Australia is on track to meet just two of its targets aimed at improving the lives of Aborigines, including increasing life expectancy and improving literacy, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.
In 2007, Australia introduced seven targets designed to address inequalities that see the country’s 700,000 Aborigines track near the bottom of its 25 million citizens in almost every economic and social indicator.
However, Morrison said that the government’s policy is failing and would be replaced.
“We perpetuated an ingrained way of thinking passed down over two centuries and more, and it was the belief that we knew better than our indigenous peoples. We don’t,” Morrison told parliament.
“We also thought we understood their problems better than they did. We don’t. They live them. We must see the gap we wish to close, not from our viewpoints, but from the viewpoint of indigenous Australians,” he said.
Morrison said new Aboriginal polices would be designed following consultation with the country’s Aborigines, with whom Australia has struggled to reconcile following hundreds of years of brutal segregation.
Aborigines arrived on the continent at least 50,000 years before British colonists, but are not recognized in the country’s constitution.
According to the annual report, literacy rates for Aboriginal students are 20 percent behind the national benchmark and child mortality is more than double that for non-Aboriginal children, while unemployment in the Aboriginal population is more than 25 percent higher than the rest of the country.
“There is more than just a gap, it is a chasm, a gaping wound on the soul of our nation,” said Pat Turner, chief executive officer at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
“Collectively, we need to call this out, be truthful about the failure of governments and how we got here, so that we can chart a new and honest way forward,” Turner said.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference