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Abbott Presents Closing The Gap Report 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has presented the 2014 Closing the Gap report on Indigenous Australians.

Abbott said Aboriginal policy has become for him “personal rather than just political”. He said: “It has become a personal mission to help my fellow Australians to open their hearts, as much as to change their minds, on Aboriginal policy.”

This year’s Closing the Gap shows some progress. Halving the gap in child mortality within a decade is on track and the target of 95% of remote children enrolled for pre-school is close, as is the goal of halving the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020. [Read more…]


Adam Goodes, Footballer Who Stood Up Against Racism, Named Australian Of The Year For 2014

Adam Goodes, the Sydney Swans and Australian Football League player, has been named Australian of the Year for 2014.

Goodes

The announcement was made by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, at a ceremony in front of Parliament House tonight. [Read more…]


Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s New Year Message

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released a 2014 New Year Message in which he says he will “start the conversation” about recognising the first Australians in the Constitution.

In relation to indigenous recognition, Abbott said: “I will also start the conversation about a constitutional referendum to recognise the first Australians. This would complete our Constitution rather than change it.”

  • Listen to Abbott’s message (2m)
  • Watch Abbott (2m)

Text of media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

If ever we should enter a New Year full of optimism, it is 2014. [Read more…]


Abbott Establishes Indigenous Advisory Council

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced the composition of his Indigenous Advisory Council.

The Council will be chaired by Warren Mundine, the former ALP president who has now left the party.

The Council’s membership includes indigenous representatives, the heads of Westpac, Rio Tinto and Carey Mining, and the former Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department, Peter Shergold.

Statement issued by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

I am pleased to announce the membership of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

I want a new engagement with Aboriginal people to be one of the hallmarks of my Government and the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council is an important part of that.

The Council will be chaired by Mr Warren Mundine. Joining him will be a mix of leaders with a broad range of skills and experience, including in business and the public sector. [Read more…]


Noel Pearson’s Whitlam Oration: In Honour Of The Old Man

Noel Pearson has tonight delivered a stunning Whitlam Oration, honouring “the old man” who led the reforming government of 1972-75.

Pearson

Pearson called not just for Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution but elimination of the race power in Section 25 and the insertion of a provision outlawing racial discrimination. [Read more…]


Abbott: Indigenous Issues Will Be At The Heart Of A Coalition Government In Word And Deed

Tony Abbott says engagement with Aboriginal people will be one of the hallmarks of an incoming Coalition government.

Speaking to The Sydney Institute tonight, Abbott said a non-Labor government would be “complacent, even neglectful” if it failed to address “the most intractable difficulty our country has ever faced”. [Read more…]


Scullion: A Genuine Sense Of Bipartisanship

This is the text of Senator Nigel Scullion’s speech on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples Recognition Bill.

Scullion is a Northern Territory senator and Deputy Leader of The Nationals.

His speech is an interesting example of bipartisanship on the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

Transcript of Senator Nigel Scullion’s speech on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill.

ScullionSenator SCULLION (Northern Territory—Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (13:19): I too support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012. I thank the previous speakers and I have to say that this is, without doubt, the first time in my 12-odd years in this place that I have had a genuine sense of bipartisanship. We are excited by the prospects, we are nervous about how we proceed and we are talking genuinely with each other to ensure that our views are not polarised. It gives me a great deal of confidence that we, as representatives of the wider Australian community, can behave in that way. Hopefully that will help engender an appropriate environment for the community discussions to follow on the content of the changes. [Read more…]