NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Racism : The power of social media supporting Adam Goodes

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“On an individual level, exposure to racism is associated with psychological distress, depression, poor quality of life, and substance misuse, all of which contribute significantly to the overall ill-health experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Prolonged experience of stress can also have physical health effects, such as on the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems.”

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Pat Anderson is chairwoman of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (and a former chair of NACCHO)

This week NACCHO’s Facebook post on Aboriginal Health Racism and supporting Adam Goodes received 50,855 Likes, comments and shares reaching 846,848 people (see above) . In total our NACCHO campaign Facebook posts reached over 2.30 Million People ( 1.4 Million Twitter and 930,000 Facebook)

Thousands took the time and effort to read this important paper on Aboriginal Health and Racism

First Published by NACCHO in 2013 from the Australian Opinion Article HERE

 In July 2013, the federal government launched its new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.

Update August 2015 the NATSHIP Implementation is due to be released shortly

As with all such plans, much depends on how it is implemented. With the details of how it is to be turned into meaningful action yet to be worked out, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations and others will be reserving their judgment.

Nevertheless, there is one area in which this plan breaks new ground, and that is its identification of racism as a key driver of ill-health.

This may be surprising to many Australians. The common perception seems to be that racism directed towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is regrettable, but that such incidents are isolated, trivial and essentially harmless.

Such views were commonly expressed, for example, following the racial abuse of Sydney Swans footballer Adam Goodes earlier this year.

However, the new health plan has got it right on this point, and it is worth looking in more detail at how and why.

So how common are racist behaviours, including speech, directed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

A key study in Victoria in 2010-11, funded by the Lowitja Institute, documented very high levels of racism experienced by Aboriginal Victorians.

It found that of the 755 Aboriginal Victorians surveyed, almost all (97 per cent) reported experiencing racism in the previous year. This included a range of behaviours from being called racist names, teased or hearing jokes or comments that stereotyped Aboriginal people (92 per cent); being sworn at, verbally abused or subjected to offensive gestures because of their race (84 per cent); being spat at, hit or threatened because of their race (67 per cent); to having their property vandalised because of race (54 per cent).

Significantly, more than 70 per cent of those surveyed experienced eight or more such incidents in the previous 12 months.

Other studies have found high levels of exposure to racist behaviours and language.

Such statistics describe the reality of the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Most Australians would no doubt agree this level of racist abuse and violence is unwarranted and objectionable. It infringes upon our rights – not just our rights as indigenous people but also our legal rights as Australian citizens.

But is it actually harmful? Is it a health issue? Studies in Australia echo findings from around the world that show the experience of racism is significantly related to poor physical and mental health.

There are several ways in which racism has a negative effect on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health.

First, on an individual level, exposure to racism is associated with psychological distress, depression, poor quality of life, and substance misuse, all of which contribute significantly to the overall ill-health experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Prolonged experience of stress can also have physical health effects, such as on the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems.

Second, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be reluctant to seek much-needed health, housing, welfare or other services from providers they perceive to be unwelcoming or who they feel may hold negative stereotypes about them.

Last, there is a growing body of evidence that the health system itself does not provide the same level of care to indigenous people as to other Australians. This systemic racism is not necessarily the result of individual ill-will by health practitioners, but a reflection of inappropriate assumptions made about the health or behaviour of people belonging to a particular group.

What the research tells us, then, is that racism is not rare and it is not harmless: it is a deeply embedded pattern of events and behaviours that significantly contribute to the ill-health suffered by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Tackling these issues is not easy. The first step is for governments to understand racism does have an impact on our health and to take action accordingly. Tackling racism provides governments with an opportunity to make better progress on their commitments to Close the Gap, as the campaign is known, in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The new plan has begun this process, but it needs to be backed up with evidence-based action.

Second, as a nation we need to open up the debate about racism and its effects.

The recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution is important for many reasons, not least because it could lead to improved stewardship and governance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health (as explored in a recent Lowitja Institute paper, “Legally Invisible”).

However, the process around constitutional recognition provides us with an opportunity to have this difficult but necessary conversation about racism and the relationship between Australia’s First Peoples and those who have arrived in this country more recently. Needless to say, this conversation needs to be conducted respectfully, in a way that is based on the evidence and on respect for the diverse experiences of all Australians.

Last, we need to educate all Australians, especially young people, that discriminatory remarks, however casual or apparently light-hearted or off-the-cuff, have implications for other people’s health.

Whatever approaches we adopt, they must be based on the recognition that people cannot thrive if they are not connected.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to be connected with their own families, communities and cultures. We must also feel connected to the rest of society. Racism cuts that connection.

At the same time, racism cuts off all Australians from the unique insights and experiences that we, the nation’s First Peoples, have to offer.

Seen this way, recognising and tackling racism is about creating a healthier, happier and better nation in which all can thrive.

Pat Anderson is chairwoman of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research.

NACCHO Aboriginal health : Hostility to Utopia film a denial of nation’s brutal past -Sol Bellear and Adam Goodes

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Put yourself in Aboriginal shoes for a minute.

Imagine watching a film that tells the truth about the terrible injustices committed over 225 years against your people, a film that reveals how Europeans, and the governments that have run our country, have raped, killed and stolen from your people for their own benefit.

Now imagine how it feels when the people who benefited most from those rapes, those killings and that theft – the people in whose name the oppression was done – turn away in disgust when someone seeks to expose it.”

Adam Goodes is the  Australian of the Year and plays AFL for the Sydney Swans.: “It takes courage to tell the truth, no matter how unpopular those truths may be.” Photo: Rohan Thomson

“Put simply, reconciliation hasn’t worked in Australia because as a nation, we  continue to refuse to face up to our real past. Just as you cannot have  reconciliation without justice, you can’t have justice without truth”

Sol Bellear  reviewing the movie Utopia (see below ) Sol is the chairman of the Aboriginal Medical Service,  Redfern and a long-time Aboriginal activist.

Hostility to John Pilger’s film a denial of nation’s brutal past-Adam Goodes

Read more: and read the 300+ comments

For the last few weeks, I’ve seen a film bring together Aboriginal people all over Australia. The buzz around Utopia – a documentary by John Pilger – has been unprecedented. Some 4000 people attended the open-air premiere in Redfern last month – both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians – and yet  little appeared in the media about an event that the people of Redfern say was a ”first”.  This silence has since been broken by a couple of commentators whose aggression seemed a cover for their hostility to the truth about Aboriginal people.

FROM THE MELBOURNE AGE VIEW

When I watched Utopia for the first time, I was moved to tears. Three times. This film has reminded me that the great advantages I enjoy today – as a footballer and Australian of the Year – are a direct result of the struggles and sacrifices of the Aboriginal people who came before me.

Utopia honours these people, so I think the very least I can do is honour Utopia and the people who appeared in it and made it.

It takes courage to tell the truth, no matter how unpopular those truths may be. But it also takes courage to face up to our past.

That process starts with understanding our very dark past, a brutal history of dispossession, theft and slaughter. For that reason, I urge the many fair-minded Australians who seek genuine prosperity and equality for my people to find the courage to open their hearts and their minds and watch Utopia.

There is a good reason why  Pilger’s film resonates with so many of my people and is the talk of Aboriginal Australia.

Put yourself in Aboriginal shoes for a minute.

Imagine watching a film that tells the truth about the terrible injustices committed over 225 years against your people, a film that reveals how Europeans, and the governments that have run our country, have raped, killed and stolen from your people for their own benefit.

Now imagine how it feels when the people who benefited most from those rapes, those killings and that theft – the people in whose name the oppression was done – turn away in disgust when someone seeks to expose it.

Frankly, as a proud Adnyamathanha man, I find the silence about Utopia in mainstream Australia disturbing and hurtful. As an Australian, I find it embarrassing. I also see an irony, for Utopia is about telling the story of this silence.

Some say the film doesn’t tell the ”good stories” out of Aboriginal Australia. That’s the part I find most offensive.

Utopia is bursting at the seams with stories of Aboriginal people who have achieved incredible things in the face of extreme adversity. Stories of people like Arthur Murray, an Aboriginal man from Wee Waa, and his wife, Leila, who fought for several decades for the truth over the death in police custody of their son Eddie.

Their quiet, dignified determination helped spark the 1987 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, a landmark inquiry that still plagues governments today.

Even before that, Murray  led a historic  strike of cotton workers and forced employers to provide better wages and conditions for Aboriginal workers. How is this achievement negative?

The film also features Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, a strong Aboriginal woman who proudly speaks of truth and a long overdue treaty.

The  work of Robert and Selina Eggington is also profiled in Utopia. After the suicide of their son, Robert and Selina created a healing centre in Perth called Dumbartung. Its aim is to stop the deaths and provide an outlet for the never-ending grief of so many Aboriginal families.

I reject any suggestion that by telling those stories, that by honouring these lives,  Pilger has ”focused on the negative”. Their achievements may not fit the mainstream idea of ”success” but they inspire me and other Aboriginal people because they’re shared stories. They are our courageous, unrecognised resistance.

Nana Fejo, another strong Aboriginal woman, appears in Utopia. She tells of her forced removal as a child. It’s a heart-wrenching story and yet she speaks   with a graciousness and generosity of spirit that should inspire all Australians.

Like Fejo, my mother was a member of the stolen generations. My family has been touched by suicide, like the Eggingtons. My family and my people talk of truth and treaty, just like Kunoth-Monks does. My family has been denied our culture, language and kinship systems, like all the Aboriginal people who feature in Utopia.  This extraordinary film tells the unpleasant truth.  It should be required viewing for every Australian.

 Utopia brought back were not pleasant, and  large sections of the film simply made me angry

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Sol is the chairman of the Aboriginal Medical Service,  Redfern and a long-time Aboriginal activist

As recently published in Fairfax Press

It’s the new mantra in Aboriginal affairs: get your kids to school.

Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd were fond of saying it. So too  is Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

While I don’t accept that education alone, or rather a lack of access to it,  explains the desperate poverty in

But if it’s good enough for blackfellas, then it should also be good enough  for whitefellas.

Mainstream Australia has long lacked a real education about Aboriginal  people, about our shared history, and this nation’s brutal past.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way in – an opportunity to get a “punter’s  guide” to the truth about the treatment of Aboriginal Australians.

John Pilger’s latest film, Utopia – a 110-minute feature length  documentary more than two years in the making – should be required viewing for  all Australians, in particular lawmakers.

I watched the film recently and it brought back many memories for me.  Admittedly, a few of them were pleasant. The spirit of my people has always  helped to sustain and inspire me, and watching old warriors such as  Vince  Forrester, Bob Randall and Rosie Kunoth-Monks, for me at least, took the edge  off some of the hard truths in Utopia.

But many of the memories Utopia brought back were not pleasant, and  large sections of the film simply made me angry.

During the 1970s, I travelled the nation with Fred Hollows. We travelled  across Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, treating  Aboriginal men, women and children for trachoma and other eye diseases, problems  which still plague remote Aboriginal communities today.

The Australia I saw in Utopia this week is the same Australia I saw  with Hollows.

Very little has changed on the ground.

Attitudes in non-Aboriginal Australia, it seems, have not evolved much  either.

In one part of the film, Pilger is taken on a tour of Rottnest Island by a  local Aboriginal elder, Noel Nannup. But it’s not the tour tourists get –  despite “Rotto’s” history as a brutal concentration camp, today it is a resort  and luxury spa, with virtually all traces of its past erased.

The stories around deaths in custody; around an Aboriginal elder being  cooked, literally, in the back of a prison van; around government and media  deceit that led to the Northern Territory intervention; all made for infuriating  viewing.

But for me, Pilger’s interview with the former indigenous health minister,  Warren Snowdon, and the responses of white people on Australia Day who were  asked why they thought Aboriginal people didn’t celebrate January 26, were the  real nuggets in the film.

For Snowdon’s part, he was grilled about why, after 23 years in office, his  constituents were still among the sickest and poorest on earth. Snowdon’s  seething, bombastic response was to label the question “puerile”.

And then there were the vox pops from mainstream Australians on January 26,  2013. People were asked why they thought Aboriginal people didn’t celebrate the  date. Most seemed to have no idea that was even the case, and others were just  openly hostile.

To me, it’s these attitudes of indifference, and sometimes outrage when  challenged, that are the real elephants in the room for this country.

The denial of our history, and our collective refusal to accept the truths of  our past are the biggest hurdles to Aboriginal advancement.

I hope that people who see Utopia will have their consciences  pricked. Those who do might feel embarrassed or ashamed. But I hope that’s not  the only reaction. I hope, above all else, Utopia starts a long overdue  national conversation.

We can’t just sweep aside the truths in Utopia because they’re  uncomfortable. And we can’t let conservative commentators make it all about the  film-maker rather than the film, which is what often happens with Pilger’s  work.

I’m bracing myself for the inevitable focus on Pilger’s “style” and his  “bias”. So before it comes, let me give you one assurance: You’d be hard-pressed  to find many Aboriginal people with whom Utopia won’t resonate  strongly.

The reason why is simple: what John Pilger and his co-director Alan Lowery  have produced is a substantial work of truth, one which provides answers to many  of the questions Australians have been too afraid to ask.

Why is this happening? Why were there no reparations to the stolen  generations? Why do Aboriginal people still live in such grinding poverty? If,  as  Snowdon concedes in the film, the NT intervention was “wrong-headed” and  “stupid”, why did he continue and extend it under the Rudd and Gillard  governments?

The most pressing question from my perspective is why has reconciliation in  this country failed?

Pilger touches on this in his closing remarks. He makes the point that until  Aboriginal people are delivered justice, there can never be reconciliation.

I agree strongly. But I would add that the path to justice begins with the  truth.

That’s a reality that nations such as  Canada and South Africa recognised  many years ago, when they established their respective Truth and Reconciliation  Commissions.

Put simply, reconciliation hasn’t worked in Australia because as a nation, we  continue to refuse to face up to our real past. Just as you cannot have  reconciliation without justice, you can’t have justice without truth.

Through Utopia, Pilger sheds some light on those truths. It’s likely  to be very uncomfortable viewing for many Australians, and it will inevitably  cause pain.

But you’ll find the overwhelming majority of Aboriginal people are prepared  to watch Utopia, and feel the hurt all over again.

The real question is how many non-Aboriginal Australians have the courage to  watch this film, educate themselves a little, and feel the hurt for the first  time?

* Sol Bellear is the chairman of the Aboriginal Medical Service,  Redfern and a long-time Aboriginal activist.

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The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.

SUMMIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO

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NACCHO Aboriginal health news alert: Why Adam Goodes is an inspired and inspiring choice as Australian of the Year

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“Growing up as an Indigenous Australian I have seen and experienced my fair share of racism. It’s shaped my values and what I believe in today. Racism is a community issue that we all need to address.” 

“It is not just about taking responsibility for your own actions but speaking to your mates when they take out their anger on loved ones or minority groups or make racist remarks

From Adam Goodes Australian of the Year acceptance speech

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The chair of NACCHO Justin Mohamed on behalf of the board and 150 Aboriginal community controlled health organisation members throughout Australia congratulated Adam Goodes on his award for Australian of the Year and the support he has given NACCHO over the years.

Pictured above launching the NACCHO AFL indigenous all stars jumpers last year in Sydney with new team mate Buddy Franklin

The Australian Human Rights Commission today said it is “absolutely delighted” that its anti-racism ambassador, Adam Goodes, is Australian of the Year 2014.

“This honour acknowledges and celebrates the very significant contribution Adam Goodes has made to our understanding of human rights in Australia,” said Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs.

“The award highlights Mr Goodes’ support for anti-racism initiatives such as Racism. It Stops With Me.

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“It also draws attention to Mr Goodes’ support for constitutional reform,” Professor Triggs said.

Mr Goodes is an ambassador for the Human Rights Commission’s Racism.It Stops With Me campaign. He also features in an anti-racism Community Service Announcement (CSA) the Commission produced in partnership with Play by the Rules.

The CSA quickly went viral after Mr Goodes took a stand against a racist incident during an AFL game in Melbourne last year. Almost 250,000 people have viewed it on the Commission’s YouTube channel and the clip remains available for media use.

Racism. It Stops With Me encourages people to think about what they say and to understand why racist comments are wrong,” Professor Triggs said.

“We are lucky to have the perfect ambassador in Adam Goodes. We congratulate him on his achievement and we thank him for his leadership.”

The Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, also congratulated Mr Goodes as the newly appointed Australian of the Year.

Dr Soutphommasane said Mr Goodes has delivered a simple but important message: that there is no place for racism in Australia.

“Adam Goodes’ stand against racism has inspired and empowered many Australians,” Dr Soutphommasane said.

Watch the Racism. It Stops With Me video clip.

FROM THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

The most ill-advised argument anyone could make right now is that Adam Goodes  was named Australian of the Year for calling out a 13-year-old girl at the MCG  in between chasing a piece of inflated red leather around a footy oval.

From: Andrew Webster Chief Sports Writer, The Sydney Morning Herald

The most ill-advised question anyone could ask is what has the Swans  footballer done compared with those who have served and lost lives in  Afghanistan, or produced miracles in operating theatres?

It’s what Goodes can do over the next year that makes his appointment one of  the most inspired choices in years.

When it was revealed on Saturday night that the 34-year-old had received the  honour, the news was overwhelmingly applauded – yet also caused a predictable  ripple of discontent.

After all, he is just – gulp! – a footballer.

Moaning about the worthiness of the Australian of the Year winner is the  equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel for your standard Australian  whinger.

They’re the same people who complain about the heat in summer, and sand at  the beach, and the traffic during school holidays, and how bad Seven’s coverage  is of the tennis.

Goodes is the first sportsperson to win the award since former Australian  Test captain Steve Waugh in 2004, and before that the likes of Pat Rafter  (2002), Mark Taylor (1999) and Cathy Freeman (1998).

Some will point out that sportspeople often won during the tenure of  Australia’s little Wallabies tracksuit-wearing prime minister and sports tragic,  John Howard, but let’s just assume it was a coincidence.

With all due respect to those indigenous sportspeople who have gone before  him – including Lionel Rose (1968) and Evonne Goolagong (1971) – Goodes’  influence can be immense.

A footballer, yes, but so much more than that.

On May 24 last year, a picture of Goodes ran on the back of some News Ltd  publications, with him standing in the middle of the SCG on sunset, lifting his  Swans jumper and pointing to his dark skin.

He was dipping his lid to another indigenous hero, St Kilda’s Nicky Winmar,  who 30 years earlier had lifted his shirt and said, “I’m black and I’m proud”  after Collingwood fans had baited him with barbs such as, “Go and sniff some  petrol.”

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Iconic image: Nicky Winmar raises his jumper in response to racial taunts at  Victoria Park on April 17,1993. Photo: Wayne Ludbey

“That’s exactly what the photo symbolises to me,” he said of Winmar’s  remarks. “Even today, 20 years later, it highlights how every indigenous person  should feel about their heritage.”

The newspaper image of Goodes that day – that came at the start of the AFL’s  Indigenous Round – was almost as significant as the iconic picture of  Winmar.

Imagine, then, the grief Goodes must have felt when he was standing near the  boundary line at the MCG later that night when a 13-year-old Collingwood fan  called him an “ape”.

“People don’t understand how one word can cut me so deep,” Goodes says in a  video on the Australian of the Year website, before later adding: “I haven’t  always been a confident, young man. I was shy growing up. I learnt about  standing up for what you believe in.”

Now, there’s standing up for what you believe in, and there’s standing up in  front of tens of thousands of people at the MCG and watching on TV at home and  on the 6pm news for the next week.

But it isn’t about that moment that makes Goodes a hero.

It is about the next day, when he took a call from a distressed teenage girl,  and then asked via social media for the community to support her.

It is about how he handled Pies president Eddie McGuire a few days later  after he joked on radio that Goodes would be a good promoter for the King  Kong stage production.

It is about the way Goodes has used his own ugly, heartbreaking experience  and turned it in the best possible tool to wipe out the stain of racism that is  still there, even now.

It is about the GO Foundation he has formed with cousin and former Swans  teammate Michael O’Loughlin in 2009, providing scholarships for indigenous  students.

It is about the last year when he has been at the forefront of raising  awareness of the issue of domestic violence.

Adam Gilchrist, former cricketer and Australia Day Council chairman, said  last week: “People might debate if we made the right choice, but they can never  say we made the wrong choice.”

Goodes will further a debate this country has been having since Australia Day  1788, with so much more to go, and surely that makes him the right one.

NACCHO AFL news: Indigenous All stars team calls on 40,000 years of history to be recognised

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The NACCHO supported Indigenous All Stars squad has used its final training session before representing Australia in Ireland to call for the first 40,000 years of Australia’s history to be recognised in our nation’s Constitution.

Pictured above NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed who gave the team a briefing on the new NACCHO Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands APP that will be launched October 18 to coincide with the tour.

The NACCHO sponsored games can watched free to air

IRS – Match 1

Date: Saturday 19 October, 2013

Time: 7:00pm (local) / 5:00am Sunday, 20 October (Daylight Savings Time)

Location: Breffni Park, Cavan

Broadcast: 7Mate 06:30 AEDT (national broadcast – respective times in each state)

FOX: TBC

 

IRS – Match 2

Date: Saturday 26 October, 2013

Time: 7:00pm (local) / 5:00am Sunday, 27 October (Daylight Savings Time)

Location: Croke Park, Dublin

Broadcast: 7Mate 06:30 AEDT (national broadcast – respective times in each state)

FOX: TBC

 

NACCHO AFL All Stars website

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The team wore the shirts of the Recognise movement to perform their War Cry to help build support for the referendum within two years.

The All Stars will be the first All-Indigenous team to represent an Australian sporting code at senior level overseas since the first cricket team toured England in 1868, more than 150 years ago.

Head coach and Sydney Swans champion Michael O’Loughlin is a strong supporter of constitutional recognition.

“Every one of the guys in this squad is about to go and represent Australia overseas and defend our nation’s sporting honour in this series,” O’Loughlin said.

“And they’re doing that proudly even though their history – the 40,000-year history of Indigenous Australians – isn’t recognised in our nation’s Constitution, when it should be.”

“The long presence of Aboriginal people in this land is part of Australia’s history. I think every fair-minded Australian can understand why recognition will help us to heal old wounds.”

“This is something that’s important to me personally, and to my family, so that the long history of Australia can be understood and valued by future generations of Australians, black and white.”

Two-time Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes said going overseas with an Australian team highlighted why our Indigenous history should be part of Australia’s Constitution.

“Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are one of the things that make Australia unique,” he said. “It’s something every Australian can take pride in. And when we recognise that in the document that makes us a nation, we’ll help to safeguard our unique identity for future generations of Australians.”

AFL chief executive officer Andrew Demetriou said “Just as Indigenous players are a crucial part of the AFL, Indigenous Australians are a crucial part of our nation and that should be recognised.”

The Indigenous Australian International Rules team is an official supporter of Recognise; the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.

Supported by Coles and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the Indigenous Australian International Rules team depart ed for Ireland from Sydney International Airport Saturday, October 12.

The team will play two Test matches against Ireland. The First Test will be played at Breffni Park in Cavan on October 19, followed by the Second Test in Dublin at Croke Park on October 26.

The International Rules Series matches will be broadcast nationally on 7Mate.

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NACCHO Deadly Awards results:Deadly Archie wants action from Abbott

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Singer-songwriter Archie Roach, recipient of a Lifetime Contribution Award for Healing the Stolen Generations at Tuesday night’s Deadly Awards, says new Prime Minister Tony Abbott needs to prove he is serious about indigenous Australia.

FULL list below 2013 DEADLY AWARDS – THE WINNERS

‘‘I don’t know what to think about Tony Abbott. He reckons he wants to work with indigenous people but only time will tell if we are able to work with this man and his Government and bring about some real change.’’

Roach’s work focused an international spotlight on the stolen generations and did much to mobilise Australia into action.

Roach says the Northern Territory intervention remains a ‘‘sore point’’ for indigenous people and he also wants to see Australia’s first people recognised in the constitution. Indigenous people should have also have a say in who is considered genuine asylum seekers: ‘‘People who are sincere. We know there are genuine people fleeing war torn countries who have no hope,’’ Roach said.

Roach, who suffered a stroke in 2010 and had surgery for lung cancer in 2011, also won a Deadly last night at the Sydney Opera House for indigenous album of the year, for Into the Bloodstream. “I’m just happy to be able to make music at this stage of my career, so it’s a great honour to be recognised in this way,” Roach said.

Deadlys organisers said Roach’s contributions to his people “are deep, long-lasting and real . . . his work focused an international spotlight on the stolen generations and did much to mobilise Australia into action”.

Pat O'Shane.
NSW Magistrate Pat O’Shane. Photo: Wade Laube

One of indigenous Australia’s highest honours, the Marcia Langton award for lifetime achievement in leadership, went to controversial retired NSW magistrate Pat O’Shane.

Ms O’Shane, a Kunjandji woman, was the first woman to head a ministry (the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1981) and the first Aboriginal barrister and magistrate in Australia. Ms O’Shane, 72, retired from the Local Court of NSW this year, after a 26-year career on the bench.

Deadlys organisers said she “blazed a path for others to follow . . . she is a genuine and inspiring role model for others”.

Ms O’Shane is also the subject of an unresolved Judicial Commission investigation into many of her decisions as a magistrate.

Pop singer Jessica Mauboy, of Darwin, repeated her 2012 success by again winning the female artist of the year/single of the year double, this time for Something’s Got a Hold on Me, which is the theme song for this year’s NRL season. Country singer Troy Cassar-Daley was male artist of the year.

The Sapphires, which has so far made $20.4 million worldwide, was named film of the year, while cast member Deborah Mailman was named best female actor.

The acclaimed television drama series Redfern Now was TV show of the year, while one of the program’s lead actors, Luke Carroll, was named best male actor.

Best hip-hop group was Melbourne’s Yung Warriors, while hip-hop duo Stik n Move, from Queanbeyan, picked up the the most promising new talent in music award.

Other major arts awards went to Steve Mullawalla Dodd (Jimmy Little lifetime achievement award for music), Brenda Croft (visual artist of the year), Ella Havelka (dancer of the year) and singer-songwriter Shellie Morris (excellence in cultural advancement). Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari won the published book prize.

2013 DEADLY AWARDS – THE WINNERS

Music

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT IN MUSIC -Stik n Move

SINGLE RELEASE OF THE YEAR – Jessica Mauboy, Something’s Got a Hold on Me

ALBUM OF THE YEAR -Archie Roach, Into the Bloodstream

BAND OF THE YEAR – Street Warriors

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR -Troy Cassar-Daley

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR -Jessica Mauboy

HIP HOP ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Yung Warriors

Sport

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT -Mariah Williams

AFL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Adam Goodes

NRL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Johnathan Thurston

FEMALE SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR -Ashleigh Barty

MALE SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR – Daniel Geale

Arts

DANCER OF THE YEAR – Ella Havelka

VISUAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Brenda Croft

MALE ACTOR OF THE YEAR -Luke Carroll (Redfern Now)

FEMALE ACTOR OF THE YEAR -Deborah Mailman (The Sapphires)

FILM OF THE YEAR – The Sapphires

TELEVISION SHOW OF THE YEAR – Redfern Now

PUBLISHED BOOK OF THE YEAR – NPY Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation

(Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari)

Community

EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH -Professor Pat Dudgeon

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION -Deadly Sista Girlz and the David Wirrpanda Foundation

HEALTH WORKER OF THE YEAR -Leonie Morcome, Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service

EXCELLENCE IN EMPLOYMENT -Koori Job Ready

COMMUNITY BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR -John Harding, 3CR

EXCELLENCE IN CULTURAL ADVANCEMENT – Shellie Morris

SCIENTIST OR SCIENCE PROJECT OF THE YEAR -Gerry Turpin

EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH THROUGH THE PROMOTION OF HEALTHY AND SMOKE

FREE LIFESTYLES -Rewrite Your Story Campaign, developed by Puiyurti (Don’t Smoke) Tackling Tobacco Program

JOURNALISM STORY OF THE YEAR – NITV News, Shayden and Junaid Thorne in Saudi Arabia

Hall of Fame

THE ELLA AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN SPORT – Adam Goodes

THE JIMMY LITTLE AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC -Steve Dodd

THE MARCIA LANGTON AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN LEADERSHIP -Pat O’Shane

THE LIFETIME CONTRIBUTION AWARD FOR HEALING THE STOLEN GENERATIONS -Archie Roach

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/deadly-archie-wants-action-from-abbott-20130910-2ti6m.html#ixzz2eWJd3NUH

NACCHO AFL Press Release:NACCHO partners with AFL to support Indigenous All-Stars

AFL 2

Picture above Buddy Franklin and Adam Goodes with NACCHO executive at the launch in Sydney

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)  has today announced the partnership with the Australian Football League (AFL) to support the Indigenous All-Stars International Rules team.

WATCH EXCELLENT NACCHO AFL COVERAGE OF FOX SPORTS

WATCH THE LAUNCH ON NACCHO TV from NITV broadcast

NACCHO Chair, Justin Mohamed, said he was excited by NACCHO’s ongoing involvement with the AFL.

AFL Launch.jpg LW RES

NACCHO Chair Justin Mohamed and board member John Singer with Buddy Mick and Adam

“Working with the AFL gives us another channel to spread the health messages into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities all across the country,” Mr Mohamed said.

“Aboriginal people are great followers of AFL and love to support their Aboriginal players.

Background

AFL

The 2013 Indigenous AFL Players represent 48 of these language or cultural groups. The map below (CLICK VIEW SITE ) demonstrates the diversity of our current Indigenous players.

Explore the map by clicking on the footballs or shaded areas to discover the language and/or cultural groups of these players.

VIEW THE SITE HERE

Below is a list of the 79 Indigenous players currently on AFL playing lists.

“AFL and Aboriginal community controlled health both have at their core a local, grass roots, community focus. Combining football with a good health message makes a lot of sense.

“Aboriginal health organisations who are run by Aboriginal people within their own communities are having the greatest impact in closing the disgraceful life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and improving the lives of our people.

“We are hopeful that by partnering with the AFL more Aboriginal men and women will be encouraged to think about their health and seek out their local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for a check up.”

Jason Mifsud, AFL’s Head of Diversity welcomed NACCHO’s involvement with the Indigenous All Stars International Rules team.

“The AFL are thrilled to be associated with an organisation whose members are doing such great work in improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country,” Mr Mifsud said.

“We know that many of the AFL’s Aboriginal players are heroes within their communities and are advocates for good health and fitness.

“Through this partnership, the AFL welcomes the opportunity to help NACCHO spread the word in Aboriginal communities about the importance of good health and regular check ups.”

Media contact: Colin Cowell 0401 331 251, Olivia Greentree 0439 411 774

OFFICIAL AFL media release

MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The AFL today announced the names of the players eligible for selection in the Indigenous Australian Rules team which will play in the 2013 International Rules Series.

Supported by Coles and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Indigenous Australian Rules will play Test matches in Cavan and Dublin in Ireland in October.

Head Coach Michael O’Loughlin made the squad announcement at a special event held at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Sydney.

Representing the AFL Indigenous playing group, Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin and Sydney Swans forward Adam Goodes were in attendance.

AFL General Manager of Football Operations Mark Evans said this year’s International Rules Series is a significant and historic event in Australia’s Game.

“The series is a fantastic opportunity for the Indigenous All-Stars to come together as a team and to represent Australia for the first time ever in the International Rules against Ireland.

The Indigenous Australian Rules team will be made up of a very exciting list, which will showcase our Indigenous talent and prove to be a very competitive side to come up against.

“The final squad of 22 players which will travel to Ireland will be released following the Toyota AFL Grand Final Series.”

The current squad is:

Tony Armstrong (Sydney Swans), Harley Bennell
(Gold Coast), Eddie Betts (Carlton), Shaun Burgoyne
(Hawthorn), Allen Christensen (Geelong), Aaron Davey
(Melbourne), Alwyn Davey (Essendon), Courtenay Dempsey
(Essendon), Shane Edwards (Richmond), Lance
Franklin
  (Hawthorn), Adam Goodes (Sydney), Curtly Hampton
(Greater Western Sydney), Bradley Hill (Hawthorn), Josh Hill
(West Coast), Stephen Hill (Fremantle), Leroy Jetta
(Essendon), Lewis Jetta (Sydney Swans), Michael
Johnson 
(Fremantle), Andrew Krakouer (Collingwood), Nathan
Lovett-Murray
(Essendon), Brandon Matera (Gold Coast), Ash
McGrath
(Brisbane), Steven Motlop (Geelong), Danyle Pearce
(Fremantle), Patrick Ryder (Essendon), Mathew Stokes (Geelong),
Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne), Travis Varcoe
(Geelong),  Andrew Walker (Carlton), Michael Walters (Fremantle),
Sharrod Wellingham (West Coast), Daniel Wells (North
Melbourne), Chris Yarran (Carlton).

Michael O’Loughlin will be supported by a senior coaching panel to be made up of Rodney Eade, Tadhg Kennelly and Andrew McLeod.

In the most recent series in Ireland in 2010 Australia secured a 2-0 victory under former coach Mick Malthouse, before losing 2-0 in Australia in 2011.

Partners

Coles is the official partner of the AFL Indigenous program which aims to deliver football, health, education, leadership and employment opportunities for Indigenous male and females.

The partnership extends to the elite level to include the Indigenous All-Stars, celebrating cultural identity in Australia’s game and strengthening Indigenous development in Australia.

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation represents the 150 health services across Australia that are run by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.

Below is a list of the 79 Indigenous players currently on AFL playing lists.

Adelaide Cameron  Ellis-Yolmen Graham  Johncock Jared  Petrenko Richard Tambling

Brisbane Ashley  McGrath Sam Sheldon

Carlton Eddie  Betts Jeffrey Garlett Andrew Walker Chris  Yarran

Collingwood Andrew Krakouer Kirk Ugle Peter  Yagmoor

Essendon Alwyn  Davey Courtney Dempsey Leroy  Jetta Anthony Long Nathan Lovett-Murray Patrick Ryder

Fremantle Jonathon Griffin Antoni Grover Stephen Hill Michael Johnson Jordon King-Wilson Michael Walters

Geelong Allen Christensen Joel Hamling Steven Motlop Mathew Stokes Travis  Varcoe Bradley Hartman

Gold Coast Harley Bennell Jarrod Harbrow Brandon Matera Steven  May Liam Patrick

Greater Western Sydney Rhys  Cooyou Shaun Edwards Curtly Hampton Gerald Ugle Nathan  Wilson

Hawthorn Shaun Burgoyne Amos Frank Lance Franklin Bradley Hill Cyril Rioli Derrick Wanganeen Jed Anderson

Melbourne Jamie Bennell Aaron Davey Neville Jetta Kelvin Lawerence Dom Barry

North Melbourne Cruize Garlett Lindsay Thomas Daniel Wells

Port Adelaide Brendon Ah Chee Danyle Pearce Chad Wingard Jake Neade

Richmond Shane  Edwards Gibson Turner

St Kilda Raphael Clarke Terry Milera Nicholas Winmar

Sydney Tony Armstrong Adam Goodes Lewis Jetta

West Coast Joshua Hill Murray  Newman Callum Papertalk Koby  Stevens Gerrick Weedon Brad Dick Sharrod Wellingham

Western Bulldogs Liam Jones Koby Stevens Brett Goodes

NACCHO NASTIHP health plan news: Racism a driver of Aboriginal ill health

PatAnderson4-220x124

On an individual level, exposure to racism is associated with psychological distress, depression, poor quality of life, and substance misuse, all of which contribute significantly to the overall ill-health experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Prolonged experience of stress can also have physical health effects, such as on the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems.

Pat Anderson is chairwoman of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (and a former chair of NACCHO)

As published in The Australian OPINION

 In July 2013, the federal government launched its new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.

As with all such plans, much depends on how it is implemented. With the details of how it is to be turned into meaningful action yet to be worked out, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations and others will be reserving their judgment.

Nevertheless, there is one area in which this plan breaks new ground, and that is its identification of racism as a key driver of ill-health.

This may be surprising to many Australians. The common perception seems to be that racism directed towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is regrettable, but that such incidents are isolated, trivial and essentially harmless.

Such views were commonly expressed, for example, following the racial abuse of Sydney Swans footballer Adam Goodes earlier this year.

However, the new health plan has got it right on this point, and it is worth looking in more detail at how and why.

So how common are racist behaviours, including speech, directed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

A key study in Victoria in 2010-11, funded by the Lowitja Institute, documented very high levels of racism experienced by Aboriginal Victorians.

It found that of the 755 Aboriginal Victorians surveyed, almost all (97 per cent) reported experiencing racism in the previous year. This included a range of behaviours from being called racist names, teased or hearing jokes or comments that stereotyped Aboriginal people (92 per cent); being sworn at, verbally abused or subjected to offensive gestures because of their race (84 per cent); being spat at, hit or threatened because of their race (67 per cent); to having their property vandalised because of race (54 per cent).

Significantly, more than 70 per cent of those surveyed experienced eight or more such incidents in the previous 12 months.

Other studies have found high levels of exposure to racist behaviours and language.

Such statistics describe the reality of the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Most Australians would no doubt agree this level of racist abuse and violence is unwarranted and objectionable. It infringes upon our rights – not just our rights as indigenous people but also our legal rights as Australian citizens.

But is it actually harmful? Is it a health issue? Studies in Australia echo findings from around the world that show the experience of racism is significantly related to poor physical and mental health.

There are several ways in which racism has a negative effect on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health.

First, on an individual level, exposure to racism is associated with psychological distress, depression, poor quality of life, and substance misuse, all of which contribute significantly to the overall ill-health experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Prolonged experience of stress can also have physical health effects, such as on the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems.

Second, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be reluctant to seek much-needed health, housing, welfare or other services from providers they perceive to be unwelcoming or who they feel may hold negative stereotypes about them.

Last, there is a growing body of evidence that the health system itself does not provide the same level of care to indigenous people as to other Australians. This systemic racism is not necessarily the result of individual ill-will by health practitioners, but a reflection of inappropriate assumptions made about the health or behaviour of people belonging to a particular group.

What the research tells us, then, is that racism is not rare and it is not harmless: it is a deeply embedded pattern of events and behaviours that significantly contribute to the ill-health suffered by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Tackling these issues is not easy. The first step is for governments to understand racism does have an impact on our health and to take action accordingly. Tackling racism provides governments with an opportunity to make better progress on their commitments to Close the Gap, as the campaign is known, in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The new plan has begun this process, but it needs to be backed up with evidence-based action.

Second, as a nation we need to open up the debate about racism and its effects.

The recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution is important for many reasons, not least because it could lead to improved stewardship and governance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health (as explored in a recent Lowitja Institute paper, “Legally Invisible”).

However, the process around constitutional recognition provides us with an opportunity to have this difficult but necessary conversation about racism and the relationship between Australia’s First Peoples and those who have arrived in this country more recently. Needless to say, this conversation needs to be conducted respectfully, in a way that is based on the evidence and on respect for the diverse experiences of all Australians.

Last, we need to educate all Australians, especially young people, that discriminatory remarks, however casual or apparently light-hearted or off-the-cuff, have implications for other people’s health.

Whatever approaches we adopt, they must be based on the recognition that people cannot thrive if they are not connected.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to be connected with their own families, communities and cultures. We must also feel connected to the rest of society. Racism cuts that connection.

At the same time, racism cuts off all Australians from the unique insights and experiences that we, the nation’s First Peoples, have to offer.

Seen this way, recognising and tackling racism is about creating a healthier, happier and better nation in which all can thrive.

Pat Anderson is chairwoman of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research.

NACCHO health and racism:Goodes’ racism ordeal is only the tip of the health iceberg

Adam Goodes talks to the press

“In the contest of societies with dominant and minority cultures, such as Australia, the widespread and persistent suppression of minority cultural practices causes severe disruption, making our communities susceptible to trauma, collective helplessness and endemic maladaptive coping practices,”

CEO of Danila Dilba Health Service Olga Havnen (NACCHO member)

• This article first appeared on The Global Mail, part of our Guardian Comment Network

So, after this week we’re all clear: it’s not acceptable to call an Aboriginal an ape.

As the footballer Adam Goodes said, “it hurts”. Quite rightly, Eddie McGuire and a 13-year-old girl have had to hang their heads and publicly apologise for doing just that.

But who is going to apologise for Australia’s covert racism? That’s the racism that Northern Territory Aboriginal activist Olga Havnen described in her Lowitja O’Donoghue oration on Tuesday night in Adelaide.

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD Olga Havnen FULL SPEECH HERE

While McGuire should have tucked himself up in bed, getting the brain-refreshing sleep which would possibly have averted his gaffe in suggesting Goodes might promote King Kong, Havnen was showing us what covert racism looks like.

She spoke of how misguided politicians and public servants have used the Ginger Bread Men, also known as Geckos, and the NINGOs and the BINGOs to wrest control from Indigenous organisations in the Northern Territory.

“Ginger Bread Men” and “Geckos” are the names Aboriginal wits gave managers sent in to communities by the government as part of the federal Intervention — a package of policing and welfare measures introduced in 2007 to deal with enduring problems of child abuse and alcoholism in Indigenous communities.

Many millions of dollars have gone into resourcing the NINGOs (non-Indigenous government organisations) and BINGOS (Big International NGOs), delivering services to Aborigines, Havnen said. Aboriginal control of these services has withered, as the NGOs’ involvement has grown, she said.

It’s been six years next month since the Intervention began and the army rolled in, sending some people fleeing into the bush. In this time, it has “had profound psychological impacts on our people,” said Havnen. These impacts have gone almost completely unnoticed by policy-makers.

Health services, land managers and art centres have survived, but “Aboriginal community-driven service delivery has, in many parts of the Northern Territory, simply disappeared,” she said.

The link between action and psychological hurt may not seem as clear as in the case of McGuire’s suggestion that Goodes be used to publicise the musical King Kong. But Havnen, a descendant of the Western Arrernte people of Central Australia, argued that the “misguided, coercive approaches” of the Intervention are causing harm because lack of control over their own lives can virtually kill and maim her people.

It’s about who makes the decisions; who’s the boss.

“In the contest of societies with dominant and minority cultures, such as Australia, the widespread and persistent suppression of minority cultural practices causes severe disruption, making our communities susceptible to trauma, collective helplessness and endemic maladaptive coping practices,” she said.

She counted the ways in which the dominant culture’s decision-makers had taken power. First the soldiers had arrived. Then, Aboriginal-run organisations and community government councils were rapidly dismantled.

The Aboriginal “work-for-the-dole” CDEP program was “allowed to wither away”. (The CDEP was criticised as being merely a “make-work” program, leading to pointless paid activities such as painting rocks. However, it did have uses, including paying artists to paint.)

“Fourth, the introduction of mandatory, universal income control and the introduction of the Basic Card, although welcomed by some welfare recipients, has nevertheless had a major impact on the ways people use and control their money,” Havnen said.

Fifth, the “emergency response” introduced in the name of child protection “universally painted men as violent drunks, paedophiles and consumers of pornography, and women as passive, helpless victims,” she said.

While the introduction of alcohol controls across all Northern Territory “prescribed areas” was welcomed in some areas, it played havoc in others.

It’s about who makes the decisions; who’s the boss.

“Many communities had voluntary alcohol restrictions in place for years prior to the Intervention. The hundred or so locally initiated ‘dry areas’ were abolished in favour of blanket restrictions that have driven drinkers into unsafe drinking behaviours in towns and drinking camps,” she said.

And when the Intervention brought doctors and nurses from interstate to provide child health checks, the message was that Aboriginal health workers and nurses, who had been struggling in tough conditions with inadequate resources, had failed.

“In effect, they were being told that their careers had been rubbish,” she said.

Havnen, who was giving her oration for the Don Dunstan Foundation in Adelaide, knows as well as McGuire how quickly a public figure’s own words can rebound on them.

Late last year, the conservative Northern Territory government sacked her as its coordinator general for Remote Services following the tabling of her comprehensive report in which she criticised its Indigenous affairs expenditure.

McGuire, in defence of the comments he made on Melbourne radio, said he was tired and that his King Kong comment was “a slip of the tongue”.

He knew you were not allowed to say that sort of stuff any more. He probably doesn’t know that the idea of Indigenous people being close to the apes is a hangover from 19th century “scientific racism”, which devised a hierarchy of races by skin colour and put those of paler hue (including to the “scientists” who devised the system) up the top, near the angels.

Some ideas hang about for an awfully long time.

The Intervention is likely to stay. Federal opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said he would consider extending it – after he has consulted with Aboriginal leaders.

But perhaps he should first read the scores of reports compiled over the past three or so decades which say that the answer to addressing Indigenous disadvantage is to hand over increased Indigenous control of decision-making and service delivery.

Havnen is asking for a fundamental change. She wants leaders to show more daring, to give up what she calls “risk intolerance” in Indigenous affairs.

It’s worth considering. But, hey, everyone has been mesmerised by McGuire’s bungle, while out in the desert, the emergency continues.

NACCHO health and racism news:Adam Goodes and Aussie stars unite to stamp out racism

 

 258820-130525-adam-goodes

The racist incident at the Swans vs Collingwood game last Friday night should not overshadow the magnificent performance by Adam Goodes (pictured above Friday night Indigenous Round ) nor the wonderful activities this week to celebrate the contribution of Indigenous players to the AFL, but it reinforces the need for ongoing education and the importance of calling racism out when it is witnessed.”Play by the Rules Co-Chair, Graeme Innes

logo

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Racism. It Stops With Me campaign and the Play by the Rules program have partnered to produce a powerful new TV Community Service Announcement (CSA) for sporting organisations to play at their events and to promote on their websites and through their social media forums.

REFER previous NACCHO communique Racism and Health consequences

 “The TV CSA (and several radio CSAs) will be broadcast nationally until the start of August and will also be available on the Australian Human Rights Commission and Play by the Rules YouTube channels and websites,” said Commission President, Gillian Triggs.  

The TV CSA features an all-star cast of Australia’s best known sporting heroes including:

Sally Pearson (athletics), Adam Goodes (AFL), Liz Cambage (basketball), Greg Inglis (rugby league and NRL Indigenous All-stars), Peter Siddle (cricket), Mo’onia Gerrard (netball), AFL Indigenous All-stars, Archie Thompson (football/soccer), Cameron Smith (rugby league), Drew Mitchell (rugby union), Timana Tahu (rugby league), Nick Maxwell (AFL) and some grassroots athletes of different ages and backgrounds.

They reinforce the simple message – Racism. It Stops With Me.

 Despite a range of programs and policies, incidents of racism and discrimination still occur on a regular basis from the elite to grassroots level across a range of sports every season.

 “Sport is all about having fun, competing safely and getting a fair go, regardless of your skin colour, background or culture.

Whether you’re a player, spectator, coach or official, there’s simply no place for racism or discrimination in sport,” federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner and Play by the Rules Co-Chair, Graeme Innes said. “The alleged racist incident at the Swans vs Collingwood game last night should not overshadow the magnificent performance by Adam Goodes nor the wonderful activities this week to celebrate the contribution of Indigenous players to the AFL, but it reinforces the need for ongoing education and the importance of calling racism out when it is witnessed.”

 Executive Director of Sport and Recreation Tasmania, Craig Martin, also a Play by the Rules Co-Chair, said, “With the AFL, Rugby League, Netball and Rugby Union seasons all now in progress, the Football (soccer) season just finished and the Cricket Tests about to commence in the UK, this is a timely opportunity to remind everyone in sport that racism is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

 Racism. It Stops With Me is an initiative of the National Anti-Racism Strategy which invites all Australians to reflect on what they can do to counter racism wherever it happens. Sporting organisations can take a strong stand against racism by committing to the Racism.

It Stops with Me campaign at: itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au/it-stops-with-me/support-campaign.

Clubs can also access tools and resources to stamp racism out of sport at:

www.playbytherules.net.au/component/content/article/81-resources/links/1245-racism-in-sport-toolkit?highlight=WyJyYWNpc20iXQ

 

Play by the Rules is a unique collaboration between the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission, all state and territory departments of sport and recreation, all state and territory anti-discrimination and human rights agencies, the NSW Commission for Children and Young People and the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA). For more information on how to promote safe, fair and inclusive participation within your sporting club or organisation contact admin@playbytherules.net.au or visit www.playbytherules.net.au .

 

Media contact: Brinsley Marlay (02) 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529

Justice reinvestment for Aboriginal young people revolutionary policy and campaign

 

Tom Calma pictured above, the ‘grandfather of Justice Reinvestment’ as the first to champion the concept in Australia, is co-presenting the Justice Reinvestment policy position to Government

Clever economic modelling may tip NSW Government’s thinking on how to deal with high rates of youth incarceration

 Backed by Adam Goodes, Mick Gooda, Michael  Kirby, Tom Calma, Mick Dodson, Ted Wilkes, Malcolm Fraser, Marie Bashir, Bob Debus, Nicholas Cowdery, and other prominent identities and organisations, the Justice Reinvestment for Aboriginal Young People Campaign is addressing the shameful over-representation of Aboriginal young people in custody.

It costs over $652 per day (or $237,980 annually) to imprison one young person.

Justice Reinvestment Campaign Champions Mick Gooda, Tom Calma, and Marcia Ella-Duncan are having a alndmak meeting with the NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith SC MP and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello MP on Wednesday 17 October (today) to present the NSW Government with a revolutionary new policy approach to Aboriginal overrepresentation in youth incarceration.

Mick Gooda, Social Justice Commissioner for the Human Rights Commission, is co-presenting the Justice Reinvestment policy position to Government tomorrow.

He says Justice Reinvestment is about taking dollars out of prisons and putting them back into communities. “When implemented, justice reinvestment programs benefit entire communities, not just Aboriginal young people.”

“What is required is a whole of government approach that ensures justice and human service agencies work toward that same goal.

This can be accomplished by adopting a policy of Justice Reinvestment,” says Mr Gooda.

Justice Reinvestment is about diverting funds away from prison into programs to address the causes of crime in communities.

Tom Calma, the ‘grandfather of Justice Reinvestment’ as the first to champion the concept in Australia, is co-presenting the Justice Reinvestment policy position to Government.

He says the best way to deal with crime is to prevent it. “Justice Reinvestment involves smarter spending not increasing spending,” says Mr Calma. “This means shifting spending away from detention to prevention.”

There are currently a number of NSW government initiatives relating to young people – including the Connected Communities strategy. Co-presenter Marcia Ella-Duncan, Chairperson of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Lands Council, says these are positive developments. “In this context we have an opportunity to change the story of how corrections and the criminal justice system work in NSW,” says Ms Ella-Duncan. “By implementing a policy and framework of Justice Reinvestment, we can increase community safety while decreasing the costs to government of incarcerating people at the rate we’re currently doing.”

Sarah Hopkins, one of the initiators of the Justice Reinvestment for Aboriginal Young People Campaign and a senior solicitor with Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), is also meeting with the Ministers on Wednesday.

She says it has been difficult as a lawyer to watch adults and then their children facing the same problems and ending up in prison. “It sets them up for a life inside and does nothing to break the cycle. Why do we need Justice Reinvestment in NSW?

If this overrepresentation is not addressed, NSW will lose an entire generation of Aboriginal Australians.”

Justice Reinvestment is a good investment, both socially and economically

The Justice Reinvestment policy presentation was methodically developed by a team of policy experts, academics, and practice technicians using an evidence base from overseas and in Australia.

It reviews overseas experiences where there is demonstrably massive decreases in incarceration rates and costs in communities. It then models the application of Justice Reinvestment within a hypothetical NSW community to demonstrate social and economic benefits.

“We think the economic modelling is the educative instrument we need to help tip this argument,” says Mr Gooda.

“At a fraction of the cost of putting one young person inside, a Justice Reinvestment framework holds that the same young person could be provided with access to mental health services, case workers, youth development programs, employment and training programs, or with rehabilitation programs in local communities.”

The Campaign team is asking the NSW Government to commit to trailing and evaluating justice reinvestment in an agreed number of metropolitan and regional communities.

“The population of Aboriginal young people in detention is an alarming 50%, while Aboriginal people in NSW make up just 2.2% of the total population.

“The trend is a continual increase in admissions and in terms of Aboriginal over-representation there is a real risk of the situation getting worse, and costs continually increasing.

“A framework of Justice Reinvestment for NSW will have exponential benefits not just on the bottom dollar, but also on community safety.”

 

Media Contact:             Emily Barker Human Rights Commission 0419 258 597

 Kate Finlayson Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) 0418 254 237

Justice Reinvestment for Aboriginal Young People Campaign

www.justicereinvestmentnow.net.au