05 April 2008

Sorry for What?

It was not so long ago that the Australian Prime Minister stood before an expectant and silent crowd and uttered a word that many had longed to here, SORRY!

Yet a couple of months on the horrors that afflict our indigenous communities continue unabated and despite a last ditch intervention totalling some AUD 1.5 billion.

This is truly one of those WTF moments! Saying sorry is and was the easy part! Now it is time for the hard yards to be hoed and if we as a community are not prepared to do that then the uttering of an empty sorry should and must be derided for what it is a political gesture without the necessary testicular fortitude to make it real or to make it meaningful.

A story in The Sydney Morning Herald caught my eye for a number of reasons. Where is the 1.5 billion dollars going to? What was the government sorry for? And why isn't anyone doing anything about this.

The title of the news piece:

"Sordid sex trade thrives after $1.5b intervention"

And the opening couple of paragraphs go like this:

"ABORIGINAL girls as young as 13 have been given cash, drugs, alcohol and taxi rides in exchange for sex in the Northern Territory mining town of Nhulunbuy.

Indigenous elders have asked police to investigate a group of non-indigenous men in the town who they say have been sexually abusing Aboriginal teenagers for years.

A group of four young indigenous women gave the Herald details of abuse by men they were prepared to identify to police. They said at least three Aboriginal girls were sexually abused at the age of 13."

The "culture of silence" has to end! The sexual abuse of children (and adults) is wrong, plain and simple!

If we, as a community, are truly sorry then we cannot stand for this kind of treatment and abuse any longer in any community...

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