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.
Momentum for changing the date of Australia Day from January 26 has made its way to Canberra this week. Just yesterday, the Greens committed to campaign on the issue both at a Federal and local government level.
ANTaR has been campaigning for changing the date for a number of years now, and here’s why.
For anyone familiar with Australian history, the arrival of the British in Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788 did not set off a peaceful 200 years of coexistence based on agreement to hand over land, resources and the system of law/lore.
Sunday 10th December marked 25 years since the landmark Keating Redfern Speech. It was a speech that told the truth.
Coming from a Prime Minister, it was a truth that could not be unsaid, a truth that formed the foundation for moving forward together on the journey towards a reconciled nation. He said:
Earlier today in Canberra we stood with peak Aboriginal organisations in front of Parliament House to launch the Change the Record: Free To Be Kids Action Plan.
We then took our message inside Parliament in a series of meetings with MPs.
Our message: The over-imprisonment and abuse of Aboriginal children is happening all over the country and urgently requires national leadership.