By Tracie Aylmer
The 4Corners program into torture within children’s detention centres in the Northern Territory must have really shocked a great number of people in this country. Hearing the Prime Minister pay lip service to a Royal Commission must have rocked his perception of stability.
(Myself, I can’t actually watch the video. I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m too sensitive, and my imagination runs wild in any case).
What I will say about this situation are two things:
- There was already a Royal Commission 25 years ago (the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody), of which, few of the recommendations have been implemented. Succeeding governments have been told over and over again to implement the recommendations. Nothing has happened. Everything has been shoved under a very lumpy carpet. Will another Royal Commission help? I very much doubt it. It will highly likely be to assuage the guilt of several politicians, to say; “Oh look, we are doing something! Let’s pat each other on the back” and nothing will change, because the heat will then be off this issue and onto another that they might have more ‘control’ over.
- There are already calls for a Royal Commission on the dangerous levels of Indigenous youth suicide (see petition here). All we are hearing from this push of the establishment are that they believe indignantly and self-righteously that investigating Indigenous youth suicide would highly likely divide society. This is an untruth of epic proportions! A 10 year old girl committed suicide several months ago. Why isn’t this thoroughly being investigated? Is it because she’s Indigenous? After unfortunately being touched by suicide, the one thing I can say is that any investigation done on Indigenous suicide can reverberate into other areas of the community. This would be an inclusive product of a desperately needed investigation.
After the 4Corners program, I believe that racism is the real reason why nothing has been done until the lip service the Prime Minister.
Racism, sexism and judgment are the key factors why Australia hasn’t grown up. Perhaps it’s time for our governments to stop behaving in a colonial manner, and start behaving in a mature fashion, to the benefit rather than the detriment of our society.