The Closing the Gap Trap

Close the Gap.

Closing the Gap.

The former is the campaign to get the government to change the way it structures the Indigenous Affairs; the latter is the government’s efforts to do so. The fact that the government hijacked the branding of the Close the Gap campaign to make its own response look better was probably not a great way to build trust and send a message of respect, partnership and collaboration… but I digress.




Keeping politics out of Australia Day

I’m the first to admit that I think a lot about seemingly random stuff… I like to unpack things that are said to see what deeper meaning they might represent, or what patterns of thought or inconsistencies they might reveal.




Free Speech

Free speech isn’t something I thought about much before Andrew Bolt gave me a reason to. If I did, it was usually in reference to America, as we don’t really have Free Speech in Australia.

It is a pretty fascinating concept. It’s nothing that I can say I really care much about, but that’s only because the reality of what we have is a very long way from the virtuous concept of what it is meant to be. I could say the same of my general disinterest in the democratic process. On paper it looks great, but in practice it’s just a mockery of what it is meant to be.




Here we go again: Bill Leak isn’t racist, according to Bill Leak.

With the possible exception of members of overt White Supremacist groups it is rare to find anyone who proudly, or even reluctantly, admits they are racist or have committed an act of racism.

Andrew Bolt, according to himself, was actually defending ‘real Aborigines’ when he racially vilified a group of Indigenous people.




Government not on track to meet Closing the Gap targets because of course they aren’t.

A Productivity Commission has found that the government will probably not meet 5 of the 6 Closing the Gap targets, leaving many astounded to hear that they might actually achieve one of them.

(It should be noted at the outset that the government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ is not the same as ‘Close the Gap’, which is a coalition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and community organisations.)




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I’m Not A ‘Proud Australian’

I don’t “feel” Australian. I don’t ever identify as just “Australian”. I don’t sing the anthem. I don’t wave the flag and don’t really care when I see someone burning it. I don’t feel proud on Australia Day. I don’t eat lamb chops. Frankly, I don’t particularly care for the people who do all the aforementioned. Indeed, a good portion of the time, I tend to view them with disdain and frustration.




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National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples: What will a new leadership structure bring?

The idea that Indigenous people should have their own democratically elected governance structures is referred to directly and indirectly in more than one article in the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people (UNDRIP). If Australia as a nation wants to have a mature response to the socio-economic woes affecting its Indigenous population, self-determination, self-representation and direct input into political decision making and policy development are systems that must be implemented. However, recent Australian political history hasn’t been favourable toward this model, as paternalistic and top down approaches have once again become the preferred method of engagement.




Another Government Review. Another Disappointment.

According to a recent article in The Australian, “Indigenous issues have been cut from parts of the curriculum, and students will no longer be taught about Harmony Week, “National Reconciliation Week, or NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week… The Year 6 study of the contribution of “individuals and groups” to Australian society will no longer include a reference to indigenous people or migrants, and will be confined to the post-Federation period.”

<em>Educator and parent, Leesa Watego, reflects on these changes, and what they tell us about Australia’s inability to understand and respect the Indigenous peoples, cultures, and histories.




Paperless Arrest Leads To Undignified Passing Of Warlpiri Artist

Kumanjayi Langdon was a proud Warlpiri man from Yuendumu.

He was an artist who contributed to his community and culture. He wrote and illustrated children’s books and posters, and had worked at Yurrampi Crafts as a designer. His public mural of the local footy team, the Yuendumu Magpies, is in the middle of town. One of his paintings hangs in the National Gallery of Victoria.