By Patricia C. Henderson
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Extra info for AIDS, Intimacy and Care in Rural KwaZulu-Natal: A Kinship of Bones (Amsterdam University Press - Care and Welfare Series)
This was substantially less than the figure of 47 per cent reported for the Aboriginal population of the Territory as a whole, again contrary to local perceptions. The Northern Territory Grants Commission (NTGC) reported an estimated population for the region of 2215 in 2001. The 2001 CHINS reported the number of usual residents estimated in the Thamarrurr region as 2360. Finally, in August 2003, the Thamarrurr Housing Office had a population register of some 2300 individuals who had resided in the region at some time over the previous year.
While the significance for policy of any mismatch here between the aims of government economic and social policy and the ritualised place of individuals within local society remains to be established, there seems little doubt that the system of age grading was disrupted by the mission practice of establishing dormitories for school age children (Falkenberg & Falkenberg 1981: 34). In recent times the more compulsory nature of schooling and associated restructuring of the regional economy in pursuit of paid employment with their greater emphasis on western knowledge systems may also have unsettled inter-generational relations by introducing positions of authority and status outside of those defined and ritualised by custom.
With such a plethora of population counts and estimates based on a variety of methodologies, it is no wonder that some confusion arises as to the precise numbers resident in the Thamarrurr region and exactly which population best represents regional planning needs. Population size As noted, initial population numbers in the region remain unknown. However, by 1950 a total of 310 Aboriginal people were counted at Port Keats mission and Stanner claimed in 1952 that the rate of growth was such that the numbers would double within 20 years (Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 1952: 6).