Young NT leader living on income management to address Bankstown protest: STICS

Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney media release

18 June 2013 for immediate release

Young NT leader living on income management to address Bankstown protest

Kylie Sambo, a young Aboriginal leader from the Northern Territory living on income management, will address a protest in Bankstown this Saturday June 22, marking six years since the announcement of the NT Intervention.

The rally is calling for the repeal of the Stronger Futures legislation which has extended the Intervention in NT Aboriginal communities until 2022. It is also demanding an end to the income management system first imposed on Aboriginal communities in the NT. Bankstown is one of five trial sites around Australia where income management has been operating since July 2012.

Income management is set to compulsorily apply to new categories of young people from July 1 this year, across the Northern Territory and in all trial sites. This includes people under 25 who are being released from prison and young people who have an "unable to live at home" status with Centrelink.

Kylie Sambo is a nineteen year old spokesperson from the Warumungu people in Tennant Creek. She has been on income management for almost three years:

"Being put on income management was very upsetting. I know how to manage my money - I don't need a card to control what I can spend things on".

The number of Aboriginal people in prison in the NT has doubled under the Intervention. Kylie says that making income management compulsory for young people coming out of prison will do nothing to address the challenges they face:

"So many of our people are going into prison now. When they try to make their life different coming out they have a criminal record which makes it hard to get a job, hard to get a license. Now they'll be more on BasicsCard, it will be really difficult to go out and achieve something in life."

"Income management is racist against us. They gave it to Aboriginal people first, put us as a guinea pig to test it before they spread it out to others. It's hurtful to know that someone is out there discriminating against us. At the end of the day, we might all have different colours, but our blood is the same - it's all red. We should all be one".

Paddy Gibson from the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney says the Intervention has been a disaster for Aboriginal communities:

"The Intervention cut more than 300 jobs from Kylie's home town in Tennant Creek when CDEP closed down. It hasn't built a single new house in that town despite obscene overcrowding and homelessness rates. There's more drinking, more violence and self-harm, more broken lives. But there are also many strong leaders fighting to take their community forward that need to be given power and resources. The hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on bureaucracies to control and punish Aboriginal people must be urgently redirected to community development to lift people out of dire poverty".

"Six years since John Howard announced the army was being sent into Aboriginal communities to strip them of control, we continue to fight against the NT Intervention - Australia's racist shame. And we will challenge the expansion of income management every step of the way".

Rally details: MARKING 6 YEARS OF THE NT INTERVENTION

12 noon, Saturday 22 June 2013
Paul Keating Park, Bankstown (near Bankstown station) http://goo.gl/maps/f8IHi

Speakers:
- Kylie Sambo, NT youth leader living on income management
- Maree O'Halloran, Welfare Rights Center
- Gary Moore, CEO of Homelessness NSW
- Robin Croon, Public Service Association
- Wafa Ibrahim,Child, youth and family support officer, Arab Council Australia

Kylie Sambo will be available for interview from 11am on Friday June 21. She will be staying in Sydney until June 28.

Fore more information or to arrange interviews contact:
Paddy Gibson 0415 800 586

- - - END MEDIA RELEASE - - -

Please note that the above Media Release is from STICS: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney.

It is not from WGAR: WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights.

WGAR has posted this STICS Media Release as a community service with the kind permission of Paddy Gibson of STICS.

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