In February 2019 the Western Australian Coroner released her findings into the deaths of 13 Indigenous children in the Kimberley. The report concluded that 12 of the deaths were suicides, with some of the children as young as 10.
The Coroner blamed this Cluster of Kimberley child suicides on ‘tragic inter-generational trauma’. Meanwhile children are still dying, yet the wider reaction from the numerous ‘responsible entities’ was open defiance as they completely denied accountability. This is scandalous although it helps explain the atrocious historical track record of inaction. How is this acceptable?
We witnessed a number of contemptible interviews following the Coroner’s report; the responsible Ministers, Indigenous politicians, bureaucrats and Indigenous leaders representing the countless government-funded Agencies, Aboriginal Councils and Departments. Not one stated ‘what they should have done’, ‘what they will do’ or ‘what they can do to help’; rather they point the finger of blame elsewhere and accepted no responsibility for their inaction; detestable behaviour!
Don’t get me wrong they were empathetic, just not responsible, so what do these professional ‘desk riders’ do for their generous taxpayer-funded remuneration?
If Government funds over $30 billion a year to Indigenous Australia, shouldn’t the entities and agencies accepting the funding be responsive for the devastating outcomes we are witnessing in Indigenous communities.
Are we effectively condoning the ‘washing of bloody hands’ by accepting their denials of accountability?
If these taxpayer-funded institutions are not performing, why do they continue to be financed? If they are not capable of doing their jobs; the basics i.e. protect innocent children, then who can? The answer it seems is ‘no one’. Apparently not a single person and $30 billion could save these 13 vulnerable Indigenous children, those with the most desperate rudimentary needs for living!
I’m not sure if it’s a remote tribal problem, between those who control the money in the cities versus those with needs in isolated communities, but what is certain is that very little of the $30 billion a year is being spent where it is needed most, on the front line in Indigenous communities.
In fact, if you look at the conditions on the ground, it leaves you wondering where the money is being spent and whose pockets are being lined? We’ll never know while accounting firms are reluctant to reveal the truth in their audit reports, dare they be labelled racists and face being black banned by the lucrative ‘Indigenous industry’.
If the only reaction from the entities with the power and money to effect real change is to point the finger of blame elsewhere, then something significant needs to change (a complete overhaul) if we are to help Indigenous communities in desperate need.
The sad reality is that the message to the children of the Kimberley is the same, nothing has changed, nothing will change, you’re on your own, and help is not coming!
Meanwhile, after 11 years of the failed Closing the Gap strategy, we still think that continuing to throw more money at the problem will resolve the deeply ingrained duplicitous laundering of taxpayer money that never reaches the remote communities where it is intended and acutely needed.
This deceptive behaviour, in the hands of those who control funding is vaguely fraudulent, where mismanagement (at a minimum) deprives those in need of the intended benefits. Those in control of taxpayer monies are prospering at the expense of those in desperate need, innocent dead children; children whose final act at age 10 acknowledges their desperation, the realisation that they will never have hope for a meaningful future because the promised help and support is not coming.
It’s clear that Indigenous symbolism takes priority, e.g. mourning Invasion Day, the populous protest that is apparently more important than any issue that requires tangible action, like saving the lives of Indigenous children. Who mourns for these kids in the wider national community?
Culpability lies at the feet of all those who take the cash in the name of advocating for Indigenous Australians, those getting fat, by deliver nothing short of banal noise, insincere rhetoric and disastrous outcomes that contribute to the despair and deaths of the most vulnerable and innocent!
A complete re-examination of the immorality of our actions is required if we are to improve the basic Human Condition for Indigenous Australia, or at least those People in the wider Indigenous communities who don’t control or influence the allocation of funding.
Imagine the scandal if there were 13 child suicides in an Australian offshore detention centre, the atrocity would potentially bring down the Australian Federal Government, accompanied by a choir of global condemnation from all quarters. Every citizen would feel the national shame of such a horrendous scenario.
But when it actually happens in an Indigenous community in Australia, the silence is deafening. Why are humanitarians invisible on this, why are Indigenous activists so quiet, why is the wider community unsympathetically blind? There should be indignation and outrage, contrite, guilt, shame, pain, anger, sorrow… but nothing ….not a drop of cold sympathy and you know why!
15 February 2019