Today marks the fourth anniversary of the Apology.
It comes as the Gillard government introduces its new Stronger Futures legislation, which would extend the NT intervention measures.
And it also comes alongside new evidence of a large increase in suicides amongst young Aboriginal girls in the Northern Territory after the implementation of the Intervention.
There’s other evidence as well, which shows that over years since the Apology, things have gotten appreciably worse for Aboriginal young people. Last week, the Productivity Commission’s report on Government services released figures showing that juvenile detention rates for Indigenous people between 10 and 17 years jumped by more than 20 per cent in 2009-10 from the previous year.
The NT intervention effectively punishes some of Australia’s poorest and most vulnerable communities and individuals. Surely these figures are telling enough. It’s time to change track and put government funds into initiatives which can really make a difference; localised programs in health care, justice, education and employment services.