Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


In his speech The Light on the Hill Noel Pearson criticises the nature of contemporary social reality in Australia. In his view this social reality is co-dependent in portraying Indigenous Australians as victims and non-Indigenous Australians as guilty. The result has been the generation of a welfare mentality to the structural disadvantage of Indigenous Australians. I conclude that the debate Pearson has initiated is ongoing. This debate has adopted ideological overtones consistent with emphases on individual and community development and these emphases are emerging in policy. However I suggest that governments are seeking to divest responsibility for individual and community well being to those Indigenous Australians already constrained by relative structural disadvantage.