Haigh and Moloney examine the manner in which social equity is embedded in Australian public policy. The chapter argues that Australia’s colonial settlers and their early governments built a society based on hidden divisions which are still evident in many contemporary policy failures. The authors argue that several historical cleavages challenge the nation’s perception as a “lucky country” in which all citizens may achieve economic prosperity. The chapter draws first on case studies that highlight the racial categorization of Australian Aboriginal citizens and, second, on the evolution into market-driven disability schemes. Both cases illustrate how social (in)equity, a term not formally conceptualized in Australia’s scholarly and policy circles, informs where and how government policies can engage and disengage from social equity considerations.
SOURCE: Yvonne Haigh and Kim Moloney. “Social (In)equity in Australia?” Social Equity in the Asia-Pacific Region, 26 May 2019.
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