Newsletter date: 21 December 2014
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
* Joint Statement: Groups call for Government to reject Forrest Review Healthy Welfare Card; pursue decent welfare reform
* News: SNAICC: Strong opposition to proposed Healthy Welfare Card
* News: NIRS: Proposed Healthy Welfare Card labelled "demeaning, invasive"
* News: Helen Davidson, The Guardian: Indigenous and community groups condemn cashless welfare card plan
* Media Release: Senator Rachel Siewert: Greens call on Government to release key evaluation as opposition to healthy welfare card grows
* Audio: CAAMA: Aboriginal Researchers Conduct Evaluation on Basic Cards in NT [Featuring Tangentyere Council Research Hub Coordinator Matthew Campbell]
* News: Kate Wild, ABC News: More income management flagged for NT, despite report finding 'no evidence' it works
* News: Helen Davidson, The Guardian: Kevin Andrews defies report to argue for more control of welfare recipients' cash
* Analysis / Opinion: Eva Cox, The Conversation: 'Work with us not for us' to end the Indigenous policy chaos
* News: John Robertson, Christian Today: Academic chides government's 'failure' in creating 'effective' Indigenous policies
* Analysis / Opinion: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Stop peddling lies - "$30 billion spent on Indigenous disadvantage" is a lie
* Media Release: NACCHO Media Release: Invest more in Aboriginal health programs that work, say Aboriginal health services
* Media Release: SNAICC urges new Victorian government to make Aboriginal Affairs a high priority
* Media Release: NACCHO Media Release: Revised GP co-payment policy remains a hit to Aboriginal health
* News: Myles Morgan, SBS News: New co-payment model will jeopardise Indigenous health, says sector
* Analysis / Opinion: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Vegie gardens keep Redfern Tent Embassy supporters fed
* Background: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget
- Joint Statement
Joint Statement: Groups call for Government to reject Forrest Review Healthy Welfare Card; pursue decent welfare reform
16 Dec 14: "Australia’s community welfare sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations are calling on the Federal Government not to proceed with the implementation of the Forrest Review proposal for a cashless welfare card which would apply to everyone - people who are unemployed, carers, single parents and people with disability - except veterans and people on the aged pension. ...
we are united in our strong opposition to the proposal contained in the Andrew Forrest Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes for a Healthy Welfare Card, which we believe would be demeaning, invasive, unworkable and bureaucratic, creating an entire sub-class of millions of people in the Australian community.
The welfare card is modelled on the Basics Card currently used to manage the income of people in disadvantaged communities and locations around Australia. This income management scheme has failed to effect long-term changes in behaviour or outcomes, despite the high cost of the policy. ... "
SNAICC - Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care: Strong opposition to proposed Healthy Welfare Card
16 Dec 14: "SNAICC is among a number of major Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to have voiced strong opposition to the cashless welfare system, as proposed in the Andrew Forrest Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes for a Healthy Welfare Card. Australia's community welfare sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations have released a joint statement encouraging the Government to pursue different avenues of welfare reform."
NIRS: Proposed Healthy Welfare Card labelled "demeaning, invasive"
16 Dec 14: "37 First Nations bodies and community service organisations have joined in opposing the Healthy Welfare Card proposed in Andrew Forrest's jobs and training review. The income management measure would force welfare recipients to go cashless with the intention to ensure they only purchase necessary items. ... " Warren Barnsley
The Guardian: Indigenous and community groups condemn cashless welfare card plan
14 Dec 14: "Proposal by mining magnate Andrew Forrest would be ‘demeaning, invasive, unworkable and bureaucratic’ ... The cashless welfare card proposed by the mining magnate Andrew Forrest would only make life more difficult for Australia’s poor and send the message that they cannot be trusted with cash, say community and Indigenous groups. In a joint statement the 37 groups ... - called on the federal government not to accept the recommendation from Forrest’s review into Indigenous jobs and training." Helen Davidson, a reporter for Guardian Australia
- Media Release
Senator Rachel Siewert: Greens call on Government to release key evaluation as opposition to healthy welfare card grows
13 Dec 14: "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues
The Australian Greens said today that the Government must release the Evaluation of New Income Management in the Northern Territory final report as opposition to the so-called healthy welfare card continues to grow.
"A large number of the nation's leading community groups have signed a joint statement opposing the healthy welfare card and raising serious concerns about its impact. The Government must know from the Evaluation report that income management is a flawed approach and they cannot ignore the impacts a healthy welfare care would have," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.
"The healthy welfare card represents a dramatic expansion of income management, a flawed and wasteful regime that has failed to deliver positive outcomes. ... ""
CAAMA - Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association: Aboriginal Researchers Conduct Evaluation on Basic Cards in NT
10 Dec 14: "Tangentyere Council Research Hub Coordinator Matthew Campbell says the Income Management report for the Northern Territory has failed at revealing the truth about how people living on welfare cards are spending their money and that the Basic Cards have not achieved what is was set out to, and that there is no evidence of less drinking, school engagement or healthy lifestyle changes."
ABC News: More income management flagged for NT, despite report finding 'no evidence' it works
18 Dec 14: " ... the three-year Evaluating New Income Management in the Northern Territory report, commissioned by the Department of Social Services under the previous Labor government, put the number in the NT at 35,000 and found "no substantive evidence of the program having significant changes relative to its key policy objectives, including changing people's behaviours"." By the National Reporting Team's Kate Wild
The Guardian: Kevin Andrews defies report to argue for more control of welfare recipients' cash
18 Dec 14: " ... Kevin Andrews says he supports greater levels of income management for welfare recipients, despite a government report released on Thursday showing little evidence of its effectiveness. ... But the report, Evaluating New Income Management in the Northern Territory, found that rather than "promoting independence and the building of skills and capabilities", income management appeared to have led to increased dependence on welfare and simply removed the burden of personal management. It found numerous other significant problems. ... " Helen Davidson in Darwin, a reporter for Guardian Australia
- Analysis / Opinion
The Conversation: 'Work with us not for us' to end the Indigenous policy chaos
15 Dec 14: "'Deep funding cuts and uncertainty about government plans have created one of the largest-scale upheavals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.'
That is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda’s assessment in a report tabled in the federal parliament’s final sitting days of 2014. The Social Justice and Native Title Report 2014 said the changes the federal government made this year occurred without meaningful engagement with the affected communities, their leaders, or their organisations. ... " Eva Cox, Professorial Fellow Jumbunna IHL at University of Technology, Sydney
Christian Today: Academic chides government's 'failure' in creating 'effective' Indigenous policies
17 Dec 14: "Prominent academic, social commentator and activist Eva Cox, ... concluded on Monday that there are no signs indicating that the Coalition government's future Indigenous policy development will not embrace the evidence of what is effective. ... In Ms Cox's mind, Indigenous affairs has seen "continued failures and limited successes" since the Abbott government assumed office, and she outlined the "clear" evidence on Monday: "... success requires collaboration, sharing power, understanding cultural differences, plus avoiding sclerotic bureaucratic and political cultures."" John Robertson
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: Stop peddling lies - "$30 billion spent on Indigenous disadvantage" is a lie
14 Dec 14: "The 2014 Indigenous Expenditure Report has been released by a Government Steering Committee and many will read it, especially the media, in that it is spending on "Indigenous disadvantage". This is how it has been sold by far too many, including Prime Ministers. Australians will buy the crock that $30 billion is spent annually on First Peoples when indeed it is not. Last year, the nation was told expenditure was $25 billion but I proved that this was a lie after disaggregating the spending. Much less than one billion dollars actually effectively reached First Peoples. ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
- Media Release
NACCHO Media Release: Invest more in Aboriginal health programs that work, say Aboriginal health services
16 Dec 14: "The health of Aboriginal mothers and their children is improving in all areas under the New Directions program, yet service providers are having to turn people away, highlighting more investment is needed in these successful programs said the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) said today.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services released today has found improvements in all the indicators of good maternal and child health.
"The New Directions program, many run by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, provides support for mothers and their children right through from antenatal care to immunisation and health and health checks for children before starting school," said NACCHO CEO Lisa Briggs.
"It’s working. Mothers are seeking antenatal care earlier, recording higher birth weights, and getting better outcomes on health assessments for both children and their mothers. ...
"This program is an excellent example of a program which is working." ... "
- Media Release
SNAICC - Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care: SNAICC urges new Victorian government to make Aboriginal Affairs a high priority
5 Dec 14: "Statement by SNAICC Chairperson Sharron Williams
SNAICC congratulates Daniel Andrews and the ALP on its victory in the Victorian state election and urges the new government to make the pressing issues facing Aboriginal children, young people and families a priority in the next four years and reset the relationship with Victoria’s Aboriginal community. ...
Aboriginal community-controlled early education services in Victoria need secure, long- term funding to be able to continue to support families and give children the best start in life, to get them ready for school and proud of their cultural heritage.
These early years services - including the two Aboriginal Child and Family Centres (ACFCs) and 13 Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS) across the state - represent the best chance to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. The benefits of greater investment by governments in our early years services are immense. ... "
- Media Release
NACCHO Media Release: Revised GP co-payment policy remains a hit to Aboriginal health
10 Dec 14: "The peak Aboriginal health organisation today warned that the revised GP co-payment policy would result in an effective cut to Aboriginal health services and called on the Abbott Government to reconsider their position.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chairperson Matthew Cooke said the majority of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, whose overriding purpose was to encourage Aboriginal people through their doors, would choose to absorb the discretionary $5 co-payment.
"Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are making the biggest gains against the closing the gap targets – helping Aboriginal people to live longer and healthier," Mr Cooke said.
"Many Aboriginal people do not fit in the exemption categories but still have low disposable incomes and can ill-afford to pay extra for their often complex medical needs and repeat appointments. ... ""
SBS News: New co-payment model will jeopardise Indigenous health, says sector
10 Dec 14: "The new co-payment model will hurt Closing the Gap targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, The organisation representing Australia's Indigenous health sector said. ... Many Indigenous people occupy an awkward place in the healthcare system, according to The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation" By Myles Morgan
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: Vegie gardens keep Redfern Tent Embassy supporters fed
14 Dec 14: "With the end of the year fast approaching it is now seven months that Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy has stood solid and surprised many in that it has held off the Aboriginal Housing Company from commercially developing The Block. Like Walmandany Tent Embassy which stood solid for two and half years north of Broome in facing off the James Price Gas Hub proposal, so too has the Redfern Embassy inspired many First Peoples all over our vast continent. A neat tent city has come of age at The Block - and to get through the summer they have built vegetable gardens. ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
- Background: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget
WGAR News: Where to now? Budget reveals attacks against Culture and our connection to our Land: Dr Woolombi Waters, The Stringer (1 June 2014)
WGAR News: This budget could devastate Indigenous Australians: Mick Gooda, ABC The Drum (22 May 2014)
WGAR News: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the 2014 Federal Budget (20 May 2014)
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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