‘you’ve got 60% of Aboriginal men of working age (in …

Comment on NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen … by ralph folds.

‘you’ve got 60% of Aboriginal men of working age (in the NT) who have no income…’ this statement shows the disconnect between the ex Coordinator-General of Remote Services and the reality she is attempting to describe.

ralph folds Also Commented

NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen …
Remote communities have highly mobile populations with multiple residences, in several communities, outstations and town camps, confusing names (for whitefellas), overestimations of remote community populations based on actual residence at just about any particular time and, as a result, data that is inaccurate and equivocal enough to be subject to a range of interpretations depending on one’s bent. Against that, remote community men can, in no way, afford to not have an income. Remote community men who are not employed access a range of benefits including a share of family payments and other forms of welfare and there is a very high level of pressure on agencies to ensure that any elgible person is getting a benefit. The failure of a single payment for any reason can produce a storm of protest. What I particularly object to from someone with the assumed credibility of the former NT Coordinator-General of Remote Service Delivery is that her statement has strong implications for policy action to remedy a host of other problems. It’s a false trail, yet another one, and it absolutely needs to be challenged in a forthright manner in the public domain. I do understand that the role of coordinator general has many passionate and articulate defenders, but to be effective it needed to be grounded in the day to day realities of remote community life and it simply wasn’t.

NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen …
Annie, so you’re ‘not in any way engaged with the data’ but simply object to the language I use? W.E.H Stanner highlighted the importance of grounding policies in the real lives of Aboriginal people, and wrote in an understated way that you may find more satisfactory: ‘We thus sometimes beg the question whether we have consulted the right reality in the first place’. I would think that this applies rather well to Olga Havnen’s claim that 60% of Aboriginal men of working age (in the NT) have no income.

ED – The ‘60% with no income’ claim was with respect to men living in remote communities in the NT, not the NT as a whole.

NT needs someone to ‘call things honestly’ says Havnen …
Thanks Annie,
I would have thought that the 60% figure is extraordinary enough to require some rigour of its own in the form of credible evidence to support it, and I neither see that in the comments nor can find it in my research of the available data. Please direct me to it. My ‘evidence’, of a couple of decades of working in remote communities and with their residents, tells me that the statement is absurd. That it could be presented by the former NT Coordinator-General of Remote Service Delivery is disturbing, and I think, justifies the claim that she is disconnected with the reality she describes.

Recent Comments by ralph folds

Real estate: Desert Springs up, Larapinta down
A whopping 28.7% drop in the price of Rural Area properties: Take a drive around our industrialised rural area and the reason for the fall in value is obvious.
Lack of enforcement of planning regulations has allowed the trashing of our town’s rural area.

With Gunner and Scullion, Batchelor doesn’t need Santa
I wonder if it would be possible to do an audit of all Cert 1s and 2s completed in Central Australia?
It should be possible and it would be an eye opener and perhaps lead to a formal investigation into the institutional cheating that has been going on for many years.
I reckon there would be thousands of useless certificates out there that have cost governments tens of millions of dollars.
And every year there are hundreds more of them.
Perhaps certification will have to involve a process of formal examination by an independent authority?

With Gunner and Scullion, Batchelor doesn’t need Santa
@ John: From the institution’s point of view the problem is that a Cert 1 does not fund a literacy / numeracy program that could move a student from grade 2 to grade 8/9.
The grade 2 is the common entry point for many students, they are the product of a failed education system.
Grade 8/9 is about the level of a Cert 1 so that means six to seven years of schooling need to be bridged to get to a genuine Cert 1.
It’s simply not possible, if institutions tried they would go broke.
They know that so they don’t even try to remediate.
Instead they fudge.
It’s not just Batchelor, it’s every training organisation with Aboriginal students and the high schools are into it as well.
Their rationale for fudging is that the students are disadvantaged.
It’s easy to criticise but what’s the alternative?

With Gunner and Scullion, Batchelor doesn’t need Santa
84 students received Certificate I. Certificate III went to just 24 recipients.
That’s because Cert 1 is the top of the safe fudge level.
Cert 1s are handed out like lollies with tutors completing the work.
They are the bread and butter of training organisations in our town.
A fudged Cert 1 is safe, ASQA won’t investigate complaints about a lowly Cert 1.
Cert IIIs are more challenging to fudge, and more risky.
Imagine the scandal if Batchelor gave a Cert III to an illiterate student and was caught out by ASQA, e.g. a graduate could complain that he wasn’t taught properly and doesn’t have the skills he should have. Graduate teachers could complain they can’t get a job etc.
Students need to be marginally literate to be safely fudged for a Cert III and very few are.
Good on Yuedumu School for calling them on the pre completed work books.
We have a system where very large numbers of Aboriginal people of all ages have one or more Cert 1s, I know people with three or more.
Very few have qualifications that could get them a job or help them to keep a job.

Horror numbers in tourism stats, with a hint for a solution
Alice will keep going down in non Aboriginal numbers, both visitors and inhabitants, irrespective of a long term plan.
But absolute numbers could well grow.
There are many opportunities here including jobs for anyone who wants to work.
Age is no barrier to employment in our town.
Demand for education, health, and the trades will grow.
Schools in the town currently can’t attract sufficient numbers of qualified and experienced teachers from the NT or anywhere in the country.
There is an influx of new graduates from interstate and before long most teachers will be newly graduated.
The hospital has taken to recruiting from overseas so cultural diversity will be a strong trend.
Medical research is booming.
Tradies will be needed in increasing numbers.
Car sales will do well.
Police and security staff will be needed in increasing numbers.
Our town is inexorably headed for an unsettled future but its not all doom and gloom.

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