The following passage is drawn from “Do Indigenous Youth Have …

Comment on Most comprehensive overhaul of youth justice system: Gunner by Bob Beadman.

The following passage is drawn from “Do Indigenous Youth Have a Dream” published in 2004:
What is absolutely clear is that incarceration does not operate as a deterrent, particularly for youth.
Others have written about how a stint in the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre in Darwin is now, sadly, a rite (right?) of passage to manhood for some remote communities.
I have written about the attractions of a dry bed, colour TV, three good meals a day, air-conditioning, and a well equipped gymnasium, being a highly attractive alternative to being flood-bound in a remote place for the wet season.
I have also pointed out that offending rates soar around November, supporting my contention (perhaps I’m wrong, and it simply represents the onset of the Mango Madness season).
I have argued for boot camps, in the bush, building cattle yards or roads, on hard tucker like salt beef and damper (or catch your own), sleeping in swags, and supervised by hoary old lore men.
That might be a deterrent to offending, and it might reduce the gaol populations whilst restoring community pride too.
I know communities that want to take on such responsibility.

Recent Comments by Bob Beadman

CDP work for the dole scheme gets a hammering
I enter this minefield reluctantly, and only to bring people back to earth.
Surely the key features of such a scheme should be to:
• Create a system of MUTUAL OBLIGATION, a requirement that ‘you do something (pt work) in return for what your neighbour provides to you’ (welfare payments).
• Address the horrendous social consequences of idleness.
Instead the scheme seems to have become PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 101.
Overpromoted and overregulated to the extent that everyone can find something to fault. It was never an employment agency, or a work incubator, or getting people work ready. That spin may have a place in the cities, but never in the bush where there is a very limited employment market.
A short history. Training Allowances were replaced with Unemployment Benefits in the mid 1970s.
Aborigines couldn’t believe that the Government preferred to pay them to sit down rather than to work.
Communities deteriorated, and pleaded that Unemployment Benefits be aggregated. CDEP was born.
A percentage was added for materials, and another for administration, and the number of particpants inflated.
Government capped numbers, introduced a Remote Area Exemption (from the work test), mixed CDEP and UB (with the obvious resentments arising), fiddled further, abandoned CDEP, and then introduced RJCP (described by some as the greatest public policy train wreck ever), then CDP.
In considering improvements to CDP, everyone must be mindful that CDEP had become a destination, rather than a step up. And it had become a suppressant on the creation of real jobs – councils, schools and health clinics (and others) could borrow staff at will rather than seek appropriate budgets for their needs.
Looking to the near future, when the country can no longer afford the current welfare net, I think every child needs to see a parent working, to replace the idea that Government will keep them for life too.


Land rights campaigner, atomic blast survivor remembered
A wonderful man. He enriched the world.


Dick Kimber: premier scholar of Central Australia
This wonderful tribute to an extraordinary man required the touch of a rare journalist – one with deep knowledge, and empathy. We are very fortunate to have both of you.


NPY women forging their path to change
These awards are of vast importance for Central Australia, and the bush.
I emailed Andrea at the time and said a couple of things, which I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing:
“What a proud moment for you, and those that are with you in the struggle, in your work to better the lives of others. It is the most important work of all, and hopefully will now get a boost from such wonderful publicity.
“… an extraordinary honour, and to be earned in the obscurity of the bush! Australia’s western reach doesn’t end at the Blue Mountains after all.”
Extraordinary honours indeed.


Sit-down money: Pointless jobs for the dole
Doesn’t any scheme that introduces the concept of MUTUAL OBLIGATION, even one that may have implementation flaws, provide some hope for the future? Surely another 40 years of sit down/free money, with the attendant social meltdown, is unthinkable.


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