Telling It like It Is: Race Relations in Darwin, Australia –Survey Results

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 31 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Maggie WALTER, University of Tasmania, Australia
This paper reports on the survey stage of a three part Australian research project that sought to provide Aboriginal Australians with the opportunity to describe their own subjectivities and narratives of race relations. The research fills a large knowledge gap in that the views of White Australia on Aboriginal people are regularly canvassed, but little research exists on the views of Aboriginal people on Australian society and their place within it. The small proportionality of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (2.5%) and the uneven discoursal space of White and Aboriginal Australians contribute to this dearth of Aboriginal perspectives. The research was undertaken in Darwin, the major city in the Northern Territory, where Aboriginal people make up 30 percent of the total population. The project was undertaken partnership with Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation, the peak Aboriginal advocacy agency for the traditional landowners of the Greater Darwin area. To give voice to Aboriginal perspectives 400 Aboriginal people from the area were surveyed on their experience of, and attitudes towards, everyday race relations. The surveys were undertaken by an Aboriginal survey team over a period of 6 week October-November 2015. Sampling was stratified by age, gender, housing occupancy and employment status, to align with the Census 2011 socio-demographic profile of the Aboriginal population of Darwin. The results indicate that Darwin remains a largely segregated city with Aboriginal and White lives lived largely separate from each other and that racialized encounters remain an everyday experience for a majority of the Aboriginal population.