In the early afternoon, 250 years ago to the day – approximately 60km south-east of where I am writing this message on Darug land – James Cook and an entourage from his ship Endeavour stepped onto the land of the Gweagal people.
In these strange and uncertain times with the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic hanging over us all, I wanted to share some ideas on how you can stay engaged with First Nations rights and social justice issues.
I often describe myself as an Aboriginal man who loves being a doctor and working one-on one with patients.
On 12 February 2020, I listened to yet another Prime Minister announce that efforts toward closing the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait health were not working. We are still failing. Yet there were glimpses of hope that a ‘circuit breaker’ would bring much needed change.
Aboriginal Australia has a long history. Mind bogglingly long.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the national agency for statistics and information about health and welfare in Australia, recently stated that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to wait much longer than non-Indigenous people for elective surgery .
Dr Chris Bourke
I’ve been thinking about ‘time’ recently. As a person that has grown up immersed in the Western precepts of time as a commodity to be measured, quantified and sold, it can be difficult to think outside of the concept of time that I have been taught from the beginning.
I’ve been a member of the Close the Gap Steering Committee since the beginning, and the good news is that the lack of progress in Closing the Gaps can be turned around, but this requires capitalising on the opportunities presented by the COAG partnership and a fundamental shift in the way programs are run.
Ian Ring, AO
I have absolutely no problem celebrating on January 26… when I’m in India.
That is the anniversary of the day in 1950 when India was declared an independent republic, free of both its colonial masters and the British crown. A coincidence that makes the Australian festivities around January 26 all the more perplexing and demeaning.
So here we go again! January the 26th 2020, Australia Day, Foundation Day, Citizenship and Award ceremonies.
For some of us.