How to handle this? We are in strange times of poor governance in Australia (Federal/State/Local and Corporate Governance). We see our Federal Government claiming all sorts of virtue for itself - while embracing the most draconian policies and agendae.
Remote communities at a glance:
- There are 274 remote communities in Western Australia and 12,113 Aboriginal people live in them
- 507 people live in 115 of the smallest communities - an average of 4.4 people per community
- Premier Colin Barnett flagged the closure of up to 150 communities but has not named them
- The last community to shut down was in 2011, when Oombulgurri in the East Kimberley was shut down after a host of social problems
- The state and federal governments contributed $30 million per year to fund services, but the Commonwealth will cease its funding contribution in two years
We are not discussing only Western Australia.
Below is a document displaying the cuts to
Aboriginal programs in the Northern Territory.
The document below can be read in its entirety on this post
by scrolling down the side.
It can also be printed from this post for further perusal.
Please go below this embedded document
for Miss Eagle's response on Facebook.
for Miss Eagle's response on Facebook.
The Aboriginal people of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory are strong, tough, imaginative and resilient. They have had to be. The Warumungu fought one of the longest and most fierce legal battles to claimback their lands. The people living at Muckaty Station fought back against Federal Governments of Liberal Party of Australia, Nationals, and Australian Labor Party persuasion who wanted to use their land as a dump for radioactivewaste. The Muckaty mob won the day. Now a Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who said yesterday that he is quite satisfied with his credentials in regard to Aboriginal people, has axed funding to Tennant.
Who in their rightmind would axe funding for sport and recreation in an Aboriginal community? I can only assume that this is yet another policy of politico/social control by people who haven't a clue. Or --- perhaps, if they do have a clue, their intention is to force Aboriginal people back on the grog.
Tennant Creek is a very creative place - both in whitefella and blackfella terms. Black women as Presidents of BarklyRegionalCouncil - firstly, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and, currently, Barkly Regional Council President Barb Shaw.
This is a place which has had problems heaped upon problems but has fought to overcome those problems with energy, steadfastness, organisation, and creativity. This town, these people are a community worthy of investment - as it has proved time and again. Yet funding has been axed from the Barkly Regional Council Community Services Sports and Recreation
Talk about cutting off a community at its knees! Tony Abbott's Aboriginal credentials, such as they may be, are now in tatters. If he believes otherwise, then let him turn up at Tennant Creek and explain himself in person. But then Tennant doesn't have any black millionaires as Yirrkala does - and that's where you prefer to go, isn't it Tony? I smiled to hear Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson speaking up about the "lifestyle choice" statements by Abbott. Would they intervene on behalf of Tennant Creek, I wonder?
Tennant has a lovely small museum, Nyinkka Nyunyu. In that museum, the curators of the museum display statements from leading Tennant Creek citizens of decades ago in regard to the Warumungu Land Claim. I trust that Nyinkka Nyunyu will keep an historic and cultural record of Tony Abbott's "lifestyle choice" statements and governments' undermining of community attempts to advance the interests of Aboriginal people within the area of the Barkly Regional Council. Such a record would be just as wonderful as the whitefella statements in response to the Warumungu Land Claim, methinks, and would put on display the lack of prescience of those who would govern and control us.
The Tennant Creek Community says it has had its heart ripped out - after 25 local workers were told their positions had been axed under the IAS. The community is angry... and accuses the Government of waging a war on...
To-morrow, Friday 13 March, the Tennant & District Times will have more on this dreadful setback to Aboriginal life and aspirations. The link to material will be added to-morrow
Below is a reflection on Tennant Creek and its history by the respected Dean Ashenden. Miss Eagle lived in Tennant Creek from 1993 to 1997 and knows a lot of the people and organisations referred to in the article and in the bibliography. She was also an active member of the organisation managing the Telegraph Station.