January 31, 2012

The NT is a hotmess

You couldn't make this stuff up.

Calling the police in the NT now goes to a centralised call centre in Darwin where the people who answer the calls have zero local knowledge. Elders in Lajamanu want to contact local community police but instead get a nitwit in Darwin asking ridiculous questions. (And would the police have Aboriginal language-speaking interpreters on stand-by? Don’t think so!). Nobody outside of Darwin wants this new centralised police call centre.

School starts today. Thousands of kids who speak Aboriginal languages are denied receiving an education in their own language. Attendance in remote schools is worse than ever and the Federal Government is rolling out the “No School, No Food” policy which has been shown to *not* work. The Ed. Dept is now recruiting teachers with no teaching qualifications, bringing in more outsiders who are clueless about working in remote Aboriginal Australia, even if their heart is in the right place.
The Australian Human Rights commission says the Super Shires might be worse than the intervention. From Mick Gooda:
I have not heard one person say anything positive about what has happened. People feel totally disempowered by it and if we don't do something about getting ... governance structures back into the communities, the outcome of this amalgamation will be probably worse than the Northern Territory Intervention.
Barack and Julia think it's all a bit of a laugh.
Darwin, 2011
Phase two of the Intervention, labelled “Stronger Futures”, is being put through parliament. A senate inquiry has begun and many in the NT just want to see the Intervention and its remnants gone for good. Take a look at the submission from Ramingining elders to see how those subjected to these policies feel:
The intervention has been here for 5 years and what did it do? We got fences on our houses, but no new houses. Not for Yolŋu, only Balanda. No extra jobs.

We want our right to self-determination. We don’t want to be controlled from the outside.

We want our community councils back, and our assets returned. We want to be able to have a say in the foundation of any laws that effect Yolŋu in our communities.

We want bilingual education brought back. Every study shows that it is better for our people. We want elders to have a say in curriculums so it is relevant to our lives.

…we need our laws to be recognised along with Balanda laws.Our law is the basis of our society. We want our law recognised. We want our law holders to be recognised.

We are the land holders in our communities.
It is our land, it is our community and it is subject to our law.
We will not be assimilated by these policies.
Meanwhile, our politicians are more worried about some bratty kids who burned a bit of fabric with some stars on it…
 … 3000kms away.

Ah, the magic of the NT. You’ll never never know, if you never never go.

1 comment:

Kel said...

Great post , I agree totally with the opposition to the call center being based in Darwin , a lot of people who live here have no idea how to speak any of the many different languages spoken by Aboriginal tribes and not a clue about the area outside of Darwin ..The thing I do disagree with is the statement by the Ramingining elders. I was in Ramo for 2.5 weeks , while my partner fixed the only road to the barge .. with no help just him and half the time the equipment had been stolen , smashed or mysteriously missing Diesel - For those who want jobs , there are plenty available - I ended up having to help my partner with the road as noone else was willing to !(I did get to drive trucks which was fun !)
I do agree that they should have more housing and facilities .. but us white folk are only there to help the community .. and if it wasn't for my partner the whole community would of had no food or supplies the entire wet season.
I think the answer lies in the future generations :)