NACCHO #IndigenousDads and Aboriginal Health : Stereotyping a barrier to Aboriginal advancement

Roy

 “As the spontaneous expression of Aboriginal identity and pride of #IndigenousDads demonstrated, Aboriginal fathers are teachers, lawyers, academics, employers, actors, animators, athletes.

Above all they are dedicated and devoted role models for future generations and give them hope that they can rise above discrimination and racism, be proud of their identity and culture, and be encouraged to reach their potential.

Roy Ah-See, a Wiradjuri man, is chairman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the largest member-based Aboriginal organisation in Australia : And former chair of Yerin ACCHO  see interview here from NACCHO TV

On Sunday, August 7, Father’s Day came early for Aboriginal dads. On that morning, Aboriginal people gathered on one of the modern forms of the Koori grapevine — Twitter — to have their say about the Bill Leak cartoon that had offended so many earlier that week.

Aboriginal fathers and children shared personal family moments on social media, presenting an image of Aboriginal life mainstream society rarely sees.

#IndigenousDads was empowering and a reminder to the Australian community that the first nations peoples of Australia are much more than the stereotypes that exist today.

Roy 2

Stereotypes and racism continue to hold back the potential of Aboriginal people in Australia. The hurt and humiliation of everyday racism affects the physical health and the mental wellbeing of our mob.

Anyone who takes the time to look at the images of #Indigenous Dads will quickly appreciate why our people are so offended by these racist stereotypes.

Organisations such as the one I lead — the NSW Aboriginal Land Council — invest so much effort into strengthening culture and identity and ensuring Aboriginal people can participate in our communities and economies.

In NSW, the land rights network is in a unique position. Since 1983 local Aboriginal land councils in NSW have been able to claim certain lands as freehold title and use that land for the cultural, social and economic benefit of our people.

Democratically elected local Aboriginal land council boards make informed decisions about land use. In some instances, land is kept for healing and to protect culture. Land is also leveraged for economic development. Like any owner of freehold title, local Aboriginal land councils can buy, sell or lease land for the benefit of Aboriginal people.

Local Aboriginal land councils are engaged in property development on the NSW central coast, international tourism ventures in the Hunter and social enterprises on the mid-north coast.

During the past 33 years, the land rights network has worked hard to shift public perceptions of Aboriginal people. We’ve sought to convert the gains from land rights to self-determination and economic independence.

Despite this success, disadvantage continues. The Close the Gap campaign confirms that compared with the general population, Aboriginal people die 10 years younger, lose people from suicide at twice the national rate and, despite comprising 3 per cent of Australia’s population, our people make up 27 per cent of the prison population. Of course there is the crisis in the juvenile justice sector, including in the Northern Territory where Australians were confronted with the horror of the mistreatment of children at the Don Dale juvenile detention centre.

The Prime Minister was so appalled he announced a royal commission and in the weeks after those shocking images were broadcast, the debate has broadened from the actions of staff at Don Dale to questions of why some 95 per cent of young people incarcerated in the Territory’s juvenile detention facilities are Aboriginal, and assumptions that the actions of Aboriginal parents should headline the terms of reference.

In publishing Leak’s cartoon, The Australian argued it was justified as an open question about the role of parental responsibility in Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal people and organisations have no objection to issues of parental responsibility being debated. It is undoubtedly a factor alongside the ongoing impact of European invasion, racism and discrimination, child removal policies and entrenched intergenerational disadvantage.

However, a cartoon that reprises outdated race-based stereotypes is no substitute to the high-level complex policy discussion this issue demands. For decades, The Australian has played a constructive role in the coverage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues including the Mabo and Wik High Court cases, national native title legislation and deaths in custody.

Recently, The Australian has been relentless in helping secure justice for the families of Mulrunji Doomadgee in north Queensland and the victims of the Bowraville murders in NSW. It is the efforts of The Australian’s team of reporters that add value to important national debates affecting Aboriginal people in Australia.

For too long, Aboriginal people have felt marginalised by Australia’s mainstream media, but slowly coverage is shifting away from stereotypes about Aboriginal people living in remote communities to the modern realities and challenges of our people, most of whom live in urban populations.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council complained about the cartoon because it fell well short of the standards set by The Australian in its coverage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues for many years. It also presented a misleading and hurtful picture of who we are.

As the spontaneous expression of Aboriginal identity and pride of #IndigenousDads demonstrated, Aboriginal fathers are teachers, lawyers, academics, employers, actors, animators, athletes.

Above all they are dedicated and devoted role models for future generations and give them hope that they can rise above discrimination and racism, be proud of their identity and culture, and be encouraged to reach their potential.

Roy Ah-See, a Wiradjuri man, is chairman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the largest member-based Aboriginal organisation in Australia.

One comment on “NACCHO #IndigenousDads and Aboriginal Health : Stereotyping a barrier to Aboriginal advancement

  1. Hi

    Just wondering who can I ask about running this release as an article in the Dubbo Weekender please?

    *Yvette Aubusson-Foley* Content Marketer | YAF Media Editor | Dubbo Weekender *Mob** |** +61 459 487 456* Email | yaf@yafmedia.com.au http://www.yafmedia.com.au Western Plains, NSW, Australia *Hire YAF Media *

    *This e-mail, together with any attachments, is for the exclusive and confidential use of the addressee(s). Any other distribution, use of, or reproduction without prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Views expressed in this e-mail are those of the individual, except where specifically stated otherwise. **YAF Media** does not warrant or guarantee this message to be free of errors, interference or viruses. **YAF Media **acknowledges the Wiradjuri people, the traditional custodians of the lands on which I live and work, and pay my respects to the Elders both past and present.*

    On 31 August 2016 at 07:29, NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts wrote:

    > nacchomedia posted: ” “As the spontaneous expression of Aboriginal > identity and pride of #IndigenousDads demonstrated, Aboriginal fathers are > teachers, lawyers, academics, employers, actors, animators, athletes. Above > all they are dedicated and devoted role models fo” >

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