Mining royalties in Aboriginal communities


Mining royalties in remote Aboriginal communities

Shirley Crane

27 May 2024

3:39 min

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We recently had the chance to sit down with Shirley Crane, an educator from Katherine, NT. Shirley grew up in far north Queensland and has spent a large part of her career working with remote Aboriginal communities. Her deep understanding of Aboriginal culture gives her a unique perspective on the challenges these communities face today.

One of the critical issues Shirley highlights is the distribution of mining royalties to these communities. While intended as a form of economic support, these payments often lead to unintended consequences. For instance, children are frequently pulled out of school to collect the money, disrupting their education. This cash influx can result in extended absences as families spend their newfound wealth, often returning only after the money is depleted.

Shirley argues that while financial support is essential, it must be accompanied by education on money management. Without understanding how to handle money, the benefits of these royalties can quickly dissipate, leading to cycles of poverty and dependence.

Furthermore, Shirley touches on the broader social challenges, such as the difficulty in discussing Indigenous issues openly due to fears of being labeled racist. She stresses the importance of open dialogue in addressing and resolving these challenges, advocating for a more inclusive approach to integrating Aboriginal practices with modern society.

Other resources


Aboriginal culture series: What is humbugging?


Aboriginal culture series: Payback mentality


Aboriginal culture series: Welcome to Country