Fair Trade, climate disruption and social justice news
Category Archives: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Social justice is about making sure that every Australian -Indigenous and non-Indigenous – has choices about how they live and the means to make those choices. It also means recognising the distinctive rights that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders hold as the original peoples of this land.
What do children in the Central African Republic and the Australian Northern Territory have in common?
Children in both countries are likely to suffer from life-threatening wasting which means that they do not weigh enough for their height. In fact, the situation is worse in Australia – 11% compared to 7.4% in Africa. Worryingly, wasting is a strong predictor of early childhood mortality.
A few months ago, I left my home in Adelaide and travelled up to Maules Creek, New South Wales. I’ve never been much of a wanderer, but when I heard that Whitehaven was working on the largest coal mine currently under construction in Australia in the middle of the Leard State Forest, I realised that things were pretty serious.
Neo-liberalism is a hungry beast and this 21st Century strain of capitalism is shaping the agenda for control of Aboriginal lands.
You only have to listen to Professor Marcia Langton’s Boyer Lectures on ABC Radio or read Noel Pearson’s sermons on acquisition to see how this virulent form of free-market fundamentalism has gathered influential adherents, including policy makers in both political parties.
Australian Government policy is heavily influenced by neo-liberalism through its extraordinary emphasis on managing access for mining companies to resources on Aboriginal lands. This involves controlling what is still perceived as ‘the Aboriginal problem’ and forcing a social transition from traditional values and Cultural practice to ‘mainstream’ modernism of a particular brand. It also involves displacing many Aboriginal people from their traditional lands and concentrating them in ‘growth towns’.