Matthew Gray

Matthew Gray is Director and Professor at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at The Australian National University, and Director of Research in the College of Arts and Social Science at The Australian National University.

Indigenous Australians and the National Disability Insurance Scheme »

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is one of the major policy innovations of the early 21st century in Australia, representing a new way of delivering services to people with a disability and those who care for them. It has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, giving them greater certainty and control over their lives. There is a higher incidence of disability in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population than in the Australian population more generally, so the NDIS is of particular relevance to Indigenous Australians. However, Indigenous Australians with a disability have a very distinct age, geographic and health profile, which differs from that of the equivalent non-Indigenous population. Furthermore, the conceptualisation of disability and care in many Indigenous communities, particularly in remote areas, may differ markedly in comparison to more settled parts of the country, and there is the added complexity of a unique history of interaction with government. In considering these issues in detail, this Research Monograph provides a resource for policy makers, researchers and service providers who are working in this important policy area. Its major conclusion is that the NDIS, if it is to be an effective policy for Indigenous Australians, needs to take into account their very particular needs and aspirations.

Health Expenditure, Income and Health Status Among Indigenous and Other Australians »

Using data from the 1995 National Health Survey (NHS) this study asks the question—what is the relationship between income, health expenditure and health status for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in Australia? Income is generally seen as an indicator of ability to address the need for health expenditure, and as a factor in influencing health status. The expectation, therefore, is that income and health status are positively related. The analysis measures differences in health expenditure and reported health status between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, holding income level constant. No association is found between income and Indigenous health status. A number of explanations are canvassed. The finding may simply reflect poor data quality, both in terms of income and self-assessed health status. An alternative hypothesis, with long-term implications, is that adult mortality reflects foetal and childhood health, regardless of current income status.