Articles by: Jon Altman

Author Biography:

Jon Altman has a background in economics and anthropology and is an emeritus professor at the Australian National University. He works on practical issues around environmental, economic and social justice for Indigenous peoples in Australia and beyond with a number of not-for-profits. He has been an active participant in the Arena project for 20 years.

Informit: ‘Developing the Aborigines’

On 20 October with muted fanfare, Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) launched the much-anticipated Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011-2018 (IEDS). The IEDS has been four years in the making and was now the responsibility of a triumvirate of Ministers including Mark Arbib, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development and Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations. Fittingly perhaps, given its content, the IEDS…

Informit: W(h)ither remote Indigenous economic development?

As 2011 unfolded, some reflexive summer copy appeared in 'The Australian' on disappointingly slow progress in Indigenous development in remote Australia. For several years now 'The Australian' has taken a lead role in advocating for intervention, championing the decisive actions taken in 2007 in the Northern Territory under the policy umbrella of a 'national emergency', and strongly editorialising and commentating on the need for forms of individual responsibility, private home ownership, education, employment and business…

Informit: Wild rivers

As the Senate inquires into the Queensland Wild Rivers Bill, Jon Altman argues the case for Aboriginal resources rights across Australia.

Informit: Understanding Maningrida’s High Court challenge

Informit: The Indigenous ’employment gap’

Informit: Will the NT intervention now unravel?

Informit: Neo-paternalism and the destruction of CDEP [Community Development Employment Projects]

Informit: The future of Indigenous Australia [Policy should involve more than a choice between the free market and welfare dependency.]

Informit: Inconvenient facts: [Denigrating Aboriginal outstations as ‘cultural museums’ ignores the facts.]

Informit: Aboriginal economy and social process: the indigenous hybrid economy and its sustainable development potential

Informit: Arnhem land Buffalo

In May 2014 I was flying low in a helicopter over the Tomkinson River floodplains in western Arnhem Land, locally known by the regional name Bulkay. While I had visited Bulkay on many occasions, this was my first chopper flyover since 2009. This area is renowned as a site for large gatherings of Aboriginal people owing to its seasonal resource abundance. I saw herds of wild buffalo visible from the air in greater numbers than…

Informit: Neoliberal assimilation

Homo economicus sits at the centre of the Forrest Review of Aboriginal jobs and training. As an academic and practitioner who has undertaken research on Indigenous policy and development for nearly forty years and chaired policy reviews for governments, I realise that the task is challenging, especially in the cluttered and highly politicised field that is Indigenous policy today. But I was sceptical from the outset that the Forrest Review would deliver, owing to a…