This Guardian video is a candid view of the current state of relations between Indigenous communities and the justice system.
Justice targets are measurable goals which aim to reduce incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians. Their addition to the existing Closing the Gap targets, set collaboratively by all State and Territory governments, was announced in August 2013 by then Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin. This was a recommendation of then Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma in 2009’s Social Justice Report. How can this be a bad idea?
Perhaps this will get the message across to the people making barbaric policy that sees over 1000 kids seeking asylum behind bars in Australia’s detention centres, here on the mainland and also on Christmas Island and Nauru. A popular movement with respected figures from the sporting, film and television community has been launched with the slogan: We’re better than this.
The video below highlights the key findings from the 6th Productivity Commission Report into the wellbeing of Aborignal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage.
There is cause for hope that the improvements in child mortality, life expectancy, education and employment outcomes will continue to trend positively. However, it is still a major concern that statistics on chronic health problems, mental illness, community and family violence, illiteracy and rates of incarceration and interaction with the justice system remain unacceptably high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
March 20 marks Tweed Shire’s annual Close the Gap event. I will be attending.
Close the Gap is a human rights movement, whereas Closing the Gap is a whole-of-government approach to addressing the discrepancies in health, education and employment status between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian citizens.
Both of SBS’ fabulous series First Australians and Immigration Nation take a look at how the White Australia Policy dictated the way this country dealt not only with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, but also other peoples from around the world. It is a shameful history that is rarely appreciated, especially by those who seem to most enthusiastically embrace Australia Day on 26th January. I’m all for moving Australia Day to another more inclusive date. Ideally this would occur next year and be the date that a Treaty was finally enacted. Well, I can dream can’t I?
Worth watching/listening to – even if it is a few years old now! – Karla Grant talks with Linda Burney, Kim Hill, Robbie Thorpe and Tania Major on some really big issues all Australians need to consider.