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Shaping a culturally appropriate pathway to home ownership for Aboriginal people across Australia.

Studio Kinship is an Aboriginal-owned developer of housing for social impact. Our mission is to change lives through culturally appropriate Aboriginal housing, integrating maintenance into one turn-key solution. Through better housing we will improve health, training and employment outcomes. At the same time we will create efficiencies in a system that currently thrives on government-funded inefficiency.

A third world housing situation

In 2013 a United Nations special report on housing found that many of Australia’s indigenous peoples live in some of the worst conditions in the world. Since then very little has changed. 23% of all Indigenous Australians (and 54% in very remote areas) live in over-crowded conditions as defined by international standards.

While a common misconception persists that occupants in Aboriginal communities have destroyed their own homes, Healthabitat has demonstrated that vandalism accounts for only seven per cent of damaged houses. Since 1985, licensed contractors overseen by Healthabitat have completed some 287,919 repair jobs finding that;

35%

have a working shower

are electrically safe to live in

10%

70%

lack routine maintenance

58%

are faulty in construction/ design

21%

have a working toilet system

only are vandalised on purpose

7%

Housing at the root of health

A recent report issued by the Federal Department of Health found that housing in many remote Aboriginal communities lacks functioning facilities essential for health including washing, sanitation, cooking and food storage facilities. It is estimated that 60% of the work required to improve these facilities is due to a lack of routine maintenance and repairs. These are issues that are entirely fixable.

The results of an initial project in a remote Aboriginal community found that performing minor repairs and maintenance was associated with decreased rates of eye and skin infections in people of all ages. It is expected that a much wider range of health benefits would have been discovered had they been empirically measured by this study.

Our vision

Cultural Vision

We see a future where Aboriginal people lead conversations about how they live. The first step is for all stakeholders to understand the cultural protocols that have shaped Aboriginal lives for millennia. This understanding will provide the roadmap for families to become more self-directed.

Housing Vision

A housing paradigm shift will take place where housing is seen not as physical structures but as spaces for relating to each other in a culturally appropriate manner. The houses will be larger, safer, healthier, better maintained. But what will differentiate them will be the better relationships they make possible.

Community Vision

The communities will better orientate the different family and language groups to ensure they can easily follow a prescribed relationship pattern. Sustainable regional hubs will be close enough to country so that it can be cared for, but not so isolated that a certain standard of living is made difficult.

Our leadership

Clifton Bieundurry

 

“I grew up in the bush with six other families. We followed kinship protocol and maintained our camp. But then we moved to the community. Living in western houses caused problems. Houses got in the way of how we practised lore and culture. But I believe a house can participate in that process. It has to if we are going to live by our Aboriginal lore and still be a part of the modern world.”

Lisa Halton

“My background in building started in Ireland when I was about 8, accompanying my dad on site. My parents taught me to be curious. By 19, I was managing sites. I was selected to be the design manager for Elizabeth Quay and lured to Australia. Since then I’ve found that the ancient design principles from my homeland apply across cultures and make inhabitants happier and healthier.”

Clifton Bieundurry

 

“I grew up in the bush with six other families. We followed kinship protocol and maintained our camp. But then we moved to the community. Living in western houses caused problems. Houses got in the way of how we practised lore and culture. But I believe a house can participate in that process. It has to if we are going to live by our Aboriginal lore and still be a part of the modern world.”

Download the detail.

But first, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Which best describes the group you’re representing?

We acknowledge the many Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and honour their Elders past and present.

 

We respect their enduring connection to their lands, waterways and surrounding clan groups since time immemorial. We cherish the richness of Aboriginal’ artistic and cultural expressions. Our office is located on Whadjuk Noongar Land.

Address

1 Agnew Way, Subiaco, WA 6008 

Phone

Email

Social

have a working shower

These images taken by MG Corporation in a recent SBS article represent common scenes in many Aboriginal communities.