The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) of the Uniting Church has today commended the Australian Government’s invitation to State and Territory Governments to work in unity to formulate anti-abuse strategies for the Indigenous community.
UAICC National Administrator the Rev Shayne Blackman said that the prevalence of Indigenous abuse, in particular of women and children, was in part a direct result of all tiers of Government attempting to address the issue in a disjointed manner and that a framework for a nationally consistent approach was the only way forward.
“I commend Minister Mal Brough for bringing this grave issue onto the national agenda however, I also urge the Minister to display a sound cultural awareness and to work closely with all Indigenous stakeholders on this issue including the Indigenous leadership in the communities and relevant ATSI organisations” Rev Blackman said.
“On many occasions, Aboriginal organisations and Indigenous leaders have raised these issues and proposed workable solutions and actions to Government, however there appear to be an endemic culture within legislative bodies that only they hold the answers to such complex and culturally sensitive issues.
“For example in 2003, the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) presented a report to Government that established the reasons behind the incidence of child abuse yet to date it appears the reports recommendations remain largely ignored.
“Abuse, in particular child abuse, is just one of a series of symptomatic societal crises in Indigenous communities and I urge the Government to work collaboratively with all stakeholders in the interests of equality, prosperity and justice that Indigenous people yearn for” said Rev Blackman.