Indigenous Displacement and Housing


Indigenous people also popularly characterized as first people or autochthonous people or native people, who are known to be the original inhabitants of a specific region. These communities are distinct from the recently settles societies in different region (Singer, Hoang and Ochiai, 2015). It has been observed that this set of people are often prone to scourge in respect to their sovereignty, accessibility and economic well-being. In pursuance to the same, the indigenous people have been special piece of concern for human rights activists at international as well as national level. Article 11 envisaged in International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights specifically provides for the Right to adequate housing. With the changing times and growth the living conditions, the process of urbanization of aboriginal people has commenced, resulting into increasing migration of people to the urban lands. However, in spite of various effort majority of people from these communities reside in rural areas (Christensen, 2016). The government of the nation has launched various campaigns and policies in order to support the growth of these communities. Therefore, the present report purports to assess the primary issues which persist in this field as well as the policies enacted by the government of nation for enhancing the living conditions of these people.

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The current approach of the government towards the well-being of indigenous people has been characterized as piece-meal as well as inefficient as their exists over representation of people from this community in issues of homelessness as well as overcrowding (Solonec and Seery, 2015). The living conditions of these people is highly squalid in nature and most of them do not have an option of going anywhere else. It has been observed that in New South Wales one of the families from this community has been forced to reside in a condemned house as they do not have any other alternative. The family is living in the house along with their dog in a de-commissioned house, which has been listed for demolition. There many such families which are living in such dilapidated properties which are either listed for demolition or requires instant re-furbishing. The advocacy groups as well as the government has undertaken various measures for improving the living conditions of these people. However, the process is extremely slow and the families are made to await for more than 12 months for being upgraded to houses with better conditions (Kennedy and Hall, 2016). It has been ascertained that the homeless population of Australia, comprises 28 per cent of Indigenous people alone. Particularly in the Northern Territory 90% of the homeless people can be characterized from indigenous community. In furtherance to the same it has also been determined that these people have three times higher probability to live in accommodations which are overcrowded.

Overcrowding constitutes to be another major issue which the Aboriginal communities have been facing. This issue can be evidenced from the fact that a 3- bedroom accommodation is being shared by people which could be even up to 17 in number (Posthumus and Kleinhans, 2014). This issue in turn has led to arising of a wide range of other problems having an impact on various aspects of these peoples' life. The probability of these people living in a over crowded house is 5 times higher than other Australians. It has been observed that on an average about 8 people find accommodation in a single bed room. In the year 2006, it was declared by the UN that Australia accounts for the worst housing in respect to indigenous people. The primary reasons which have been identified for causation of overcrowding could be classified as either temporary or permanent.

Overcrowding can be determined as the major issue in Aboriginal communities. With time the rate of population in Australia is increasing (Aiken and Leigh, 2015). This is causing issues in order to get place for their stay. As per the tin sheds and houses in Alice Springs, at each house, it can hold up to 10 people on an average. However, the issue of population has caused them to sometimes stay up to 17 people. This has raised the issue related with privacy and the rate of noise pollution has also raised. With remoteness the rate of overcrowding increases. There has affected about 13% of adults in many of major cities. 48% in remote areas and 20% in regional areas. Further, there are about 2/3 of the Aboriginal people who live in overcrowded houses. As per the condition that has raised due to over crowdedness, there are about 30 of the people who are living in one house. Further, in Australia there is no proper consistent or clear and holistic housing structure.

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Statistic:Palm Island which the largest community of Aboriginal has about 17 people who live in one house (Anderson and Collins, 2014). As per the probabilistic calculation, it can be stated that about 5 times higher Aboriginal people live in houses that are overcrowded when comparison made with proper who are non Aboriginal. Further, as per a study conducted, it is identified that about 7.5 of people stay in one bedroom. There are about 90% of the people who are homeless and are Aboriginal. Another set of issue that faced by these people is low rate of income due to which they are not able to have healthy life. A house were there are about 17 people living and all must be earning but it is not enough to have healthy food. This has negative impact over the health. Further, there are many of the Aboriginal people who are disabled, have issues related to mental health, poor physical health and also have substance abuse issues (Daoud and Jabareen, 2014). Further, there are different type of problems that are faced by people due to over crowdedness. In this context, one of the main issue of increase in consumption of alcohol. Further, it includes increase in rate of conflicts or fights, increase in stress. In addition to this, there are other diseases that is caused to people who live in overcrowded houses.

There are different type of policies that are considered by government in order to protect the interest of people. With this respect, indigenous environmental health practices focus on providing high range of services that are related with communities. In this context, it includes maintenance, repair, resource management, waste, pest control and it also includes hazardous material (Singer, Hoang and Ochiai, 2015). One of the most important aspect that has to be considered is related with delivering proper information to people. When local individuals have proper information about the negative aspect for living in over crowdedness, then they will consider to take up steps with the help of which the rate of issues can be solved. There is a type of agreement between All Austrian States and Territories and Commonwealth of Australia. Main aim of this strategy is to develop the living condition of people and housing in remote Australian. They aim at understanding the problems that are faced in each houses and accordingly steps are take with the help of which better living condition can be provided. Moreover, there is Western Australian Regional Service Reform Unit, they focus on providing proper services to Aboriginal communities (Christensen, 2016). One of the acts that are considered for this aspect is related with Public Health Act 2016. As per this act, it is important to consider the mental as well and physical health of local people and all the problems that are faced by them should be considered so that they will be able to perform effectively and efficiently. Further, government play vital role in promoting health related aspect so that they will be able to understand the issues that are faced by them. Consideration is also made for the people who have got issues related with health due to many people living at same house. There are different type of sources that are used in order to make promotion of the services and the steps that should be take to overcome or to reduce the problems that are faced by the community of Aboriginal.


Aboriginal community suffer from problem because there are several individuals who relative homeless, and many set up camps to protest their rights. It is one of the main form of communication (McDonald & Merefield, 2010). This give physical presence in communication this political issue to public. Political protest give rise to interest amidst external media outlets with different platform such as social networking communicating, radio and broadcast television. Along with this, the group also personally communicate with public with the support of personal communication that is twitter, Facebook etc. in order to misinterpretation of their campaign and its purpose through mediation by external outlets (Gwynne, Irving, and Blinkhorn, 2016). Two issues faced by aboriginal community is overcrowding and homelessness.

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Communication strategy:

The communication strategy used by indigenous group for protest is social media, set up camps, radio and television. At the time of communication with Aboriginal group it is essential to recognized that every community has their own local protocols and it should be dictate the communication approach which was taken. The communication done with Aboriginal group must be culturally sensitive and respectful. Further there is no specific formula set for interacting with indigenous people (Gwynne, McCowen, and Blinkhorn, 2016). Therefore, at the time of communicating with them it is essential for government agencies to be aware that there can be some barrier in effective communication and engagement. It can be happen due to past negative experience with governments, traditional and cultural different between a different group and higher grade of transiency in remote and regional location.

  • There are some consideration which need to include at the time of communicating with aboriginal community. This are as follows:
  • it is important to use clear language and use technical terms which can fully explained
  • Government need to be aware that words might have different meaning in different community.
  • Further government can use different channel for communicating and for convey message such as television, print media, radio, face to fact and social media.
  • There can be use of mix of mainstream and indigenous media channels for indigenous specific information and for basic information.
  • Government can also use some particular elements for indigenous specific communication that is design, talent,. Music elements etc.
  • It need to be consider that at the time of communicating there must be some specific elements of which need to be undertaken for cultural reasons (Valery, Coory and Green, 2006).
  • There need to be active provider of information as some indigenous communities who wait to receive government information instead to seek it out.


Consideration at the time of communicating with aboriginal communities:

  • There can be use of verbal and audio communication if needed at any time.
  • Government should be ensure that most indigenous language is verbal language which cannot be translated into written form (Bailey, Mace and Powell, 2016.).
  • Government make efforts in order to improve coordination with indigenous communities.
  • For engaging successful it is important to respond the indigenous history, cultures and contemporary social dynamic and to the diversity of indigenous communities
  • There should be effective governance and capacity within both the indigenous community and government themselves.


Effective engagement

Effective engagement is one of the sustained process which provides indigenous people with the opportunity for take part actively in decision making. Indigenous community participation can be regular at the time of developing policy and the program to implement them and the evaluation of outcome (Gabrielsen, Procter and Pardo, 2017). The effective engagement can be undertaken with an understanding of the cultural and historical complexity of specific local and regional indigenous contexts in relation to endeavour to share power in relationship which lead to foster mutual trust. For this purpose it is necessary to have proper adequate governance arrangement. Therefore, both the indigenous community and the government should need to have capacity to negotiate their aspiration and government to respond in a flexible and timely way. The engagement can be successful at the time when both the parties have clear outcome which they want to achieve.

Social media

  • From the research is has been shown that social media is one of the more likely which is used by the indigenous people in order to communicate for their homelessness issues. They used social media so that no one can misinterpret their protest (Anthony and Grant, 2016). There population is increasing and they want land in urban area. For this purpose, they use social media so that government can understood form the problem which they are suffering and government provide them land.
  • Social media is one of the best method for engaging and creating partnership with different stakeholders whose message and goals are closely related with their priorities. Further it encourages user generated content for sharing stories of indigenous community people (Phillips and Luke, 2017.). Along with this, social media language is conversational and appropriate for all community people. Twitter is appropriate for engaging with key indigenous affairs stakeholder which can be done by sharing news stories and for delivering live update during key events. For instance, how people are living at less area and what difficulty they are facing at present can be watch in you tube video.
  • You tune which can be for creating positive discussion and for sharing of real life stories and other type news. These videos can be received by targeted audiences (Bailey, Mace and Powell, 2016).
  • Facebook is one of the best method which can be used in order to send information that they live under a system and where they had aligned law forced upon for 240 years and still then don't understand the basic premise. It said that indigenous community have basic system of law.

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The another method for communicating information is television and video. This method can be mostly prefer to received information which was shared by government (Robinson, Maclean and Rist, 2016). The media of sharing information cover different policy:

Government advertisement given on television can be frequently passed on by word of mouth to different community such as indigenous group (Robinson, Maclean and Rist, 2016) . Further, in the case of remote areas, local indigenous can used radio for which is one of the most important way to communication. s

This type of media can be used by government and indigenous group in order to communicate information regarding homelessness and overcrowding issues.

Discussion and analysis of finding

The objective is to focus on issues which indigenous community is facing at present related to land on which the are living from longer time (Gabrielsen, Procter and Pardo, 2017). Through the help of communication strategy this objective can be achieved. The main objective of Aboriginal people is to kept secure block at an Urban land.

For aboriginal people the first piece of land which they need to get back on their struggle for recognition for aboriginal rights for their own land, in their own country (Islam and Berkes, 2016). They want land at urban area. There population is increasing and they are allotted less land for living which creating many difficulties for them. Problem of indigenous people was listened by government and they were provided a land by government at Urban area. There are about 17 of the people in one house and it becomes difficult for people to fulfil their basic requirement due to low income rate of due to high rate of people to be handled. When people does not have proper source of income, then they go for illegal activities so that they will be able to earn huge amount

It is understood that Tent embassy was re- established in order to resume its campaign for political change, Aboriginal people demanding for lend right and legal title. From the statistics it show that population of aboriginal people is increases and they are unable to adjust at less place. For this reason they need to land in urban area for living purpose (Gabrielsen, Procter and Pardo, 2017.). Jenny Munro who was organiser of tent embassy has always been skeptical of the projects and focus on providing affordable house to Aboriginal people. It is important for government to provide land in order to ensure that Aborginal people can live without facing any difficulty. Further, it is important for government to understand the needs and requirement, accordingly steps should be take through which they will be able to protect local people and their health.

It has been critically evaluated that campaign and communication used by indigenous group for protesting. Tent embassy organiser and a member of the indigenous community has always been sceptical of the project capability to deliver affordable housing for Aboriginal people claiming the commercial development us guaranteed (McDonald & Merefield, 2010). On the other hand, one of the problem faced by Aboriginal community is casting several individual into relative homelessness. Further it gives rise to violence and protest which become main form of communication.


From this report, it can be concluded that health of people is important and that should be taken care of. Further, it is important for government to understand the needs and requirement, accordingly steps should be take through which they will be able to protect local people and their health. There are different negative issues like stress, drinking, conflicts, etc. that has caused due to increase in population. There are about 17 of the people in one house and it becomes difficult for people to fulfil their basic requirement due to low income rate of due to high rate of people to be handled. When people does not have proper source of income, then they go for illegal activities so that they will be able to earn huge amount. Further, people should be provide with proper information about the negative issues that are faced by them.


Books and Journals

  • Singer, J., Hoang, H. and Ochiai, C., 2015. Postdisplacement community resilience: Considering the contribution of indigenous skills and cultural capital among ethnic minority Vietnamese.Asia Pacific Viewpoint. 56(2). pp.208-222.
  • Christensen, J., 2016. Indigenous housing and health in the Canadian North: Revisiting cultural safety.Health & place. 40.pp.83-90.
  • Solonec, T. and Seery, C., 2015. The Oombulgurri eviction: Practicality or illegality?.Indigenous Law Bulletin. 8(20). pp.16.
  • Kennedy, E. and Hall, S., 2016. The national partnership agreement on remote indigenous housing: Now and in the future?.Parity. 29(8). pp.32.
  • Posthumus, H. and Kleinhans, R., 2014. Choice within limits: how the institutional context of forced relocation affects tenants’ housing searches and choice strategies.Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. 29(1). pp.105-122.
  • Aiken, S. R. and Leigh, C. H., 2015. Dams and indigenous peoples in Malaysia: development, displacement and resettlement.Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography. 97(1). pp.69-93.
  • Anderson, J. T. and Collins, D., 2014. Prevalence and causes of urban homelessness among Indigenous peoples: A three-country scoping review. Housing Studies. 29(7). pp.959-976.
  • Daoud, N. and Jabareen, Y., 2014. Depressive Symptoms Among Arab Bedouin Women Whose Houses are Under Threat of Demolition in Southern Israel: A Right to Housing Issue.Health and human rights. 16(1). pp.179-191.
  • Habermas, J. 2006, 'Political communication in media society: Does democracy still enjoy an epistemic dimension? The impact of normative theory on empirical research', Communication Theory, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 411–426.
  • Macnamara, J. 2015, Creating an ‘architecture of listening’ in organizations: The basis of engagement, trust, ethics, healthy democracy, social equity, and business sustainability, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
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