indigenous affairs

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In Ali Curung, 400km north of Alice Springs, the things that work for the community, including a local broadcasting and computer centre, are a response to local strengths and needs. AAP/Dan Peled

Ideas for Australia: Closing the gap is proving hard, but we can do better by working developmentally

In some Indigenous communities, the ratio of programs to people served is possibly the highest in the world. Somehow, for many, Closing the Gap remains an elusive goal. A rethink is needed.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is calling for innovation to improve the lives of Indigenous people, but must beware of causing instability with new policies that dismiss everything before them. AAP/Mick Tsikas

How community-based innovation can help Australia close the Indigenous gap

Across Indigenous Australia, innovation is occurring locally, under the radar of government policies and support. We can look to this innovation and stop fixating on finding the elusive policy solution.
Police often don’t recognise that someone has an intellectual disability or brain injury due to a lack of training in this area, researchers have heard. Brian Yap (葉)/flickr

Aboriginal people with disabilities get caught in a spiral of over-policing

Police have become the default frontline response to Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disabilities, setting this group up for a lifetime of 'management' by the criminal justice system.
Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disability are ‘managed’ by police, courts and prisons due to a lack of appropriate community-based services. Kate Ausburn/flickr

Why Aboriginal people with disabilities crowd Australia’s prisons

Australia's high rates of imprisonment and re-imprisonment of Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disabilities is not only shameful, it is entirely predictable and preventable.
While Adam Goodes is the public face of the debate, almost any Indigenous Australian can speak of the day-by-day experience of a lack of respect for who they are. AAP/Paul Miller

White Australia needs to take responsibility for reconciliation too

For at least some Australians, it seems that Indigenous culture is acceptable only as an object of consumption for tourists visiting the remote north.
If a way ahead on constitutional recognition is to be forged, it must be through political leadership and genuine public consultation. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Leadership is key to breaking the impasse on constitutional recognition

The parliamentary committee's report highlights the deep division between those who want to advance Indigenous recognition through minimal constitutional change and those who seek more substantive reform.
Indigenous young people are 25 times more likely to be detained than non-Indigenous young people. AAP/Jesse Roberts

‘Tough on crime’ is creating a lost generation of Indigenous youth

A new generation of Indigenous youth is being separated from their families and culture – this time by the force of criminal law that ignores the proven alternative of community-based justice.
Giving constitutional status to an Indigenous advisory body would give Indigenous Australians a say about laws that directly affect them. AAp/Tracey Nearmy

Putting words to the tune of Indigenous constitutional recognition

Proposals for constitutional recognition of Indigenous people are gaining momentum but also raising legal concerns. Here is a form of words to create an advisory council that overcomes those concerns.
Man in the middle: former Labor MP turned independent Billy Gordon (centre) is now one of three crucial cross-bench MPs in the Queensland parliament. Dan Peled/AAP

North Queensland’s powerful trio will shake up the state

Three north Queensland MPs representing just 3% of the state's population will wield huge power in Queensland's parliament when it resumes on Tuesday.
NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader Troy Grant kicked off his party’s election campaign launch on March 15 by speaking in Wiradjuri. Nikki Short/AAP

Wiradjuri words show the power of learning Australia’s first languages

NSW Nationals' leader Troy Grant has broken new ground by speaking Wiradjuri in parliament and at his party's election launch – and it reflects a growing Indigenous language revival in NSW.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott caused controversy earlier this week when he said that living in remote Indigenous communities was a ‘lifestyle choice’. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

For the real story on Indigenous Australia, social beats old media

The furore over Tony Abbott’s 'lifestyle choices' comments both sidelines and highlights the lack of real discussion on Indigenous policy in Australia.
Real and sustained engagement with Aboriginal people should be the starting point in rethinking Indigenous welfare policy. AAP/Marianna Massey

Income management doesn’t work, so let’s look at what does

In recent years, Tangentyere Council Research Hub has undertaken data collection in Alice Springs town camps as part of a longitudinal study of income management. The final report of around 300 pages was…
In an otherwise fraught policy landscape, ‘cheapness’ has been one of the cold hard facts of Indigenous affairs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Cheap in the deep sense: the sorry business of Indigenous affairs

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a bold move in September when he ran the country for four days from a tent at Gulkula in far northeast Arnhem Land in remote Australia. While there, he observed that although…
Mick Gooda has urged policymakers to learn from their mistakes and adopt a consultative and inclusive approach to Indigenous policy. AAP/Alan Porritt

‘Work with us not for us’ to end the Indigenous policy chaos

Deep funding cuts and uncertainty about government plans have created one of the largest-scale upheavals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. That is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander…
A people’s convention could be the circuit-breaker that constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians needs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

A people’s convention can make Indigenous recognition a reality

Important steps have been made in 2014 in the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution. Prime Minister Tony Abbott affirmed his commitment to hold…

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