Why just saying “Sorry” isn’t enough

Saw in the Herald today about an Aboriginal Elder who’s suing the Qld guvmnt over monies he was never paid due to the infamous Aboriginals Preservation and Protection Act of 1939.

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/aboriginal-elder-sues-for-stolen-wages-20090820-err7.html

What amazed me was that the Beatmeister acknowledged that  over $500 million of such funds had just ‘disapeered’ and only offered about $50 million in compensation., and he got away with it.. Actually, no i’m not amazed just deeply saddened.

Just hope that Mr Yeatman takes em to the cleaners.

On the ABC news the other night there was an interesting piece on ‘new’ housing for Aboriginal communites in the Top End, basically it was pretty clear that budget sdie of thing was pretty screwed up the project management side of things looked reasonable as well as a positive attitude for training and employment of locals.

However I still just don’t think there is a real push from the Federal or state governments to deal with the huge issues. Although surpisingly our new Lib state guvmnt have been slightly better in some regards, but then consdiering how crap the ALP have been it’s not difficult.

*edit* another example of how crap the ALP in the NT are in regards to indigenous education

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/batchelor-college-in-nt-wont-close-20090820-erpf.html

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4 Responses to “Why just saying “Sorry” isn’t enough”

  1. Therbs Says:

    Its en ormous the ground which needs to made up. As you rightly point out there doesn’t appear to be the drive to make it happen. We’ll probably bemoan the continuing lack of action in ten years.

  2. Flinthart Says:

    …try fifty.

  3. chazfh Says:

    To be honest I can little chance of us having any remote communities within 50 years , and an abosrbtion of the main urban communities in with the main skippy mix within 100.

  4. Quokka Says:

    One of the big problems here in Queensland was what we call ‘the burden of proof’.
    Lots of indigenous workers were unable to prove that they had worked in a particular field because the paperwork was magically ‘missing’.
    i.e. Bjelke Petersen Bonfires and shredder work.

    There’s some good reading by a woman called Rosalind Kidd on the matter, I saw her speaking about it at the Brisbane Writers festival a few years ago.
    Bit of light reading if you want the ugly history of the frontier, Roz Kidd ‘The Way We Civilize.’

    Hide the razor blades if you decide to read it.

    There is a move in Qld to try to ease ‘the burden of proof’ so that indigenous folk can claim their money. Sadly one of the other big problems, aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years or so less than white folk, is that many of the workers have passed on, and their children are unable to take up their claim.

    Some have thumbed their noses at the offer and refused to accept such an insulting amount.

    The Qld Govt then decided to put it in an Indigenous Scholarship fund. They made the mistake of asking Jackie Huggins (deputy at aboriginal studies unit UQ) if she would help to decide who should get the scholarship money.

    Which shows that they don’t do their homework because she had a memoir in print called ‘Aunty Rita’ about her Mum, who was one of the workers who was denied her rightful pay.

    Its more than possums that wear hobnail boots in the sunshine state, Chaz.

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