A veteran Northern Territory Aboriginal rights campaigner who has climbed the heights of mainstream academia while maintaining ” a fire in the belly ” for the rights of his people, has questioned the Abbott Governments primary focus on school attendance as the best way of closing the disadvantage gap between his people and mainstream society.
INCOMING Canberra University chancellor Dr Tom Calma talks to Paul Wiles about some of the issues which impact on the education of Aborignal children in remote communities.
The boss of Prime Minister Tony Abbotts Aboriginal Advisory Council has fired off a strong warning to those that remain critical about the future viability of remote Aboriginal communities.
Right wing think tanks have long been critical of money spent by Government in remote Aboriginal communities and suggested the best way to avoid this cash flow is for Aboriginal people to integrate into mainstream society…but Warren Mundine. l says he has other plans for these communities.
The chair of the Abbott governments inquiry into alcohol abuse in Aboriginal communities has questioned the country’s failure to take on the liquor industry in the same way that it successfully tackled the large tobacco companies to reduce smoking.
Dr Sharman Stone, Chair of House of Representatives standing committee on Indigenous Affairs has also responded to claims that by focussing the inquiry in to the Aboriginal community…it has shifted the focus off drinking problems away from mainstream society.
The peak representative body for Aboriginal and Islander Australians says it will be more forceful about arm-twisting the Abbott Government to not be the chief protectors that control its people’s committee’s and remove key organisations.
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples co-chair Les Malezer says the Federal Minster for Indigenous Affairs, Territory Senator Nigel Scullion was being mischievous with his comments about the role of the National Congress
Community members of the Whitegate camp near Mparrentwe Alice Springs are concerned about the possible loss of their land and culture following claims in local media that the government is preparing to develop the land and move camp residents off their country.
Community elder Felicity Hayes says her people have a development plan which will help secure the future for their children and the the tight knit community
The Northern Territory Government has warned suppliers caught trafficking cannabis into Aboriginal communities that they now face a maximum penalty of nine years in goal.
Attorney General John Elferink says new legislation passed by the Northern Territory government will strengthen existing offences which currently cannot convict a person charged with the supply of a dangerous drug in communities unless it is supplied to an individual.
A veteran legal practitioner who began his career in the 1970′s with the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service says many of the problems within the local Aboriginal community have remained the same….. with basic underlying statistics in health and education not appearing to have moved on.
Victorian County Court Judge David Parsons who returned to Central Australia in 2013 as a guest speaker at 8th National Indigenous Legal Conference says despite enthusiasm amongst the local legal fraternity, he also sees a sadness and resignation about the more things change…the more they stay the same !
Further criticism of the Northern Territory CLP Government decision to to cut funding to the peak Aboriginal child protection body in the Territory – Strong Aboriginal Families, Together (SAF,T).
The establishment of SAF,T was one of the key reforms following the Growing them Strong, Together Inquiry into the NT’s child protection system. SAF,T has played a key role in:
Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the Northern Territory spokesperson Jared Sharp says SAF,T is working to improve the protection and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and families in the NT and should continue to be funded to perform this vital role.
A twenty year veteran of medical research into health and wellbeing says a more coordinated approach is needed between communities, governments and scientists to help create an accurate knowledge base which can help guide government Aboriginal policy.
Dr Sheree Cairney, research leader of a new national longitudinal study into the interplay of health, wellbeing, education and employment…. particularly in remote communities…. says while all of these things work together other very important factors such as culture and empowerment also influences outcomes.