SSP Seminar | Aboriginal community organisations negotiating and surviving the ‘Advancement’ era, 2014-2019.
Monday 30 November 1:00PM – 2:00PM, via Zoom. Please contact Dinesh Wadiwel for Zoom details.
The introduction and rollout of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy in 2014 by the Abbott Coalition government dramatically altered the relationship between the Indigenous sector and the Commonwealth, and its effects continue to unfold in the present. Although there is a body of research on the broader turn to neoliberalism in Indigenous Affairs, there is little analysis of how Aboriginal community organisations and frontline workers understood, dealt with, and negotiated this significant policy shift at the grassroots level of service delivery. Using a critical qualitative methodology to undertake in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 32 frontline workers in eight Aboriginal community organisations in Western Sydney between 2016-2017, I highlight the day-to-day processes of negotiating and ultimately surviving these corrosive policy settings whilst workers balance a commitment to Aboriginal community of Western Sydney during deep crisis. This research reveals how settler-colonial neoliberalism is problematised, challenged, and negotiated by Aboriginal frontline workers through their action as a reality of contemporary Indigenous Affairs policy. In doing so, I argue that frontline workers – both in despite of, and owing to, this existential threat – expose a dual legitimacy crisis of both New Public Management and settler-colonial governance in the process through their production of a culturally-specific social good.
About the Speaker:
Alex Page currently holds the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. Alex has a PhD in Sociology (March 2020), using the sociology of race and racial states, settler-colonialism, critical Indigenous studies, and the sociology of practice/agency to explore the complex relationships between Indigenous peoples and Australian government. He is currently working with fellow Department members Prof. Alex Broom and Dr. Katherine Kenny on an ARC-funded Discovery Project on precision medicine in cancer care using critical in-depth qualitative research methodologies (2020-present).
Promotional Photo reference: National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, 2016, Twitter: https://twitter.com/congressmob/status/770398087525179392