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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
An Indigenous community works hard to make a profitable, self-sustaining market garden. The aim is to create jobs for as many of their community as possible.

1min 31sec

Indigenous Community Market Garden is an excerpt from the film Working Together (12 mins), produced in 1973.



Working Together: The Community Employment Program provides funds to assist groups develop community projects that will provide work for the long-term unemployed. This film shows four CEP projects that were developed and implemented by Aboriginal communities: a home care service in Casino, NSW; a landscaping project in Baryulgil, NSW; a market garden in Eden on the NSW south coast; and the Aboriginal Women’s Unit, which employs information officers across Australia to assist women set up projects to meet their specific needs.

Working Together was produced by Film Australia for the National Aboriginal Employment Development Committee.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: SOSE/HSIE
Year: 11-12
Theme: Indigenous Work

Key Concepts

Employment; Government employment programs; Welfare; Self-determination

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
NSW:Aboriginal Studies Stage 6
NT:Aboriginal Studies Stages 1 and 2
Qld:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
SA:Aboriginal Studies Stages 1 and 2
Tas:11/12 Aboriginal Studies
Vic:Koorie History Unit 2
WA:Australian Studies Year 11

Context / Background Information

European invasion and settlement of Australia severely disrupted the economy and culture of Indigenous people. Many of these people became dislocated, and there have been efforts made recently to find ways of engaging Indigenous people in economic activities that are sympathetic to their culture.

Recent Australian governments have been committed to developing business and employment opportunities for Indigenous people to increase their economic independence.

The philosophy behind this is the belief that economic independence is essential to increasing the confidence, wealth, social direction and community empowerment of Indigenous people.

The Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Program has been operating since 1977. In 2004 it was the Australian Government's largest Indigenous program with funding of approximately $490 million per year.

The scheme provides for more than 36,000 participant places through around 280 community organisations across Australia.

Participants in the scheme subsidise two thirds of the scheme's costs by voluntarily working for their Income Support Benefits. CDEP provides work and community development, assists with employment creation and the establishment of successful businesses and assists Indigenous Australians to gain training and skills which are necessary for employment in the mainstream labour market.

CDEP provides fulfilling opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in those areas of Australia where jobs are scarce.

Discussion Pointers

  1. What does the video clip show?
  2. What is the message of the video clip?
  3. What is the attitude of the Aboriginal leader towards reliance on welfare?

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. What are the rights and responsibilities of Aboriginal people and governments in the creating of employment.
  2. Imagine that you have been asked to evaluate the likely success of this scheme. You need to use this video clip as your starting point. Develop a set of criteria for evaluating it, using these headings: culture; economy; society; individual. From this, formulate a series of hypotheses.
  3. Research an actual scheme to see what success has been achieved and why it has been successful. Contact the Department of Employment or your local Indigenous organization for help in identifying an appropriate scheme.

Modules That Use This Clip

SOSE/HSIE Year 11-12, English Year 11-12