I wish to share an event I witnessed in our …

Comment on Income management: a lot of pain for little gain? by Leigh Childs.

I wish to share an event I witnessed in our local Coles fruit and veg section. There were three Indigenous ladies [maybe in their 40’s and 50’s,ie, not young girls], with shopping trollies containing some fresh fruit and veg………good thing you say, I agree. A neatly dressed elderly Indigenous gentleman sidles up to one of the Indigenous ladies, speaks to her and she responds by lowering and shaking her head. Indigenous gentleman moves on to next Indigenous lady , speaks to her and she lowers and shakes her head also. Indigenous gentleman approaches third Indigenous lady and after speaking to her she also lowers her shaking head. He then went and stationed himself at the entrance of the supermarket,looking out the door.
Now, I did not hear the words spoken and I know that what I say now are only my assumptions but I have no reason to think otherwise. I stood and watched carefully what happened.
I believe the elderly gentleman was humbugging and because the ladies didn’t have cash on them, only the Basics Card they were able to say NO.
I believe this aspect of income management has not been properly addressed. Meaning, that it is the ONLY way Indigenous women can say no to the humbuggers.
And I believe too that researchers from interstate, do not give enough creedence to the strong cultural imperative to ‘share’ what you have. It is not a reciprical society anymore; it has degenerated into a humbugging society, where the strong hold sway.
When we first came to town in ’84, we never saw an Aboriginal person in our supermarkets, after income management came into being that changed. Surely that counts as a good thing.

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