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Friday, September 16, 2005

Inward looking

The state of Australia's remote indigenous communities is a cause for nation shame. While the world looks to other conflicts - and journalists, myself included, too often ignore our own backyard - The Age's Lindsay Murdoch issues a stark warning to all:

"Some starve and beg for food. Some are molested and abused and nobody talks about it. Most have had no formal education. Their infant mortality rate is four times higher than the national average and they will die 20 years younger than the average Australian. The hidden children of Australia's remote indigenous communities are among the world's most disadvantaged."

NT Grants Commission chairman Bob Beadman explains the urgency. "People need to be shocked," he said. "They need to be moved from tacit acceptance that everything is OK. A huge task confronts the nation and particularly Aborigines themselves."

Greater awareness is a positive first step, but it's far from enough. Throwing money at the "problem" is also a misguided approach, as successive governments of all stripes have discovered. When was the last time Aboriginal issues were seriously discussed in the media, and not just for a day or two?


Blogger Shabadoo said...

Yeah, and it sure as hell doesn't help when some idiot judge lets an "elder" clout some 14-year-old girl over the head with a boomerang and sodomize her for a few days because she was a 'promised bride' and only gives him a month in the clink for it, as happened the other day in the NT. Enough of this paternalistic crap - we're all Australians, we all follow the same rules, let's let the Aborigines own land individually rather than this insane collectivist system and hold them to the same rules as the rest of us. Anything else is an insult, and is why they're in the state they're in today.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:15:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

A little while back I was watching the footy with dad and we saw an ad for the AFL-World Vision campaign in Indigenous communities. My father and I are chalk and cheese on many issues, but when I said, "Doesn't World Vision only work in the Third World?", he had to agree that something was desperately wrong.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:15:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Shab, you truly are an expert on everything. You ought to be in government.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:17:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Thanks, Dirt, but do you think Australia is really ready for its first Shabby prime minister?

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:22:00 pm  

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