Reluctant Representatives

Reluctant Representatives

Blackfella bureaucrats speak in Australia’s north

Authored by: Elizabeth Ganter

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Description

‘How can you make decisions about Aboriginal people when you can’t even talk to the people you’ve got here that are blackfellas?’ So ‘Sarah’, a senior Aboriginal public servant, imagines a conversation with the Northern Territory Public Service. Her question suggests tensions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have accepted the long-standing invitation to join the ranks of the public service.

Reluctant Representatives gives us a rare glimpse into the working world of the individuals behind the Indigenous public sector employment statistics. This empathetic exposé of the challenges of representative bureaucracy draws on interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who have tried making it work. Through Ganter’s engaging narration, we learn that the mere presence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the public service is not enough. If bureaucracies are to represent the communities they serve, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public servants need to be heard and need to know their people are heard.

Details

ISBN (print):
9781760460327
ISBN (online):
9781760460334
Publication date:
Nov 2016
Note:
CAEPR Research Monograph No. 37
Imprint:
ANU Press
DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.22459/CAEPR37.11.2016
Series:
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)
Co-publisher:
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)
Disciplines:
Social Sciences: Indigenous Studies, Politics & International Studies
Countries:
Australia

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