Unpicking the knot.

ATSIC NT North Zone Commissioner Hill is astounded Mr Bob Beadman, a former senior public servant, has displayed such ignorance. Commissioner Hill made the comments following the release of Mr Beadman’s report; Do Indigenous Youth Have A Dream? published by the Menzies Research Centre.

Hill’s comment, assuming it’s not taken out of context, simply confirms that “Ankarriyuwu” means ‘silly yella fella’ in Balanda-speak.

The suggestions from the 56 page report number 26. Hill has seized on number 16, conveniently overlooking the well-reasoned basis for the other 25.

This is a tragedy thirty years in the making; where whole communities are now trapped in third generational dependency and whatever spark of initiative that may surface from time to time is extinguished by structural barriers; where the parents are lost in a downwards vortex of deteriorating social outcomes; where children are neglected if not abused; where school absenteeism is rife and attainment levels declining, where expatriate staff are unsafe; and where police are overworked. We have here ravaged communities where torpor and lassitude are broken only by violent episodes generally fuelled by alcohol or gunja.

Beadman’s paper retreads much of what he has been saying for years ( see Indigenous Policies for the Future) with most of the report summarised in a few new sentences.

Getting the adults back to work by a comprehensive overhaul of our welfare benefits net I am all for nets, but not hammocks.
Overhauling the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 to encourage business enterprise activity on the enormous land asset base, and home ownership.
Moving on new, invigorated, governance structures and regional development.
Getting serious about substance abuse.
Getting the kids back to school, and onwards to high school and tertiary education.

But even in the midst of all this the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
based at the Australian National University in Canberra has recently published a paper
titled Monitoring ‘practical’ reconciliation: Evidence from the reconciliation decade
1991-2001. The authors have gone to great lengths (twenty-seven pages) to make the
case that ‘practical’ reconciliation has not achieved improved outcomes over ‘symbolic’ reconciliation.

I know, I know, another bloody report. But this one by Beadman should be required reading for anyone who feels complelled to make a comment about ‘what to do’ and forms a very good foundation for refuting the stupid utterances of the soon-to-be-unemployed ATSIC commissars.

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2022 years ago

Hill. Sack. Yesterday.

No wonder the never ending aboriginal welfare disaster goes on with fools like this in public office.