In attempting to “Close the Gap” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, we’ve has entered into an Era of Symbolism, while policies remain free of substance and weight.
While Rudd “seemed comfortable making history by finally delivering a national apology”, compensation has been ruled out, as has being guided by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. As a result, policy-makers dismiss “the knowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have about solving their own problems”.
Unless Indigenous policy shifts to embrace specific policy agenda items like adequate funding of community controlled health organisations, investment in the development of human capital within Aboriginal communities, meaningful consultation and support of community-based solutions, “closing the gap” is going to sound like very empty rhetoric.
Read Larissa’s article on ABC The Drum, here.