The future of Aboriginal Australia is seriously threatened by deteriorating standards of living, which is also the cause of many other contemporary issues that Aboriginal people face. Historically, no consideration has been given to the incorporation of traditional sociospatial patterns into town planning practices, which has effectively ruptured any connection to the land and environments. Serious reconsideration is required to reverse the inappropriate post-colonization decisions that still shape Aboriginal settlements today if the community's culture is to survive.
This paper explores traditional lifestyles, attachment to land and settlement patterns to establish a baseline understanding for comparison against post-colonial settlements. The impacts of Western Planning on traditional practices will be analysed through the examination of case studies to demonstrate the localities where the impacts of Western Town Planning are apparent. Although suggestions will become evident, it is beyond the scope of this paper to make thorough recommendations applicable to all contexts. Essentially, the papers main aim is to consider the European Planning practices, which have detrimentally affected Aboriginal lifestyles, and encourage Government agencies to consider these impacts in the future.
As a descendant of the Bunaba people from Fitzroy Crossing and Captain William Bligh, I feel it is my responsibility to present a study regarding the impacts of Western Planning practices on discrete Aboriginal settlements in the hope that we can change the course of the future. Too many initiatives are focused on quick fix solutions, which attempt to solve a problem in the immediate future without considering the effects of the decision in the long term. Throughout the course of this research project I have discovered that the range of issues associated with Western Town Planning in discrete Aboriginal communities is immense and at some points quite daunting. However, I believe with careful consideration, community consultation and the ability to think outside of the square the planners of the future can design settlements that are appropriate from a social, economic, environmental and most importantly a cultural perspective, which foster community developments)