Dr Shelley Bielefeld is the inaugural Braithwaite Fellow in RegNet. She has expertise in social justice issues affecting Australia’s First Peoples. Her publications and policy submissions focus on the impact of welfare law, land rights, criminal justice and constitutional issues pertaining to Australia’s First Peoples. Shelley has been invited to appear before the Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs. She has been working on problems arising from the Northern Territory Intervention since its inception in 2007 and those connected with the Stronger Futures framework since 2012. Her work on Indigenous law and policy issues has been influenced by listening to concerns expressed by those who are subject to the Intervention and Stronger Futures. Before her employment at RegNet Shelley taught, developed and coordinated numerous courses at the University of Western Sydney and Southern Cross University, including Indigenous Australians and the Law, Contract Law, Property Law, and Constitutional Law.
At RegNet she is undertaking scholarship on the interaction between the regulatory state and Indigenous peoples in the area of welfare reform.
Indigenous social justice issues; critical theory; race and the law; and welfare law
More of Shelley’s work is available on her SSRN profile page.
The cashless debit card, introduced in 2016 in Ceduna and the East Kimberley, restricts 80 per cent of a person’s regular social security payment to an industry-issued card that cannot be used to purchase alcohol and gambling products.
While the issue of constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians is gaining more political attention, there is little understanding on how constitutional reform might successfully Close the Gap.
In this blog, inaugural Braithwaite Scholar at RegNet, Shelley Bielefeld, examines the impact of the cashless welfare card system and its disproportionate impact on Australia’s First Peoples.