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Leading NGOs back SNAICC and AbSec response to social justice issues in the Northern Territory

2 min read

The Benevolent Society, Mission Australia, Rise, Brotherhood of St Laurence, and Uniting NSW.ACT collectively support statements made by SNAICC and AbSec calling for a better focus on First Nations self-determination rights, and the need to listen to community-led solutions to intergenerational policy failure and neglect in the Northern Territory. 

“Aboriginal Communities and families have the solution. We have more than 60 thousand years’ experience in successfully raising children to be strong and thriving. Listen to our voices and expertise,” said Catherine Liddle, SNAICC CEO. 

Different governments have attempted to realise the intentions and aspirations of the first Closing the Gap Framework after it was released in 2008.  

The latest Closing the Gap Report 2022 shows disappointing progress for Indigenous Australians, with only four of 18 targets on track, and four key targets worsening – this includes incarceration rates, suicide rates and children in out of home care. 

“In solidarity with SNAICC, AbSec call on the Opposition leader to engage in an evidenced based discussion. Aboriginal peoples have been raising strong, healthy children for millennia. Our communities are the experts in raising happy, healthy and resilient children, and our children are made stronger by the richness of their culture,” said John Leha, AbSec CEO.  

First Nations peak bodies and community leaders have continually highlighted that Closing the Gap will not be achieved without direct engagement with First Nations peoples, communities and organisations.  

“The Benevolent Society stands behind SNAICC and AbSec’s call for better self-determination and community driven solutions for First Nations people in the Northern Territory,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, The Benevolent Society CEO. 

“We stand alongside SNAICC and AbSec’s calls for self-determination and community-led solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Northern Territory,” said Sharon Callister, Mission Australia CEO. 

There is clear evidence showing that empowered First Nations communities are critical in meeting the Closing the Gap targets and indicating that when people are free to set their own course, they are better off. 

“The crucial leadership role of First Nations people to determine their own futures and break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage must be recognised,” said Tracey Burton, Uniting NSW.ACT CEO.  

“Rise recognises the importance of supporting self-determination in other States and Territories as critical for the success in closing the gap nationwide,” said Justine Colyer, Rise CEO.  

Like all other Australians, First Nations peoples have the right to self-determination and the right to equality and non-discrimination. This includes the right to be consulted about and have a voice in decision-making concerning legislative and policy changes affecting their rights and interest. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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