Thursday, 6 December 2007

Caring for aboriginals

A powerful opinion piece by Miranda Devine highlights a problem with aboriginal child care. Taking children away from terrible situations leaves governments open to the charge of another 'stolen generation'. But leaving them is horrendous.

No doubt children were taken who shouldn't have been, and serious mistakes were made. But many lives were saved too, and that shouldn't be forgotten in the haste to make an ideological case for what happened in the past.


Dave said...

Words are good Gordo, but do we leave it at just words? How about we take a group of Sydang youth leaders to the Top End for a mission awareness trip with the prayer/hope that they stay on and work there? The NT needs action, not words.

Gordon Cheng said...

Amen to that.

Anthony Caruana said...

This is a very difficult issue. Having spent a short time earlier this year in the far north-west of Australia I saw some of the problems that all Australians face with regards to the issues faced by our indigenous population.

It is clear to me that a single solution won't work. This isn't about providing money and it can not be about intervening in Aboriginal culture and society.

Any solution can't be created not by government consulting Indigenous Australians. It must be created through partnership. The solution must be owned by both parties.

I don't know how that can happen because the saddest thing I saw was the total mistrust between the parties. As an example, the mission team I was a member of did a series of presentations to some of the local schools. In the play we presented, my character was taken away someone playing the part of a police officer for a allegedly committing murder. One of the children, an indigenous child of about seven years old, muttered "F...g coppers". Dealing with enmity will take many years and long term view - not a "by next election" solution.

Many of the churches that are located in indigenous communities are crying out for help. If every diocese in the eastern states sent a mission team of trained people (I wasn't trained and even though things went well I wish I'd been better prepared - thankfully, I was help up by God and the prayers of many people) then some of those community bridges of trust could be established.

Lucy C said...

David, that is a fabulous idea.
And exactly what happened to Peter and Lyndy Berthon who now serve the people of Ngukurr in the NT with CMS.