An Investigation into the Influx of Indigenous 'Visitors' to Darwin's Long Grass from Remote NT Communities - Phase 2: Being undesirable: law, health and life in Darwin's Long Grass

Holmes, Catherine and McRae-Williams, Eva (2009) An Investigation into the Influx of Indigenous 'Visitors' to Darwin's Long Grass from Remote NT Communities - Phase 2: Being undesirable: law, health and life in Darwin's Long Grass. Project Report. National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund (NDLERF), Hobart, Tasmania.

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The rate of Aboriginal homelessness in the Northern Territory and Darwin is staggering when compared with the rest of Australia. Living rough is categorised as primary homelessness by the Australian Government and is locally referred to as ‘staying in the Long Grass’. Previous research has highlighted that living in the Long Grass is likely to have an adverse effect on health, wellbeing and life quality as individuals attempt to survive from day to day in an inhospitable urban environment.

In Darwin, the primary homeless rate rapidly increased immediately following the announcement of the federal government’s Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) in Aboriginal Territory communities in June, 2007. While unintentional, the NTER policy became a structural driver of Aboriginal homelessness and internal displacement in Darwin; contrary to the goals articulated in other key national policies that attempt to address homelessness and Aboriginal disadvantage. Subsequently, the importance of monitoring homelessness and its broader social implications in Darwin has been highlighted, enabling a meaningful and timely contribution to policy development and service delivery concerning this population. This present study is a response to this need.

This study asked the question, ‘What do Aboriginal people staying in Darwin’s Long Grass require to attain an acceptable level of health and life quality and to be law abiding citizens?’ The views and experiences of 550 participants were explored through three stages of fieldwork. The first stage explored the lived experience of 122 Aboriginal people staying in the Long Grass. Using the Australian Aboriginal Version of the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, a second stage examined the level of exposure to trauma events and trauma symptoms experienced by 60 Aboriginal people in this population. The third stage gained an insight into the views of 368 non-Indigenous members of mainstream Darwin society about people staying in the Long Grass.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Keywords: Intervention Homelessness Indigenous Aboriginal Drug Use
Field of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200209 Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2010 01:37
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 14:03

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