Erwin writes “What have our leaders done to get the …

Comment on Picture of lawless Alice served to national audience, again by Bob Durnan.

Erwin writes “What have our leaders done to get the message out to people prepared to riot in the streets that such behaviour will not be tolerated? This will take more than a so-called education campaign. It requires person-to-person contact, a prolonged effort of sitting down and talking to people across the region about bottom line, shared standards and goals. It may also require sanctions.”
I agree that these measures are needed, in copious amounts. But these messages, even if delivered effectively, are unlikely to change behaviours to any great degree; by themselves they will merely manage some of the problems, and thus cushion some of their impacts.
To do more than this, and create the really desirable and sustainable long term changes which are needed, we must take steps now to prevent the development of another generation of people with major proneness to impulse control problems, great vulnerability to addictions, a heavy burden of susceptibility to chronic disease because of environmental and other health-related issues in early childhood, and few of the skills needed to live healthy, productive, autonomous, and truly self-determining and rewarding lives in the contemporary world.
To achieve these significant social and cultural changes, we need to start now on projects that will bear high grade benefits in 15 to 20 years time.
This will require the rolling out, into the remote bush communities, of the intensive intervention programs now operating in Alice Springs. They include regular home visitation by specially trained nurses during the two years after birth, targeted family supports, parenting skills delivered by qualified staff, professional childcare and high quality pre-school programs available to all children from the age of three, case management of young people with high levels of problems, creation and long term maintenance of a much more effective education system in remote communities, maintenance of intensive efforts in health, shelter and safety, and investment in all the infrastructure needed to sustain these initiatives.
But more tellingly, it will also require certain fundamental changes needed to create the settings within which, over time, the aforementioned programs may be able to flourish: fundamental changes such as creation and maintenance of a more socially and culturally appropriate welfare and work system, continuous regional anti-violence programs, and alcohol reforms such as a floor price for take-away alcohol fixed at the average price for a standard drink of popular beer brands.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
In response to R Henry on Oct 20th, on who gets the extra markup money?
There is very little brand loyalty to the cheap brands of Chardonnay amongst our dedicated alcohol-drinking punters: They are after the cheapest hit of alcohol for their buck, regardless of its host liquid, not for their next taste of the rank Calabrian / Bortoli products.
Since the vast majority of shoppers generally shift their choice to better value for money when confronted with higher prices (and this happened when Clare Martin knocked the cheapest wines and sherries off the shelves in October 2006: there was a massive shift to beer), there is unlikely to be very much windfall profits via extra markup.
To the extent that there are any windfalls, they are unlikely to be anywhere near commensurate with the decrease in profits that are likely to occur because of the overall impacts of a number of the proposed reforms.
To see if I am correct, keep your ears open for the sounds of the interstate alcohol industry cartels – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and their paid public relations reps squealing about the alleged injustice, unfairness and unworkability of these visionary evidence-based reforms.
It is going to be an interesting war, and the outcome will decide whether the NT has any future worth speaking about.


Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.


I’m not kungka, I’m arelhe
Does anybody know if the hours when the Arrernte words teaching program is held at the Apmere angkentye-kenhe are available somewhere on the net, or anywhere else?
I thought I had seen it advertised for every Wednesday night at 6pm, but this doesn’t appear to be the case?
I have gone there at this time, found it closed, and no notice or info on the door.
Anybody wanna clarify here?


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Alex, of course one part-time worker with CAALAS is not able to, in your words, “work closely with EVERY SINGLE young person going throughout Central Australian court system, their family, community, lawyer, school and other service-providers to provide the young person with the support they need to get back on track and stay out of trouble”.
That is exactly my point, and why it is wrong for you to lay the blame on that worker, as you did when you wrote “if your PART-TIME advocacy programme co-ordinator did her job after this child’s court appearance in March, then he wouldn’t have appeared in court again in May.”
As I said earlier: That advocacy programme co-ordinator performed her job with great diligence and dedication, and cannot be held to blame for any alleged failure of duty of care, as the case load of such cases far exceeds the ability of one worker to cover even a small proportion of them. She was doing her job very well, covering as many of the cases as she could, but she wasn’t a magician. So your cheap jibe at her reputation is wrongly placed, and you should withdraw it.


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Evelyne Roullet, Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm: Ralph was not talking about where or how the kid should be housed. He was referring to the bigger issue of the huge trauma in his life, caused by the alleged killing of his mother by his father. Kids who experience this level of trauma need intensive help and support, and we need to make sure that they get it, from wherever it may be best available.


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