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

10.4 OVERCOMING INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE 2016 Charlesworth 2012; Office of the Auditor General Western Australia 2015; Pholeros and Phibbs 2012). Better, less cramped living conditions have been linked to positive effects on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, education and family relationships: health if a house is appropriately designed for the number of residents and adequately maintained, the bathroom, and adequate kitchen and laundry facilities make it easier to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to encourage good environmental health (AIHW 2015; Clifford et al. 2015; NSW Department of Health 2010). The impacts of environmental health are discussed further in section 10.2 education learning and cognitive development of all Australian children has been shown to be negatively affected by crowding, with the effect increasing for each additional person per bedroom. The same study showed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were more likely to experience crowding (Dockery et al. 2013). Extra space gives children and young people opportunities for enough sleep and relaxation, and allows them to do homework and study without outside disruptions (Biddle 2007) family relationships increase in control over living space, or additional space may help to reduce domestic tensions, leading to fewer instances of domestic violence (Bailie and Wayte 2006). Cultural and social factors influence the way housing is used by different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, and it is important to consider the relationship between culturally appropriate household size and overcrowding (AIHW 2014; Birdsall-Jones and Corunna 2008; Memmott, Birdsall-Jones and Greenop 2012; 2014; Memmott 2014). Households with many members, often of multiple generations, and including extended family, are not unusual in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and may be the preferred way of living for some families (AHMAC 2015; Memmott, Greenop and Birdsall-Jones 2014). McDonald (2011), summarising the research and policy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing and the relationship to Closing the Gap, notes that larger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households also frequently encompass kin who are elderly, or people with poor mental or physical health, which presents additional stress and challenges. Larger households may also increase social connectivity, which is associated with positive impacts on health (AHMAC 2015). In a small qualitative study of 69 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander householders, Memmott, Greenop and Birdsall-Jones (2014) found that sharing was a central value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, as was mutual care of extended family and people chose to stay in houses with large numbers of people due to ties with kin and place. The number of people staying in the house was not the most significant source of stress, but rather a lack of control over who stayed and/or their behaviour. Stress was mediated when the householder required firm adherence to house rules, including the organisation of sleeping spaces, and sharing visitors among other family households. Foster et. als (2011) research synthesis of housing and health

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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