Newsletter date: 14 May 2015
* Video: NITV News - 13 May: Budget 2015
* Media Release: National Congress of Australia's First Peoples (Congress): Indigenous Affairs Environment Remains a Trauma Zone: Post-2015 Budget Media Release
* Media Release: Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC): SNAICC concerned new childcare package is unfair and punishes our most vulnerable children
* Media Release: Australian Human Rights Commission: Funding quarantined but uncertainty remains [Featuring the Close the Gap Campaign]
* Statement: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights advocacy organisation ANTaR: Unfair Budget has left Indigenous Affairs adrift
* Media Release: Oxfam Australia Media: Brakes put on closing the gap in Indigenous health in Federal Budget
* Media Release: Reconciliation Australia: The Government must strengthen sustainable funding models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
* News: Darren Mara, SBS News: Budget 2015: Indigenous groups call for more funding certainty
* Background: WGAR News: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget 2015-16
* WGAR Background: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
NITV News - 13 May: Budget 2015
Published on 13 May 2015 on NITV; Expires on 20 May 2015, 5:30pm.
"NITV's team of news journalists, editors and technicians produce a daily half hour bulletin at 5.30 pm that reflects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concerns and interests."
- Media Release
National Congress of Australia's First Peoples (Congress): Indigenous Affairs Environment Remains a Trauma Zone: Post-2015 Budget Media Release
13 May 15: "The national representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples says funding cuts and ongoing uncertainty stemming from last year’s Federal Budget continue to wreak havoc on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations.
The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) is calling upon the Australian Government to ‘lift its game’ in the way it engages with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities, and to place greater value on community-led solutions.
"Twelve months on from the announcement of $534 million in cuts across Indigenous Affairs over five years, and unveiling of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy IAS), the Government has struggled to prosecute its case for change and there’s little cause for optimism at this stage," said Congress Co-Chairs Kirstie Parker and Les Malezer.
"Our communities and organisations continue to pay a heavy price for the past 12 months of funding confusion, backflips and reversals, and ongoing delays. Many remain in limbo; the Indigenous Affairs funding environment remains a trauma zone," Ms Parker said."
About Us - National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
"The Congress was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in April 2010. As a company the Congress is owned and controlled by its membership and independent of Government. ... "
- Media Release
SNAICC concerned new childcare package is unfair and punishes our most vulnerable children
Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC)
13 May 15: "SNAICC Chairperson, Sharron Williams, says the childcare package released in the federal budget punishes those children who need support most.
Ms Williams welcomed the vital investment in early childhood education and care, but believes the benefits are unfairly distributed: "The Treasurer says it is a fair budget, a budget for all Australians. Well again it seems that Indigenous children are not Australians, that they just don't matter."
This package excludes vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by mainstreaming Indigenous services and cutting child care access for families that are struggling families.
"These children are the ones that stand to gain the most from early childhood service supports. Unless we invest in their education, intergenerational cycles of disadvantage will continue," noted Ms Williams. ...
"If we're serious about closing the gap in outcomes for our children, the conversation we need to have is: What are we doing for our most vulnerable families?" ... "
"We are a national non government peak body in Australia representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. ... "
6th SNAICC National Conference - 15-17 September 2015, Perth:
For Our Children - Community Voices: Sharing Knowledge & Practice
" ... This will be the first SNAICC National conference held at Perth's Convention Centre, located on the northern bank of the Swan River in the land of the traditional owners the Noongar people. ... The conference has become the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family issues conference in the southern hemisphere. It will feature local and international keynote speakers and over 70 concurrent sessions, yarning circles and workshops to choose from. ... "
- Media Release
Australian Human Rights Commission: Funding quarantined but uncertainty remains
13 May 15: "The Close the Gap Campaign has welcomed the quarantining of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programmes from further cuts in the 2015–16 Budget but says the pain and uncertainty around last year’s Budget cuts still linger.
Campaign Co-Chairs Kirstie Parker and Mick Gooda said they were disappointed that the Australian Government has not restored the last year’s cuts of $534.4 million over five years from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives.
The Co-Chairs said last year’s Budget cuts and the subsequent Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) open tender process had caused widespread distress, anxiety and uncertainty in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-controlled organisations.
"Questions remain regarding the IAS and the impact of the Budget cuts. The Campaign calls on the Government to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representatives to address the concerns with the IAS," said Ms Parker, who is also the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. ... "
AHRC: Close the Gap: Indigenous Health Campaign
8 May 15: "The poorer health of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when compared to the non-Indigenous population is no secret - and something can be done about it. Since 2006, Australia's peak Indigenous and non-Indigenous health bodies, NGOs and human rights organisations have worked together to achieve health and life expectation equality for Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is known as the Close the Gap Campaign. The campaign's goal is to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation. ... "
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights advocacy organisation ANTaR: Unfair Budget has left Indigenous Affairs adrift
12 May 15: "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights advocacy organisation ANTaR said that tonight’s Budget failed the test of addressing the uncertainty, upheaval and cuts in Indigenous Affairs from the past 12 months.
National Director Andrew Meehan said that last year’s Budget cut of $534 million to Indigenous Affairs, followed by an open competitive tendering process as part of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS), had left Indigenous Affairs in disarray.
"This last year has been one of real anxiety for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities, and the Budget missed the opportunity to put that right," he said.
Mr Meehan welcomed the reinstatement of funding that was cut from Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services in last year’s Budget, but said that these were just undoing some of the worst decisions of last year. ... "
- Media Release
Oxfam Australia Media: Brakes put on closing the gap in Indigenous health in Federal Budget
13 May 15: "Closing the appalling life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has become harder under the Abbott Government with last night’s Federal Budget failing to reverse the cuts made to Indigenous Affairs last year, Oxfam said today.
Oxfam’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Rights Policy Advisor Dr Peter Lewis said it was profoundly disappointing that there was no new funding to close the health gap that saw Indigenous Australians die up to 10 years earlier than non-Indigenous Australians and suffer much higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and other preventable illness.
"The damage wrought by last year’s cut of $534.4 million over five years from Indigenous Affairs has not been reversed in this budget," he said.
"What we are seeing is the brakes put on the national priority to close the gap - and this from the self-titled Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs. ... " ... "
- Media Release
Reconciliation Australia: The Government must strengthen sustainable funding models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
12 May 15: " ... While the sustained levels of funding represent a positive step, Reconciliation Australia believes the savings of $534 million made during the 2014-15 Budget should be reinvested within Indigenous Affairs. Additionally, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples should continue to receive Government support until they are self-sustaining. A strong, representative voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is essential to ensure ongoing progress. ...
"We saw during the Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding process that a lack of transparency and engagement led to uncertainty and anxiety within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, said Mr Mohamed.
"Such an environment directly impacts our ability to work together to achieve positive outcomes for all Australians. The way to avoid this uncertainty is to meaningfully and genuinely engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and communities." ... "
SBS News: Budget 2015: Indigenous groups call for more funding certainty
13 May 15: "Indigenous groups and the federal opposition say this year's budget fails to address the anxiety created by last year's budget, which saw hundreds of millions of dollars in funding stripped from the Indigenous Affairs portfolio. Opposition Indigenous Affairs spokesman Shayne Neumann says Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are still grappling with the more than $500 million in cuts announced last year. "This year's Budget rips $95 million from the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing, in spite of serious overcrowding," Mr Neumann says. ... " By Darren Mara
WGAR News: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget 2015-16
12 May 2015; 8:45pm: "Contents:
* Petition: Change.org: Restore IAS funding that SA Aboriginal communities need to stay open and sustainable
* Media Release: National Congress of Australia's First Peoples: Congress Comments on the Budget
* News: Australian Human Rights Commission: Close the Gap releases position paper on Budget 2015-16
* Media Release: Congress: Indigenous funding must be quarantined from Budget cuts
* Analysis: Close the Gap Campaign Position paper on the Federal Budget 2015
* Background: AHRC: Close the Gap: Indigenous Health Campaign
* News: NACCHO 2015 Budget News: Can we expect more anxiety, and widespread concern at the potential impact of change?
* Submission: NACCHO Aboriginal Health 2015-16 Budget Submission
* Video: Myles Morgan, NITV News: Backgrounder: How the 2014 budget affected Indigenous affairs
* WGAR Background: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget"
WGAR Background: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget
(last updated: 13 May 2015)
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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