This article describes applied anthropological research into the nature of Indigenous1 Australians' reliance on welfare income support, in the context of evaluating the suitability and effectiveness of Federal Government welfare policy and service delivery. The paper focuses on Indigenous families and the households in which they reside and includes reference to applied longitudinal research being jointly conducted by the author and a small multi-disciplinary team of anthropologists and economists from the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at the Australian National University, Canberra (see Smith 2000 for a full account of the research project).

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