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A contemporary Aboriginal community : a study of community housing needs for the contemporary Aboriginal people of Cape Barren Island


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Zidak, Christopher Jonathon 1996 , 'A contemporary Aboriginal community : a study of community housing needs for the contemporary Aboriginal people of Cape Barren Island', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This study involved an investigation of the Aboriginal community -
the small township on Cape Barren Island living at The Corner. Cape
Barren Island is located off the northeast corner of Tasmania in Bass
Strait. The aim was to determine whether the Government housing
provided for them is appropriate in facilitating their lifestyle. The
study also examined traditional Aboriginal customs and compared
these with the contemporary Aboriginal community lifestyle to
determine if any traditional domiciliary cultural practices exist today.
Consideration was given to whether these continued practices -
influenced the way in which dwellings were used by the contemporary
Aboriginal community of Cape Barren Island.
The study involved different methods for the collection of data.
Literature sources such as the observations of European settlers and
explorers provided information on the domiciliary behaviour of
Tasmanian Aborigines during the early years of colonisation of
Tasmania. Primary sources were a significant part of the study, and
included architectural records, the author's behavioural and
architectural observations, participation in communal activities,
informal interviews with residents and the use of questionnaires. A
body of data was used to carry out a post-occupancy evaluation of the
government dwellings.
The general results indicated that with a few exceptions, most
traditional cultural practices no longer play a part in the lifestyles of
the contemporary Aboriginal community of Cape Barren Island. But
those remaining elements of traditional culture which are still
maintained today, do have an effect upon the domiciliary behaviour
of these people and the way dwellings are used.
The major conclusions drawn from the study indicate:-
(i) The development of community housing on Cape Barren
Island has stemmed from conventional ideas of Australian
suburban planning and does not include any inherent
characteristics of the natural environment or cultural
behaviour and practices of the Aboriginal people.
(ii) The design and construction of government dwellings on the
island were responsible for much of the dissatisfaction
expressed by the Aboriginal residents with their houses.
Incorrect orientation of dwellings, inappropriate choice of
building materials and poor workmanship contributed to the
partial failure of many government dwellings.
(iii) The design of government dwellings needs to incorporate an
open plan arrangement of general living areas to enable
domiciliary activities, which are an integral part of
contemporary Aboriginal Islander life, to comfortably take
place within them.
(iv) Design modifications could easily rectify many of the
problems associated with existing dwellings experienced by
the contemporary Aboriginal residents of Cape Barren Island.
The thesis concludes with a list of design and planning
recommendations for the future design and planning of Aboriginal
housing on Cape Barren Island.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Zidak, Christopher Jonathon
Keywords: Aboriginal Tasmanians
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1996 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Arch.)--University of Tasmania, 1997. Includes bibliographical references

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