“Those just looking at jail statistics should be targeting a reduction of crime – not a reduction of incarceration,” says Warren Mundine (pictured), contributing researcher at the Centre for Independent Studies.
Any person who can establish genetic link to Australia in 1787 may be acknowledged, honoured and respected, by official recognition as a First Australian. I make some hopefully positive suggestions on semantic issues, as the nation looks for positive ways to “close the gap”. It is a chasm. We certainly need to be thinking big, to allow meaningful interpretation of our history, going back centuries in reflection. By TED EGAN (at left). Young Arrernte woman at Alice Springs Telegraph Station, ca. 1895.
While the nation is awash in rhetoric about Indigenous advancement, especially in housing, in the real world of Alice Springs town camps residents are confronted by inadequate and expensive bureaucracies. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
A meeting of some 60 non-government organisations (NGOs) yesterday heard about successful ways for services to cooperate, but also laid bare absurd failures of the current system. Congress CEO Donna Ah Chee (pictured) was there and spoke to the Alice Springs News Onlineabout it. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
We welcome the latest Closing the Gap report card, saying the NT is the only jurisdiction currently on track to close the gap by 2031. This achievement is in large part the result of governments working in genuine partnership with Aboriginal community-controlled health services and investing new funds where they are most needed, writes Donna Ah Chee, CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.
While he was "really impressed" with the many "community harmony" initiatives taken in Port Augusta, and with their apparent success reflected in the town's general appearance and atmosphere, the consultant reporting back to the Alice Springs Town Council was at pains to point out the "very significant" differences between the two towns.
Alice has twice the population, said Craig Wilson of Craig Wilson Consultancy, formerly an employee of the Alice council, now based in Mt Gambier.
Port Augusta has only one Aboriginal community on its periphery, Davenport, in contrast to Alice's 18 town camps.
Davenport, which is not a dry zone, has a population of around 200, compared with the 2000 to 3000 living in Alice's camps.
Around 1300 people from outlying areas use Port Augusta as their regional hub, as opposed to the 11,000 to 12,000 for whom Alice is the regional centre, said Mr Wilson.
Key among the initiatives have been the Port Augusta Aboriginal Community Engagement Group and the City Safe Program. The engagement group's enquiries into budgets and outcomes of various government departments and agencies were initially seen as "threatening" but are now well accepted. City Safe is in the hands of a private contractor whose personal qualities seem to account for a good deal of his success. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
PICTURE: Port Augusta's ACEG in session. From left – Khatija Thomas Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, Aaron Stuart, Katy Burns, Alwyn McKenzie and Corey McKenzie.