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Day 1: Australia 2012

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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]


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] ^top


Participation in the labour force

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]


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%).


9. Housing and homelessness

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.

Indigenous People and the Criminal justice systems

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Lewis Mehl-Madrona graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed residencies in family medicine and in psychiatry at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing, Coyote Wisdom, and (more...)
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