NACCHO political alert:Another day, another Indigenous organisation on Abbott’s chopping block-MACKLIN

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts will in the lead update to the 2013 Federal Election September 14 publish press releases from all political parties in the areas of Aboriginal Health and social determinants.

Both sides of all issues will be presented




Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Minister for Disability Reform

Yet another Indigenous organisation faces a savage funding cut if Tony Abbott is elected Prime Minister.

 Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has told The Australian all about the Coalition’s plans to cut support for Indigenous Australians.    

 He also revealed he did not believe the National Congress of Australia’s First peoples should receive commonwealth funding as it made the peak body dependant.

–       The Australian, 23 April 2013

 The Gillard Government knows that closing the gap requires a genuine partnership with Indigenous Australians and supports Congress to give Indigenous people a strong national voice on issues and policies that affect them.

 The Coalition has also put into doubt its commitment to the national Closing the Gap targets – jeopardising years of progress to reduce Indigenous disadvantage that has been underpinned by unprecedented investments from this Labor Government.

 We have set out a clear pathway to close the gap, and we’re making the investments that are needed to get there.  

 Without the assurance of long term investments, and the security to plan for the future, we will not close the gap.

 Yesterday Mr Abbott was directly asked if he would cut funding for Indigenous programs and he refused to give an answer.

 And today we’ve learnt about yet another Indigenous organisation that is on Tony Abbott’s chopping block.

 It’s now crystal clear that Tony Abbott will cut vital funding if he is elected Prime Minister – and Indigenous people won’t be spared.

 But Mr Abbott still won’t front up and admit it.

 Why are you hiding, Mr Abbott?

  Date: 23 April 2013

NACCHO news alert:Abbott must guarantee he won’t cut Indigenous funding-Macklin


NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts will in the lead update to the 2013 Federal Election September 14  publish press releases from all political parties in the areas of Aboriginal Health and social determinants.

The press release below from the office of  Minister Macklin (pictured above) follows the incident last week when Dr Mark Roberts Chief policy officer from Tony Abbotts office was demoted after threatening to “cut the throat” of a prominent Australian’s non-profit organisation by cancelling funding once in power.

Dr Roberts reportedly made the threat to Australian Indigenous Education Foundation chief Andrew Penfold at a Sydney dinner on Thursday.AIEF Foundation provides scholarships to help educate 2000 Indigenous children and supports others in financial need.


Coalition  sources have confirmed that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will slash vital funding that improves the lives of Indigenous Australians.

“While Dr Roberts’ funding threat may have been in the heat of the moment, Coalition sources confirm Aboriginal Affairs will see the axe wielded, should Tony Abbott take Government in September.”

–       Paul Bongiorno, Ten News, 19 April 2013

Tony Abbott must guarantee today that no funding invested in programs for Indigenous people would go if he is elected.

After years of underinvestment and neglect under the Howard Government, this Labor Government has made unprecedented investments to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, with more than $5.2 billion in funding for employment, education, health services, community development and community safety.

Just this week, the Government committed $777 million to renew our work to close the gap on Indigenous health outcomes.

Meanwhile, one of Tony Abbott’s most senior staff was using violent language against the respected head of an organisation supporting Indigenous people, and threatening to cut their funding “when in Government.”

The Gillard Government’s unprecedented investments to close the gap are making a difference. This year we are meeting our first closing the gap target, with more Indigenous children having access to pre-school or kindergarten than ever before, and our target of halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018 is also on track to be met.

The progress we’ve made in partnership with Indigenous people is at risk under a conservative Abbott Government.

Tony Abbott and the Liberals can’t be trusted to deliver for Indigenous people.

We welcome comments below

NACCHO Health News:Minimum standards for Alcohol Management Plans in the NT



The Australian Government has released the minimum standards for Alcohol Management Plans, designed to help improve the safety of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

Alcohol Management Plan minimum standards -Frequently asked Questions

Refer recent article by NACCHO NT AFFILIATE AMSANT

These stringent minimum standards are part of the Government’s Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package – a 10-year $3.4 billion investment to tackle Indigenous disadvantage and drive positive change.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin and the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, today met with peak Aboriginal groups in Darwin who had provided valuable feedback to help the Government finalise the minimum standards.

“Alcohol continues to devastate the lives of too many Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory,” Ms Macklin said.

“It can lead to violence, make it hard to hold down a job and get the kids to school, and can destroy the health of families and communities.

“The Australian Government will continue to work with Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed, help problem drinkers change their behaviour, and help to develop local solutions to keep communities safe.

“The minimum standards will provide additional protection to communities by ensuring Alcohol Management Plans are focused on reducing alcohol-related harm and keeping women, children and families safe.”

As part of the Stronger Futures package, alcohol restrictions have been continued in the Northern Territory.

Alcohol Management Plans are not about reducing or lifting alcohol restrictions in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, but about assisting Aboriginal communities to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

The five minimum standards released today will ensure that everyone in a community has their say on the development of an Alcohol Management Plan, and that the plan is aimed at reducing alcohol supply, demand and harm and is tailored to each community’s needs.

Communities can choose to develop an Alcohol Management Plan with the assistance of local organisations and government staff.

Alcohol Management Plans must meet the new minimum standards in order to be approved by the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

For the Federal Minister to consider making any changes to alcohol restrictions in a community, an alcohol management plan that meets the minimum standards would need to be in place.

The Minister would also consider whether there has been a demonstrated reduction in alcohol-related harm and whether this would be at risk through the lifting of restrictions.

As part of Stronger Futures, the Government is committing $76 million to help tackle alcohol abuse over the next 10 years.

This includes funding to employ extra drug and alcohol workers where they are needed most.

During November and December 2012, the Government held targeted consultations on the draft minimum standards in almost 100 communities and town camps across the Northern Territory, and received feedback from community leaders, women’s groups, police, health workers and alcohol reference groups.

Key stakeholder meetings were also held in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy, Darwin and Katherine.

Mr Snowdon said the Gillard Government was serious about tackling the harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

“Managing the supply of alcohol means it is easier for women to make healthier lifestyle choices during pregnancy when we know the safest option for the unborn child is not to drink,” Mr Snowdon said.

“We also know that alcohol consumption has an association with a range of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

“By implementing minimum standards in Alcohol Management Plans we can ensure the focus in communities is on protecting women, children and families, and reducing alcohol-related harm.”



The apology 5 years on anniversary speech :was it a landmark moment in our history?



Sydney 8 February:Minister Jenny Macklin MP

I would like to pay my respects to the traditional owners of the land on which we are meeting this morning, and to their elders past and present.

Thank you Donna (Ms Donna Ingram) for your warm welcome to country.

Members of the Stolen Generations and other distinguished guests here this morning.

I would like to pay a particular tribute to Michael (McLeod) for organising this breakfast each year to mark the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples, in particular the Stolen Generations.

The Apology was a landmark moment in our history.

One of those rare moments when we all remember exactly where we were at the precise time the long awaited words were said.

We remember who we hugged.

And who we cried with.

The power of that moment – the words and the sentiments – are enduring.

This is the great achievement of the Apology.

A deep ongoing commitment across the nation to ensure that the profound sorrow expressed on that day leads to an honest understanding and a brighter future.

On behalf of the nation that day, Kevin Rudd apologised for the forcible removal of children.

For the loss of families, communities and culture.

We know that loss cannot be made up.

But we can make sure that it never happens again.

And we can make sure that we never forget.

Five years on from that landmark day, we now have dedicated resources to ensure just that.

The Stolen Generations Testimonies website and the National Library’s Oral History Project both contain personal stories from survivors.

I commend these two sites to all to better understand the pain and suffering inflicted on generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

To better understand the loss of people torn away from their culture and their communities.

To better understand why we had to say sorry.

Why we were sorry then.

And why the healing continues now.

As Debra Hocking, one of the Stolen Generations Survivors, says:

For us to heal as a country these are the stories we need to share.

The healing happens through practical activities as well.

On the first Anniversary of the Apology, the Government set up the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

We committed more than $26 million to support the Foundation in community based healing initiatives to address the traumatic legacies of past mistakes.

I am pleased that representatives of the Foundation are here today and I commend their work.

Five years ago, we also set up a comprehensive process, a national plan, to close the gap.

To work for change that means future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lead healthier, longer and better lives.

This week, the Prime Minister tabled the latest Closing the Gap report in Parliament.

And we received some very encouraging news.

The first of our targets will be reached this year – meaning more four year olds in remote communities have access to pre-school or kindergarten.

Giving them the chance at a stronger start in life.

So that they can start school ready to learn.

Many of you here would already know my passion for ensuring we are providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with a great education.

That we are supporting children to go to school every day.

And I know that many of you, members of the Stolen Generations, who did not have the opportunity for a great education, share my passion.

We know that sustained change will take time.

We know that the situation in many areas of Indigenous disadvantage remains critical.

But our shared resolve is making a difference.

And as we continue our journey of healing, we work to right another omission.

To recognise the unique and special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our nation’s constitution.

As Stolen Generations member and amazing song writer Archie Roach said recently on Q&A:

When the Constitution was drawn up it never included Aboriginals and we’re still not included in the Constitution.

Until that is addressed, we truly can’t go forward as a people, as a nation and as Australians as a whole.

I agree that it is wrong that the nation’s foundation document is silent on this vital part of our culture.

And our Government is committed to meaningful constitutional reform, that recognizes the hopes and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Of course, we know that constitutional change in Australia is no easy matter.

It’s why we are calling on the spirit of 1967 to build the necessary support for constitutional change.

So that we once again see passionate Australians sharing the message of change across the community.

As a step towards a successful referendum, we expect the Australian Parliament to soon pass the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill.

This Bill recognises the unique place of Indigenous Australians.

It contains a sunset clause to provide an impetus for a future parliament to reassess how the campaign for change is travelling and when the time is right to hold a successful referendum.

The Bill of Recognition builds on the enormous good will for positive change unleashed by the Apology.

It builds on the sense of togetherness we experience as a nation on the 13th of February five years ago.

A togetherness we demonstrated as perhaps at no other time in our history.

A new-found mutual respect.

To mark this fifth anniversary more than 150 community organisations around Australia will celebrate as we are this morning.

They will be paying tribute to the Stolen Generations.

For their courage and their resilience.

As the Testimonials website says, many are still finding their way home.

I would like to thank the Healing Foundation for its work in organising these community anniversary functions to recognise their ongoing journey.

The Foundation theme this year is Heal Our Past, Build Our Future.

This is the true mission of the Apology.

To heal our past and build our future.

I commit myself and our Government to this ongoing task.

Thank you.