Aboriginal communities in Western Australia

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  • Large red dot: 500 people or more
  • Medium red dot: 200 to 499
  • Small red dot: 50 to 199
  • Smaller back dot: less than 50 people
  •      Very remote
  •      Remote
  •      Outer regional
  •      Inner regional
  •      Major city
Indigenous communities by usual population (left) and by remoteness area (right) based on ABS data for 2006[1]

Aboriginal communities in Western Australia are communities for indigenous Australians within their ancestral country; the communities comprise families with continuous links to country that extend before the European settlement of Australia.

The governments of Australia and Western Australia have supported and funded these communities in a number of ways for over 40 years; prior to that Indigenous people were non citizens with no rights, forced to work for sustenance on stations as European settlers divided up the areas, or relocated under various Government acts.

Aboriginal Communities Act 1979[edit]

The Aboriginal Communities Act 1979[2] allowed Aboriginal councils to make and enforce by-laws on their land. Originally it only applied to the Bidyadanga and Bardi communities, but was subsequently extended to others.[3][4]

Earlier stages of assistance[edit]

In the 1980s and 1990s, effort was made to support indigenous communities.[5][6][7]

Politicisation of funding issues[edit]

In 2014 and 2015 the support of some of the communities was questioned in Western Australian and Australian political discussions.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

In 2015 rallies were held across Australia and the world to protest the withdrawal of government support of the communities.[19][20][21][22][23] A group of Aboriginal protesters set up a camp on Heirisson Island, as "... a place of retreat for all Aboriginal persons who have been and will be forcibly removed by the West Australian Government".[24][25][26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Appendix 4 Reference Maps". Australian Bureau of Statistic. 17 April 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Aboriginal Communities Act 1979". State Law Publisher, Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Aboriginal Courts in Western Australia". Australian Law Reform Commission. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Maggie Brady (2013). "Law reforming lawyers and aboriginal social controls: The case of the western Australian Aboriginal communities act". Australian Indigenous Law Review. Informat. 
  5. ^ Western Australia. Equal Opportunity Commission; Davis, Liz (1990), Essential service delivery to Aboriginal communities in Western Australia : a report, Equal Opportunity Commission, ISBN 978-0-7309-3888-0, ISSN 1031-9697 
  6. ^ Peter Alexander and Associates; Western Australia. Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority (1991), Inquiry into service and resource provision to remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia, Peter Alexander and Associates, retrieved 10 May 2015 
  7. ^ Western Australian Planning Commission (2000), Planning for Aboriginal communities, The Commission, retrieved 10 May 2015 
  8. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/leaders-divided-over-plan-to-close-indigenous-communities/5907446
  9. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/not-all-remote-aboriginal-communities-will-close-wa-government/5906846
  10. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/closing-remote-aboriginal-communities-cause-chaos-leaders-say/5889278
  11. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-12/indigenous-communities-closures-will-have-severe-consequences/5886840
  12. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-30/wa-top-cop-backs-call-for-remote-community-shutdowns-cites-abuse/6358208?section=wa
  13. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-26/funding-to-dozens-of-remote-communities-under-proposed-strategy/6350932
  14. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-26/aboriginal-mps-and-elders-call-for-talks-to-stop-panic-in-commu/6350536
  15. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-25/remote-communities-will-be-consulted-before-closures-minister/6346690
  16. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-20/remote-aboriginal-communities-will-not-be-closed-scullion-says/6337012
  17. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-19/protesters-rally-against-closure-aboriginal-remote-communities/6332526
  18. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-28/wa-premier-colin-barnett-remains-staunch-on-remote-communities/6352678
  19. ^ Sarah Taillier and staff (1 May 2015). "Rallies held to protest against threat of remote community closures in Western Australia". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Hundreds protest against WA community closures in Sydney, Melbourne". Special Broadcasting Service. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Eduardo Jordan (1 May 2015). "The remote communities closure protests gain momentum". The Wire. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Rallies demand end to Aboriginal community closures". Green Left Weekly. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "MP joins Aboriginal closures protest". Rotorua Daily Post. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Andrew O'Connor (3 March 2015). "Aboriginal protesters set up camp on Heirisson Island as some remote communities face closure". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  25. ^ Rebecca Trigger (13 March 2015). "Heirisson Island Aboriginal protest: Police move in to clear campers". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Arrests as police remove tents at Perth's Heirisson Island Aboriginal protest". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 

External links[edit]