Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Aboriginal Establishment – it’s a Patriarchy, (with a Marcia Langton token)

text patriarchyNACCHO political alert: 14 Aug 13 The Guardian reports Tony Abbott’s plan for Aboriginal Australians is fatally flawed  by Louise Taylor  Louise Taylor is an Aboriginal (Kamilaroi) woman and a barrister/solicitor practising in the Australian Capital Territory. Louise is the convenor of the Women’s Legal Centre, an Indigenous Law Centre associate, and a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Indigenous Legal Issues Committee. Her piece is written in a personal capacity (and not the views of NACCHO)

Perhaps you nodded along and thought “good, let’s get moving on this”. Perhaps you thought Mundine surely must have been given a mandate from community representatives. Or perhaps, like me, you wondered how this announcement was anything new……..Mundine-and-Abbott

Abbott’s Garma speech invoked his “friend” Noel Pearson. Pearson was absent from any alignment with the Abbott plan. Curiously, Mundine and Abbott were the headline act in the mainstream media. A weird choice, given I’ve yet to see any major support from other Indigenous people or organisations for the Coalition’s plan with Mundine at the helm……….

I see a common theme in both camps – the almost complete absence of Aboriginal women at the national leadership table. It troubles me that the domain and face of national Indigenous leadership is portrayed consistently as Indigenous men.

Noel Pearson. Warren Mundine. Mick Gooda. Mick Dodson. Patrick Dodson. Where are the women? When Rudd and Abbott speak of their Indigenous “mates”, they always name men. There are many competent and capable Indigenous women who are thinking innovatively and deeply about solutions for their communities. Do we see or hear from them?…….

they are absolutely there – Andrea Mason, Fiona Jose and Jenny Hayes to name a few. But we are rarely treated to the benefit of their views at a national level. Apart from the formidable professor Marcia Langton, who we do see and hear from now and then, the debate is missing the presence of Indigenous women at what appears to be a crucial time in the shaping of policy.

We know this is not a reflection of what is going on in our communities, where Indigenous women are front and centre of the grunt work being done to improve outcomes and keep communities together. Perhaps Abbott considers Aboriginal women too busy “cowering in their houses or their huts” to participate in policy discussion directly affecting the lives of their families and communities. We have a new female co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, and I have yet to see one single mainstream media engagement with her – on anything. Is her number in Rudd’s contacts list? I wonder……

August 14, 2013 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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