University of Tasmania
whole_ZidakChristopherJonathon1997_thesis.pdf (15.3 MB)

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

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posted on 2023-05-27, 12:41 authored by Zidak, Christopher Jonathon
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.


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

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