Referendum Roundup, and Indigenous Health “Report Card”

A few people are blogging about the tenth anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report, and the the 40th anniversary of the referendum that decided that Australian indigenous people are human, that they should be counted in the Australian census. I highlighted a few indigenous voices on Australian linguistocide here.

Pavlov’s Cat hits a six with this Sorry post.

Last winter I stood in the foyer of the Adelaide Festival Centre looking in horror at a huge, brilliant, angry painting by a Narungga artist of dead bodies in the ocean being nibbled and chewed at by sea-creatures, with a little exposition alongside about the old stories of Aboriginal people on Yorke Peninsula being murdered and thrown into the sea, washed by the tide into rocky places where crayfish and crabs lay in wait to gobble them up and dispose of the evidence.

bluemilk blogs about the optimism surrounding the referendum, and the dashing of those hopes since.

Brian at Larvatus Prodeo remembers the referendum.

Andrew Bartlett discusses the ongoing national denial of the Stolen Generations and the governmental rejection of the Bringing Them Home report recommendations.

And the AMA has released this year’s Australian Indigenous Health Report Card. (What’s with the schoolchild reference?) The longevity gap is still extreme. After all this time, an indigenous child still has a life expectancy 17 years shorter than a white child. Australian indigenous health statistics are by far the worst in the former Empire. The AMA identifies institutionalised racism, funding deficits, and ongoing healthcare access barriers as key problems; and identifies the need for social, educational and infrastructure programs as well as the band-aid of accessible health care.

Tony Abbott’s response? Denial and blame:

“But in the end I can’t frog march anyone down to their local doctor and I can’t force anyone to get their scripts filled under the PBS,” he said. “In the end people have got to choose to use the services. We are not going to blow money just because the AMA thinks we should.”

The Australian offered a more in-depth analysis of the issues around the health of indigenous people here: Breaking The Cycle.

Categories: culture wars, indigenous, Politics, social justice

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3 replies

  1. Great Roundup, Lauredhel. I’m not surprised but am jaded at the general lack of coverage of indigenous issues in the MSM unless they’re blaming the victims.
    Yet another case of blog analysis being generally superior, IMO.

  2. One of the massacres in central QLD involved the forcible removal of the indigenous people of North Keppel Island. They were taken to a place on the mainland called Ross Creek. Many of them subsequently died in mysterious circumstances. Newspaper articles of the time openly hinted that water and flour were being poisoned. I found out that aboriginal farm workers in the late 1800’s were being ‘paid’in opium, or rather the opium rich coals left over in the opium houses. It was common practice around Rockhampton apparently. A mountain in the region named Mt Wheeler was named after Captain Wheeler who drove a group of indigenous people over the cliffs of that mountain. I was trying to find out more while I was up there but simply couldn’t find any reference to it. I finally found some mention on the net this year. My family displaced the indigenous people on a parcel of land on the banks of the Fitzroy River. These are some of the reasons why I am sorry.


  1. “Inoculation papers”: stolen indigenous woman plans her return at Hoyden About Town
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