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Just because you are Aboriginal doesn’t make you right

Every time I hear Alice Springs councillor and political hopeful Jacinta Price speak, I cringe.

Ms Price has announced her ambition to contest the NT seat of Lingiari in the next federal election as a CLP candidate, a move welcomed by Mark Latham and Warren Mundine who both sing her praises.

She gained notoriety as a leading voice in the Save Australia Day campaign and as a supporter of the Northern Territory Intervention.

Jacinta’s main argument about Australia Day is that there are more important issues that need to be addressed first. While many Indigenous people spent one day protesting on January 26th, Jacinta Price spent two months campaigning against changes to Australia Day.

I guess it’s important to get your name known if you intend running for office.

In 2016, speaking to the right-wing think tank the Centre for Independent Studies, she told the audience: “Aboriginal culture is a culture that accepts violence and in many ways desensitises those living the culture to violence.”

Looking at our sport and entertainment, our willingness to ignore the plight of refugees in offshore detention, the extent of domestic violence in the wider community, the hateful threats and horrific videos shared on social media every day, I would say this desensitisation to violence is not confined to the Aboriginal community.

It may be that drunkenness, substance abuse and violence are done out in the open in Aboriginal communities but that does not mean that they aren’t happening behind closed doors elsewhere.

When a motion was put to Alice Springs council “to accept the invitation from the Central Arrernte traditional owners to build a formal and strong relationship between the council and the traditional owners” in order to work together to “take on the many challenges of our town, such as making parents accountable for their children, remove children off the streets at night, reducing anti-social behaviour and alcohol issues in our community”, Price spoke against it.

Instead, she moved her own motion about the role she wants the council to have in reducing domestic violence. By the time the discussion was over, the offer of collaboration from the traditional owners had been rejected and Jacinta’s motion resulted in the undertaking: “That Alice Springs Town Council create a policy that supports the reduction of family and domestic violence.”

Okey dokey.

When a toddler was raped in Tennant Creek, Price was quick to post on social media.

“I have said it over and over again that a child’s life is far more important than anything else whether that be the child’s culture or kin! Those who complain about the high rates of removal of Aboriginal children fail to point out why this is happening. Those of us who push for children to be removed in order to save their lives are ­fighting an uphill battle. The parents are failing their children and then the system is failing the children and this has to stop! The blood of our children is on the hands of those who want to keep pushing the ‘second ­stolen generation’ myth … political correctness and stigma brought on by our ­country’s history renders us useless to act on what is the right thing to do!”

There is no question that the child protection system has, in some cases, failed to act on warning signs, but Ms Price offers little in the way of solutions.

Unsurprisingly, she is a big fan of Twiggy Forrest and the cashless welfare card.

“The evidence of deep crisis has never been so blatant. This trauma is inflicted on our people by substance abuse and violence fuelled by a taxpayer-funded disposable income. However, if a rich white man throws his support behind a group of frustrated and desperate indigenous leaders living with this trauma their plea simply is dismissed as perverse by the politically correct without offering any effective alternative solutions.”

Jacinta has the jingoism down pat.

“The Greens reaction is nothing more than the racism of low expectations and egocentric virtue-signalling of those toeing the line of an ideology that is further compounding the crisis.”

Men should get a job and kids should go to school. Young offenders should be punished and children taken from families who don’t live up to expectations. Welfare money should be administered by someone more responsible. Easy.

Because punishment and paternalism has worked so well in the past, we just need more of it.

Ms Price doesn’t speak about preventative programs or rehabilitation. She doesn’t talk about making the curriculum relevant or offer any ideas about Indigenous employment. She seems to set little store in family and connection to country. She doesn’t seem to think that pride and self-determination form part of empowerment.

In late January, a statement attributed to “the Aboriginal women of Central Australia” was read in the Alice Springs council chambers by indigenous councillor Catherine Satour, appearing to take aim directly at Price.

“To be an Aboriginal leader it requires you to be appointed and recognised as such by the Aboriginal community. As the Honourable Linda Burney MP so rightfully put: ‘Leadership in an Aboriginal cultural context is not given or measured by how much media you get or if you earn big money. True Aboriginal ­leadership does not come from high-level appointments or board membership. It doesn’t come from and cannot be given by white constructs. Leadership is earned; it is given when you have proven you can deal with responsibility and you understand that responsibility’.”

Mark Latham might think Jacinta Price has “impeccable credentials for speaking on indigenous issues”. Some think Tony Abbott does too.


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  1. Brett

    What is this racist piece doing on here?

  2. Florence Howarth

    I will be surprised if she has many in the Aboriginal world that back her. Warren Mundine is another who has strayed.

  3. Kaye Lee


    I wonder if you could explain why you think it is racist. I would be interested to hear. If Jacinta is supposed to be immune from criticism because she is Aboriginal, now that would be racist.

    I am not Aboriginal, but I do not think anything positive can come from continually telling someone how bad they are.

  4. Michael Rudling

    Everytime I read Jacinta Price I cheer for her common sense and humanity.

  5. paul walter

    I think this individual I have seen on the Drum a few times. She is a Hanson type and is like “Uncle Tom” Mundine who is Gerard Henderson’s lackey. regardless of complexion or even Noel Pearson. The piece should not be perversely deliberately misconstrued and misrepresented as an attack focussed on race, when it is a questioning of character, politics and sell outs.

    It has every right to be up

  6. Michael Taylor

    Brett, did you read the article, or just the title?

  7. Peter Dixon

    Yesterday Jacinta chose to attend the Tennant Creek Annual Show and not be near in the Alice Springs NAIDOC week parade. In the evening this is what Barkly Shire Mayor, Steve Edgington, reported : “A great night out at the Barkly Beef Dinner.

    The highlight of tonight’s event was an auction to raise money for the Dolly’s Dream Foundation.

    The final auction of the night was led by Jacinta Nampijinpa Price who made her husband Colin Lillie Music available to the highest bidder for a private performance which raised an amazing sum of $5,000.

    Thank-you to everyone involved in organising this great event for Tennant Creek.”

  8. Kaye Lee

    I applaud Jacinta’s stand against domestic violence. Women all over the world are saying enough is enough. Saudi women are driving!!!!

    What I don’t like is her lack of understanding/denial about contributing factors. This is not to excuse perpetrators. It is to prevent the cycle from continuing.

    You can dismiss history but, when all the rest of us were accumulating assets and Aborigines were losing theirs and being used as slave labour, it had a real economic impact. Many of us have benefited from inheriting something from our parents. Aboriginal people’s inheritance, wages and land were stolen. And I cannot imagine the trauma of having your children taken away or of being separated from your brothers and sisters and extended family.

    Looking back won’t fix the problem but it can inform us on why we are where we are and how to move forward. It seems to me Jacinta wants to repeat the mistakes of the past.

  9. Matters Not

    Lots of issues here – accompanied by simplistic solutions.

    Perhaps it’s time the Elders stood up? Or is it the case their legendary powers are now in the dustbin of history?

  10. paul walter

    That is an unkindly remark from you, MN.

    Perhaps I got it wrong, you were only offering a description of the cultural destruction that goes with genocide- the destruction of morale and sense of identity that comes when a community loses its autonomy and self determination.

    Dustbin of history?

  11. wam

    Aboriginal is an adjective so is white. The fact that both can be right or wrong is natural for the latter in white society which doesn’t afford such individuality to the former.
    Bess blew a cool 26% of her support in the seat of stuart in one term going from 46% in 2012 to 20% in 2016 and a 31% swing against the clp.
    Warren Mundine has my support for his attempt to replace the fiddled predetermined ‘review’ with a policy of ‘evaluation’.a process that exposes facts and spending and is difficult to fake results
    “Warren Mundine says ‘some programs are funded because of politics’. … lack of proper evaluation in the $5.9 billion indigenous affairs sector.”

  12. Lorraine Muller

    Good article Kay Lee.

    Family violence is an urgent issue that has unfortunately been used as a political plaything. All of this rhetoric by Price is empty and political.

    I often see alarming figures kicked around about the violence in Aboriginal communities, especially rural and remote communities. With limited supports, and services, in poor communities where overcrowding is prevalent, tensions would easily flare and family violence erupt. However, the truth is there has been no real research to support the numbers claimed – figures are brandished as if there is some evidence, but the numbers cited are from research where the method used was limited and it was explicitly stated that it did not include rural or remote communities. Meanwhile, services are being cut, or tenders given to agencies who know little about the community instead of to the agencies from within the communities. (But that is a slightly different issue.)

    Add to the alarming figures of Indigenous women experiencing family violence (and I am not denying it happens, nor suggesting that it is anything other than intolerable) the simple fact is, as the ABS figures show, that around half of the partners of Indigenous women are non-Indigenous men. So this would skew any suggestion that it is only Indigenous males who are violent. It is also a hard one to suggest that family violence is somehow an Indigenous issue, especially after the recent horror shooting of two teenagers by their father that was in the news recently.

    If family violence was such an important issue, this Federal govt would be funding services that worked in the communities, not cutting them.
    I fear that Jacinta Price’s fathers’ culture may have more influence on her and her mother’s thinking.

  13. Trish Corry

    Advice given to a group of us at a women’s conference last year, by a prominent First Nations woman in our community: “If we are going to speak up for Indigenous people, first ask Indigenous people if what we want to speak up about, is in their interest.”

    I know Kaye and I hardly ever see eye to eye, but this article just makes me uncomfortable and I feel it has a racist undertone. In particular in relation to political agency, freedom of debate and projecting onto another person the notion that they attribute skin colour as some sense of righteousness, rather than attributing said righteousness to the individual’s independent right to choose their own political agency and their belief system.

  14. Terence Mills

    A big and multi-faceted subject.

    I remember some year ago a debate on aboriginal customary law involving spearing and community shunning an offender which gained some grudging support because it was cultural and customary. Even to the extent of a suggestion that, as with Shariah punishment by limb amputations, such spearing could be conducted under medical supervision (?)

    But when it turned to a defence – offered by an aboriginal man charged with beating up his female partner repeatedly – that it was customary and cultural for men to discipline their women, this was rejected out of hand.

    I think Jacinta Price is still formulating her opinions and like many aboriginal commentators – think The Drum – they frequently are coming from an idealistic academic dreamtime that does not reflect the reality of most aboriginal remote communities.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Trish, my point was that Jacinta offers no solutions and many in the Aboriginal community agree. For example….

    Labor senator and former NT child protection minister Malarndirri McCarthy warns Price to tread carefully, and reflect on what she’s saying in the national auditorium, so as not to “exacerbate a situation”. “There are moments where I wonder whether they are helpful comments. And I think that Jacinta … I would just say to anyone who’s thinking of standing for political life that you have a greater responsibility,” McCarthy says.

    Alice Springs councillor Jimmy Cocking says “there’s a lot of angry people out there who feel they’ve been misrepresented” by Price on a national ­platform. “It’s a lot of responsibility being an elected representative of the community and you’ve got to make sure that you are not creating unnecessary divisions or vilifying sections of the community as well,” Cocking says. “That’s the responsibility that we have and we’ve got to take seriously … that we’re working to find ways that we can heal wounds rather than open them.”

    As you said,“If we are going to speak up for Indigenous people, first ask Indigenous people if what we want to speak up about, is in their interest.” I don’t think Jacinta considers this enough.

    I think she should put more time into coming up with suggestions to help but I get the feeling her motivation is more a job application than anything constructive for the community. As I said before, I don’t think you achieve anything positive by continually telling people how bad they are.

    I’m not sure why you think I am being racist. Is it because I am criticising an Aboriginal woman?

  16. Kaye Lee

    Terence, Jacinta seems to be all about judgement and punishment. That is what worries me. It’s ok to say men should get a job and children should go to school but there seems no discussion as to why this isn’t happening now and what we can do about it. There is no talk of preventative things that could be done. Rejecting the offer of co-operation from the elders seems crazy. I have not heard her speak about the lack of rehab facilities or the health side of substance abuse. I haven’t heard her talk of parenting classes and early education or baby health clinics. Perhaps she has but I haven’t come across anything from her other than take the kids, lock up the offenders, quarantine income etc – the same old stuff we have been doing for years.

  17. paul walter

    As I said earlier, it is not about race, but about character and sellouts, something some hypocrites about would be well aware at a personal level through the frequent practice of slimy misrepresentation.

    It never ceases to amaze me how low some commenters will go…despicable.

  18. Trish Corry

    I think my point is clear Kaye. Maybe take a step back, re-read and see if you would agree if the same approach would be ok with an Indigenous woman you agree with. I don’t agree with Price’s politics, but it is how you have framed it. It is not up to you to judge whether she sees her Aboriginality as something superior making her right, but her free agency to choose her politics and that is why she thinks she is right. We do not question how non-Indigenous politicians see their skin colour as an item of superiority when we do not agree with their politics.

    The point I was making with what was said to us by the Indigenous leader in a women’s forum, was about how WE choose to speak up for Indigenous people and you applied that to Ms. Price in your comment!

    And it isn’t because you are criticising an Aboriginal woman, it’s about you basically saying she shouldn’t have agency to adopt a conservative view of politics and you pushed the idea onto someone else, that she believes her skin colour is why she thinks she is right and not her belief system.

    I think that plenty of Indigenous people will disagree with Ms. Price and plenty of others will agree, but I would be surprised if they also believed us white folk should tell them they can’t have free agency to choose their own politics and participate in debate, but should agree all the time.

  19. helvityni

    The last person here on AIM to be racist, is Kaye Lee. As for Jacinta ,I have seen her on the Drum few times, but have not been impressed with her views.

    Agree also with Terry’s last paragraph.

    Julie Bishop said something about how we always rush to help the neighbours in need ( re: rescuing the boys in Thailand).Could we also rehabilitate the lost black boys here, instead of just jailing them, and extend a helping hand to refugee children stranded,in despair and without hope, on some islands near us….

  20. Kaye Lee

    Ms Price is of course entitled to her own political beliefs. And, as with all politicians, I am entitled to crtitique those opinions. At NO stage have I stated or implied that she has no right to be a conservative. What I have said all along is that she offers no solutions. Personally, I think conservatives very rarely do, particularly in social matters.

    When you say it “was about how WE choose to speak”, who is we? Does it include the Aboriginal woman who made the comment? Does it include us all? Does it include Jacinta or does it not apply to her?

  21. Trish Corry

    The Indigenous woman leader who made that comment Kaye, was addressing us white women at a forum, about how we choose to raise Indigenous issues.

  22. Mick Byron

    I live in a region with a sizeable indigenous population and regularly speak to a young person heavily involved in indigenous youth work.
    They welcome the younger more outspoken voices like Jacinda Price regardless of her politics.
    Too long, according to her,the problem has been into the too hard basket.
    She points out that she has shame at the way the young are treated by her culture with some States having better than 50% of Indigenous kids in foster care or out of home care and physical/sexual abuse against kids six and a half times higher than non indigenous kids {her figures}
    These kids are from the electronics/social media age,not the corroboree and kangaroo skin campfire “ceremonial” traditional culture
    Maybe the answers lay in new fresh young eyes,not the traditional stereotyped and failed {obviously} ideas of protecting young indigenous people
    Maybe it is time for the youth to step up and take over from the entrenched older “elders” as little progress has occured.
    As an aside, I noticed the AIMN have little polls at the top of the screen ‘to get to know readers”
    Less than 10% of readers {from about 1500} were under 40 with a massive 75% over 60 and 75.
    Maybe readers are viewing with old set ideas and we need to encourage youth and even those under 40 to speak out,as their view don’t seem to align with a lot of comment here {I think about 1% of readers were under 30}
    just sayin’ 😀

  23. Kyran

    Jacinta Price is an unashamed assimilationist and has made the point many times. She has stated that cultural acknowledgement is best left to tokenistic ‘Welcome to Country’ and ‘Smoking ceremonies’, as, other than that, she sees little value in recognizing, let alone embracing our First People’s culture. I have never heard her comment on Bruce Pascoe’s “Dark Emu”, and strongly suspect she has never heard of Jared Diamond. Dr Venturini’s recent series on this site has likely escaped her rather limited attention. I have never heard her acknowledge, let alone accept, the reality that our First People’s culture, society and civilization has prevailed in one of the world’s most inhospitable environments for over 60,000 years. She seems to accept the ‘western’ notion that ‘white society’ (which looks like collapsing after a mere 3,000 years), based on little more than collections of fables presented as Holy Books, is, somehow, superior.
    In Ms Price’s neck of the woods, there is a place called ‘Don Dale’, where incarcerated juveniles were subjected to treatments that are defined in OPCAT protocols as torture. After the incidents were broadcast, there were cries of ‘shut it down’, resulting in a RC, with the original commissioner being dispensed with due to a blatant conflict of interest. Ms Price remains moot on the continuing abuse at Don Dale, which remains open in violation of our recent adoption of OPCAT protocols. She remains moot on the types of laws that allow children to be incarcerated, or their parents being incarcerated for non payment of fines. She remains moot on the age of incarceration being raised from 12.
    Twelve, FFS.
    She remains moot on this being the centerpiece of her, and her ilk’s, prescriptive remedy. She remains moot on the whole notion of inclusion and participation being a far more successful model.
    She is, likewise, moot on the history of the stolen generations, let alone the continuance of the practice. She has been, repeatedly, unable to provide one example of prohibition being an effective method to change dire circumstances, yet remains resolute in demanding the practice be continued. The only successful arbiter of change on a wholesale basis is education, and Ms Price remains resolutely in the camp that education is only ever about the ‘Three R’s’. She is yet to acknowledge that all of the ills suffered by our First People were introduced by the first boat people. I doubt she has even heard of the ‘Deadly Questions’ website, being an attempt to educate the ignorant, rather than chant meaningless slogans and mantras.
    You recently wrote a piece titled “We have forgotten what is important let alone how to fight for it.” in which you invoked the memories and legacies of great orators, including MLK. In a broad and simplistic way, this is as much a part of the same discussion in that autocratic edicts are not only outdated, they are dangerous. Ms Price gives voice to these edicts, but adds no substance to the conversation.
    If you search ‘Martin Luther King Alice Springs’ there is a plethora of articles about Mr King’s recent visit, ironically for ‘Reconciliation Week’. Turnbull’s legacy for our First People will likely be how any such discussion has been consigned to the ‘trash can’ since he trashed the aspiration of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. How could a nation possibly spend a week acknowledging reconciliation when our government has spent years ridiculing any such suggestion, instead demanding assimilation?
    As a guest at the Alice Springs ‘gatherings’, Martin Luther King III spoke of his father’s dream.
    “His vision was for change that was more revolutionary than mere reform: he cited systematic flaws of “racism, poverty, militarism and materialism”, and argued that “reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced.”
    Speaking on a visit to Alice Springs, Martin Luther King III said Australia’s Indigenous people were worse off than when he first visited the country two decades ago.
    “For some reason, there’s been this desire to re-oppress people who are already oppressed,” he said.
    “Here I am 20 years later, and I don’t see much has changed. In fact, I’m greatly disappointed in what I’ve seen in how the First Nations people are treated.”
    In another article on news.com on the visit, there was a simple observation that ‘cuts to the chase’, as it were.
    “The human rights activist son of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr has criticised Australia over its treatment Aboriginal people, saying he is disappointed in the lack of progress since his last visit 20 years ago.
    Martin Luther King III highlighted the poverty and disadvantage many Aboriginals endure, citing the controversial Whitegate/Irrkerlantye community town camp at Alice Springs that has no water or reliable power.
    He said it was not a good look that the dominant central building in Alice Springs was the Supreme Court and Australia’s First Nations people were locked up more than those of any other nation on Earth.
    Youth crime and alcohol abuse are major problems in the town.
    “When I went to Whitegate I was told that they have no water, the water has been turned off,” Mr King said at a Reconciliation Week event in Alice Springs, hosted by the local Arrente Nation.
    “I just want to ask how do you justify mistreating human beings who really were here first, before anyone?
    “I don’t know why any of us can stand here today and feel good about … the mistreatment of human beings on a consistent basis.””
    In the two decades between his visits, the government has built a new shrine to the inequality. Alice Springs ‘dominant central building’ is the Supreme Court, the very epitome of the inequality, given the treatment meted out to our First People by our legal system.
    Until such time as we realise that the struggle for justice and equality for our First People, our disenfranchised and disempowered workers, our youth, our sisters (who will spend a lifetime working hard for no greater reward than ‘catching up’), our asylum seekers, our unemployed, our aged, our sick, our uneducated, our poor, our homeless, all of the groups our politicians, the wealthy and our corporate gods ruthlessly ignore, is the SAME STRUGGLE, we will continue to discuss them in isolation, as if one struggle for justice and equality is somehow different to any other.
    Similarly, we are now in an age where ‘celebrity’ appears to be an occupation, defined as much by ‘notoriety’ as by merit. I’m starting to think that is why conversations constantly spring up about the latest idiotic mutterings of imbeciles such as Price, Bolt, Leyonhelm, etc, whilst ignoring the substantive and far more important conversations about what changes we want and how do we go about achieving them.
    This is not an equal society. Until such time as equality is the centerpiece of the discussion, rather than the identity of the group that is today’s ‘sujet du jour’, we can only hope to occasionally placate our troubled collective conscience with romantic recollections of the way we were.
    In the days of Martin Luther King II, Robert (and John) Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Doc’ Evatt, Gough Whitlam, etc, we had orators that made aspiration a noble objective, expressed succinctly and concisely. They never resiled from telling us what they considered was important or how to fight for it. Take a look around the world at what is on offer as ‘leadership’ today. It is no surprise we are where we are.
    Ironically, Danny Glover is out here at the moment for NAIDOC week and appears to be sponsored by unions, who see the issues of our First People as being the same as union’s struggles.
    “We have to support the Uluru statement from the heart and we have to work to find the ways of justice. No justice no peace,” he said.
    “The 72-year-old actor also spoke of the importance of using the unions as “allies” to achieve change.
    “Unions have always been allies in our struggles for justice. We have to find our allies not only to build but to change and to bring our First Nations people into our struggle for justice.”
    Ms Price is a symptom, not the disease. Her tawdry pursuit of celebrity or notoriety should be measured against the likes of Amy McQuire, Natalie Cromb, Teela Reid or any of the wondrous ‘Aunties’ who have been integral to genuine thought, genuine action and genuine change, however glacial the progress.
    I don’t think Aboriginality is a precursor to being right, any more than I think gender, wealth or power dictates intelligence, let alone superiority.
    My apologies for the rant. However, linking the two articles is not a tenuous link. We haven’t forgotten what is important and we are still learning new ways to fight for it. Our First People’s struggle is in that melting pot, but it is not exclusive. Ms Price deserves to have her voice and Bolt will likely interview her again. If you want to watch or discuss it, fair play to you.
    I won’t.
    Thankyou Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  24. Kaye Lee

    Thanks for your thoughts Kyran. Interesting as always.


    “we need to encourage youth and even those under 40 to speak out,”

    Absolutely. I agree. But we need their ideas, not just hand wringing. There are many young people doing great work at the moment in many areas. Practical things that are making a real difference. I do not think Jacinta is one of them.


    I agree with her advice and think it should apply to everyone, not just the white women at the forum.

  25. Matters Not

    Re Mick Byron and:

    points out that she has shame at the way the young are treated by her culture with some States having better than 50% of Indigenous kids in foster care or out of home care and physical/sexual abuse against kids six and a half times higher than non indigenous kids

    About 5% of the Queensland population is Aboriginal, yet more than 40% of Queensland children in care (broadly defined) are Aboriginal.

    In an era where Social Workers are very conscious of the stolen generation(s) and are extremely reluctant to separate children from birth parents the bells ought to be ringing. But I’ve been around this issue for decades and I know that it generates more heat than light – the cashless welfare card (favoured by many Aboriginal women) is but one example. As I understand it Ms Price sees value in the Card, but apparently that does not fit the definition of ‘solution’. One wonders what does. And where that definition is to be found.

  26. Kaye Lee

    There is no credible evidence that the cashless welfare card has helped and a hell of a lot to say it hasn’t. You don’t teach people responsibility by taking it away from them. It does nothing to identify or ameliorate the underlying problems. A coroner’s inquest into the suicide of 13 Aboriginal children in WA was told “It has become a symbol of not having control over one’s life and of state intervention over people’s lives.”

    This document provides suggestions.


    “The fundamental goal of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle is to enhance and preserve Aboriginal children’s connection to family and community and sense of identity and culture. In child protection legislation, policy and practice, the Principle has often been conceptualised as a placement hierarchy “guide” for Aboriginal children who are not able to remain in the care of their parents. In general, placement priorities in descending order start with:

    within family and kinship networks;
    non-related carers in the child’s community; then
    carers in another Aboriginal community.

    If no other suitable placement with Aboriginal carers can be sought, children are placed with non-Indigenous carers as a last resort, provided they are able to maintain the child’s connections to their family, community and cultural identity. However this demonstrates a limited understanding and only partial application of the Principle across Australia.

    …there is a misperception that the Principle is only about a placement hierarchy for out of home care, the [Principle], however is not just about where or with whom an Aboriginal child is placed. Placement in out of home care is one of a range of interventions to protect an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child at risk of harm. The history and intention of the Child Placement Principle is about keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children connected to their family, community, culture and country.”


    If we are to keep children safe, then we have to understand why they are in danger and what we can do to help parents before it comes to that stage.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Well said, Kyran. Fantastic comment.

  28. Matters Not


    There is no credible evidence that the cashless welfare card has helped

    Perhaps the key word is credible but assuming an open mind and affording some credibility to the researchers, here’s some findings”

    The final evaluation report was released on 1 September 2017.

    The evaluation found that the cashless debit card has had a “considerable positive impact” in the two trial communities of Ceduna and the East Kimberley.

    It concluded that the Cashless Debit Card trial “has been effective in reducing alcohol consumption and gambling in both trial sites and [is] also suggestive of a reduction in the use of illegal drugs” and “that there is some evidence that there has been a consequential reduction in violence and harm related to alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling”.

    Key findings from the report include:

    •Alcohol – of participants who reported that they do drink alcohol, 41 per cent of participants reported drinking alcohol less frequently, while 37 per cent of participants reported binge drinking less frequently.

    •Gambling – of participants who reported they do gamble, 48 per cent of participants reported gambling less.

    •Drug use – of participants who reported using illegal drugs before the program commenced, 48 per cent reported using illegal drugs less often.

    The evaluation also found “widespread spill-over benefits” from the card:

    •Of the trial participants surveyed, 40 per cent said they were better able to look after their children.

    •45 per cent of trial participants have been better able to save money

    •Feedback that there had been a decrease in requests for emergency food relief and financial assistance in Ceduna

    •Merchant reports of increased purchases of baby items, food, clothing, shoes, toys and other goods for children

    •Considerable observable evidence being cited by many community leaders and stakeholders of a reduction in crime, violence and harmful behaviours over the duration of the trial.


    As I said above, the issue causes people to dig in and rarely is any consensus reached. But to suggest there is no credible evidence is a bit of a stretch.


    As for:

    You don’t teach people responsibility by taking it away from them

    Sometimes you do. Otherwise we need to rethink our whole system of correction. Return all suspended licences, open the prison doors, etc.

    It’s the real world of which I speak.

  29. helvityni

    …and I second that ,Michael.

  30. Trish Corry


    I agree with her advice and think it should apply to everyone, not just the white women at the forum.*

    I don’t feel comfortable telling a well respected, highly intelligent, successful Indigenous woman leader, that her advice to non-Indigenous people that:

    “If we are going to speak up for Indigenous people, first ask Indigenous people if what we want to speak up about, is in their interest.”

    Should also be applied to Indigenous people. It’s the entire problem I have with the headline, the article and your comments.

    She is explicitly stating we should not speak FOR Indigenous people without checking if it is something they want us to speak up about.

    You are making the assumption that Ms Prices arguments don’t deserve a voice or debate by an Indigenous woman with a lifetime of her own experience, for other Indigenous people to debate in their own space! Why? Because you disagree with her solutions (or even state she does not have solutions). You have chosen to make an example of her. (In “Because of her we can” week, I might add!)

    There are plenty of highly intelligent First Nations women, who actively combat ideas they disagree with. Please follow the women Kyran referred to in his comments.

    If the First Nations voice in parliament is passed, then we might see a different type of political voice we are currently deaf to. I’m sure in that, will come a variety of opinions not everyone will agree with.

    As for your comments re: Cashless welfare, there are four communities in Cape York who have designed, owned and operate a targeted cashless welfare program that they report is successful – for their communities. The key here is developed, owned and operated by them.

    Each community is different. That is why a range of views is important and it’s not up to us (white folk) to decide what is or is not important, what voices should be heard or what solutions we think there should be.

    It’s the problem we have in the first place.

  31. Michael Taylor

    I have met and spoken with hundreds of Indigenous people – if not thousands – and I would argue that Ms Price does not speak for any of them.

  32. Kaye Lee

    “we should not speak FOR Indigenous people without checking if it is something they want us to speak up about.”

    Absolutely. That’s the point.

    Here is what some of the Aboriginal community have to say about Ms Price…

    “You need to know that Jacinta Price tries to speak on behalf of Aboriginal people. Even though she now claims that she doesn’t, she continues to make blanket statements on behalf of many Aboriginal people. For example: “Aboriginal people in remote communities aren’t concerned about Australia Day”. This is a blanket statement that was proved wrong in a video posted by Children’s Ground who are working in town camps outside of Alice Springs.”

    She said the 2008 apology to Australia’s Indigenous people had not changed things for the better. Perhaps that is true to a degree in practical terms, but it had an emotional significance for many that has not only helped healing but has led to many more conversations about self-empowerment and personal agency.

    She is absolutely entitled to voice her opinions. I have not in any way suggested she should not be allowed to express them. But you seem to be suggesting they should be immune from critique.

    Re the cashless welfare card…

    “But it’s a success. A report by Orima Research to the federal government is said to say so. Leaked to a compliant media organisation and then released on September 1 by the human service minister Alan Tudge, the report is said to have found positive health and social outcomes “almost without precedent”. Forty-five per cent of the of the users surveyed found they were better at saving. Less publicised was that 50 per cent found they were not. Twenty-three per cent said it had made their life better. Less publicised was that 42 per cent said it had made their lives worse.

    Forty per cent said they could better look after their children. Less publicised was that 48 per cent said they could not. The negative responses are brave, given the design of the survey. Social researcher Eva Cox found that the interviewers offered $30 and $50 gift cards in return for asking the questions. They recorded IDs. Given the presence of an authority figure, almost all of those interviewed said they didn’t didn’t drink or take drugs or gamble to excess to start with, which makes it hard to know how to read their assurances that they were doing less.

    …the interim report found there had been an increase in domestic violence orders.”


    Not all agree that the Cape York trial has been a success either as Noel Pearson writes….

    “Meanwhile the Palaszczuk government has appointed Sarra as the chief bureaucrat in charge of its Aboriginal affairs agency. The future of our welfare reform agenda will be challenged. Sarra has been a critic of the Cape York Welfare Reform for 10 years now. He never supported sending kids to boarding schools. He does not support intervention and his appointment sends a clear signal about where Palaszczuk and Indigenous Affairs Minister Jackie Trad stand.”

  33. Trish Corry

    Jesus Kaye. You don’t get it. Obviously you don’t either, Michael.

  34. Michael Taylor

    I resent that allegation, Trish. I really do. It reeks of ignorance.

    You have no idea or knowledge of my involvement with Aboriginal people. Full stop.

  35. Kaye Lee

    I will add, I love the theme for NAIDOC week. “Because of her we can” has reminded me of some amazing Aboriginal women in my own life.

  36. Joseph Carli

    I’d love to see you in action, Kaye..I bet you’re one of those real, tight, “shoulder-huggers”..you know..; the right arm around the shoulder there..a big squeeze and grip..and you lean down and say; “I SO admire you…I really do..you’re amazing!”….God..I’d like to see you in action…

  37. Trish Corry

    Really Michael? But speaking for Indigenous people is not ignorant? That’s Kaye’s argument (dressed up in 10,000 excuses) you are backing.

  38. Kaye Lee


    This is personal for me. I was born in a country town in NSW that had an Aboriginal settlement outside town. My family owned the local pub. Aborigines weren’t allowed in but that didn’t stop us selling them alcohol through the back door. At the local cinema, Aborigines had to sit in a special section down the front.

    My grandmother, with whom we lived, had an Aboriginal housekeeper who was nanny to all we kids. We loved her so much. We though it a treat to be able to sit at the kitchen table to have our meals with her, not realising she was not permitted to sit at the dining table.

    This Day Tonight came to our town to do a story on the drunkenness and violence in the Aboriginal community. They then wanted to interview my nanny as the other side of the story. She refused to take a council house and she and her husband built their own shanty. She was hugely respected by the whole community and no Aboriginal kid would EVER speak back to her. She refused to be interviewed because she felt the program was showing her people in a bad light.

    When I took my prospective husband home to meet her, we went out to the mission only to find a huge drinking session underway. They threw bottles at us and two young guys got in our car demanding we drive them in to town. I drove into town and found Clarice and she gave those two young guys an absolute tongue lashing. We drove her home and she asked me to take my partner away because she didn’t want him seeing people behaving badly and judging her community.

    I was too young to understand the discrimination that surrounded me when I was little. I am horrified looking back.

    Clarice was a very proud woman and rightly so. For her, and so many others who have helped me, I will keep trying to do better.



  39. Mick Byron

    Matters Not
    July 15, 2018 at 11:18 am
    “The evaluation found that the cashless debit card has had a “considerable positive impact” in the two trial communities of Ceduna and the East Kimberley’
    I personally am not a supporter of the cashless card,but then again it doesn’t affect me.
    The same young indigenous woman I spoke to is however.
    She’s seen her “aunties” bashed senseless on dole day the money taken and the booze purchased and the “aunties and cousins” be without food or the ability to pay for anything while the “uncles” spend days in drunken stupor with ongoing fights and abuse {some sexual}
    The welfare card, to her family has meant food on the table,bills paid, kids having the ability to go to school etc
    I guess its a “walk a mile in their shoes” before being too judgmental,having no personal experience of the ramifications of the card,or the benefit if any.
    Her response to me was “sometimes you do gooders do more damned harm when you don’t consider the consequences”.

  40. Michael Taylor

    Really Michael? But speaking for Indigenous people is not ignorant? That’s Kaye’s argument (dressed up in 10,000 excuses) you are backing.

    What the f#ck are you talking about, Trish?

    Do you want to know something? I have only read a handful of comments on this thread: Brett’s, Kyran’s, and your accusation towards me.

    I make an innocent comment based on my years spent on Aboriginal communities and in Aboriginal affairs, and you make a personal and offensive accusation towards me. And now you say I am siding with people.

    Do not attack me or my credentials again.

  41. Kaye Lee


    Rather than inflicting it on every welfare recipient in a certain postcode, don’t you think it would be more effective if it was targeted at those who need it or voluntary and combined with some education on budgeting?

    It’s impossible to use the card to pay for bus fares, school lunches, or goods bought from other members of the community. It’s impossible to send gifts of money. And it’s darn near impossible to wade through its 80 pages of conditions. Anyone who succeeds will find they’ve agreed to hand over their entire transaction history to the Commonwealth, not that they have any choice.

    Many aren’t used to handling cards. Many are unable to use the app that allows them to check their balance – one in every seven transactions are declined which adds to humiliation.

    There might be a better way?

  42. paul walter

    Fancy relying on cooked reports about the efficacy of the cashless welfare card from stooges?


  43. paul walter

    More arrogance than ignorance, Michael.

  44. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee July 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm
    “There might be a better way?”

    There may well be.I said earlier I didn’t support the cashless card but on listening to the young indigenous woman who works within her community {July 15, 2018 at 12:59 pm} and her response it has made me stop and reflect
    I’m willing to consider those who live it,not just my impression on whether it is acceptable.

  45. Mick Byron

    paul walter
    July 15, 2018 at 1:23 pm
    Now I’m curious, what cooked reports?
    You have personal experience of use of the cashless card that you could enlighten me and my young indigenous friend on?

  46. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    Excellent critique – Not all First Nation people agree with each other over everything – it does happen.

    Cannot believe some of the comments here.

    I guess criticising Tim Wilson makes a person homophobic.

  47. Kaye Lee

    If she works in the community, she isn’t having the welfare card inflicted on her. I am not for one moment suggesting there aren’t problems.

    When I said, you don’t teach responsibility by taking it away, MN responded “we need to rethink our whole system of correction. Return all suspended licences, open the prison doors, etc.”. To me, this equates people on welfare with those who have committed some sort of crime. All welfare recipients need someone else to control and manage their affairs.

    Offer the support that the individual needs. That’s what we don’t do. We don’t even try to understand their problems by imposing a cashless welfare card. it is such a bandaid cure for much deeper problems. We need to be proactive in forestalling the problems, not reactive to their consequences.

  48. Kaye Lee


    Re the report, I refer you to my comment at 12:14 which shows the findings the minister chose not to highlight and the questions about how the survey was conducted. I think that may be what paul is referring to.

  49. paul walter

    Of course not you…certain others with less developed consciences.

  50. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, spot on.

  51. Egalitarian

    I don’t always agree with Kaye though when the mention of those 2 shysters Mark Latham and Warren Mundine you know they have found their Patsy in Jacinta Price.

  52. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee
    July 15, 2018 at 1:47 pm
    I may be an opinionated old white bloke but on issues , I’m quite willing tyo defer to this young indigenous woman who works with at risk you people within her community and just happens to be a direct decendent of Percy Mumbler,the last king of the Wallaga Lake tribe, and from her telling and experiences,a pretty broad knowledge of issues nationally
    She is a well versed young woman and I’m sure she understands her culture and issues better than this old white bloke

  53. Kaye Lee

    “I don’t always agree with Kaye ”

    No-one on the planet does. I also change my mind as I learn more things. Differing opinions are fine by me. It makes us explain our case better and refine it by considering points that others bring up.

  54. Kaye Lee


    I don’t like the term defer. I listen to everybody. We do better when we combine the knowledge and experience and suggestions of all. As one Indigenous Affairs Minister once infamously said, no-one is the suppository of all wisdom.

    You have ignored my suggestions about addressing individual need and underlying causes to keep telling me that one person you know says it’s good. Perhaps she may have opinions on how it could be improved for the majority of users who don’t think it is good. How can it be refined and targeted better?

    PS Being white doesn’t preclude you from thinking about the problem and how we might do better. But rather than imposing control. shouldn’t we be aiming to enable them to take control? Being grateful to have food for breakfast is a start I suppose but it is shooting pretty low dontcha think?

  55. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee.
    I think I’ll just drop out of this story now 😀
    I may have based almost all my info on what was told to me by one young Indigenous woman but did I miss something?
    Wasn’t your whole article based on the opinions and mouthings of ONE individual also?

  56. Matters Not

    Mick Byron, dropping out is probably a good idea because no-one is for the turning – as I pointed out some time ago.

  57. Max Gross

    Two things: poverty and lack of education. Black or White, nothing improves unless those issues are addressed.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Why drop out? Why not take part in the discussion? Yes the article was about one individual’s opinions. Once again, that is the point. There are very differing opinions in the Indigenous community. If we don’t all keep listening to each other, if it becomes somehow forbidden to talk about pros and cons of different approaches, how can we hope to progress? I am not dismissing the view and experience of the young lady you are quoting in any way. Can’t we build on it? Do we dismiss the many voices who disagree – people who are living the experience?


    They are two of the main problems, I agree. The way we address them and improve them may be different for different communities and individuals?


    I can be turned by a convincing argument backed up by credible evidence that doesn’t cherry-pick the good bits. I remain unconvinced that a postcode is the best criterion for judging the best approach to assist individuals.

  59. paul walter

    Wake up Mick. They are Uncle Toms.

  60. Joseph Carli

    Indigenous politics may best be left for those deeply invested in and with indigenous cultural knowledge to sort through toward their own interpretive outcome..but one thing they would best be advised against is letting the white middle-class political wankers get their nosey inquisitiveness and messy hands on it…if there was anything they could f#ck-up , they will!

  61. Kaye Lee

    That would be great Joseph. They were fending quite well for themselves before we Europeans came along. Unfortunately, since we took everything, they do not have the wealth or power to just sort it out for themselves. They certainly should advise us and be, as far as possible, the administrators of community action, but that would require us giving some respect to their voice and some assistance to act on their recommendations.

    We can leave them to their own devices as our governments cut off services to remote communities. We can leave them to their own devices as frontline legal aid services close down. We can leave them to their own devices as ideologues decide that direct instruction and standardised testing is the real measure of education and that we need more truancy officers and that children must be sent away to boarding school. We can leave them to their own devices as we quarantine their income. We can leave them to their own devices as their children are tortured in custody.

    We think that men will stop beating women because they offer up 20% of their income in protection money? Is that the idea? Will they not beat them for that cash? Do we think substance abuse will just stop because, hey, I can’t go to the local? Or should we think a little deeper about what is required – like regional rehab centres and emergency refuges and family healing farms. Sure we will still need jails but it is a shit load cheaper and more productive in every way if we can avoid it.

    They can no more sort it out for themselves than you or I can. As you will hear many Aboriginal activists say, we need to bring the white community along with us. We can’t do it alone.

    And I get back to, why are all welfare recipients in a certain postcode subject to income management? That’s a crap way to do it. There is no recognition of those who are doing the right thing and no incentive for others to emulate them.

  62. Mick Byron

    paul walterJuly 15, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    “Wake up Mick. They are Uncle Toms.”

    I had to return to respond to this low life comment , bloody despicable and just shows your capabilities.
    The young woman I was mentioning is a direct decendent of a deceased local king of an indigenous tribe in the region who was held in high esteem by all sections of the community.
    The young woman herself works tirelessly for the betterment of the indigenous community in our region.
    Then, along comes a low life idiot like you who brands her an “uncle Tom”
    what a scumbag !!

  63. Kaye Lee

    I dislike labels too. We all help as we can. We need conversation about ideas and experience of what works and what doesn’t, not division and animosity.

  64. Mick Byron

    I apologise to others for my outburst, however some people with derogatory comments as the one do nothing but put down a young indigenous woman who has worked tirelessly for her community, been the recipient of Awards for such and has a clown brand her an “uncle Tom”

  65. paul walter

    Your apology is not accepted.

    Having reread the thread starter and being familiar with the Warren Mundine types and the woman featured in this opener on ABC (ie The Drum), I find absolutely nothing in your hysterical bout of histrionics that has me in the slightest likely to alter my impressions as expressed earlier, BUT actually increased confirmation as to my agreement with the writer and thus the doubts expressed in the thread starter.

    You should seek counselling.

  66. Lorraine Muller

    Trish, you seem happy enough to speak on behalf of Indigenous women who you claim like the welfare cards (that cost approx $13,000 to be administered by a private company). It is funny that on my side of the fence, I have not heard any Indigenous card holders who think that its one-size fits all is a good idea. I have heard there are lots of issues with the cards as well.

  67. Kaye Lee

    One of my real problems with Ms Price is that she blames her culture for the problems they are facing. There may be some truth in that but I would suggest that the clash of the two cultures is a contributing factor.

    In one breath, Jacinta blames porn for sexual violence, and in the next talks about the widespread cultural practice of child marriages and genital mutilation. Porn isn’t part of Aboriginal culture and I am not so sure child marriages are as widespread as she would have us believe.

    When former Northern Territory minister John Elferink gave evidence before the royal commission into the protection and detention of children, he was asked by the commission what issues he would like to raise “in relation to the child protection policies, priorities, or practices of the government”.

    Instead he answered that he was extremely concerned about traditional practices of forced marriages of underage girls, and genital mutilation of boys in Indigenous communities.

    The commissioner Margaret White said the inquiry was extremely concerned they may have missed in their investigations a child abuse practice which Elferink was now saying was widespread, and asked for his evidence.

    Mick Gooda said he and White had spoken to many members of Indigenous communities but “not once has this been brought to our attention”, despite an evident willingness for the communities to make changes and take more responsibility for child safety.

    Dr Peggy Dwyer, representing the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, suggested Elferink had no evidence of the practice continuing.

    “Beyond knowing that the practice has been present in the Northern Territory for tens of thousands of years, the assumption that I make is the practice has continued up and beyond the point of the last trial held in relation to this matter,” he said.

    “I suggest to you that you took the opportunity to demonise the Aboriginal community like you did on so many other occasions when you were minister,” said Dwyer.


    If Ms Price is aware of this continuing, why has she not contacted the RC?

    She says “We must acknowledge what within our own culture is detrimental to us finding solutions to our own problems, and work out what changes we must make to move forward.” Fair enough, but we never get to the “how” part.

  68. Karen Ingold

    “Mick Gooda said he and White had spoken to many members of Indigenous communities but “not once has this been brought to our attention”, despite an evident willingness for the communities to make changes and take more responsibility for child safety.”

    When later asked whether they had specifically mentioned the issues of forced marriage etc, they replied they “had not wanted to bring it up”…

  69. Mick Byron

    paul walter
    July 15, 2018 at 10:40 pm
    What sort of goose are you, the apology was in no way directed to you.
    You’d have to be a moron to interpret it that way or as thick as a brick and twice as dense

  70. Kaye Lee


    Can you provide a link to verify that?

    Or are you referring to “Elferink suggested the commissioners hadn’t asked the specific question” and just misquoting?

  71. Lorraine Muller

    Ahh. The issue of forced and unerage marriage is raised again.
    It seems as though the non-Indigenous practices of child brides has been forgotten and instead projected onto Aboriginal culture. A quick Google seach of the ABC online news site delivers an article on the changes to marriage laws in Australia (mainstream Australia). It was only recently that the marriage age was raised from something like 12 (for girls). This is in living memory. As for forced marriage – there are numerous accounts of shotgun weddings or, especially in the aristocracy, arranged marriage. This is not an Aboriginal issue, but one of the Western legal system. If it did happen in Aboriginal culture, please remember that it was enshrined in the British based laws of mainstream Australia.

    From the journal accounts of Europeans early in the colonisation process, Aboriginal children were protected and rarely even cried and they were cared for by the whole community. The punishment for harming a child was harsh and could even be death. On the other hand, at the same time the British were jailing and deporting kids who stole to eat, they were sending little kids down mines. Orphan kids were used in medical experiments – look up who Jenner tried the smallpox vaccine on. It was an orphaned boy.
    Please stop projecting non-Indigenous mainstream Australian cultural historical practices onto Indigenous Australians.

  72. Kaye Lee

    Let’s not forget the passage in the book, “Pauline Hanson: The Truth”

    “They killed and ate their own women and children and occasionally their men. The older women were often killed for eating purposes, like livestock.”

    Pauline tells it like it is…..rolls eyes.

  73. DrakeN

    Indeed, Kaye, if you are uncomfortable with facts, vote PHON.

    (Unfortunately, so very many folk dislike having their firm convictions undermined by reality.)

  74. Kaye Lee

    ” the marriageable age in Australian states and territories was the same as the age of consent: 14 for men and 12 for women. However, in 1942, Tasmania raised the marriageable age for men to 18 and for women to 16; Western Australia followed suit in 1956 and South Australia in 1957.”

  75. Joseph Carli


    Nineteenth century:
    In the mid-1800s, awareness of child sexual abuse was increasing. Some government inquiries found
    that child prostitution and sexual abuse were common in some Australian settlements, particularly
    Sydney. These were attributed primarily to the cramped living conditions in the new colonies
    .During this period, social welfare organisations began raising awareness of child prostitution.The government
    continued to be ambivalent about assuming responsibility for providing child welfare and ‘protection’ services.
    Issues of child sexual abuse were rarely raised unless there were associated issues involving physical
    abuse or neglect.
    In the second half of the nineteenth century, early feminists and moral purity groups campaigned in
    Australia to have the age of consent raised from 13 to 16 years.

    New South Wales
    raised the age of consent to 14 years

    Western Australia
    raised the age of consent to 14 years

    raised the age of consent to 14 years

    1885: South Australia raised the age of
    consent to 16 years

    1891: Victoria raised the age of consent to 16 years

  76. Kaye Lee


    There seems to be some discrepancies from different sources.

    This was written by the Attorney General, Sir Garfield Barwick, in 1962. He was the one who drafted the 1961 legislation.

    “In Australia, except in Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia, the common law position as to age of marriage still obtains: the age at which a person is capable of giving a consent to and of contracting marriage is twelve in the case of a female and fourteen in the case of a male.”


    In 1960 there were 340 girls under the age of 16 who got married and a further 5,045 aged 16 or 17.

  77. Joseph Carli

    Well, you know….Garfield Barwick..?….I wouldn’t trust that bastard with a bible and a bottle of “white-out” !
    And you know he was educated at Fort Street High school…the same place as Sir John Kerr…..and they have BOTH been proved wrong since!

  78. Kaye Lee

    Ummmm….he was the guy who wrote the legislation. This isn’t a matter of opinion. And Fort Street High School is a public school..

  79. Joseph Carli

    Still a “prestigious” high school….Kerr won a scholarship to go there…

    “Much of the colonial legislation related to criminal matters essentially implemented recent British statutes. In 1845, for instance, the Crimes Act followed England’s lead in repealing the use of the death penalty in relation to a number of minor offences, particularly various forms of malicious damage to property. Following an international panic about juvenile prostitution and white slavery in 1885, South Australia was the first colony to emulate England in raising the age of consent from thirteen to sixteen years of age, and to make it an offence to procure a female to become a common prostitute or enter a brothel.”

    South Australian Courts

    Ummmm….just admit it..that’s all…just admit it..

  80. Kaye Lee


    Just admit what? Should I read the law journal and the country’s highest legal officer and the man who was writing the legislation specifically because of the many varying laws that existed at that time, or some newspaper articles? He was quoting the law. Perhaps others were discussing the debate. Perhaps marriage law was different to age of consent? I’m not sure but I would not dismiss Barwick’s reading of the law so blithely.

    And you may not be aware that all students at public high schools could sit for a Commonwealth scholarship. I did. Was that what Kerr received? Perhaps it was something else. Can you show me the source of that please? Fort Street was “prestigious” because money couldn’t buy you a position there – you had to be smart enough.

    We seem to have strayed a little. Is your point that there has always been child sex abuse?

  81. Joseph Carli


  82. Kaye Lee

    That trove article is so sad….

    “Their latest game is to work up an. agitation in favor of raising the ‘ age of consent ‘ from 14 to, at least, 18 years !

    We do not hesitate to denounce such a proposal as an outrage against Nature and rational religion, as well as against sound health and good public morals. In a country like this, where the age of puberty is reached as often at 14 as not — where, in addition to a fervent sun, the blood is heated and the passions early aroused by an outrageously carnivorous diet, to make the ‘ age of consent ‘ 18 instead of 14 is a dastardly proposal, fraught with danger to the peace and safety of society.

    In nine cases out of ten a native-born Australian female at 14 is as much, if not more, of a woman at that age than an English or Scandanavian woman at 20. Nowhere within the limits of the British Empire, outside India, is female puberty so precocious as in New South Wales Queensland, and other parts of Australia.”

    Seems to me the danger for Indigenous girls came as much from, if not way more from, white men, then and probably now.

  83. Kaye Lee

    I’m sorry. I do not know what segueyer means….???

  84. Joseph Carli

    Nah…probably not…..but I’ll leave you think on it….

  85. Kaye Lee

    Do you mean I have moved from one topic to another (she asks with furrowed brow)? I have been going where you led me. I find myself now in the state of confusion.

  86. Lorraine Muller

    Kay Lee,
    You have got it in “Seems to me the danger for Indigenous girls came as much from, if not way more from, white men, then and probably now.”

  87. paul walter

    As the white truck drivers on the way in or out of isolated communities would probably confirm.

    I don’t get Joseph Carli..we are lead way off the beaten track as to this too.

  88. Joseph Carli

    Some of you might find this interesting in regards to the cultural clash between the early settlers and the indigenous peoples along the Murray River..I came across it while researching some …I think it is called ; “white-bread contemporary history” by someone…can’t quite recall their name..no matter..they can’t be important…but it was about that young indigenous man I wrote of in my last article : “Das Testament”..Do you remember it, Kaye?…I’m sure you do, wanting to keep up on events and all that..but anyway..here is the link..it is a long article in an old paper but well worth the time…From 1841..so it was in the very early days of SA. settlement….Oh..if you want more information on the lead-up to the event, just call me…

    Paul…you got to have patience, mate…patience..

  89. Kaye Lee

    Instead of the barbs and jibes, maybe you could make a point?

  90. Joseph Carli

    ” Instead of the barbs and jibes, maybe you could make a point?”….In my trade of carpentry, there is a “set-in-stone” saying..; ‘Measure twice – cut once’…You want a point?..; ‘Research twice – comment once’…and please…keep your drones under control.

  91. Kaye Lee

    Joseph, I don’t think anyone wants to read us bickering. Do you have anything to add to the discussion about the problems facing Aboriginal communities, Ms Price’s assertion that it is the fault of her culture, or the pros and cons of various approaches to address Indigenous disadvantage?

  92. Joseph Carli

    Call me Joe…

  93. Kaye Lee

    I will if you will…..

    I feel compelled to tell a story about my father who was a teacher but who earned more money playing football than he did teaching. One day, the ref called him over to caution him. “Mr Lee” the ref began. My father interrupted “You can call me Jack.” The ref sent him off for being a smartarse.

  94. paul walter

    What am I a doctor? Gotta have patience..come on, why the snippy, you’re beginning to sound like one or two others who turned up on this thread.

  95. Paul Davis

    As Telly Savalas explained to Norman Gunston, it’s all about ego.

    AIMN commentary starting to look like the Guardian …. where’s Tim of Altona?

  96. Kaye Lee

    I think the Conversation summed up the debate well….

    “There are various explanations as to why rates of domestic and family violence are more prevalent in Indigenous communities. Many accept that the impact of colonisation, ongoing trauma from the displacement of Indigenous people from their traditional lands and kinship groups, the removal of children from their families, and the ongoing negative relationship between Indigenous people and the criminal justice system have all contributed to heightened levels of violence.

    For others, the low expectations that mainstream society has for Indigenous Australians, the high rates of unemployment and poverty, and substance misuse are more likely explanations.”

    There is truth in both sides. We can’t deal with one without acknowledging the other. Causes and consequences. The question is how do we fix it?

  97. Meg

    A lot of middle-class babyboomer whities arguing over what they think is best for our Koori cousins. Improvements must be measurable, such as mortality rates, and academic results. The first to go, of the entire useless status quo should be the condescending, crass and tedious “acknowledgement” announcement at the start of most public gatherings. “We acknowledge the original custodians of this land, thanks very much – our property values are doing quite well. PS You’re not getting it back.” Tilt heads, clap politely. On with the show.

  98. Kaye Lee

    I’ve often wondered about how people feel about that Meg. I have been forced to do it at the beginning of many meetings and I have always felt uncomfortable about it. We waste so many words and follow through with so little action. It’s like the Lords Prayer to start parliament just before they hurl abuse at each other and lie and obfuscate purely for their personal advantage.

    I am a white baby boomer, probably middle-class. I get that people are sick of us saying what can we do to help as my generation lap up the advantages we have. But Aboriginal people cannot bring about change without the help of the wider community. So do we discuss what to do or be quiet and hope it all works out?’ Do we put our voices behind the Uluru Statement or is that presumptuous? More practically, we must help in service provision and training locals to provide it.

  99. Brett

    Uncle Tom is a racial slur.
    Paul Walter is a racist.

  100. Kaye Lee

    Brett, I have heard Warren Mundine’s relatives call him a potato. I have heard Lee Rhiannon be referred to as a watermelon. I don’t like such labels. But I don’t think paul is a racist by any stretch of the imagination.

  101. Mick Byron

    I agree, but don’t expect to much response from “the club”

  102. Kaye Lee

    There is no club, or any drones, or any co-ordinated attack or defence of anything or anyone. I get so sick of that. it really belittles the commenters here to think they are under some form of control or groupthink rather than just expressing their opinions. We don’t all agree. But we do better when we throw ideas around rather than insults,

    I am not sure how many times I need to say I don’t like those terms for you to think I have made a response.

    I think perhaps my headline has given a meaning I didn’t intend. I’m not sure.

    But one thing I am sure of, if I wanted to read people getting cross with each other, I would be on Facebook or twitter. I come here to learn, not argue.

  103. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    About the heading… depends on source.

    If Andrew Bolt or Pauline Hanson – then I would be 100% sure racism is about to rear its ugly head.

    From Kaye Lee?

    I know I am going to read something carefully reasoned and based on available facts. Also, Kaye Lee has never in all the time I have read her blogs posted anything remotely racist – quite the opposite.

    Although, for yours truly, the available and stand-out facts are Warren Mundine and Mark Latham as cronies of Jacinta. As well as what Jacinta has claimed about her people – ALL the bad is ALL the fault of indigenous people, not mathematically possible.

    As for those who, surely, have read Kaye Lee’s articles for as long if not longer than moi – jumping onto the racist bandwagon because someone was critical of an indigenous person? Either dumber than I thought or holding grudges against Kaye Lee – maybe both.

  104. Kaye Lee


    That was what got me too and what prompted the headline. Jacinta is getting support from conservative circles and a lot of media coverage. Ken Wyatt, another Aboriginal conservative politician, is mostly ignored yet I have had personal contact with him and think he is truly trying to make a difference.

    I have listened to so many inspirational people – black, white, brown, yellow, pink, I don’t care – who have really positive ideas about moving forward. Yet we get bogged down in the silliest stuff while the tragedy of lost potential continues.

  105. Matters Not

    Hungry children need immediate assistance as do – aunties bashed senseless on dole day as described by Mick Byron. Shouldn’t have to wait while grandiose schemes (well intentioned as they maybe) are devised then put in an endless queue to await funding that in all probability will never come.

    Clearly, some people have no idea of the harsh reality faced by many Aborigines (including women and children) on a day to day basis as they search for their perfect and discard the good.

    Mick Byron again re the Card:

    sometimes you do gooders do more damned harm when you don’t consider the consequences”.

    One can only agree.

  106. Kaye Lee


    I note you have avoided my concerns about a postcode being the determinant of income management.

    If someone only has 20% of their income available on dole day, do you think that will stop the bashing which was presumably done when people were sober before they got their money? Do you think this happens in all families and if not, why isn’t it targeted to the families who may need that sort of help? If a man will bash a woman for money, will he all of a sudden be a model parent if you take the money away?

    If kids are hungry, the $13,000 it costs to administer each and every card would buy a shit load of food. Perhaps it could be used to stock a local shop staffed by local residents who did deliveries to outlying settlements with the whole thing run as a not for profit for the benefit of the community. Some of it could be used to fund meal programs at schools. Or we can give the money to the financiers.

    Sometimes those who wish to impose control completely ignore the real problems.

    And if you want to talk “grandiose schemes”, this card ranks right up there.

  107. Matters Not

    KL from what I see, you are not opposed to the Card in principle or as such but the targeting (or absence) of same. It’s a point I’ve made elsewhere on a number of occasions. So it is not new. It seems to me that the card is a useful tool.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    The Cashless Welfare Card and the way it’s been treated (including on this site) has been disgraceful. Talk about lies heaped on lies.

    The Liberal National Party (‘LNP’) Welfare Card programme is really a LNP rort for the benefit of the Liberal and National Parties and their members, donors and supporters. Indue Pty Ltd, the corporation awarded the contract to manage the Welfare Card programme and to operate its underlying systems, is a corporation owned by Liberal and National Party members and that donates to various Liberal and National Party branches around Australia.

    Note the claim: Indue is a is a corporation owned by Liberal and National Party members and that donates to various Liberal and National Party branches around Australia. Lies or not? (Now I know you don’t like being lied to – so?) I won’t link to denials of that nonsense but the denials were made in the face of a legally constituted body which tends t watch those claims.

    But wait there’s more:

    Indue, is now majority owned by a Hong Kong corporation, Stargroup, that has direct interests in and commercial dealings in, you guessed it, the very thing the welfare card program seeks to eradicate – gambling and casinos! What an astonishing fact! Such blatant stupidity and rank hypocrisy is almost unbelievable yet it is entirely true

    Note: yet it is entirely true. Bullshit writ large.

    KL, I won’t provide links because the last time I provide a link to an independent report commissioned by Government it was dismissed as being not credible. So why bother. Grandiose clams writ large.

    As for initial costs of pilot programs, they tend to be large as experience demonstrates. Gettng people to be involved is also problematic.

    When Guardian Australia queried the tender process earlier this month, the Department of Social Services said it had awarded contracts to Indue after sounding out banks and other financial institutions about their interest in providing the cashless welfare card. “DSS conducted thorough consultations with major banks, finance and retail institutions about the potential provision of services for the cashless debit card. These consultations indicated a lack of commercial interest in delivering a small scale trial of this nature,” the department said.

    “Independent probity advice to DSS confirms that the procurement process was conducted in accordance with the commonwealth procurement rules, relevant legislation, policies and probity principles.”

    The department’s version was later confirmed by Westpac, which said: “Over a number of years the government has sought feedback on the card. We indicated to the government it was not something we are interested in delivering.”

    Further re Anthony:

    Indue said Anthony held no shares in the company at any point in its history.

    “Indue is wholly owned by financial institutions, all of which have their heritage in the mutual and credit union sector,” the company told Guardian Australia earlier this month.

    “At no time has any individual (or through any controlled entities) owned shares in Indue Ltd or any of its subsidiaries.”

    “At no time has MP Larry Anthony or any entities he controls owned shares in Indue Ltd or any of its subsidiaries.”

    Just for the record.


  108. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    I always have to pinch myself to remind me that Ken Wyatt is a Liberal – he makes a lot more sense than the average big “L” Liberal.

    Also, regarding the Welfare card – a good thing for someone who understands it and knows they need it. Not so good if applied broadly across designated postcodes.

    People require help, according to their needs – not their skin colour.

    Although I would place the condition that being indigenous and treated like crap for generation after generation … a whole lot more respect from the powers-that-be should be a prerequisite before signing the next so-called aid. That Turnbull rejected outright, with no consultation, thought or care, the Uluru Statement continues to make my blood boil.

  109. Kaye Lee


    “the last time I provide a link to an independent report commissioned by Government it was dismissed as being not credible. So why bother. ”

    As I pointed out, in nearly every category in that independent report, more people were unhappy than happy, but that was not what was reported by the Minister or quoted by you.

    “Forty-five per cent of the of the users surveyed found they were better at saving. Less publicised was that 50 per cent found they were not. Twenty-three per cent said it had made their life better. Less publicised was that 42 per cent said it had made their lives worse. Forty per cent said they could better look after their children. Less publicised was that 48 per cent said they could not.”

    I also pointed out the many problems identified with the survey of participants which could have skewed results. You may not consider the criticism valid. Others do.

    “The cashless debit card costs around $10,000 a year per participant to administer, when the person themselves is receiving a meagre $14,000 a year in Newstart payments. How on earth is this good value?” Cassandra Goldie said.

    “What we spend on this card would be much better spent on investing in services and supports that have a far stronger evidence base of being effective in addressing individual and community needs.”

  110. paul walter

    I think it is typical of the viciousness of this government that it would by implication scapegoat aboriginals on racial grounds as being unable to or not “human” enough to run their own financial affairs, against natural justice and human rights considerations per se; an egregious and likely crudely nazi like assumption that would surely have had even the rulers of 1930’s Germany blushing for shame of such a blatant inference had they made it.

    Even if some folk have had problems (due to the impact of white genocide and don’t many white people sometimes have trouble with their household budgets?) ), it is outrageous that all within a group should be have their right to individual self-determination abnegated in a such a highhanded way against basic tenets of human rights.

    Furthermore, It is typical of the debased and savage nature of government welfare policy that they should cynically exploit problems within the aboriginal community, the most disadvantaged subgroup in our society, as a vanguard for their classist attack on other welfare recipients throughout the wider community.

    I cant get past the nauseating and offensive fascistic nature of this government. Its ideas are of a thought bubble nature unrelated to reality and one can easily conclude that many policies are based on prejudice rather than reason. Except that I think it is far worse even than that, with cynical greed and conscious intent involved.

    It is pitiful to rob poor people to hand the money over to the wealthy.

    it is nauseating in the most extreme degree. Wake up, Australia,

  111. Matters Not

    KL, the initial criticism provided came from Eva Cox (I think) which in itself is illustrative because Eva Cox hasn’t had anything positive to say about anything for decades – if ever. She is known for that. And for being selective. Goldie is more reliable but not above cheap political shots when it suits. Did she and her organisation tender to deliver, given her implied claim that there were squillions to be made. You may recall that Indue was for sale for $6 million. Peanuts! And the sale fell through. Fact is, it’s not a particularly rewarding exercise

    Nevertheless, I am also critical of the methodology employed because it did not deal with the children and their circumstances. For me the Card, at the most basic level, must improve the lives of the children otherwise it’s a failure. If adults want to piss the whole lot against the wall, I don’t care. Being adults, it’s their choice. But when it involves children, the dynamic changes. It’s their welfare that must be to the forefront.

  112. paul walter

    Look, I agree with that MN, but can’t understand where you find that Kaye Lee would not sympathise with your point. Equally, you must concede the underlying deep problem with the whole arbitrary concept and recognise the potential dangers inherent?

    I don’t quite get the shots at Cox and Goldie either and find it difficult to believe that KL would agree with the card in any form, given the sort of implication for society involved.

    Maybe I should scroll down again.

    Maybe Kaye Lee or MN could elaborate further.

    I have a headache revving up so may as well give this way and come back tomorrow, but there are seeming inferences people are drawing from the comments of others that seem a little at odds with what I see as the meaning of some of those comments or the real realities.

    You see, MN I have a huge problem with a supposed remedy applied to a whole community rather than just those who exhibited some problem in handing some processes.

    Why not put ALL of Australia on income management because some, white or black, have problems?

    In fact, I wonder if it might not have been better to put overwhelmingly white geographical locations (Vaucluse, say?) on trial first, just to prove to the rest that no harm would come of the scheme. If they are late for a payment for their 4wheel drives or Mac mansions, put them on management?

  113. Kaye Lee

    I agree that kids must come first. But kids are happiest at home if home can be made a safe place. So we need to offer the support that both kids and parents, or extended family carers, may need. And that will often be different. But, in the longer term, people have to be given responsibility so that’s what we have to be working towards.

    As I understand it, there is no way these people can get off income management no matter how well they may be managing or how stable they are – unless they luck into one of the few jobs floating around, or move.

    And I don’t think it does anything about the reasons for the violence or depression or truancy or sexual abuse or unemployment or suicide.

  114. paul walter

    No doubt it is the question, Kaye Lee. The question is, how to help without further risk to aborigines themselves and the wider society perhaps in danger of going feudal.

  115. Lorraine Muller

    So if the indue cards are supposed to help protect kids – maybe it should apply to foster carers http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-25/tiahleigh-palmer-murder-foster-father-rick-thorburn-sentenced/9789984, or Sydney’s North Shore http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-07/pennant-hills-shooting3a-images-of-dead-children-jack-and-jenn/9953878 especially for financial service workers. Would it have helped the kids abused by clergy or ‘carers’ as the Royal Commission uncovered.

    Maybe the cards are applicable to older mainstream Australians to protect them from Elder abuse http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-04/the-silent-epidemic-of-elder-abuse-in-our-suburbs/9383812.

    The reality is that the cards are race based, and other poor non-Indigenous people are simply being used to ensure that the anti-discrimination laws cannot be used against it.

  116. Lorraine Muller

    Matters, you suggest that Eva Cox has nothing positive to say. That is amazing considering I have never read a positive post by you.

  117. Kaye Lee

    The ANAO just released an evaluation of the cashless welfare card report and it was scathing.

    The total cost of the 12 month trial including implementation costs was approximately $18.3 million for a scheme which covered about 2,000 people about 80% of whom were Indigenous. No cost-benefit analysis has been carried out.

    And as for ORIMA’s conclusions….not worth the paper they were written on.

    Social Services reported to the Minister on the decline in the number of pick-ups by the Kununurra Miriwoong Community Patrol from April to May 2016 but ANAO analysis showed that there was a consistent decline in alcohol related pick-ups over time, not just over the trial period. There was a decline from April 2014 to August 2014 (61.7 per cent); with further declines shown from April 2015 to August 2015 (35.4 per cent) and April 2016 to August 2016 (36.1 per cent).

    The Minister was advised that there was a decrease in the total number of St John Ambulance call-outs in September 2016 compared to September 2015. Accounting for seasonality in the data, ANAO found, in analysing the data over a longer period, there was a 17 per cent increase in call-outs from April to October 2016 when compared to the previous year.

    Anecdotal information reported to the Minister suggested an increase in school attendance, but ANAO analysis of state data available to Social Services showed that attendance was relatively stable for non-indigenous students but it had declined by 1.7 per cent for indigenous students, after the implementation of the trial compared to the same period (between May to August) in 2015.


  118. Michael Taylor

    That is so true, Lorraine. The card is definitely race-based. However, don’t be surprised if the government – in a desperate move to look tough – attempts to introduce the card for all welfare recipients.

  119. paul walter

    On the same news service, the government are slated by an expert on their hospitals database and the so-called opt out that no one knows about

    It looks a parallel data collection issue to half a dozen other things and relates to what is erroneously referred to as aboriginal policy (apartheid) also.

    Never about data to plan good policy. so much as control.

    These people are control freak lunatics, and it is sad that others are happy to be dupes for them,

  120. Kaye Lee

    The doubts raised by Eva Cox have been borne out by the ANAO’s report.


    She wrote her findings for free. The ORIMA report cost double what they quoted in the tender which was already double what others quoted and they only interviewed 28% of card users, most of whom didn’t take part in the second interview for comparison. Rather than looking at state data over an extended period, they seemed to rely on the results of a very flawed survey where respondents were more likely to be saying what they thought they should rather than any truthful evaluation, and when they did look at state data, they gave figures for very short time periods rather than a time frame more likely to show trends. They also relied on anecdotal evidence from community leaders, mainly white, who supported the introduction of the card.

    To quote the ANAO, “its approach to monitoring and evaluation was inadequate. As a consequence, it is difficult to conclude whether there had been a reduction in social harm and whether the card was a lower cost welfare quarantining approach.”

    As I said before, no credible evidence, and until there is some, it would be madness to extend this. There are much better ways. Perhaps the card would be useful for some but that would work much better if it was voluntary and combined with budgeting and life skills education, or rehab if necessary, to move towards managing for themselves.

  121. Lorraine Muller

    Michael, if the intent is to protect kids from the effects of parents/carers gambling, alcohol, and family violence, then it would have to be across the board and include wages etc.
    Wage earners and top end income earners are not immune to lifestyle vices as the few examples I shared links to indicate. I have seen ‘respectable’ non-Indigenous people gamble or drink their (sometimes substantial) wages. No cashless cards for them.
    Prohibition of alcohol and gambling would not stop family violence either.

    Things like the cashless cards might be useful, but I would only endorse them if they were put in place by a court after welfare agencies apply, and services provided to help change the destructive behavior. Such cards may also be useful for child support in some cases. Otherwise they are a return to ration days and are simply cruel, expensive, brutal, and racist.

  122. diannaart

    Well said, Lorraine.

    @ Paul Walter:

    Yes, Turnbull, in his efforts to spruik the state Liberal Party in the upcoming state election, has instead, confirmed his issues with skin colour.

  123. paul walter

    Yes. Control freaks- WASP nutters. Nothing has been learned or dealt with since the 1960’s. Christian Porter, Dutton, Abbott, Morrison, Turnbull, Fifield…Civil service higher-ups, Murdochites, Guthrie… list is endless.

  124. paul walter

    No self-reflexivity whatsoever. totally reactive. True false consciousness.

  125. Lorraine Muller

    @Matters Not,
    In your early post you say it is time the Elders stood up.
    The Elders have and are standing up but they are sidelined in discussions. Voices of the likes of Jacinta Price who spruik a paternalistic view that is pleasing to the right winged coloniser cause are given precedent – and these days are granted the title of ‘leaders’ in spite of any evidence of who they lead. Instead there are sufficient Elders and duly elected leaders who challenge self-appointed leaders.

    On the other hand, my recent research disclosed how many non-Indigenous Australians have only tokenistic respect for Indigenous Elders. So lets cut out the pretence of demanding that Indigenous Elders stand up – and start recognising and listening to them. Anything less is simply more coloniser Eurocentric double-speak that reinforces oppression and the status quo.

  126. DrakeN

    Careful with the “WASP” thing, Mr Walter is specifically White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
    That is ‘religionist’, especially considering that our Government and Opposition leaders(?) are mostly of a Roman persuasion.
    Of whatever denomination, though, their religious observances are mostly faux Christian, as exemplified by their actions and deeds rather than their words.

  127. paul walter

    Whatever you call them, they the same type that existed in the sixties, anal, bible bashing controllists.

    You of course were around in the sixties?

    Probably ASIO.

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