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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

CITIZENSHIP AND GOVERNANCE

ABILITY TO HAVE A SAY ON COMMUNITY ISSUES

The ability to have a say in local issues is a key aspect of citizenship, and contributes to an individual's sense of identity, empowerment and community membership. In 2008, one-quarter (25%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over said they felt able to have a say on community issues all or most of the time, and a further 23% some of the time. A smaller proportion of young people (aged 15–24 years) than people aged 25 years and over felt able to have a say all or most of the time (17% compared with 29%). Being able to have a say on community issues was more commonly reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote areas than in non-remote areas. Over half (55%) of people in remote areas felt that they could have a say some, all or most of the time, compared with 46% of those in non-remote areas (graph 3.42).

3.42 ABILITY TO HAVE A SAY ON COMMUNITY ISSUES, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over



CONNECTION TO GOVERNMENT AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS

Connection to government

In 2008, one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over (20%) knew a member of state or federal parliament, or local government representative, and felt comfortable contacting them for information or advice. Similar proportions were reported in non-remote and remote areas, and by males and females. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 years and over were more than three times as likely as those aged 15–24 years to have reported that they knew a member of state or federal parliament (26% compared with 8%).

Connection to other organisations

Having a contact within an organisation may assist people with decision-making and contribute to the information available to communities. In 2008, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in non-remote areas were asked about their contact with a range of organisations including government departments, educational institutions, business organisations and community groups. Nationally, more than half (54%) said that they personally knew someone in at least one organisation, with similar rates reported for males and females (table 3.43). However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 years and over were more likely than those aged 15–24 years, to have established one or more contacts within organisations (60% compared with 41%).


3.43 HAS A PERSONAL CONTACT WITHIN ORGANISATION(S)(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote areas—2008
15–24 years
25 years and over
15 years and over
%
%
%

State or territory government department
4.9
17.4
13.3
Local council
6.2
20.4
15.7
Legal system
5.5
19.0
14.6
Health care
9.6
26.3
20.8
University/TAFE/Business college
11.3
15.6
14.2
School-related group(b)
12.6
14.3
13.7
Small business
8.4
14.9
12.8
All other organisations(c)
10.9
30.9
24.3
Has a personal contact within one or more organisations(d)
41.1
59.9
53.8
no.
no.
no.
All persons
80 800
164 800
245 600

(a) Respondents could report personally knowing someone in more than one type of organisation.
(b) Difference between 15–24 years and 25 years and over rate is not statistically significant.
(c) Comprises Federal Government, trade union, political party, media, religious/spiritual group and big business.
(d) Sum of components exceeds total as respondents could report more than one type of organisation.
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.


TRUST IN SERVICE PROVIDERS

Trust and confidence in governments, service providers and people in general contributes to an individual’s ability to engage on community issues and to be involved in decision-making. In 2008, most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over (80%) trusted their own doctor, over two-thirds (69%) trusted the local school and more than half (62%) expressed trust in hospitals.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote areas were more likely than those in non-remote areas to have reported trust in hospitals (74% compared with 59%), the local school (79% compared with 65%) and local police (58% compared with 50%) (graph 3.44). A higher proportion of people in non-remote areas than in remote areas expressed trust in their own doctor (81% compared with 77%) and less than half (41%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote and remote areas expressed trust in police from outside their local area.

3.44 TRUSTS LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDERS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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