In 2006, Pat Anderson, chairperson of the Lowitja Institute, along with Rex Wild, QC, authored the Little Children are Sacred report for the NT government, an inquiry into child sex abuse and neglect in the Territory. It examined formal published evidence on what works in these situations and extensive community consultations, where they travelled to more than 40 Aboriginal communities in the NT.
Last night Anderson gave a rare public speech criticising the NT intervention, a policy that apparently originated thanks to the report she co-authored. Anderson said the first recommendation of the report was the most crucial, which was: "It is critical that both [the Northern Territory and federal] governments commit to genuine consultation with Aboriginal people in designing initiatives for Aboriginal communities. [to address child sexual abuse and neglect]." The following is an edited extract from Anderson's speech at the Coalition for Research to Improve Aboriginal Health conference in Sydney this morning.