NACCHO Aboriginal Health @NACCHOChair Press Release and Media wrap #SorryDay #BridgeWalk @TheLongWalkOz @DeadlyChoices #Racism and @RecAustralia #ReconciliationWeek #NRW2019 a time to encourage national conversation on truth-telling and cultural understanding

 In this special NACCHO Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Edition

1.NACCHO Chair Press Release

2.National Sorry Day : School resources

3.Sorry Day Bridge Walk Canberra

4.National Reconciliation Week : Download the Guide

5. NRL and AFL  Indigenous Round will see moving ceremonies and grand sentiments — and then what?

6. The Long Walk : Racism #DreamtimeatheG

“National Sorry Day and Reconciliation week remind us that Australia’s colonial past has resulted in different outcomes for different people. Our shared story of Australia needs to be grounded in truth so that we can cultivate positive race relations and work to make our country stronger, together

As a nation we must continue to speak about our history as a way to understand and heal deep wounds suffered as a result of our colonial past which laid the groundwork for decades of harmful policies directed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We must continue to work together as a community, and indeed, as a country, to support the health and well-being of those from the Stolen Generations who are still recovering from loss of family, loss of culture and loss of life.

Truth-telling is a difficult yet courageous act. The journey of reconciliation takes time but every step forward creates a more solid foundation for our country to walk together, hand in hand, towards a hopeful future.

Acting Chair of NACCHO, Ms Donnella Mills.

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) encourages all Australians to take time to engage in conversations about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and reflect on the ways we can support reconciliation in Australia

Download Read in full NACCHO Chair Press Release

2.National Sorry Day : School resources

Sorry Day (26 May) is a time to remember the past policies of forced child removal, and reflect on the sad and painful stories of the Stolen Generations.

It is a time to recognise the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the power of saying Sorry.

Did you know?

  •  The first Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998—exactly one year after the Bringing Them Home Report was presented to the Parliament.
  •  The Bringing Them Home Report was the result of an inquiry into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, and recommends both an apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and reparations.
  •  The term “Stolen Generations” refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who were forcibly removed as children from their families by government, welfare, or church authorities, and placed into institutional care or with non-Indigenous foster families.
  •  The forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children began as early as the mid-1800s and continued until the 1970s.

The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students has been created to educate young people about the Stolen Generations.

It makes it easy for school communities to start the conversation and inform classroom discussions using facts, real examples and stories.

Cultural consultation and guidance from Stolen Generations members has been an essential part of this project. The Healing Foundation has also worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous teachers, parents, early childhood specialists and curriculum writers.

This teaching resource has been developed to introduce students from Foundation to Year 9 to the firsthand experiences of Stolen Generations members. While the policies and suffering of the Stolen Generations is only one part of the ongoing story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is an essential one to learn and to teach so students have a full understanding of the history of Australia.

Cultural consultation and guidance from Stolen Generations members has been an essential part of creating this project.

We would like to acknowledge the Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group members who guided the development of this project.

DOWNLOAD THE OVERVIEW

3.Sorry Day Bridge Walk Canberra

Our NACCHO , Winnunga ACCHO and Reconciliation Australia staff joined thousand of marchers on 24 May : The walk each year is organised by Julie Tongs CEO Winnunga

4.National Reconciliation Week : Download the Guide

Our purpose is to inspire and enable all Australians to contribute to the reconciliation of the nation.

Our vision is for a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

Reconciliation Australia was established in 2001 and is the lead body for reconciliation in the nation. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes and facilitates reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Our vision of national reconciliation is based on five critical dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance. These five dimensions do not exist in isolation; they are inter-related and Australia can only achieve full reconciliation if we progress in all five Case Studies

 Download the 22 Page Reconciliation 2019 Guide

ra-nrw-2019-guide_v8

5. AFL, NRL Indigenous Round will see moving ceremonies and grand sentiments — and then what?

Over the weekend, both the AFL and NRL celebrated the vast contribution of Indigenous players who provide welcome visibility and wonderful role models for a people too easily overlooked and forgotten.

First published Here on ABC News

There was colourful jerseys,

moving ceremonies, the soothing drone of the didgeridoo and grand sentiments about how much the first Australians have given to the game.

The sights and sounds of 40,000 years of Indigenous culture was symbolised at football grounds across the country before vast audiences and then… what?

The answer lies in whether the AFL and NRL see Indigenous Round as an opportunity to go beyond the comfortable symbolism of inclusion and use the occasion to express support for more direct action and even controversial causes on behalf of their players.

Or whether they are merely appropriating Indigenous culture for yet another orgy of feel-good celebration that does more to advance the corporate interests of Australia’s most predominant football codes than those it purports to honour.

There are many who will argue that it is possible for Indigenous Rounds to be both a powerful celebration of Indigenous culture and politics-free; that unity rather than confrontation will help “bring more Australians along for the ride” on contentious issues such as granting treaty and a voice to Parliament.

The investment of the Indigenous players who design guernseys and choreograph celebrations demonstrate they have now appropriated their own round and are using it to drive their personal messages.

But having created such a powerful platform around Indigenous culture, surely we are also entitled to ask the AFL and NRL where they stand on the really big issues confronting Indigenous Australians.

Same-sex marriage is just one recent example of an issue on which both the AFL and NRL took sides on behalf of their playing groups.

Although, as the non-binding postal ballot proved, they were surfing a wave of public support, not entering the more turbulent political waters of Indigenous affairs.

For the AFL, this Indigenous Round has proven particularly problematic because of the imminent release of The Final Quarter — a reportedly confronting documentary about the treatment of Adam Goodes in the bitter finals seasons, marred by racist jeering.

Typically, AFL officials have been heavily briefed and are “on message” about the documentary. Mea culpas have been issued and we’ve-learned-from-this statements released even before next week’s media preview.

Indeed such are the depths of the AFL’s official contrition you could be forgiven for thinking the league executives, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and other heavyweights, are delighted to have been cast in the most unflattering terms because it will help “show how much we’ve grown as a competition”.

Of course, the AFL’s craven failure to acknowledge and respond to the racist element of Goodes’s awful treatment, for fear of offending the sensibilities of the vilest element of its support base, is not absolved by the current frenzy of self-flagellation.

It merely presents a challenge: Do much better next time when confronted with similar circumstances or be condemned as opportunistic cause merchants who use the Indigenous brand to satisfy the clauses in government contracts and project good corporate citizenship.

The NRL’s more tactile message

As it is, even as the lights go out and 80,000 fans celebrate the “Dreamtime at the G”, there will be an uncomfortable sense that Indigenous Round merely highlights how out of touch the AFL remains with the real, dirt-under-the-fingernails problems confronting Indigenous Australians.

You might even argue that the symbolism of Indigenous Round is being used to absolve the league from confronting the hardcore issues in the communities from which many of its Indigenous players emerge.

The AFL’s relatively strong response to the racial vilification of Nicky Winmar and Michael Long is rightly celebrated on Indigenous Round, along with their bravery.

Yet it is only six years since then Adelaide Crows recruiting chief Matthew Rendell lost his job for clumsily stating clubs would not recruit an Indigenous player unless he had one white parent — a statement rightly condemned, but which also revealed the massive disconnection between clubs intoxicated by what they once called “Aboriginal magic” and the everyday realities of the players they seek to recruit.

If the AFL sells an ethereal message around Indigenous Round, there is something more tactile about the NRL version.

That stems from the more organic connection between the regions and the clubs from which Indigenous players have come, compared with the AFL where there remains a sense Indigenous stars are “imported” from another planet.

As a consequence, the NRL has seemed better placed to use the Indigenous message to create practical solutions, such as the initiative whereby Indigenous youths were given jerseys if they met certain health conditions. Note Deadly Choices 715 Health Checks

Great to have Indigenous players and legend stop in at our activation as we launch our partnership with Winnunga Nimmityjah AH&CS – at GIO Stadium

This direct connection with community is exemplified by Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell’s words in The Daily Telegraph about what he hopes to achieve in his Indigenous jersey this weekend.

“Because with Indigenous Australians there’s this stereotype that says we’re lazy, on the dole, get given houses,” Mitchell said.

“Well, I want kids to know I’ve never been on the dole in my life. Want them to know I finished school and just went out and got myself a house. It wasn’t given to me for free. I bought it.”

6. The Long Walk

Website

Stand against racism 

VAHS ACCHO Thanks  to Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk for allowing our Deadly Choices Students to do a guard of honour at Dreamtime At The G.

All students enjoyed themselves. Also thanks to our schools for selecting the students on our behalf. #vahsdc

Treaty

NACCHO Aboriginal #Eldercare Health #Apology11 and #CaringForOurStolenGenerations How you can get involved ? : Stolen Generations want a commitment on aged care @KenWyattMP

Even compared to their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders contemporaries, who are already at a disadvantage in Australia, Stolen Generations members aged 50 and over are suffering more – financially, socially and in areas of health and wellbeing,

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were removed from their families are two times as likely to have been incarcerated and almost three times as likely to rely on government payments, compared to those who were not removed as children.

We’ve just been scratching the surface. We need government and service providers to commit to long term and widespread healing programs, trauma informed resources and culturally appropriate care.”

Chair of The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group Ian Hamm said the data draws a clear distinction in the health and welfare outcomes between ageing Stolen Generations and the general Indigenous population.

Read NACCHO Elder Care Articles HERE 

Read NACCHO Stolen Generation Articles HERE

This year we will commemorate the National Apology to the Stolen Generations by sharing stories that have been shared with us over the years.

Witnessing the stories of Stolen Generation members who were removed from their homes, families and communities allows all Australians to join in on the healing journey and be part of the solution moving forward. This is the spirit of commemorating the National Apology.

We are sharing Stolen Generations stories via Facebook. Tune in on 13 February at 2pm and 6pm (AEST)

Share the Facebook event: http://bit.ly/2WUynLv

Eleven years on from the National Apology, members of the Stolen Generations are calling on governments to ensure aged care services are sensitive to their needs and support publicly funded alternatives to residential care that deal with trauma related issues arising from re-institutionalisation.

Hope Beyond the Window by Jacqui Stewart. The painting represents children from a Stolen Generation. The church symbolises religion and the window represents ‘hope’ looking through to the sky. The children are portraying despair but also at the same time hopefulness and belief for a better future. The old tree beside the church symbolises an Aboriginal Elder who is protecting and watching the children while the leaves illustrate “free spirits” flying through the wind. The painting was influenced by photographs of the Moore River Native Settlement in WA and the movie Rabbit Proof Fence. Image reproduced with kind permission from the artist.

Source: Stolen Generations stories – Creative Spirits, retrieved from 

It follows the release of data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that uncovers alarming and disproportionate levels of disadvantage for Stolen Generations aged 50 and over.

The AIHW report forecasts that by 2023 all remaining Stolen Generations survivors will be eligible for aged care. The data shows that 89 per cent of those aged 50 and over were not in good health and 76 per cent relied on government payments as their main source of income.

The Healing Foundation CEO Richard Weston said the report provides a clear evidence base to the complex needs of Stolen Generations aged 50 and over who suffered profound childhood trauma when they were forcibly removed from their homes, isolated from family and culture and often institutionalised, abused and assaulted.

“While appalling, this level of disadvantage should not come as a surprise. If people don’t have an opportunity to heal from trauma, it continues to impact on the way they think and behave, leading to a range of negative outcomes including poor health and isolation, which in turn leads to social and economic disadvantage,” Mr Weston said.

“The Aged Care Royal Commission has been running for less than a week and we’re already hearing about the profound trauma experienced by those in care. Clearly, the Stolen Generations need and deserve assistance in their aging years, but given their past experiences with institutionalisation, it’s vital that we find public funded alternatives that respond to trauma related issues.”

How you can get involved

-Share the Facebook event: http://bit.ly/2WUynLv
-Share the Stolen Generations stories via YouTube
-Visit our webpage to learn more about Apology11
-Share the factsheet: http://bit.ly/2I7xjk4
-Talk about the recent findings in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations aged 50 and over report.

Tag us on Facebook: @Healing Foundation and Twitter: @healingourway using #Apology11 and#CaringForOurStolenGenerations

Read more: https://healingfoundation.org.au/app/uploads/2019/02/190212-Apology11-Caring-for-Stolen-Generations-InformationSheet.pdf

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #AustraliaDay2019 or #InvasionDay1788 Debate : With Editorial from PM @ScottMorrisonMP, Jeff Kennett and Marion Scrymgour : On #SurvivalDay 2019 we recognise the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

” Yesterday 25 January my family and I spent time with the Ngunnawal people — the first inhabitants of the Canberra region. We attended a smoking ceremony, an ancient cleansing ritual, in what I believe should become a prime ministerial tradition on the eve of Australia Day.

The timing, ahead of our national day, is entirely appropriate because the sacred custodianship of our indigenous people marked the first chapter in the story of our country.

Our First Australians walked here long before anyone else, loving and caring for these lands and waters. They still do. We honour their resilience and stewardship across 60,000 years. We pay respect to the world’s oldest continuous culture.

A culture that is alive; a culture that has survived. A culture that speaks to us no matter what our background as Australians because it is part of the living, breathing soul of our land.

Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia see full Text Published 26 January 2019 The Australian see Part 1 Below 

Watch video

 Minnie Tompkins ochreing the PM’s two Daughters at the event : Copyright Billy T.Tompkins

” We cannot celebrate 26 January when our children still face the devastating impacts of colonisation. Instead, on Survival Day we recognise the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

If we are to celebrate the many great things about our nation, we need a new date that is inclusive of all Australians and ensures we can all participate in celebrations together.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 26 January and the colonisation of Australia is a reflection of the ongoing discrimination and violation of human rights that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children face today.”

SNAICC Press Release 26 January 2019 

It was with profound sadness that I read two stories in The Australian this week: first was the front-page piece “Conservative MPs push to protect January 26”, published on Thursday, and then yesterday, “Dutton puts pressure on PM with support for Australia Day law”. This second story was accompanied by a report on an “invasion day” rally planned for the steps of Parliament House today.

In my column in Melbourne’s Herald Sun this week, I presented the case for changing the date from January 26.

I am the first to admit the issue of the date on which we celebrate Australia Day is not the top priority for Australians. Nor is the recalibration of the way in which Australia recognises its First Peoples. But changing the date is a start in building the recognition and trust I believe is necessary in an educated country

Stop this insult to our First Peoples in the Australian 26 January 2019

Jeff Kennett was the Liberal premier of Victoria, 1992-99 see Part 2 Below

” How can Australia possibly persist in celebrating as its national day the colonial acts of a foreign country? Without even touching on the sensitivities of Indigenous people, where does that leave the majority of Australians who came to or are descended from people who came to this country since Federation (including exponentially increasing numbers of Asian Australians)?

And finally, just to return to the issue of the stake of Indigenous people in this nation. Some have suggested that because there are pressing and immediate issues which are undermining our prospects for progress and wellbeing, it is inappropriate to spend time and energy participating in the debate about our national day.

Like many others who are committed to tackling domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and unemployment amongst our people, I believe we can walk and chew gum at the same time.” 

Marion Scrymgour is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Tiwi Islands Regional Council. Prior to this she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Wurli-Wurliinjang Health Service and was Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory.

Part 4 Invasion Day rally 2019: where to find marches and protests across Australia

Part 1 January 26, 1788 marked the birth of today’s modern Australia Scott Morrison

Today we also remember the second chapter of our country’s history that began on January 26, 1788, with the arrival of the First Fleet.

Wooden convict ships came carrying men and women who were sick, poor and destitute. Those men and women, who included my own ancestors, persevered, endured and won their freedom. They braved hardship and built lives and families. Indeed, the wonder of our country is that out of such hardship would emerge a nation as decent, as fair and as prosperous as ours.

For along with the cruelties of empire came the ideas of the Enlightenment, and Australia was the great project. Notions of liberty, enterprise and human dignity became the foundation for modern Australia.

And we embrace, too, all those who’ve come since — to make us the happy, thriving, multicultural democracy that we are. That’s the third chapter of our story: the one we’re still writing.

Across Australia, 16,212 men, women and children will become citizens today in more than 365 ceremonies. They will be endowed with the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities as every other Australian. Australia’s great bounty is that she is now made up of people from every nation on earth. Together, all these chapters make us who we are.

They’re not unblemished. We don’t have a perfect history. We’ve made mistakes, but no nation is perfect. But we have so much to be grateful for and so much to be proud of.

We’re a free nation, with an elected parliament, an independent judiciary and a free press. We believe in the equality of men and women — of all citizens no matter their creed, race, sexuality or gender. We’ve worked to create a nation that is harmonious, prosperous and safe — one where every individual matters.

That’s what today is about. Gratitude for all we have. Pride in who we’ve become together.

Australia Day is the day we come together. It’s the day we celebrate all Australians, all their stories, all their journeys. And we do this on January 26 because this is the day that Australia changed — forever — and set us on the course of the modern Australia we are today.

Our nation’s story is of a good-hearted and fair people always striving to be better. We have a go. We take risks. Occasionally we fall flat on our faces. But we get up. We always get up. After all, we know how to have a laugh. And we know how to help how mates when they’re down. Today we remember our history, we celebrate our achievements and we re-dedicate ourselves to the land and the people we love.

Happy Australia Day.

Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia.

Part 2  Stop this insult to our First Peoples

It was with profound sadness that I read two stories in The Australian this week: first was the front-page piece “Conservative MPs push to protect January 26”, published on Thursday, and then yesterday, “Dutton puts pressure on PM with support for Australia Day law”. This second story was accompanied by a report on an “invasion day” rally planned for the steps of Parliament House today.

In my column in Melbourne’s Herald Sun this week, I presented the case for changing the date from January 26.

I am the first to admit the issue of the date on which we celebrate Australia Day is not the top priority for Australians. Nor is the recalibration of the way in which Australia recognises its First Peoples. But changing the date is a start in building the recognition and trust I believe is necessary in an educated country.

Let me start with the claims of “invasion day”. This is a term used by some in the indigenous community and by activists. It has gathered some mileage because its use has not been challenged regularly.

Australia was not invaded in 1788, it was settled. The country was occupied by a people from a different community and race to those who were already here, spread in tribes throughout the land.

As those settlers spread from Sydney Cove, the First Peoples were dispossessed of their lands and, yes, as that happened atrocities were committed.

Commodore Arthur Phillip did not arrive with a military force when he settled Port Jackson in 1788. There was no intent to wage a war against the local inhabitants. In fact, the opposite was true. Phillip was commissioned to work with the inhabitants of the country. Although that did not occur, nor did an invasion.

Let me turn to those so-called conservatives mentioned earlier. Probably the closest political grouping we have in Australia that claims to be conservative is the Nationals. Members of the Liberal Party are part of a broader church that I had always taken to mean economically conservative and socially generous.

Together in government the parties and their members discuss and find consensus on issues through policy development.

It is inconceivable to me that these so-called conservatives cannot see how celebrating Australia Day on January 26 every year reinforces a sense of loss among our First Peoples.

How can they not understand that passing legislation to enshrine January 26 as Australia Day would insult our First Peoples and defer any real hope of building the recognition they deserve?

Their action in pursuing such legislation indicates yet again how out of touch and inflexible some members of parliament have become. This is in the face of the demonstrated generosity of the community on social issues such as same-sex marriage and recognition of the challenges facing our disabled and their carers.

Why can’t they see that the same social generosity should be extended to our First Peoples?

Why do they argue that we should continue to discriminate against an important section of our community who are offended by January 26 as the date of national celebration?

The only reason these so-called conservatives are doing so is because some polls suggested that 75 per cent of Australians support January 26 as the day for the celebration.

This reasoning simply continues the cowardice of so many of our federal politicians over the past two decades.

They are elected to lead. Make bold decisions. Correct areas that cause pain to the community when bold action can easily resolve such pain.

Some in the community argue the government is not conservative enough. I disagree. The issues that were relevant in the 1960s and 70s have evolved through education and extraordinary advances in technology. There is a growing recognition of individual rights.

While I respect the right of all individuals in a broad church to hold differing views, I reserve the right to disagree with them, as I do on this issue. It is in my opinion a myopic view, outdated and based on wrong motives.

I will be interested in see which conservatives put their names to any motion to put back any real advance in the recognition of our First Peoples.

As for Peter Dutton. Leader of the band? Jumping on the so-called conservative bandwagon? He has already done considerable damage to his political reputation and must accept much of the blame for the position of the government, having been instigator of the events that led to the removal of Malcolm Turnbull.

Leadership is what is required, Peter, not weakness. Leadership is what the community respects.

By the way, happy Australia Day to all. I hope today provides an opportunity for people, including politicians, to reconsider their position so that we can continue to build the respect we should be showing to our First Peoples.

Part 3 Let’s park the issues relating to Aboriginal people to one side and look at what the 26th of January represents and symbolises for Australians generally, and at how patently incompatible with our modern national identity it is as a selected national day.

Marion Scrymgour first published 2018

The debate about whether Australia Day should be changed to a date other than the 26th of January has in recent times been focussed on the offensiveness to many Indigenous Australians of using the commemoration of the establishment of an English colony in New South Wales as the foundation narrative of our national identity. The objection articulated by advocates for change is that it ignores, marginalises or diminishes Indigenous history and culture, and fails to acknowledge past injustices (some still unresolved).

Personally I think the objection is valid, but I accept that there are differing views. However, it is not necessary to even get into that argument to be persuaded conclusively that there should be a change of date. Let’s park the issues relating to Aboriginal people to one side and look at what the 26th of January represents and symbolises for Australians generally, and at how patently incompatible with our modern national identity it is as a selected national day.

The 26th of January marks the beginning of what sort of enterprise? What sort of uplifting and inspirational human endeavour? The answer is that it was a penal settlement. A remote punishment farm to warehouse the overflow from Britain’s prisons. A place of brutality and despair conceived out of a desire to keep a problem out of sight and out of mind.

Modern Australia has its flaws. Some may want to argue the toss over Don Dale or Manus Island, but the reality is that we are a civilised, enlightened and fair people. We embrace those values in ourselves and in each other. We all recognise how lucky we are to live in a tolerant society where diversity and difference are accepted and mateship and hard work are encouraged. We cherish our autonomy and freedom. A national day should resonate with and reflect those values. The way it can do that is by reminding us of something in our past which either brought out the best in our national character, or else represented a step along the path to our unique Australian identity.

Potential examples are many, but might include these: Kokoda; the first Snowy River hydro scheme (with its harnessing of migrant workers from all over Europe coming to seek a better life after the second world war); the abolition of the white Australia policy in 1966; the passage of the Australia Act in 1986 (when Australia’s court system finally became fully independent).

One thing I know for sure is that when we look into history’s mirror for some event or occasion that allows us to see ourselves as we aspire to be, the last and most alien screen we would contemplate downloading and sharing as emblematic of ourselves as Australians would be Sydney Cove in 1788. You just have to pause and think about it for a moment to be able to reject the concept as ludicrous. And yet that is the status quo that has become entrenched in our national calendar, through a process which has been more recent and less considered than most would be aware of.

In my view it is a matter of historical logic that Australia’s national day cannot be one which commemorates something which happened before Australia itself was created. That happened in 1901 when the various colonies joined together in a single federation in which each of them was transformed into an entity called a “state”.

The new Australian states were modelling themselves on the American colonies which had joined together to become the United States of America. Many of those colonies already had a long prior history since they had been established by European settlers and in most cases they were much prouder of their origins than those new Australian states which had started off as penal settlements. But if anyone, then or since, had proposed that the national day for the USA should be some day commemorating the early history of some individual colony, they would have been howled down by Americans. The American national day celebrates the independence of the unified whole, not a way-station in the history of a pre-independence colony. It should be the same with us.

If any recent event should have served to underscore the lack of fit between the date on which our national day is currently celebrated and our contemporary political reality it is the disqualifying of Federal Parliamentarians who have belatedly discovered that they are British citizens.

Just think about that for a moment. The colony of New South Wales was established on behalf of the British Crown. Then when the country called Australia was created in 1901, its people were classed as British subjects. Stand-alone citizenship came later and things have been slowly and fundamentally changing. In 2018 Britain is a foreign country and if you are a citizen of that country you are excluded from being elected to our Australian parliament. That is because it is recognised that there are conflicting interests and allegiances.

How can Australia possibly persist in celebrating as its national day the colonial acts of a foreign country? Without even touching on the sensitivities of Indigenous people, where does that leave the majority of Australians who came to or are descended from people who came to this country since Federation (including exponentially increasing numbers of Asian Australians)?

And finally, just to return to the issue of the stake of Indigenous people in this nation. Some have suggested that because there are pressing and immediate issues which are undermining our prospects for progress and wellbeing, it is inappropriate to spend time and energy participating in the debate about our national day. Like many others who are committed to tackling domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and unemployment amongst our people, I believe we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Marion Scrymgour

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Download @HealingOurWay report, titled #LookingWheretheLightIs: creating and restoring safety and healing, to coincide with PM Morrison’s apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

“The Healing Foundation has released a report, titled Looking Where the Light Is: creating and restoring safety and healing, to coincide with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

The report details a cultural framework that aims to address the inaction that followed the 1997 Bringing Them Home Report, which outlined 54 recommendations to redress the impact of removal policies and tackle ongoing trauma – most remain unresolved.”

Download Copy of Report Looking-Where-The-Light-Is-Final

With more than 14 per cent of respondents to the Royal Commission coming from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the effects of institutional child sexual abuse are overwhelming.

While an apology is welcome and seen as a good first step, the inaction from the Bringing Them Home report necessitates a direct response.

The Royal Commission made a number of recommendations in relation to advocacy, support and treatment services for survivors, including providing access to tailored treatment and support services for as long as necessary, along with funding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing approaches as an ongoing, integral part of therapeutic responses.

The way forward is clear. However, it requires long term commitment from governments, the broader Australian community and mainstream organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and the #StolenGeneration : Download #ActionPlanForHealing @AIHW and @HealingOurWay Report that has uncovered an alarming and disproportionate level of #StolenGenerations disadvantage

We now know that around 17,000 members of the Stolen Generations are living across Australia today and that they experience higher levels of adversity in relation to most of the 38 key health and welfare outcomes analysed in the report,” 

Even compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the same age group, who are already at a disadvantage, Stolen Generations members are suffering more.

It’s important to remember that behind all the data, are real people who are living with adversity every day and who have shared their stories many times over the past decade.

Healing Foundation Board Chair Professor Steve Larkin says the report, which was commissioned by The Healing Foundation, has uncovered an alarming level of social and economic disadvantage for our Stolen Generations and their descendants. See full press release Part 1 below 

Download full report HERE 

aihw-ihw-Stolen Generation Report

While the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government failed to commission this important work following the National Apology in 2008, I am pleased that we now have a comprehensive understanding of the demographics and needs of surviving members of the Stolen Generations.

The Stolen Generations have experienced a lifetime of trauma, grief and loss, a legacy which is still felt in families and communities across Australia,

The results are significant and illustrate the enduring devastation of past government policies.

I thank the AIHW and the Healing Foundation for their comprehensive work on this report, the first analysis of its kind.

“These findings will help all governments to better support the Stolen Generations and their families.

Minister of Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion see full Press Release Part 2

A Shorten Labor Government will respond to the legacy of pain and trauma that the Stolen Generations, their families and their communities continue to experience today. A Shorten Labor Government will establish a Stolen Generations Compensation Scheme.

To each of the survivors removed from their families, country and culture we will offer an ex gratia payment of $75,000. As well as a one-off payment of $7000 to ensure the costs of their funeral are covered.

See Labor Party Press Release HERE 

Labor Party Stolen Generation response Press Release

 

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare highlights the urgent need to overhaul policies and services for Australia’s Stolen Generations and tackle the impact of Intergenerational Trauma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, according to The Healing Foundation Board Chair Steve Larkin.

According to today’s report the Stolen Generations are more than three times as likely to have been incarcerated in the last five years, almost twice as likely to rely on government payments and 1.5 times as likely to experience poor mental health. They are also more likely to suffer chronic health conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

“For the first time, we have comprehensive data to illustrate a direct link between poor health and welfare outcomes and the forced removal of tens of thousands of children from their families,” said Professor Larkin

“And we can also see the ongoing impact on subsequent generations.”

The AIHW report shows that the descendants of the Stolen Generations consistently experience poorer health and social outcomes, compared to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For example, they are almost twice as likely to have experienced violence, 1.5 times as likely to have been arrested by police (in the last 5 years) and 1.2 times as likely to have used substances (in the preceding 12 months).

Professor Larkin said the level of disadvantage outlined in the report was appalling but should not come as a surprise.

“The Stolen Generations were denied a proper education or a decent wage, which put them at a financial loss right from the start. But more fundamentally, they endured significant childhood trauma when they were taken from their families, isolated, institutionalised and often abused.

“If people don’t have an opportunity to heal from trauma, it continues to impact on the way they think and behave, which can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including poor health, substance abuse, suicide and violence.

“This leads to a vicious cycle of trauma, and its many insidious symptoms, and increasing levels of social and economic disadvantage, across generations,” said Professor Larkin.

“This report shows us that one third of today’s adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community are descendants of the Stolen Generations and that number is going to keep growing.

“If we don’t break the trauma cycle soon, adversity for our people will keep increasing, the gaps with non-Indigenous Australians will keep widening and so will the cost to the Australian taxpayer.”

Today’s demographic report is the first step in The Healing Foundation’s Action Plan for Healing project, which the federal government funded last year.

Professor Larkin said we need to act quickly to scale up appropriate services, address reparations at a national level and deal with the complex aged care needs that have been outlined in the report.

“We also need a National Intergenerational Trauma Strategy to halt the spread of trauma and attack the root cause of many social and health problems.

“It’s too late for many of the Stolen Generations who died young and tragically because of the poor health and welfare issues outlined in this report, but we can do better for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still experiencing the impacts,” he said.

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to heal trauma caused by the widespread and deliberate disruption of populations, cultures and languages over 230 years. This includes specific actions like the forced removal of children from their families.

Download the Above as a PDF 

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Part 2 Government  Press Release

The Turnbull Government has today released a landmark analysis conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in partnership with the Healing Foundation into the outcomes and current needs of the Stolen Generations.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations and descendants: Numbers, demographic characteristics and selected outcomes report found that there are an estimated 17,000 members of the Stolen Generations alive in 2018 who continue to experience significant social and economic disadvantage compared to other Indigenous Australians.

The report estimated that an average of 11 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people born before 1972 were removed from their families.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said this report was a critical analysis needed to enable governments to better meet the contemporary needs of members of the Stolen Generations.

“The Turnbull Government will consult with the Indigenous Advisory Council and continue to work with members of the Stolen Generations to ensure that the Stolen Generations and their families receive the support they require.”

The Commonwealth has provided around $50 million to the Healing Foundation since 2009 to support their work and is currently delivering more than $44 million to over 100 organisations to provide social and emotional wellbeing activities including to support members of the Stolen Generations and their families.

The report was commissioned by the Australian Government in partnership with the Healing Foundation. This work was undertaken in response to the Healing Foundation’s Report titled Bringing them Home 20 years on: an action plan for healing,  which recommended a comprehensive analysis to understand the current needs of the Stolen Generations.