Michael Hayden: economic development is the breaker of welfare dependency

October 26, 2016

Michael Hayden, Noongar

"Economic development is something I’m passionate about; it’s the breaker of welfare dependency. Aboriginal people have been excluded from partaking in our economy for decades due to past policies of government. Welfare dependency is normalised in many Aboriginal communities and has become accepted as the standard for our thinking about economic development.

The government created welfare, not us. It has been imposed on our people far too long. After decades of being entrenched in welfare, as hard as it is, we need to shift that thinking and find a way to create an environment that empowers our people.

Baseless perceptions and assumptions trigger that falsified ideology that our mob are lazy. I totally disagree and welcome a conversation focusing on structural reform of the flawed political policies, social exclusion and access to opportunities. There are many examples that Aboriginal people are contributors to our economy - not just recipients. Targeted investment in economic participation for our people to access will reduce reliance on welfare creating greater control of our lives.

I’m inspired by seeing more young fellas going on to further education, engaging in more professional service roles, a willingness to start their own businesses and a desire to buy their own homes. We have a long way to go, but it’s exciting we are moving in the right direction. Through my business Maarli Services Pty Ltd I’m aiming to create opportunities for our mob through employment and sub-contracting – relying on welfare has disempowered our people. Instead, we ourselves need to empower our own people to create an environment where we can provide opportunities for our mob running their own businesses, making their own money, and employing our own people. We’re starting to see more of it, and I hope I can help fast track that process.”

Michael Hayden will appear in the Noongar Chamber of Commerce Panel with Gordon Cole, Karen Jacobs, Richard Walley , Oral McGuire, and Danny Ford.

Interview contributed from 100 Days of Deadly Mob:

Maarli Services Webpage:

Michael also runs a family business with his Dad Mick: Njaki Njaki Aboriginal Culture Tours

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