Territory Stories

Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators



Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators


Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




The OID report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been actively involved in the development and production of the report. Section 1.1 describes the origins of the report, and section 1.2 describes its key objectives. Section 1.3 provides contextual information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Section 1.4 includes a brief historical narrative to help put the information in the report into context. Section 1.5 summarises some recent developments in government policy that have influenced the report and section 1.6 provides further information on the Steering Committee and the OID Working Group that advises it.


"These reports generally uses the term ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ to describe Australia’s first peoples and ‘non-Indigenous Australians’ to refer to Australians of other backgrounds, except where quoting other sources." Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this publication may contain images of deceased people.

Table of contents

Preliminaries -- Overview chapter -- Introduction -- The framework -- Key themes and interpretation -- COAG targets and headline indicators -- Governance, leadership and culture -- Early child development -- Education and training -- Healthy lives -- Economic participation -- Home environment -- Safe and supportive communities -- Outcomes for Torres Strait Islander people -- Measuring factors that improve outcomes -- Appendices.




Aboriginal Australians -- Ecoomic conditions; Aboriginal Australians -- Social conditions; Public welfare administration -- Australia; Aboriginal Australians -- Services for; Closing the Gap of Indigenous Disadvantage (Australia)

Publisher name

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision

Place of publication

Canberra (A.C.T.)


5 volumes (various pagings) : charts, colour map ; 30 cm.

File type



9781740375917 (Print); 9781740375900 (PDF)


1448-9805 (Print); 2206-9704 (Online)



Copyright owner

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445153; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445154; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445156; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445151

Page content

4.88 OVERCOMING INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE 2016 Child protection issues continue to be very significant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. Understanding and addressing the underlying causes of the issues that lead to children being at risk of entering the child protection system is essential if sustainable change is to occur to the socio-economic position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (SNAICC 2014). Child protection issues are associated with many other aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage, including domestic violence (section 4.12), parental substance abuse (sections 6.2, 11.1 and 11.2) and parental mental health problems (section 8.7) (Berlyn and Bromfield 2010; COAG 2009; Kiraly 2015). Families facing these sorts of problems are often affected by other influences including unemployment (section 4.7); lack of education (sections 4.6 and 4.8); young parenthood (section 6.3); overcrowding in housing (section 10.1) and limited access to primary health care (section 8.1) (Bamblett, Bath and Roseby 2010). Historical trauma and the consequences of past removal policies have also contributed to ongoing child protection issues (AHMAC 2015; Higgins 2010). Longer term effects of child abuse and neglect Adverse experiences in childhood can have a lifelong legacy. Children who grow up in unsafe homes and communities, and experience trauma, violence and neglect, may demonstrate difficulties in regulating emotions, behaviour, responses to stress, and interactions with others (McGuinness et al. 2013). Research has found children who experience the trauma of relatively high levels of child abuse and neglect have an increased risk of becoming perpetrators of violence as adults (Cripps 2007; Wundersitz 2010). Abuse in childhood has been associated with chronic adult health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, bronchitis/emphysema and cancer (section 4.9) (McGuinness et al. 2013). Child sexual abuse can also have long term effects on physical and mental health, and social, sexual and interpersonal functioning (Cashmore and Shackel 2013). Exposure to trauma and neglect is associated with suicidal behaviour (Atkinson 2013; Robinson, Silburn and Leckning 2011) and contact with the criminal justice system (Weatherburn, Snowball and Hunter 2008; Weatherburn 2014). Substantiations Child protection data show how many children come into contact with child protection services. These are the only data routinely collected in Australia on the number of children experiencing child abuse and neglect. Different definitions of what constitutes child abuse and neglect in each State and Territory mean that it is difficult to obtain consistent and comparable national data (Lamont 2011). As many cases of child abuse and neglect are not disclosed to authorities, the data do not reliably indicate how many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are abused or neglected (AIFS 2015; Berlyn and Bromfield 2010). Time series data should be interpreted with caution, as rates may be affected by changes in community awareness of child abuse and neglect, changes in propensity to report, changes

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

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