Tony Abbott sent packing on his first Aboriginal envoy trip

2583 Borroloola

 

Former Prime Minister turned special envoy to Aboriginal Australia was forced out of Borroloola this week after facing heated criticism from parents, educators and elders during his first visit to the community in his new role, according to a media release from the community.

 

It says it was angered “by Abbott’s hypocrisy, cutting millions from community based services while Indigenous Affairs Minister, and his vision for assimilation through education and punitive policies linking attendance rates to welfare payments.

 

“Parents, elders and school council members challenged Abbott over his comments that Aboriginal children should not only speak English first, but think in English too, and attempts to force failed direct instruction policies on the school.”

 

Gadrian Hoosan, a parent and school council member quoted in the release, told Mr Abbott he was not welcome in the community since intervention policies ripped out community funding leaving residents worse off, while denying much needed new housing and basic services.

 

“He looked like he couldn’t wait to get out of there when we all started bailing up on him.

 

“He picked the wrong community to try and bully. We have a strong school here and strong families. He’ll be having nightmares tonight. We told him we don’t want him as our envoy.”

 

 

 

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5 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. John Bell
    Posted September 29, 2018 at 11:18 am

    It has bothered me for a long time that individuals in remote Aboriginal communities so often claim to speak for the whole community in Australian politics without any questioning of other members of the community for their individual political views.
    I began to see the politicisation of remote isolated communities in the NT first hand during my work in the Alice and then in Darwin in the late 60s and 70s.
    One major party in particular captured the political mindset of so  many communities with hard sell, patronising welfare policies with a sit-down money focus that I thought it made so many good people in these communities vulnerable and captive to the group think mentality of a particular major party view.
    I believe it created a  political herd mentality perception of Aboriginal people that demeaned them in the wider white community. 
    It suggested that individual Aboriginal people in remote communities were incapable of forming independent individual views in Australian politics.
    This did not promote healthy political debate in those communities and made Aboriginal people with different views fearful of speaking out. 
    Only in fairly recent times have Aboriginal individuals started to challenge and break that mindset.
    So, when reading media political releases such as this one on Borroloola, my first thought is to ask – who wrote the report? What is his or her political affiliation? And have all residents in that community expressed their individual views in the compiling of the release?
    Until the person(s) who write such media reports come clean with honest, transparent and factual answers to those questions, the ugly herd mentality captive image of remote communities will remain entrenched in the Aussie political landscape for the vast majority of white urban dwellers in the Big Smoke.
    And the diverse political views of Aboriginal people will continue to be devalued.

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  2. David
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Well said Alex Nelson. Only space is that between the ears of people who put their ill conceived ideas on paper.

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  3. James T Smerk
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Missed opportunity for the community members here, this will just be water off a duck’s back to the Government.
    They should have gotten the media over there to have a go at him in a public setting with questions and answers. He might have gained a better insight into your thoughts. Instead he will just pick another community that his advisers tell him is nicer.
    I personally think any “special envoy to Aboriginal Australia” should be located remotely permanently closer to where the bulk of the people live and travel to Canberra on the odd occasion to report in. Goes without saying they should probably be Aboriginal, too.

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  4. Posted September 28, 2018 at 11:48 am

    @ Psuedo Guru (Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:12 am): “65,000 years and still dependent” – well, given that British colonisation of Australia commenced 230 years ago and pushed its way across the continent over the subsequent century or more, would you care to explain upon whom were Australia’s indigenous people dependent upon for the remaining 64,770 years plus?
    And as for anyone planning “200 years ahead,” well, good luck because history shows that all attempts for planning ahead for even a matter of a decade or two invariably proves wildly off the mark.
    Want an example? In 1970 experts predicted Alice Springs would reach a population of 50,000 by the year 1990. That gradually changed to reaching that population target by the turn of the century. By the early 1990s that idea had well and truly fallen by the wayside.
    Yep, I’m watching this space.

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  5. Psuedo Guru
    Posted September 28, 2018 at 8:12 am

    65,000 years and still dependent. China plans 200 years ahead. Watch this Space.

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