Intervention not demonising men


Sir – I am responding to comments from Des Rogers, Deputy Chief Executive of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress about the Little Children are still Sacred report.
I was shocked to hear his comments. I think it is deplorable that he has said the Federal Intervention demonised men.
Let me remind Mr Rogers of some recent history: The Northern Territory National Emergency Response, first mounted by the Federal Coalition Government six years ago, and prolonged for the past five years by a Federal Government of his own Labor Party, is a concerted bid to strengthen the well-being of Aboriginal children and families in the Territory.
It is not an assault on men, nor is it an assault on their dignity. Men are a part of the family unit. We need leaders who bring people together, not spokesmen who seek to divide them down the lines of gender.
The Federal Intervention highlighted severe child abuse and neglect in Aboriginal communities and it has put these issues on the national stage and the conversation continues today.
There has been unprecedented investment and focus from the Federal Government on Aboriginal disadvantage especially in the areas of health, housing and family support.
When there are social problems in a community like alcoholism or drug addiction it is the children that hurt the most, comments like these from Mr Rogers do nothing to further the cause of abused and neglected children.
Alison Anderson
Minister for Children and Families


  1. What men everywhere should be distressed and ashamed by is not the government’s attempts, as ham fisted as they may be, to protect our women and children, but the fact that we have allowed our women and children, the most vulnerable of all of or citizens, to be so viciously treated in the first place.
    If the intervention shames and angers you then do something about it!
    Put an end to the violence and the abuse.
    In 2008 I marched up Gap Road with hundreds of Aboriginal and white men and boys to take a stand against the hideous violence that our women suffer and the utterly shameful abuse of our kids.
    They got no support from governments at the time and they got no support from all of those feminists and human rights activists and ‘roll back the intervention’ professional protestors who we hear from daily on other, far less urgent issues.
    Yes they are “our” women and kids, they are Australian citizens and many of them are the loved ones of this little white duck. I back Alison all the way.
    Des, if you feel ashamed about the intervention get out there and do something about the problems it is meant to address.
    Feel deep shame knowing that it is still going on. Make the perpetrators feel deep shame and bucket loads of guilt and don’t let anyone make excuses for their disgusting and amoral behaviour. STOP THE VIOLENCE!

  2. Des makes some valid points – the Little Children are Sacred Report pointed to high levels of child abuse without a fine grained analysis to detail this abuse. In that vacuum men were blamed, fathers, grand fathers were assumed to be guilty.
    In hindsight, in the absence of convictions and with more reflection we see an Indigenous society where there is a lot of consensual underage sex, including between young children.
    That is a problem but it is a very different one to the one suggested in the report. Yes men were demonised and the society as a whole suffered, it is interesting that many proud and happy young mothers (including young adults) with supportive families do not name the fathers now, they are scared to do so in case their husbands are sent to jail.


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