I forgot toÂ mention how much I enjoyed Boyd Hunter’s public lecture on August 3, on the topic that Indigenous policy should be based on evidence rather than hyperbole. Much of the talk focused on critiquing work coming out of the Centre for Independent Studies, which isn’t always carefully grounded in good datasets like the NATSIS. My question afterwards was on what the Left should learn from the evidence, that might lead it to revise its hyperbole.
Boyd didn’t nominate a particular issue, but another audience member suggested land rights — the theory being that the Left in the 1970s had a view that access to land would make a big difference, yet the health outcomes for remote Indigenous communities are not improving faster than urban Indigenous communities. But perhaps the Left has already learned this lesson: land rights seem to be lower on the priority list for Indigenous campaigners now than they were even as recently as the 1990s.