Aboriginal Environments Research Centre

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Inner-City Sydney Aboriginal Homeless Research Project

This project was commissioned by the NSW Government's Aboriginal Housing Office as a part of the Partnership Against Homelessness initiative, which was established to co-ordinate and improve a wide range of housing and support services for homeless people. The research project tasks included literature review and analysis, interview data collection and analysis, compilation of service provider profiles, and the collation of data and literature in a report. The study area from which homeless Aboriginal groups were selected for interview was inner city Sydney (study area demarked with black dashed line below).

The report culminated in a series of recommendations, which will assist relevant agencies in improving their services to Aboriginal homeless in the study area, but will also be generally useful in this little researched field of enquiry.

The AERC has compiled a large body of published and unpublished literature on Indigenous homelessness during a number of significant recent projects. These included: a study of Aboriginal itinerants in the Darwin and Palmerston areas (2001), a National Analysis of Strategies to Respond to Indigenous Itinerants and Public Place Dwellers, funded by Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services (2002), and a study of categories of Indigenous homeless people and good practice responses to their needs, funded by AHURI (2003).

  • To investigate types of inner-city Aboriginal homelessness
  • To map pathways for Aboriginal persons/families/groups in the inner-city into, within and out of homelessness
  • To provide strategies to address immediate and on-going accommodation, support or other needs expressed by participants
  • To identify effects of government policies on Aboriginal person experiencing homelessness in the inner-city
  • To train Aboriginal researchers so as to build research capacity; and
  • To inform the Partnership Against Homelessness to support the implementation of targeted projects to address the needs of homeless men and women and to inform the homeless service system generally
  • This study recommended that a coordination team be assembled to ensure that holistic approaches, relying heavily on partnerships between existing service providers and agencies, be enacted to assist the Aboriginal homeless population of inner city Sydney.
  • This coordination team was to comprise an overarching Partnerships Committee that included all the relevant State and Commonwealth government agencies, and a Steering Committee comprised of the relevant Aboriginal organisations operating in the area
  • Complete
Project Contacts
    Project Team: 
  • Catherine Chambers
  • Pam Ingram (Aboriginal Field Researcher)
  • Richard Green (Aboriginal Field Researcher)
Partners & Funding Details
  • Angela Pitts (NSW Aboriginal Housing Office)
  • Col James (Ian Buchan Fell Research Centre)
  • Colin James (Ian Buchan Fell Research Centre)
  • Sue Clarke (Ian Buchan Fell Research Centre)
  • Executive Summary