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Suggested Letter To The PM
By : Kevin Bray (National Council)
Rating : Average Rating : 5.00 From 2 Voter(s)
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Dear Prime Minister Like you, we are appalled at the dreadful harm to Indigenous children described in the report Little Children are Sacred and we support the need for urgent action to be taken. We are concerned, however, that your Government’s approach, as announced by the Hon Mal Brough on 21 June and as evidenced in the actions taken to date “to stabilise and protect communities”, appears to have had no regard whatsoever to the specific recommendations in Little Children are Sacred, particularly those calling for an holistic approach to all the underlying issues and for “there to be consultation with and ownership by the communities …..” (p 21 of Little Children are Sacred).

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Comments / Feedback
Graham Agnew
I for one won't be sending the letter suggested by Kevin Bray because in the time it takes to prepare and post a letter like that, scores [possibly hundreds] of innocent children in aboriginal communities across Australia are cowering in a corner, absolutely terrified by what they're hearing from the room next door. They're paralysed with fear as they wonder if what happened to them last time mum got beaten up is about to happen again.

I'm sorry, these kids don't have "15 years" for a more consultative & holistic approach.

Besides, I had to look up "inimical" !!!

Graham Agnew
North Ryde
Wilton R Gray
Dear Editor,
I agree wholeweartedly with Graham Agnew's response to the suggested letter to the Prime Minister.

ATSIC failed and many other committees, talk-fests etc have followed the same fate. At least John Howard has started the ball rolling
Wilton Gray
Suffolk Park
Harold Hayward
Arguably there could have been more consultation with Aboriginal leaders on this matter but with a federal election pending, Howard was always going to be damned if he did and damned if he didn’t . The Prime Minister has acted decisively in the past over matters deemed to be of national importance and there is a certain amount of hypocrisy associated with accusations of “vote seeking” by state and territory governments which have largely been inert to problems in Aboriginal communities for years. Fortunately the Federal Government’s broad approach has the support of Kevin Rudd. It is also supported by some key Aboriginal leaders. What has been immensely moving is the response of many Aboriginal mothers and grandmothers who are worried about their husbands and their children. Alison Hunt, a Mutitjulu spokeswoman was quoted in the press recently as saying “Put politics aside. Our people are dying”. We need to make sure, however, that adequate safeguards are in place.
Kevin and Gwenyth Bray
This is an incredibly important matter. My deep appreciation to the "AC" for giving it so much space - not just about a possible letter to the PM, but in several other articles and comments. It's hardly surprising that on such a complex matter there would be a range of views! I do worry, however, about the idea - explicit or implicit in some comments - that because "something must be done" (with which I totally agree), ANYTHING the Federal Government announces that seems to convey a sense of urgency must necessarily be OK (with which I disagree).

It is, regrettably, possible to do something that will make things (even in desparate situations, such as this) worse! (See Matt 23:15!).

I am delighted to be at one, in expressing concern, with Richard Lawton, Avon Moyle, Jim Reiher and Steve Rose - not to mention the more than 120 signatories to the Open Letter to Mr Brough, a majority of whom are the leaders of Indigenous organisations working in health, media, legal services, women's shelter, youth services and housing.

As far as I can see, NONE of these wants no action, but they do want effective action that will make things better, not worse. To quote a wise comment by Steve Rose: "Rather than using authoritarian models that further risk increasing the power of abuse that thrives in the fertile soils of degradation, hopelessness and silence, we need to favor communication and empowerment."

Kevin Bray

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