Last year, 165 Indigenous Australians died as a result of suicide. Despite continued efforts to improve suicide prevention programs, there has been no no appreciable reduction in the suicide rate in ten years.
While suicide is the 14th leading cause of death for non-Indigenous Australians, it is ranked fifth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We often equate suicide with mental illness, but as a recent Senate inquiry report into rural mental health found:
… in too many cases, the causes of suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is not mental illness, but despair caused by the history of dispossession combined with the social and economic conditions in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live.
This statement should not be a surprise, but it is all too easily forgotten. A diagnosis of mental illness is only one of a number of risk factors for suicide.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has once again defended giving almost $500,000 to powerful lobby groups from funding earmarked for Aboriginal disadvantage programs.
Mr Scullion approved grants of $150,000 to the NT Seafood Council, $170,000 to the NT Amateur Fishermen’s Association and $165,000 to the NT Cattlemen’s Association.
But the amateur fishing group revealed two weeks ago it received funding from the government without ever asking for it, as calls for a full investigation increased.
But the scheme has been criticised over how much funding goes towards Indigenous people, and a lack of transparency.
Indigenous groups are calling for a full investigation into Nigel Scullion’s “totally inappropriate use of Aboriginal-earmarked funds”, following revelations that as minister he approved grants to NT lobby groups to argue against land claims.
Former NT Indigenous affairs minister, Dr Jak Ah Kit, told Guardian Australia the decision to fund these groups with money set aside for addressing Indigenous disadvantage was “totally immoral and totally against the normal rules that apply”.
Tony Abbott special envoy says Education comes first change their Culture and the Economics will follow. Surely Jobs and economic opportunity come first when families are concerned? Social Welfare and Churches have spent generations removing children for “education” and have accomplished nothing but successfully destroyed families and culture leaving many indigenous without opportunity impoverished and fully aware they aren’t equal in Australian eyes. Sending the Mad Monk as special envoy is fraught with danger for the indigenous not Abbott. (ODT)
The Closing the Gap framework sought to halve the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, among other targets. But the employment target expired unmet this year.
In remote parts of Australia, the gap has actually widened since 2011.
Governments have relied on a series of employment programs to tackle the employment gap, but these have not yielded positive outcomes. Before the new program starts in 2019 we need more evidence of what does and doesn’t work.
There has been no robust evaluation of the last two employment programs. Evidence of what does work might help us finally start closing the gap.
Insulting Indigenous Australia. If he’d been made special envoy to women there’d be an out cry. What about special envoy to the Muslim Community. What would that have done. This no step to Reconciliation at all. Let’s face it Indigenous Australia requested a special council established of their democratic choosing and were refused recognition. Instead they have been appointed Abbott. (ODT)
Labor’s shadow Indigenous affairs minister, Pat Dodson, said that Abbott had a track record that shows he is “ignorant, hopeless and frankly offensive” on Indigenous issues.
“The suggestion that Tony Abbott could act as some kind of messenger or representative for First Nations people is condescending to the overwhelming number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who support the calls for a voice to parliament and a Makarrata commission to oversee truth-telling and agreement-making – both of which Mr Abbott has not supported.”
Tony Abbott ‘not retiring’ and calls Peter Dutton a ‘reluctant challenger’ | Australia news | The Guardian
‘Correctional Services’ is a euphemism often used in Australia. Don Dale Youth Centre revealed itself in time as a place of torture. The Centre had been built in 1991 to detain young male and female offenders from across the Northern Territory. It provided ‘medium and high level’ detention, usually in single cells.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples say they will also push for constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament
The rate of Indigenous children being removed from has increased in the past 20 years and the government’s language is still far from reality
Its minuscule Indigenous budget continues the Coalition’s paternalistic policy and doesn’t even begin to address 229 years of oppression.
Facing electoral annihilation and media pressure, the Howard Government launched an unprecedented assault on Aboriginal rights and communities. A decade on, Senator Rachel Siewert says the federal government is still hiding behind its failures. I’ll never forget the day the Government announced the Northern Territory Intervention. It was a decade ago and I had beenMore
The Federal Government’s remote work-for-the-dole scheme is devastating Indigenous communities, with financial penalties causing insurmountable debt and social division, a report finds.
When I read this week that Tony Abbott and John Howard will hear no talk of a Treaty with Aboriginal Australia, my first thought was ‘Who listens to these blokes from ancient political history?’ Abbott conceded that it is important to recognise Indigenous Australians were here first, ‘But once it goes beyond that I think you open up all sorts of other things.’ That is true, and those other things to be opened up are incredibly legally exciting and relevant to our times. By Bronwyn Lay
Tribe is resisting US-backed effort to build pipeline on ancestral lands.
Stan Grant strides towards me. It is easy to see why the television camera so loves his face. We meet at the plush Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne, where tea is poured from an elegant pot. Halfway through our conversation, the NSW honorary consul for Mongolia comes up for a chat. He seems in awe of Grant and tells him that his children are great fans: they’ve watched his speeches on YouTube. He thanks Grant for appearing on TV with him once. “Give my regards to President Elbegdorj,” Grant tells him.
By Vanessa Kairies Watching the Abbott publicity machine in action this week has been sickening. Visiting cows in his freshly pressed suit was just the beginning. Clueless! Off he jetted to his annual ‘community visit”. “While I’m here” he thought, “I’ll visit Eddie Mabo’s grave site on Murray Island”. It was abhorrent. Eddie Koiki Mabo…
The world’s oldest and largest collection of rock art – the Burrup Peninsula, or Murujuga, on the Dampier Archipelago – has been deregistered as a sacred site under new guidelines to the Western Australia’s weak Aboriginal heritage laws, which state there must be evidence of religious activity to qualify it as a ‘sacred site’. The change has led to questions about whether the art will be reinstated to the cultural heritage register following a successful Supreme Court decision that ruled against the WA government’s definition of a ‘sacred site’.
The connection which Aboriginal people have to the land is not simply a ‘lifestyle choice’, but rather its the very thing which connects us to our ancestors, land and culture. The unbelievable notion to close aboriginal communities in WA shows a complete disrespect for First Nation People.
We call on the Western Australian Government to reconsider this decision!