Surprise that there are elections around the corner and now secret documents are exposed while political parties all blame each other for their non compliant interventions. Whilst grass roots people who know their communities are very aware of this dysfunction, governments of all persuasions continue to resource the very people whose top-down-approach programs are continually failing. The culturally appropriate programs that work are usually not being resourced, or if so, are underfunded.
Once again First Nations communities are used as political footballs, as governments change, my people suffer the most horrendous violations of human rights, with the gap widening every day. The genuine people who want the gap to close have spoken to politicians,
We have talked about the key documents that give basic recommendations on solutions: dealing with poverty, unresolved trauma and economic development with Indigenous employment. But all our recommendations invariably fall on deaf ears whilst its back to business as usual for those in positions of influence who believe they have all the answers.
Is it any wonder that we’re still reading of the gap widening and all these appalling stats including heinous sexual reports, the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases and the tsunami wave of ice afflicting our communities that shows little sign of abating any time soon? I’ll tell you why we’re still reading of these shocking occurences that has no state or age boundaries, it is because of the ill-equipped and incompetent black leaders who have a penchant for endorsing and supporting unreservedly white managers to do all their work. These incompetent black and white managers allocate themselves huge salaries and associated benefits. So of course they don’t meet their KPIs because if they did they would effectively be doing themselves out of their jobs. These people grow richer on our poverty.
Then from the crumbs that are left, they employ the little people: Indigenous health workers, liaison officers, welfare workers, cleaners and others, all expected to be super heroes, in the front line and they are blamed for not Closing the Gap, because of the burnout. Our services usually operate from 9am to 5pm. We have to do a strategy to tell our children to only self harm between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Fridays. The option after closing hours is a perilous trip the overloaded public hospital emergency department, where at best you receive quality service, but a worst – as is often the case – you usually end up being misdiagnosed and mistreated or in jail.
Why do the best of our people, who have the full support of grass roots mob because of their tireless work in their communities over the decades as well as the requisite qualifications, continue to be overlooked for top jobs in our service organisations and university and government departments? I hear complaints of them saying they lost out because they didn’t satisfy the selection criteria. Meanwhile as these unsuccessful applicants wait to see who the guru they engaged are announced, it’s shock horrow when it’s revealed a white person or some ‘yes’ black person has been given the nod.
If you can appreciate this observation as a fact, then you can appreciate why our people are being over represented in the prisons and why our children are being taken off their mothers at rates higher then the Stolen Generation era. Yes, its because of those conservative leaders who sing the praises – and implicitly the policies – of government. The best solutions I’ve heard the conservatives tick off are the models of Intervention and BasicsCard or stopping the CentreLink payments altogether.
Our communities are calling for an inquiry into all managers and boards signing off on KPIs that suit the top down approach and not the grass roots community. If any manager says “I was not told”, their positions should certainly be reviewed. Too many people are becoming very wealthy on First Nations People poverty and trauma. Every manager in this country is aware and still it’s business as usual, as the billions of resources are mostly wasted in administration and training and a pittance reaches the grass roots level. When is this nightmare going to stop?
The recent suicide of the 10 year old girl appears to be normal behaviour.
If non-Indigenous Australians were suffering these appalling statistics, there would be a public outcry. Our own community controlled services are allowing their staff to attend meetings to raise there hands in the air and not supporting self determination, then stacking their meetings at AGMs to keep positions of power. Ministers, politicians and ORIC are all very aware of this lack of self determination and misuse of power, as the gap widens, yet fail to act when requested.
Governments have all been made aware and the lack of transparency and accountability continues.
Most advisory committees are told their core business is strategic planning and governance, with the end result a wonderful glossy document in theory with goals and targets that are suppose to be achievable and sustainable.
Look what is happening with the massive public outcry on the disclosure of children being sexually abused by priests in wealthy schools. This has been occurring with Indigenous children for over two hundred years: firstly by the non Indigenous-managers, police, priests and any non-Indigenous persons in power, and now these statistics are the end result, as very little culturally appropriate healing has occurred for the victims. Now the dysfunction is rife in our communities with the dreadful conspiracy of silence of the true history of our country.
The lack of transparency and accountability continues, whilst the victims, First Nations People, are blamed for the present situation of unresolved grief, loss, trauma, high incarceration rates, high infant and adult mortality rates, dying from preventable diseases, that some developing countries have irradiated.
Will the suffering ever end
Richard Bell inspired by Canberra Tent Embassy
Artist Richard Bell was a school kid in country Queensland when he heard on the news that Aboriginal activists from Redfern had headed to Canberra to establish an Aboriginal “tent embassy” right out the front of Parliament House. [Elizabeth Fortescue, Daily Telegraph]
Huggins upset PM won’t meet with Congress
The Prime Minister’s failure to book in a face-to-face meeting with the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples has prompted the Greens to accuse the Government of bias. [Anna Henderson, ABC]
Top Indigenous scholar joins JCU
One of Australia’s top Indigenous scholars will lead James Cook University’s new Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre. Prof Martin Nakata has been appointed Pro Vice Chancellor of the Centre and will take up the position in early May.