Articles on indigenous affairs

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This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recast how decisions are made about Indigenous affairs. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The government is committed to an Indigenous voice. We should give it a chance to work

We have welcomed the opportunity to guide the co-design process because we feel this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recast how decisions are made in Indigenous affairs.
The government’s proposal for a referendum will only happen if it can get consensus on the content of what would go into the constitution, and there’s a high probability of a favourable outcome. Dan Peled/AAP

Grattan on Friday: When it comes to Indigenous recognition, Ken Wyatt will have to close multiple gaps

It would be another miracle if the Morrison government managed to have a referendum passed to give Australia's Indigenous people constitutional recognition.
In his first major policy address, Ken Wyatt noted how previous governments have failed Indigenous Australians with a ‘top-down, command and control approach.’ Rohan Thomson/AAP

Listening with ‘our ears and our eyes’: Ken Wyatt’s big promises on Indigenous affairs

Ken Wyatt's promise of a referendum on constitutional recognition within three years marks a dramatic shift from the Turnbull government's rejection of the Uluru Statement of the Heart.
Ken Wyatt proposed plans for constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians during this parliamentary term. Rohan Thomson/AAP

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Ken Wyatt on constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians

Ken Wyatt on constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians The Conversation, CC BY27 MB (download)
Ken Wyatt says he is "optimistic about achieving [constitutional recognition] because...Australians will generally accept an opportunity to include Aboriginal people" and that he will work with "naysayers".
MP Pat Dodson could be the next minister for Indigenous Affairs if Labor wins the federal election, a first for a First Nations person. Mick Tsikas/AAP

More First Nations people in parliament matters. Here’s why.

Few First Nations candidates have succeeded in getting elected to parliament, but it is clear that when they do, they can make a substantial difference.
The future lies not in better policy, or even a new government, but in the exciting resurgence of Indigenous nationhood. Millenius/Shutterstock

It’s time for Indigenous nationhood to replace a failing colonial authority

For First Nations peoples to recover from the multiple harms of settler colonialism, they must take control of the services they need, free from the control and interference of the settler state.
Abbott’s previous policies on Indigenous issues were characterised by funding cuts, exclusions and silencing – all of which makes his role as envoy highly questionable to Indigenous communities. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Why Tony Abbott’s appointment as Indigenous envoy was a diplomatic blunder and policy failure

The proposals Abbott has pushed as envoy - more police in Indigenous communities and learning in English - demonstrates his ignorance and unsuitability for the job.
A sculpture of William Ricketts looms over those of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men at the sanctuary in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. Chris Haych/flickr

Friday essay: William Ricketts Sanctuary is a racist anachronism but can it foster empathy?

A mossy sanctuary in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges houses 92 sculptures, mostly of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men, women and children. They are steeped in primitivism, yet the park is a popular tourist attraction.
The targets relating to Year 12 attainment, preschool enrolment, and childhood mortality are on track to be closed, according to the 2018 Closing the Gap report. AAP/Marianna Massey

Three reasons why the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aren’t closing

Care needs to be taken in interpreting progress on closing the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and ascribing it to actual policy change.
Part of Mandy Martin’s painting Cool Burn (2016): in her painting workshops at Djinkarr, Indigenous rangers brought the threats to their land to life on canvas.

Friday essay: caring for country and telling its stories

Feral cats and pigs, mission grass and climate change - in western Arnhem Land, Indigenous rangers are battling many environmental threats. Through painting and performance, they are also telling 'healthy country' stories.
Tony Abbott’s additional target focusing on school attendance rates has not improved at all since 2014. Neda Vanovac/AAP

Closing the Gap is failing and needs a radical overhaul

The report focus on the government’s own policies fails to acknowledge genuine differences of opinion on key issues such as constitutional recognition and income management.

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