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The Forum > Article Comments > NT Intervention: self-evident need for outside intervention > Comments

NT Intervention: self-evident need for outside intervention : Comments

By Anthony Dillon, published 10/4/2012

Self-determination is an individual responsibility

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Thank-you, Anthony Dillon for an honest, truthful article. You did not mention that the Intervention was largely in response to shocking incidence of child abuse and neglect and violence in the targeted communities. Too 'sensitive' maybe?

"For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing." Simon Wiesenthal

This is what certain aspects of Political Correctness have given us when the truth is muted, censored and hidden away because it may, in some twisted way, "offend" some minority racial or cultural group.

However yours is the first article I think I've read on this forum which has offered a balanced viewpoint. Like it or not we are all Australians under one law and to deny anyone their rights or relieve them of their resposibilities as citizens is discrimination of the highest order. I'd like to know why some people seem to think that a remnant of aboriginal Australians should live like stone age relics?
Posted by divine_msn, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 9:58:10 AM
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".... the people affected by the problems are Australian citizens, and therefore entitled to the same rights as you and I.... "

Thanks, Anthony, you've put a key issue front and centre. Like anybody else, Aboriginal people are just as entitled to determine their own lives and futures, whether in concert with others or as individuals.

Anybody who thinks otherwise needs to examine their thinking for good old-ashioned racism, the worst form of paternalism. It's quite ironic that, these days, such conservative, reactionary thinking seems to emanate from people who think of themselves as being on the Left. In fact, they are simply recapitulating attitudes that the conservative Establishment held seventy, eighty and ninety years ago, and abandoned after the War.

And it's a relief to read - frm an Aboriginal authority - that

" .... People who identify as Aboriginal can still retain that sense of identity without acting as if they need to reject their Australian citizen responsibilities in order to do so."

And I wholeheartedly agree with you: "Letís focus on need, and not race."

The first step to solving a problem is to admit that there is one, and to try to work out how it arose, and what are its full dimensions. That seems to be what the Intervention has exposed, and it exposes the scope of what work needs to be done.

Meanwhile, in the urban areas, Indigenous people are enrolling at university at about two-thirds the rate of non-Indigenous people, and at a better rate than the non-Indigenous working class and underclass.

So where are the Indigenous problems ? And where are the Indigenous solutions ? Where, or what, are the 'keys to the kingdom' ?

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 10:44:00 AM
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Thanks Dr Anthony that you have shown that some academics do get it. It is rare to divert from the dogma but you are to be commended. A few days ago while buying some food for an indigenous friend I was loudly called white trash by his woman as I proceeded through the checkouts. She was offended that her man was being helped by a white fella.It seemed if I did not help I was a selfish whitefella, if I helped I was white trash. It is good to know some others such as Loudmouth knows the dilemma. If people saw a quarter of the abuse that I have seen in communities they might not sprouting the leftist dogma. Then again I doubt it. I think they remain willfully blind through misplaced guilt or just the plain fact that they can't admit they are wrong.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:44:59 AM
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Anthony, one area often overlooked in the issue of self management is the culture of putting indigenous people in remote communities into very well paid positions they have little training or experience for. Whilst promoting the ideology of self managment this practise actually achieves the opposite. It promotes a sense of entitlement amongst people, some of whom are barely literate, whilst compounding the already heavy burden being carried by non indigenous workers. For example, a local may be appointed manager of the medical centre and paid upward of $60,000 to run the facility, but in reality, the already overworked nurses are doing the actual organization. This situation may well be repeated throughout the community, with health workers, teachers, admin staff etc.
This practise, apart from the presumption that aboriginals are incapable of attaining higher levels of education and training, actually discourages them from making the extra effort. After all, who would commit themselves to years of study and training when the same reward can be achieved with far less.
Self managment will never be achieved until our expectations of indigenous people improve and we cease rewarding mediocre behaviour.
Posted by Big Nana, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 4:40:31 PM
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Anthony,
you cite Pollard (1988, p.10) in his book Give & take: The losing partnership in Aboriginal poverty. Thanks for that.

Who are the activists you refer to, and what are their claims? Can you provide citations from these activists also, please.

I am keen to read the names of the activists that "state that one race of people relying on only members of their race to solve problems, provide services, etc., is an expression of self-determination."

I agree that Aboriginal people are "Australian citizens, and therefore entitled to the same rights as you and I". Who is suggesting otherwise, can you tell me where I can read your source?

Where can I find references to the "current ideologies that portray Aboriginal people living in remote communities as not needing education and employment like the rest of the country" you refer to? I have actually been reading and hearing the opposite.

A very senior national Aboriginal leader told me a while back, earlier in the intervention, that remote schools were struggling with having a fly-in-fly-out teacher 1 day a week. I agree with you when you say that people in remote areas are Australians and deserve the same rights as other Australians - kids deserve more than 1 day of teacher time a week. This would not be tolerated elsewhere in Aus. Kids also deserve to be taught in a language they can understand, like many other CALD Australians - gee I am glad we agree on something.
Posted by Aka, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 5:19:33 PM
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Hi Aka, so you ask me questions but fail to answer the many, many questions I have asked you in the past. As I have said before, it would be foolish of me to name activists and what they have said (I neither have the time nor money to be taken to court). Yes, we agree on some things, but as previous discussions have shown, we play by two very different sets of rules. When I last checked (which was several days ago), you were still of the opinion that a claim mut be true if several people believe it to be true. You call that research, but I have another name for it. That being the case, there is little to be achived by engaging in a discussion with you - for now at least.
Posted by Anthony Dillon, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 5:39:34 PM
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