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 Indigenous Mobility in Discrete and Rural Settlements

Indigenous Mobility in Discrete and Rural Settlements

Principal AERC Staff:
Assoc Prof Paul Memmott, Stephen Long, Mark Moran, Lee Sheppard and Linda Thomson
[Refer to the Staff Profiles section of this website for more detail about these people.]

School of Geography Planning & Architecture (UQ):
Dr John Taylor, Assoc Prof Martin Bell and Dr Scott Baum
[Refer to the Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture Faculty website for more detail about these people.]

This project aims to carry out a combination of statistical and field-based research on the residential mobility of Indigenous people in selected discrete and rural communities in order to quantify and contextualize their mobility patterns; in particular to distinguish between circular regional mobility and extra-regional mobility. The study will contrast mobility scales both spatially and temporally, ie short-term versus long-term residential turnover will be compared, as will intra-regional mobility be compared with long-distance mobility between remote and metropolitan residential settings.

A long-standing issue in Indigenous migration trend analysis is whether continual urban drift of the Indigenous population is occurring or whether any urban migration is being offset by homeward migration from cities. Understanding such patterns and trends should direct policy makers as to where settlement infrastructure maintenance and upgrading is required for the near future, and where special forms of transient accommodation may be required. Implications for housing management include the frequency in which the tenancies are destabilized, the necessity to provide for flexible household size and understanding the capacity of householders in managing mobile kin. Reasons for movement are likely to provide indicators of a range of service access problems in the place of departure as well as a range of coping problems generated by the mobility itself.