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Keynote address and program

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies (IPAE)

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Keynote speaker

Professor Jon Altman, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), The Australian National University.

Professor Altman has been awarded an Australian Research Council Australian Professorial Fellowship (2008 to 2013) focusing on 'Hybrid Economic Futures for Remote Indigenous Australia'.

For more details on Professor Altman see:

Keynote address abstract

The hybrid economy as political project: reflections from the Indigenous estate

In 2001 I devised the conceptual framework 'the hybrid economy' to help me understand a particular empirically-grounded economic context and its transformations. I was particularly keen to transcend the oversimplified market/non market binary in relation to Indigenous economies.

Since then I have expanded use of this framework to influence policy thinking about development alternatives for Indigenous people living beyond the mainstream. Despite the failure of the dominant development paradigm to deliver results for Indigenous Australia, there is an ongoing discursive, ideological and even intellectual commitment to mainstream forms of development.

Drawing on cases from recent research undertaken in areas as diverse as climate change, property rights, mining agreements, the arts industry, wildlife harvesting, provision of environmental services, and northern development generally, I demonstrate how the hybrid economy framework can be used to alter the visioning of economic futures for Aboriginal people living on the expansive Indigenous estate.

This political project is currently subordinated by the dominant discourse of mainstreaming and the need for engagement in the 'real' economy. I contend that future national and global uncertainties, combined with Indigenous aspiration and agency, make the diversity inherent in the hybrid economy a less risky and more optimistic option than the imagined economic integration of remote living Aboriginal people into the mainstream.

Professor Jon Altman

Gudurr Tataya with photos of his old Karunjie bosses, Dave Rust and Scotty Salmond, that he dug out of his bag.
Gudurr Tataya with photos he dug out of his bag of his old Karunjie bosses, Dave Rust and Scotty Salmond. Photo: Dr Anthony Redmond.


  • Histories of economic relations
  • Exotic relations: camels and the articulation of Indigenous and settler social and economic forms
  • Economy and material culture
  • The transformation of relations and transactions within and around missions and stations, fringe camps and towns
  • Transitions from low wage to no wage and Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP)
  • Stolen wages and the contemporary efforts to secure recompense
  • Local enterprise and Indigenous communities
  • Conflicts over development.

More information about each panel

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