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The shape of Aboriginal learning and work opportunities in desert regions

Young, Metta and Guenther, John Ch. (2008). The shape of Aboriginal learning and work opportunities in desert regions. The Rangeland Journal,30(1):177-186.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 78217904xPUB18
Title The shape of Aboriginal learning and work opportunities in desert regions
Author Young, Metta
Guenther, John Ch.
Journal Name The Rangeland Journal
Publication Date 2008
Volume Number 30
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1036-9872   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 177
End Page 186
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Field of Research 1301 - Education Systems
1303 - Specialist Studies in Education
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality, and lays a foundation for sustained economic growth. Aboriginal peoples of Australia experience ‘overwhelming’ disadvantages across every indicator of social and economic well being when compared with non-Aboriginal peoples. This disadvantage is experienced across all sectors of education, and although Aboriginal students are participating at high rates in vocational education and training, their pass rates and qualification outcomes remain well below those of non-Aboriginal Australians.

This paper maps the participation and outcomes for Aboriginal desert dwellers in the vocational education and training sector and relates these to factors such as: (1) compulsory school access, (2) remote area labour markets, (3) the state of housing and infrastructure on discrete desert settlements, and (4) the policy and program initiatives influencing land tenure, income security and labour force status.

The provision of education services across desert regions epitomises the tensions generated when the drivers of desert living – remoteness, dispersed sparse and mobile populations, variable climate, geography, cultures, languages and histories – interact with the differing factors that shape mainstream vocational education. Although innovations in program delivery more consistent with learner needs and aspirations can and do emerge, they are often framed as pilot projects or materialise in parallel program interventions such as youth work or land care. This paper explores the nature of these tensions and identifies the characteristics of educational interventions that can improve outcomes for Aboriginal desert dwellers no matter where they choose to live.
Keywords employment
remote communities
vocational and technical education
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Created: Mon, 11 May 2009, 09:44:41 CST by Sarena Wegener