisoners is
tracking the mortality rate of prisoners upon their release from custody. A
retrospective cohort study of adults imprisoned in NSW between 1988 and 2002
found that Indigenous men were 4.8 times more likely; and Indigenous women were
12.6 times more likely, to die after release from custody than the general NSW
population.[139] Many of these
deaths were attributed to mental and behavioural disorders and drug-related
deaths.[140]

10.5 Indigenous deaths in custody

Over 1990-1999, the decade since the RCIADIC reported, the Australian
Institute of Criminology reports that despite some fluctuations in rates of both
Indigenous and non-Indigenous deaths in custody since 1982, the rates of death
per 1,000 prisoners have become more similar since 1999 and both have begun to
trend downward since 1999. This indicates that the disproportionate number of
Indigenous deaths in custody relative to the total Indigenous population is a
reflection of the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in criminal justice
processes.[141]

In 2006, there were 54 recorded deaths in custody and custody-related
operations. There were 11 recorded incidents of Indigenous deaths in custody:
four in prison custody, six in police custody and custody-related operations,
and one in juvenile
detention.[142]

^top

11. Child
protection

11.1 History of Indigenous
child removals

To measure the number of Indigenous peoples potentially impacted by the
removal of children from their families under past practices of forcibly and
administratively removing Indigenous children from their families, the ABS
social surveys have included questions asking respondents whether they or any of
their relatives had been removed from their natural families.

Both the 1994 and 2002 surveys report that 8% of Indigenous respondents aged
15 years or over at the time of the surveys, had been taken away from their
natural family.[143] The incidence
of removal increased slightly with age, (perhaps reflecting greater numbers of
removals in the past):

  • 10% of Indigenous respondents aged 25 years or over reported that they had
    been taken away from their natural family.
  • 10% was recorded for the closest equivalent age cohort group (35 years or
    over) in the NATSISS 2002.

In the NATSISS 2002, 38% of respondents
reported that they had either been removed themselves and/ or had relatives who,
as a child, had been removed from their natural family. The most frequently
reported relatives removed were grandparents (15%), aunts or uncles (11%), and
parents (9%).[144]
The
intergenerational impacts of past child removal practices (see Text Box 2 below)
are reflected in the higher numbers of substantiation orders, child protection
orders and child removal orders being made in the present day in relation to
Indigenous children.

Text Box 2: The intergenerational impacts of past child removal
practices[145]

The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS) 2002
provides a robust scientific evidence-base of the intergenerational effects on
today’s Indigenous children and their carers of past child removal
practices. The WAACHS surveyed the health and wellbeing of 5,289 Western
Australian Indigenous children aged 0-17 years and their carers.

In the survey, around 12.3 per cent of primary carers and 12.3 per cent of
secondary carers reported they had been subject to such separation. Carers were
also asked whether either of their parents had been forcibly separated from
their natural family. Some 20.3 per cent of the mothers of primary carers (e.g.
grandmothers of the survey children) and 12.6 per cent of the fathers of primary
carers (e.g. grandfathers of the survey children) had been forcibly separated.

Among all of the Aboriginal children and young people living in Western
Australia, 35.3 per cent were found to be living in households where a carer or
a carer’s parent (e.g. grandparent) was reported to have been forcibly
separated from their natural family.

It was found that carers who had been forcibly separated from their natural
families (compared with carers of Aboriginal children who had not been forcibly
separated) were:

  • 1.95 times more likely to have been arrested or charged with an offence
  • 1.61 times more likely to report the overuse of alcohol caused problems in
    the household
  • 2.10 times more likely to report that betting or gambling caused problems in
    the household
  • Less than half as likely to have social support in the form of someone they
    can ‘yarn’ to about problems
  • 1.50 times more likely to have had contact with Mental Health Services in
    Western Australia.

Further, Aboriginal children whose primary carer had been
forcibly separated from their natural family were found to be 2.34 times more
likely to be at high risk of clinically significant emotional or behavioral
difficulties than children whose carers were not forcibly separated.

11.2 Present day

There are three areas of child protection services for which national data is
compiled:

  • Child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations;
  • Children on care and protection orders; and
  • Children in out-of-home care.

Children who are perceived to be
in need of protection can come into contact with community services departments
or child protection agencies (in the states and territories) by someone
expressing concern about the welfare of a child or making a report to the
department.

From the reporting stage, if it is decided that the child is prima facie
under risk of harm (neglect or abuse) the report is classified as a
notification. Most notifications are investigated and classified as
substantiated or not substantiated according to the degree of risk to the child.
A range of services are then provided to that child and the child's family.

In extreme cases, state departments can apply to a court for a care and
protection order. Children can also be placed in out-of-home care, either
temporarily or more long term, by order of the
court.[146]

(a) Child protection notifications, investigations
and substantiations

The rates of Indigenous children entering the child protection system are
higher than the rates for other children. In 2005–06, the rates of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were the subject of a child
protection substantiation were substantially higher than the rates for other
children in all jurisdictions except
Tasmania.[147]

Table 4 below sets out the rate of substantiated child protection
notifications per thousand children for Indigenous and other children, and a
standardised ratio (SR) showing the Indigenous rate as a multiple of the
non-Indigenous rate.

Table 4: Children who were the subject of child
protection substantiation: By State and Territory, Indigenous status
2005-06
[148]

State/Territory
Indigenous (per 1,000 children)
Other children (per 1,000 children)
Likelihood that Indigenous children will be subject of a child
protection substantiation as a multiple of the rate for other children
NSW
44.2.
6.9
6.4
Vic
67.7
6.0
11
Qld
23.0
10.9
2.3
WA
10.9
1.4
7.8
SA[149]
32.2
3.5
9.2
NT
15.2
3.2
4.8
Tas
4.4
6.2
0.7
A.C.T
56.8
10.9
12.0

Substantiations are classified into one of the following four categories
depending on the main type of abuse or neglect that has occurred: physical
abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect. The precise definition of type
of abuse or neglect, as well as the types of incidences that may be
substantiated, vary according among jurisdictions.

Compared to non-Indigenous children, Indigenous children were more likely to
be the subject of a substantiation of neglect than other children. For example,
in Western Australia 40% of Indigenous children in substantiations were the
subjects of a substantiation of neglect, compared with 30% of other
children.

Contrary to popular perceptions, the data suggests that non-Indigenous
children were more likely than Indigenous children to have substantiations where
the main type of abuse was sexual. For example, in New South Wales, 17% of other
Australian children had substantiations where the main type of abuse was sexual
abuse, compared with 9% of Indigenous children .

Likewise in the Northern Territory, in 2005-06 (the year prior to the
Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER)) 4.2% of Indigenous child
substantiations were for sexual abuse compared to 9.3% of other Territorian
children,[150] a figure that does
not appear to support the allegations of endemic child abuse in NT remote
communities that was the rationale for the NTER. However, the possibility of
significant under-reporting must be considered as an explanatory factor,
particularly in the light of the findings of the Little Children are Scared
Report
.[151] There was, in
the authors’ opinion, ‘sufficient anecdotal and forensic and
clinical information available to establish that there is a significant problem
in the Northern Territory in relation to the sexual abuse of
children’.[152]

(b) Care and protection orders
The rate of Indigenous children
being placed on care and protection orders was around seven times the rate for
other Australian children. Table 5 shows the rate ratios varied considerably by
jurisdiction and were highest in Victoria. Otherwise, the rate per 1,000
Indigenous children is significantly higher than the rate for other children
across all jurisdictions.

Table 5: Rate of children on care and protection orders:
By Indigenous status and state/ territory, 30 June
2006
[153]

State/Territory
Indigenous children (rate per 1,000)
Other children (rate per 1,000)
Ratio of Indigenous children to other children on care
and protection orders
NSW
37.2
4.5
8.3
Vic
56.4
4.6
12.3
Qld
26.7
5.2
5.1
WA
31.8
3.9
8.2
SA
25.8
2.7
9.6
Tas
15.2
6.5
2.3
A.C.T
12.2
3.8
3.2
NT
53.3
6.2
8.6

(c) Children in out-of-home care

Table 6 compares the rate per 1,000 Indigenous children and rate per 1,000
other children in out-of-home care. It shows that the national rate per 1,000
Indigenous children is 7.3 times the rate for other children across all
jurisdictions.

Table 6: Rate of children in out-of-home care: By
Indigenous status and state / territory, 30 June 2006
[154]

State/Territory
Indigenous children (rate per 1,000)
Other children (rate per 1,000)
Rate/ ratio
NSW
44.7
4.6
9.7
Vic
42.1
3.7
11.4
Qld
24.0
4.7
5.1
WA
30.2
3.4
8.9
SA
24.8
2.6
9.5
Tas
11.9
5.4
2.2
A.C.T
10
3.0
3.3
NT
43.7
4.1
10.7
Total
29.8
4.1
7.3

 

At 30 June 2006, 62%of Indigenous children in out-of-home care across
Australia were placed in accordance with the Aboriginal Child Placement
Principle. This Principle outlines a preference for placing Indigenous children
with an Indigenous family. It places a preference for placements first with
their extended families, second with their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
community and third with Indigenous peoples before placing the child with a
non-Indigenous family.[155]

^top

12. The economic cost of inequality

In 2008, Reconciliation Australia published An overview of the economic
impact of Indigenous disadvantage
, a report commissioned from Access
Economics, that attempted, for the first time, to quantify the economic impact
of Indigenous socio-economic disadvantage.

Extracts from the Summary are included in Text Box 3.

Text Box 3: Economic cost of inequality

The analysis in this report shows there are sizeable economy wide benefits
to be achieved from improving the quality of life of Indigenous Australians. In
a ‘what if’ scenario based on raising the life expectancy of
Indigenous Australians and increasing the proportion of the Indigenous
population in the workforce who are also able to take on higher skilled and
better paid jobs to levels commensurate with those of all Australians, real GDP
could be 1% higher than otherwise in 2029 — equivalent to around $10
billion today. Further, since the increase in GDP is larger than the forecast
increase in the total population, national living standards for all Australians
would increase. Therefore, there are clear economic benefits from government
action to reduce Indigenous disadvantage.

The economic benefits will only be realised if the health and educational
attainment of Indigenous Australians improves. In fact the modelling outcomes
are predicated on the many facets of Indigenous disadvantage that contribute to
their poorer health and labour market outcomes being addressed. In another
light, achieving the economic benefits implies an improved quality of life for
Indigenous peoples — a reduction in the burden of disease and an
improvement in the ability of Indigenous Australians to share in economic
prosperity....

If the circumstances of Indigenous Australians improve to match those of
the Australian average:

  • government revenue in 2029 would be $4.6 billion higher than otherwise;
    and
  • government expenditure in 2029 in key portfolios relevant to Indigenous
    Australians would be $3.7 billion lower than otherwise....

Foreshadowing possible policies and programs required to achieve
the economic benefits was out of the scope for this project. However, the
analysis of government budgets suggests that from 2029, there will be an
additional $8.3 billion available to governments each year if Indigenous
disadvantage were alleviated. In principle, these additional public funds could
be allocated to policies and programs aimed at improving the quality of life of
Indigenous Australians.[156]

^top


[1] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
2002
, ABS cat no 4714.0
(2004).
[2] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
2004-05
, ABS cat no 4715.0
(2005).
[3] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0
(2008).
[4] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Australians 2001
, ABS cat no 4705.0 (2002) p
7-15.
[5] For further information,
see also Australian Human Rights Commission, Face the Facts (2008). At: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/racial_discrimination/face_facts/index.html (viewed 22 January 2009).
[6] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 12.
[7] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 12; Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2001
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2001) p
12.
[8] Australian Bureau of
Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2003
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2003) p
245.
[9] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
10.
[10] Australian Bureau of
Statistics Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
15.
[11] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
12.
[12] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 19, table
2.2.
[13] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
9.
[14] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
79.
[15] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
79.
[16] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
80.
[17] Australian Bureau of
Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2005
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2005) p
74.
[18] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
14-15.
[19] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Yearbook 2008, ABS cat no 1301.0 (2008) p 198.
[20] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 15,(unnumbered graph).
[21] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 14.

[22] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
16.
[23] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 12.
[24] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
13.
[25] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
27.
[26] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 27.
[27] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
28.
[28] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
27.
[29] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
27.
[30] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
35-37.
[31] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey 1994
– Detailed Findings
, ABS cat no 4190.0 (1995) p
4.
[32] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
2004-05
, ABS cat no 4715.0
(2005).
[33] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
9.
[34] There are long-standing
issues pertaining to the identification of an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait
Islander person as the deceased on death certificates that prevent definitive
statements being made about Indigenous peoples' life expectation, hence the
reliance on life expectation estimation formulas to arrive at figures. In 2006,
it was estimated that only 55% of the deaths of Indigenous peoples were
correctly identified. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Deaths 2006, ABS
cat no 3320.0 (2006) p 69, Table
9.1.
[35] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
154.
[36] United Nations
Development Program, Human Development Report 2005 (2005) p 220, Table
1.
[37] F Baum, The New Public
Health
(2002) p 198.
[38] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Deaths 2006, ABS cat no 3320.0 (2006) p
9.
[39] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Australian Social Trends 2002, ABS cat. no. 4102.0 (2002) p
83-85.
[40] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Deaths 2006, ABS cat no 3320.0 (2006) p
8.
[41] I Ring and D Firman,
‘Reducing Indigenous mortality in Australia: lessons from other
countries’, Medical Journal of Australia (1998) 169, p
528-533.
[42] Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The
Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
156-7.
[43] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
156-7.
[44] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
156-7.
[45] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
159.
[46] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
159.
[47] Australian Bureau of
Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2005
(2005) p 79.
[48] National Health and Medical Research Council, Nutrition in Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Peoples, an information paper
(2000) p
21.
[49] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
83.
[50] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p 84, Graph
6.6.
[51] N Thomson,
‘Responding to our “Spectacular Failure”’, in N
Thompson, The Health of Indigenous Australians, (2005) p
490.
[52] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Deaths 2001, ABS cat. no.3320.0 (2002) p
23.
[53] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p 94.

[54] Standardised mortality rate is
observed as Indigenous deaths divided by expected Indigenous deaths, based on
the age, sex and cause specific rates for non-Indigenous Australians: Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare, Australia’s Health 2008, ABS cat
no 8903.0 (2008) p 76.

[55] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare, Australia’s Health 2008, ABS cat no 8903.0
(2008) Table 3.4.
[56] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
130.
[57] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p 121, Table
7.34.
[58] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
133.
[59] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
134.
[60] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
2004-05
, ABS cat no 4715.0 (2005) p
3.
[61] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
2004-05
, ABS cat no 4715.0 (2005) p
3.
[62] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
2004-05
, ABS cat no 4715.0 (2005) p
3.
[63] S Zubrick, S Silburn, D
Lawrence and others, The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey:
The Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal Children and Young
People
, Curtin University of Technology and Telethon Institute for
Child Health Research (2005) p
30.
[64] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
111.
[65] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
111.
[66] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
111.
[67] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
139.
[68] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
139.
[69] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
139-140.
[70] Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The
Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
144.
[71] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
144.
[72] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
144.
[73] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
145.
[74] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
140.
[75] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
141.
[76] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
141.
[77] Department of Families,
Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Review of the First Phase
of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy
(2008). At http://www.facsia.gov.au/indigenous/petrol_sniffing_strategy_review/p02.htm (viewed 19 January 2009).
[78] Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs;
Department of Health and Ageing; and others, Submission to the Senate Inquiry
into Petrol Sniffing and Substance Abuse in Central Australia
, 22 August
2008, p 8. At http://www.aph.gov.au/SENATE/COMMITTEE/clac_ctte/petrol_sniffing_substance_abuse08/submissions/sub14.pdf (viewed 19 January 2009).
[79] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
55.
[80] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
55.
[81] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
81.
[82] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
103.
[83] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
103.
[84] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
104.
[85] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
107.
[86] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2001
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2001) p 65; Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
80.
[87] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
80.
[88] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
66.
[89] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p
81.
[90] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2006
, ABS cat no 4713.0 (2008) p 83 and
104.
[91] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
16-17.
[92] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
16-17.
[93] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
16-17.
[94] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
16-17.
[95] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
16-17.
[96] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
20.
[97] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
22.
[98] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
24.
[99] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
24.
[100] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
25.
[101] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
29-30.
[102] Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The
Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
30.
[103] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
30.
[104] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
30.
[105] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
30.
[106] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
37.
[107] The Canadian model is
sensitive to both household size and composition and uses the following criteria
to assess bedroom requirements:

  • there should be no more than two people per bedroom;
  • a household of one unattached individual may reasonably occupy a
    bed-sit;
  • couples and parents should have a separate bedroom;
  • children less than five years of age, of different sexes, may reasonably
    share a bedroom;
  • children five years of age or over, of the opposite sex, should not share a
    bedroom;
  • children less than 18 years of age and of the same sex may reasonably share
    a bedroom; and
  • single household members aged 18 years or over should have a separate
    bedroom.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian
Bureau of Statistics, The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
40.
[108] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
40-41.
[109] Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The
Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
41.
[110] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
41.
[111] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
41.
[112] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
42.
[113] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
43.
[114] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
43.
[115] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
42.
[116] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Communities 2006 (Reissue)
, ABS cat no 4710.0, (2007) p
87.
[117] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Communities 2006 (Reissue)
, ABS cat no 4710.0, (2007) p 56, Table
4.9.
[118] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
43.
[119] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
43.
[120] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
43.
[121] Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
42.
[122] Royal Commission into
Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, National Report (1991) volume 1, para.
9.3.1. At: www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/IndgLRes/rciadic (viewed 19 January 2009).
[123] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Prisoners in Australia 2008, ABS cat no 4517.0 (2008) p 22,
table 8.
[124] Australian
Bureau of Statistics, Prisoners in Australia 2008, ABS cat no 4517.0
(2008) p 6.
[125] Australian
Bureau of Statistics, Prisoners in Australia 2008, ABS cat no 4517.0
(2008) p 6.
[126] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Prisoners in Australia 2008, ABS cat
no 4517.0 (2008) p 6.
[127] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Prisoners in Australia 2008, ABS cat no
4517.0 (2008) p 6.
[128] D
Weatherburn, B Lind, B Hua and J Hua, ‘Contact with the New South Wales
court and prison system: the influence of age, Indigenous status and
gender’ (2003) Crime and Justice Bulletin 78(1) p 4-5. At
http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/bocsar/ll_bocsar.nsf/vwFiles/CJB7…'
(viewed 19 January 2009).
[129] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Prisoners in Australia 2008, ABS cat no 4517.0 (2008) p
8.
[130] M Cameron,
‘Women Prisoners and Correctional Programs’, AIC Trends and
Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
, no 194, Australian Institute of
Criminology (2001) p 1.
[131] Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Overcoming
Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2007
, Productivity Commission (2007)
p 128.
[132] Steering
Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Overcoming
Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2007
, Productivity Commission (2007)
p 129.
[133] Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The
Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
228.
[134] M Lynch, J Buckman,
and L Krenske, AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice,
Australian Institute of Criminology and Queensland Crime and Misconduct
Commission, Issues paper 265
(2003).
[135] M Lynch, J
Buckman, and L Krenske, AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal
Justice
, Australian Institute of Criminology and Queensland Crime and
Misconduct Commission, Issues paper 265 (2003) p
2.
[136] Australian Medical
Association, Undue Punishment? Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders
in Prison: An Unacceptable Reality
, Australian Medical Association Report
Card Series (2006). At https://fed.ama.com.au/cms/web.nsf/doc/WEEN-6PU9BH/$file/Indigenous_Report_Card_2006.pdf (viewed 19 January 2009).
[137] T Butler, L Boonwaat and
S Hailstone, National Prison Entrants Bloodborne Virus Survey Report 2004, Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice and National Centre for HIV
Epidemiology and Clinical Research (2005), p 5. At http://www.justicehealth.nsw.gov.au/publications/bbv_survey.pdf (viewed 19 January 2009).
[138] T Butler, L Boonwaat and S Hailstone, National Prison Entrants Bloodborne
Virus Survey Report 2004,
Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice and
National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (2005), p 5. At http://www.justicehealth.nsw.gov.au/publications/bbv_survey.pdf (viewed 19 January 2009).
[139] A Kariminia, T Butler, S Corben, M Levy, L Grant, J Kaldor and M Law,
‘Extreme cause-specific mortality in a cohort of adult prisoners-
1988-2002: a data linkage study’ (2007) 36(2) International Journal of
Epidemilogy
310, p 314.
[140] A Kariminia, T Butler, S
Corben, M Levy, L Grant, J Kaldor and M Law, ‘Extreme cause-specific
mortality in a cohort of adult prisoners- 1988-2002: a data linkage study’
(2007) 36(2) International Journal of Epidemilogy 310, p
310.
[141] M Lynch, J Buckman,
and L Krenske, AIC Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice,
Australian Institute of Criminology and Queensland Crime and Misconduct
Commission, Issues paper 265 (2003) p
ix.
[142] J Joudo and J
Curnow, Deaths in Custody in Australia: National deaths in Custody program
annual report 2006
, Australian Institute of Criminology, Technical and
Background paper no. 85 (2006) p
xiii.
[143] Australian Bureau
of Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
2004-05
, ABS cat no 4715.0 (2005) p
2.
[144] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
2004-05
, ABS cat no 4715.0 (2005) p
5-6.
[145] Kulunga Research
Network and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Submission to
the Senate Committee Inquiry into the Stolen Generation Compensation Bill
2008
, April 9, 2008. At www.aph.gov.au/SENATE/committee/legcon_ctte/stolen_generation_compenation/submissions/sub42.pdf (viewed 19 January 2009).
[146] For a detailed
explanation of care and protection classifications and statistics see:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child Protection 2001-02 (2003) ch 1.
[147] The ABS
cautions that data for Tasmania, however, should be interpreted with caution due
to the low incidence of child protection workers recording Indigenous status at
the time of the substantiation: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Population
Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 2001
, ABS
cat no 4705.0 (2002) p 222.

[148] Australian Bureau of
Statistics, Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Australians 2001
, ABS cat no 4705.0 (2002) p 223, Table
11.2.
[149] The ABS cautions
that SA data should be interpreted with caution due to the high proportion of
investigations not finalised by 31 August 2006 (the cut-off date for the
processing of investigations for inclusion in the data for that
year).
[150] Australian Bureau
of Statistics, Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Australians 2001
, ABS cat no 4705.0 (2002) p 223, Table
11.3.
[151] P Anderson and R
Wild, Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle - Little Children are Sacred, Report of
the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal
Children from Sexual Abuse
(2007).
[152] P Anderson and R
Wild, Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle - Little Children are Sacred, Report of
the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal
Children from Sexual Abuse
(2007), p 6. [153] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p 225, Table 11.4. [154] Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Health and
Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p 225, Table
11.4.
[155] Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics, The
Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples 2008
, ABS cat no 4704.0 (2008) p
225.
[156] Access Economics for
Reconciliation Australia, An overview of the economic impact of Indigenous
disadvantage,
(2008) p 5-6 (extracts). At
http://www.reconciliationaustralia.org/downloads/772/Theeconomicimpacto…
(viewed 19 January 2008).