Australia

Nov 13, 2012

Closing the gap: indigenous men must be a priority

Aboriginal men suffer from the worst health and social outcomes in Australian society. Reconciliation Australia co-chair Tom Calma says they need support if to achieve true reconciliation.

In September an extraordinary meeting of nearly one hundred Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys took place at a scout camp in the rain-forested escarpment behind Wollongong.

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  1. Christopher Nagle

    ‘Reconciliation’ has a number of entry points. One of them has to be how indigenous society, and in this case men, are going to reconcile themselves to the necessity of grasping the modern world wholeheartedly and giving it a decent shake, with commitment and no reservations.

    Much of the world now does, which is why the twenty-first century is becoming an Asian one. They have gone through the undoubtedly traumatic transition out of their traditional comfort zones to embrace modernity. Many of them did it the really hard way, like the Chinese, or the easy way, like the Japanese. But they all eventually did it. They grabbed the nettle and went for it.

    As the Chinese found, you can’t tackle modernity with reservations. It demands a lot. Not everything, but a lot.

    I think quite large sections of indigenous society aren’t committed. If they were, indigenous child school truancy would be negligible. They would be saying to themselves, “I can’t make it, but I will move heaven and earth to make sure my kids do.” That is what many of the migrants from East Africa are saying their kids; what so many migrants from traumatized and impoverished regions have been saying to their children since Irish convicts came here in the nineteenth century.

    It is time that indigenous men and the society they come from accepted that the world is just as much their oyster as anyone else’s. It is waiting for their arrival. Cheering crowds await them taking their rightful place.

    So get a blood move on guys. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and become winners instead. Respect and credibility are only as far away as your motivation to succeed.

    And please, spare me the excuses!

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