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

‘Catastrophic’ drop in construction work
@ Evelyne (Posted June 28, 2019 at 3:15 pm): Perhaps you should ask people working within the public service/bureaucracy about the difference between democracy and tyranny. On second thought, don’t bother – they all have to keep their mouths shut.


‘Catastrophic’ drop in construction work
@ Interested Darwin Observer (Posted June 28, 2019 at 8:04 am): Oh! Are we a democracy?


Alice to get first Aboriginal owned earth ground station
If I recall correctly, the Geoscience Australia Antenna commenced operation as a Landsat receiving station in 1979, so this year marks its 40th anniversary.
Our family was living at the CSIRO residence by Heath Road at the time, now the Centre for Appropriate Technology.
There was one funny occasion when my brother was wandering around in the paddock nearby the new facility, and wherever he went the antenna would swing around and point towards him.
I think he got a bit spooked by it but it was the technical officers in the adjoining demountable lab that were just having a bit of fun.


Architect of Katherine’s masterplan to be Alice council CEO
This is tremendous good news for Alice Springs. I shall put on hold my plans to move to Katherine 🙂


Car crashed into supermarket, alcohol stolen
Certainly not the first time that kind of offence has occurred at those premises!


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor