Crabb (2011) noted that Aboriginal Australians grow up learning two kinds of histories: memories preserved by family, and a humiliating textbook history taught in schools that does not recognise the depth of Indigenous culture. Reconciliation can only occur when sovereignty is acknowledged through the recognition of past injustices, property rights and cultural practices.
In recent years the policy of the Commonwealth has been based on what has been described as the fundamental right of Aboriginals to retain their racial identity and traditional lifestyle or, where desired, to adopt wholly or partially a European lifestyle, and has encouraged Aboriginal participation or control in local or community government, and in other areas of concern. This approach, variously described as a policy of self-management or self-determination, has been accompanied by government support programs managed by Aboriginal organisations.
Income and education impact on an individual’s ability to ‘engage’ and ‘influence’ society. Indigenous Australians are known to have the lowest economic status of all Australians. Poor socio-economic, education and employment levels have links to financial hardship, poverty, debt, homelessness, family breakdown, social isolation and crime. Indigenous Australians suffer disproportionately high levels of domestic violence and over-representation in the justice system. Especially, over-crowding due to a shortage of housing is more sever in rural and remote areas; Living in overcrowded conditions may contribute to ill health and family violence and can disrupt education and work. Over-crowding is one of the biggest cause of hidden homelessness amongst indigenous Australian communities based on Productivity Commission (2016).