indigenous equality

Aboriginal Councillor Explains How to ‘Close the Gap’

The Sixth Annual Friedman Liberty Conference was held over the weekend in Sydney.

The overall theme of the libertarian conference, as you would expect, was promoting small — or in some case no — government, and the importance of taking personal responsibility. It wrapped up Sunday night after looking at topics as diverse as Christianity and Libertarianism to Art, Culture and Propaganda.

The speakers served up some controversial ideas.

Alice Springs Councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price gave a unique and personal insight into the difficult issues involved in really closing the gap for Aboriginal people.

Culturally, she pointed out, Aboriginal people have embraced the ‘share economy’, for tens of thousands of years. This meant that whatever you owned you freely shared with your kinsfolk. This was essential to survival in a society that lived from day to day in search of food and water.

Today, she said, ‘it’s a disaster’. This same ‘share economy’ now sees alcoholics and other addicts demanding that their kin fund their addictions. And it discourages people from looking for work.

Price pointed out that what’s needed most is a cultural change.

Critics, she admitted, like to call this ‘assimilation’. But she calls this nonsense. Cultures are always reforming to new realities.

She said it was time for Aboriginal society to take responsibility for themselves. And that the last 40 years of publicly funded work schemes were not the answer.

Nor is simply handing over cash.

When that scheme was first introduced more than 40 years ago, a much higher proportion of Indigenous people were working, she said. And they couldn’t believe that they were being paid to do nothing.

Sitting around money’ Price said they called it.

There is no easy solution. But accepting the present reality for what it is, and doing the best to make the most of the opportunities on hand, could do far more than four decades of misallocated welfare.

PS: If you think your cash is safe in the bank…think again. Find out what you could do to protect your cash and financial privacy here.

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben is the lead editor at The Australian Tribune. Bernd makes use of his extensive network to bring you the top stories you need to know about each day. Stories the mainstream may miss. Or bury somewhere you’re unlikely to ever read them. Bernd studied aerospace engineering and journalism at the University of Michigan, before graduating with a degree in economics. Over the past two decades he’s worked in media, management, and finance in the US, the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia. His other role, as the editor of the Port Phillip Insider, puts him in a unique position to read Australia’s most exclusive financial advice. Some of which he shares with readers of The Australian Tribune for free.
Comments: 3

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  1. Some wisdom appearing regarding “closing the gap” situation. I fully endorse Jacinta’s remarks and remember a similar expression by Pierce from North Queensland some time ago. Welfare is not the cure to any problem and should only be administered to alleviate suffering via provision of nutrition, housing and medical welfare for people experiencing hardship outside of their own control.

  2. Hear, hear! Most urban (part) Aboriginal people who live within walkabout range to Centrelink are very happy with the Gap and can’t see the point of changing that. It is nice to hear a voice from within their community to say so, but she will probably be rubbished to death on (anti)-social media, where the tree-huggers dwell.
    Brave woman to say how it is: respect!

  3. Alice Spring’s mayor,
    How nice is to read some common sense and then to think how many will be angered by her comments. Yeah, ‘sitting around money’. The author understood far better what the ‘cake’ does when freely available.
    I remember when PM K Ruud decided that it would be a good idea to give everyone a thousand dollars. I noted my windfall, ‘stupid money’.
    Then I remember my mother’s story on the money: A son would not go to work. To deceive his father, he colluded with his mother to give him some ‘coins’ which he presented to his father as a proof that he earned the money. His father promptly threw the money into the fire. Same happened again. The son did not say or do anything, but he decided to get a job and, happy he presented his pay to his father. It again was thrown into fire. This time the son jumped and pulled the money out with his bare hands. The father was very pleased. I guess, the moral of the story is; if you earned it you will value it.
    Joe Lazanja