The Social Geographies of Indigenous Population and Housing in Australia’;s Regional Urban Centres

Sarah Prout, N.G. Biddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015,Geographical Society of New South Wales Inc. In recent years, social scientists have turned increasing scholarly focus to the ‘post-colonial city’, as it relates to the lived experiences and socio-cultural worlds of urban-dwelling Indigenous peoples. In Australia, this literature is concerned primarily with issues of identity, power and representation in big cities. More conventional geographic analyses regarding socio-spatial, economic and demographic aspects of urban Indigenous experience have been mostly absent from this discourse. In this paper, we begin to address this gap within the literature by identifying notable socio-spatial, economic, and demographic features of urban Indigenous experience in regional Australian cities. We draw on census and administrative data to empirically examine Indigenous residency, presence, and uneven housing market access in regional urban centres. The analysis builds a national comparative picture regarding population change, tenure type, crowding and housing affordability in these localities. At the same time, it ‘drills down’ to explore some of the drivers and implications of change against these indicators in one case study locality: Geraldton Western Australian. This case study analysis, based on recent fieldwork, grounds the broad identified trends in a localised narrative, illuminating some of general and specific socio-economic and socio-spatial dynamics that shape urban life for Indigenous peoples in regional Australia and the implications of these dynamics for broader questions of co-existence between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-71
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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