the friend online
24 August 2007


Aboriginal rights under attack - preview

Alan Clayton, a lawyer from Australia YM, reports on the legislation

On the afternoon of Friday 17 August 2007, an extraordinary suite of legislation passed through the Australian Parliament
  • Five bills, over 500 pages of detail in total, constitute possibly the most wide-ranging single set of initiatives with regard to the Aboriginal population in a particular Australian state or territory in course of the nearly 220 years of white settlement

  • The justification for this set of measures was the extent of actual and perceived child sexual abuse in a number of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory
  • This issue was the subject of a detailed report from the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse
  • This was a very comprehensive inquiry involving direct engagement with forty-five remote aboriginal communities, sixty-five written submissions and 262 agencies and organisations
  • This Board of Inquiry was headed by Pat Anderson, a highly respected indigenous woman with acknowledged expertise in health matters, and Rex Wild QC
  • It produced a very wide ranging report, the Little Children are Sacred Report which included 97 recommendations

  • Alan Clayton

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    Aboriginal rights under attack
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