Would a high commission to Aborigines mean money spent where it counts?
Reporter and author Rosemary Neill first spoke of Indigenous family violence in 1994. She has written:
In The Australian last weekend John Hirst – author of ‘Sense and Nonsense in Australian History’ – suggested one commissioner being in charge of two or three Aboriginal settlements – population of a few thousand in total. One of the constant complaints of Aborigines is that bureaucrats come, consult but can’t promise – then another bureaucrat comes! The commissioner concept might deal with this problem, he suggests.
Aboriginal culture works best when not attempting to manage matters foreign to their culture. Hirst says the central fallacy in Aboriginal administration is that change must come through the Aboriginal community – but how can it if the community is dysfunctional?
How might the commissioners work?
Powerful comissioners would actually involve Aboriginals more closely in their own affairs because they would deal with them face to face, without paperwork, says Hirst.
Let’s lift the burden.
FOOTNOTE: A Media Release from the NT Government 31 May states:
“The Northern Territory Government?s Wadeye Co-ordinator, Mr David Coles, will arrive in the township today to meet with the local Council, organisations and residents to find a way forward at the troubled community.
Strong coordination across Territory, Commonwealth and local government agencies will be a key factor to success.
Mr Coles says his number one short term priority is to assess safety and housing issues in Wadeye community………………
During the next few days Mr Coles will make a first hand assessment of priority issues and work with the local council, traditional owners of Wadeye and its surrounding regions on what can be done immediately to make a difference for the community.”
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