It’s interesting to note the statistic from the mid-1970s that …

Comment on Little kids have the key to our future by Alex Nelson.

It’s interesting to note the statistic from the mid-1970s that states Aboriginal infant mortality was 120 per 1000 live births.
I’ve just stumbled across a front page report published October 22, 1964, which “pointed out that a survey of the NT said the infant mortality rate in some settlements is 208 to 1000 live births.”
The story headlined “500 Aboriginal children die in 3 1/2 years” began: “The Federal Opposition intends to put the Government on the spot over its handling of Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory – particularly the high death rate of children. During the debate on the estimates for the Territories Department, the Opposition put statistics to the Government which show that infant mortality among Aboriginals in parts of the NT is among the highest in the world.”
The story reported how Kim Beazley (snr), in “what was virtually a vote of censure on the Government” intended “to inquire into the deaths of 500 Aboriginal children in the Alice Springs area in the last three and a half years.”
That report implies Aboriginal infant mortality was already trending downwards significantly one decade later when the CAAC appeared on the scene therefore the claim “The mainstream health system had completely failed us” appears to be an undeserved criticism.
It also demonstrates the magnitude of the task that has confronted every organisation that has undertaken the task of improving the standards of living for Aboriginal people over many years.
If it is the case that “the connections between health, control, land, culture, employment, shelter and so on” are the factors determining “Social Determinants of Health” then clearly something is massively wrong, as this is not reflected in the appalling statistics that characterise the life experiences for so many Aboriginal people.
The recent unrelenting barrage of media reports about crime, domestic violence, imprisonment rates and so forth are virtually no different to any time one cares to nominate since the mid 1980s, notwithstanding all the resources and assets available during this period at public expense. It’s obvious that much of this has been misdirected.
It’s one thing to reduce mortality rates but quite another to improve quality of life.
Donna Ah Chee’s speech about the importance of early childhood development provides valuable insights that clearly indicate where some of the solutions to the deeply entrenched problems afflicting many Aboriginal people lie (as it does for any group coping with impoverished circumstances). Congress’s emphasis on “early childhood care as its top priority” is to be applauded and is fully deserving of support.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Town planning farce: Lawler dodges the hard questions
This encounter instantly reminded me of a passage in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” when Winston Smith followed an old man into a pub with the intention of finding out from him what life was like before the revolution that led to the rise of Big Brother.
Yet no matter how earnestly he asked the old man to recall the early years of his life, “Winston had the feeling they were talking at cross-purposes.”
He kept on prodding the old man for information but “a sense of helplessness took hold of Winston. The old man’s memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of details. One could question him all day without getting any real information.”
Plying the old man with beer, he tried one more time but failed: “Winston sat back against the window sill. It was no use going on. He was about to buy some more beer when the old man suddenly got up and shuffled rapidly into the stinking urinal at the side of the room. The extra half-litre was already working on him. Winston sat for a minute or two gazing at his empty glass, and hardly noticed when his feet carried him out into the street again.”
Welcome to the Big Brother reality of honest accountable government in the Northern Territory!


Student boarding funding restored – for now
Isn’t that something? A minister of the NT Government has listened to concerns about a government decision, and reversed it in a day.
Little aggravation, and great relief for many, I should think.
Minister Selena Uibo has set a fine example – now, if only certain others of her colleagues would take notice of public concern about the NT Government’s poor decision-making over the location of the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery…


Remains of missing man found near Yambah
@ John Bell (Posted September 20, 2018 at 10:21 pm): The skeleton was identified, a young man only recently arrived in Alice Springs in 1965. It’s believed he was a victim of an accidental discharge of his rifle, not a suicide.


Ring a bell?
Is it just me, or is it the case that the “Boundless Possible” embarrassment has suffered a swift death, consigned quietly to the wheelie bin of history?
Ah yes, a government elected into office that promised us all greater standards of honesty and accountability; but no, it’s just business as usual, that we’ve long endured for decades in the Northern Territory.
It really makes no difference who’s in charge.


Four dogs suspected poisoned with 1080
@ Ruth Weston (Posted September 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm): Sodium fluoroacetate is the commercially produced 1080 poison, and is closely related to potassium fluoroacetate, the poisonous chemical found in a wide variety of plant species.
Both chemicals have the same effect, disrupting the Krebs Cycle (or Citric Acid Cycle) which disrupts the ability of cells to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy production.
It was biochemist Ray Murray, based in Alice Springs with the Animal Industry Branch from 1954 to 1966, who first identified the naturally occurring 1080-based compound that occurs sporadically in poison Gidgee (Acacia georginae) which plagued the beef cattle industry in the east of Central Australia and across the Queensland border.


Be Sociable, Share!