Modern day scars
Many young Aboriginal people today are wearing scars on their chests. Unlike the traditional tribal scars that were inflicted with humility and courage, these modern-day scars represent a very different story. These scars are a story of decades of systemic failings and the discrimination of the oldest living culture on the planet - the First Nations people of Australia.
With the release of the Australian Reconciliation Barometer just over a week ago, I was heartened to see an increasing support for reconciliation and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a say in their own affairs.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our supporters, we’re often worn down by the endless cycle of bad news, bad policy or government not listening to us.
The long and short of the PM's Closing the Gap Report and speech this morning is that we have gone backwards on closing the gap in the last 12 months. One year ago, as a nation, we were on track in 3 out of the 7 targets.
As we turn our minds to another February Closing the Gap speech from the Australian Prime Minister, a practice begun by Kevin Rudd in 2010, we hold in our minds a quiet fear that all this ritual, all these numbers, belie the nagging feeling that we are getting no-where in our attempts as a nation to redress Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.
To my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters I just want to say, ala George in Seinfeld, “it’s not you its me.” Or more to the point, the failure to close the gap is the failure of non-Indigenous gover
Once again the annual Prime Ministerial Closing the Gap statement approaches.
This Thursday PM Morrison delivers the next report to the nation on Closing the Gap. What is he likely to say in his report and are we any closer to closing the gap between First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous peoples in this country? All this with the backdrop of a Federal Election looming large as the most consequential election for Indigenous Affairs in over a decade. ANTaR National Director Paul Wright catches you up on Closing the Gap.
I thought it was timely to do a bit of a stocktake on closing the gap.
It has been interesting to observe the debate about what today, 26 Jaunary, means for us as a nation and individually.
Happy 2019! It is going to be a very big year for the affairs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and ANTaR is ready to do all we can to make sure it is momentus for the right reasons.
Eleven years ago now, after the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, the Rudd Government held the ‘Australia 2020 Summit’ which brought together hundreds of prominent and community delegates to think big about what Australia could be like by 2020 and beyond.
In his 2005 landmark Social Justice Report, Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma called for a generational campaign to address the appalling gap in health between First Peoples and other Australians, that sees a baby born to an Aboriginal mother twice as likely to die before the age of four, and elders lives cut short by more than 10 years compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
Today ANTaR and many of its supporters will pause to reflect on the anniversary of the invasion that started the dispossession and oppression of Australia’s First People. We will join them in mourning what they have lost to the colonisation of their lands and honour their survival after years of fighting for justice, rights and respect.