Closing the Gap
Indigenous Welfare Ideology - Time for a Change
Aboriginal leader Mr Yunupingu has claimed welfare is killing Indigenous Australians. This claim has been made by many others before him.
Despite the recognition that welfare is problematic, policies, programs, and incentives are rolled out that encourage people to remain on welfare. As human beings, optimal mental health is dependent upon making valuable contributions to the community in which we live and
paid employment is one of the most common ways to achieve this.
Keeping Out of Jail
Thoreau said “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil there is one striking at the root”.
This simply means that most people deal with the symptoms and not the underlying causes of a
Psychological Benefits of Employment
Few would doubt the benefits of paid employment: it pays the bills and puts food on the table. Being engaged in productive work was a normal feature of traditional Indigenous society, so nothing new is being suggested here in discussing the importance of work for Indigenous people; rather, just a return to what Indigenous people once knew.
Urban Living Beats Benefits for Aborigines
AS the year draws to a close I am reflecting on what I believe are the ways forward for Aboriginal people. Recently I visited the Utopia homelands, a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.
Many of the people there display a beautiful radiance, despite living in conditions that many of us would have difficulty tolerating. I marvel at their beauty, but am also saddened by some of what I see and what I imagine their future to be, especially for the children.
We Need Black Heroes
THE problems affecting Aboriginal people, or variations of them, are reported regularly. The problems are the same: child abuse, foetal alcohol syndrome, domestic violence, high incarceration rates, welfare dependence and suicide. This web of disadvantage has rightly been called a national crisis.
Closing the Gap Must Refocus
THE government's initiative to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians is well intentioned. However there is an immediate problem with this initiative that is rarely discussed when addressing the disadvantage suffered by Aborigines: only some are in need of urgent assistance to help them attain a standard of living that most of us take for granted.