All respondents here rightly express genuine concern. Tonight on …

Comment on Dylan Voller’s mistreatment started in Alice Springs by Mark.

All respondents here rightly express genuine concern. Tonight on ABC 1, 7.30, I watched the previous Commissioner of the Corrections Department, Ken Middlebrow, go out on a limb and support the practices in his former Corrections Department.
It was Middlebrook who “fell on his sword” and resigned late 2015 following the escape of murderer and rapist Edward Horrell from a prison work camp. That someone would take personal responsibility is now rare in government and the Public Service.
Middlebrook’s response this evening was a really brave move defying the popular feeling. But Middlebrook is closest to the real issues.
The Don Dale staff are the ones at the coal face and are those actually responsible for ensuring order. Clearly they have suffered ridicule in recent times by break-outs followed by break-back-ins. No doubt they have over reacted. But what were their alternatives to youth running amok even in detention? Those most critical wouldn’t survive a day working in the Centre. Nor would they wish to. It’s easier to criticise from afar with clean hands.
The staff lacks resources but more importantly, society (government) lacks the commitment to make the corrections that these minors have failed to receive right through their childhood to adolescence.
The family unit is breaking down, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. It is society that has questions to answer. Many of these kids’ parents are simply missing in action. Failing-in-health and deceased grand parents have been struggling to bring up a generation without practical government support.
Worse, actual government neglect and a real opposition to practices that the grandparents themselves received under a maligned paternal social system that managed, without trained teachers, to enable them to read and write and far, far more.
This is something that government and a huge public service now fail to achieve!
I doubt that any of these issues will surface in a “wide ranging terms of reference” Royal Commission called within (was it) 12 hours of yet another explosive Four Corners.
It all sounds so familiar.
Didn’t Gillard react in much the same way to a report on animal abuse and go close to destroying an industry?
What was needed was a reasoned and measured response by the PM. Instead I sense he has done a Gillard and I am appalled. A Royal Commission will take at least two years and cost a squllion to report.
Answers and responses are needed now.
But I doubt that anything will really change because I cannot see that society has a social imperative for change. “Progressive” forces ensure as much.
My positive feeling was to hear tonight that the young man at the centre of this issue has expressed the desire to “make amends” to society. Perhaps there have been some positive outcomes from such a dark episode.

Recent Comments by Mark

Former gallery advisor scathing about its planners
“It is a bizarre idea doing a business plan before someone has even started resolving what the issues are,” says Mr Lynch. Exactly my argument in my last letter on the topic in another thread.
And yes, Domenico, I have previously lamented here the loss of the Emily Kngwarreye work overseas when the sale occurred.
We may end up with a building looking for those crowd-pulling paintings and unable to afford to buy them back. This is yet more “planning” by NTG.
(Still) watching in amazement …


Aboriginal gallery: rushed business case yet immediate start?
Does the new gallery have to operate as a business, turn a profit or be subsidised forever (the business plan should tell us)?
What on earth is Ernst and Young doing writing the business case anyway?
Yes, I know their website says “(we are) committed to building a better working world” blah blah blah. With apologies to the Lions I bet Ernst and Young could make a business case to hold an ocean regatta in the Todd if pressed.
I recall the business model for the Desert Park was to have it open nightly till around 9 from memory. Not sure when that all disappeared into fairy dust.
We keep watching in total amazement.


Government to spend $67m on youth database
Government is bereft of ideas. $90m on a gallery; $67m on a database. And WHAT do they intend to do with the data when they have it? Our police could identify the main problems without spending another cent.
Seriously, they have to be kidding. I thought they were broke? Keep spending and maxing the credit card till the credit rating is smashed and we all owe a squillion. But spending money always fixes the problem. We wish!


Global traveller ran out of power only on the Stuart Highway
Would be a real accomplishment if the power he plugged into to recharge was actually renewable power. Most I suspect would have been fossil fuel based. So what precisely did it achieve, I wonder. Think I’ll wait for the hydrogen car.


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
Is everyone as confused as me? So, more consultants are needed until they serve up the desired outcome? Maybe the Minister should have said “plans for plans are well under way”.
All sounds quite a fiasco. So, fix the brief to fix the desired NT Government outcome and dress it up as consultancy. I really must be missing something. Silly me. Forgive me, please.


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