This year is the Seventh Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations and we have seen the release of yet another disappointing report card by the Federal Government on Closing the Gap. It is time, however, to remind the Government that the Apology was focussed on the Stolen Generations and research clearly highlights the reality that there is also an additional gap in health and wellbeing outcomes between the Stolen Generations and their families and the broader Aboriginal community.
Aboriginal Co-Convenor of the Bringing Them Home Committee (WA), Jim Morrison stated on hearing the outcomes of the Close the Gap Report, “We have been aware through many community reports that there are poorer outcomes in health and wellbeing measures for the Stolen Generations and we were delighted that academic research by Associate Professor Michael Dockery from Curtin University provides clear, undeniable evidence to confirm our perceptions.”
Associate Professor Dockery says in one of his Research Papers:
“The legacy of these policies (the policy of removing Aboriginal children from their families) is still apparent in significantly worse health status and higher incidences of arrest and alcohol abuse. Even though these policies were intended to accelerate the integration of Indigenous people into the mainstream economy, the results pertaining to employment outcomes suggest they had exactly the opposite effect” (Michael Dockery “Culture and wellbeing: The case of Indigenous Australians”, CLMR DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES 09/01)
“Sadly past Government funding priorities have not acknowledged the need to address this “double gap” in social outcomes and the plight of the Stolen Generations and their families has been largely ignored. We are looking to the Commonwealth Government to redress this oversight as it reviews the funding for Aboriginal programs across the country”, Jim Morrison concluded.
Further comment: Jim Morrison: 0408 917 133
For a full copy of Associate Professor Michael Dockery’s Paper: http://ceebi.curtin.edu.au/local/docs/2009.01_CultureWellbeing.pdf