The following excerpt is from an article titled “Three reasons to cut higher education funding” written in 2001.
In my view it is disappointing yet (unfortunately) to be expected — though not acceptable — that more than 6 years later, nothing has changed the general state of Aboriginal ill-health and poverty, as described herein:
“… within Australia there are much greater needs than higher education. The conspicuous exceptions to Australian’s general wealth are the thousands of Aboriginal peoples who live in Third World conditions of inadequate nutrition, no reticulated water, poor sanitation, inadequate housing and lack of access to basic health services. Consequently Indigenous Australians suffer infant mortality and life expectancy rates more similar to the Third World than to the rest of Australia.
Aboriginal peoples die 15-20 years younger than the Australian population, with 23 times the average death rate from infections of the kidney, 12-17 times the average for diabetes (one of the highest rates in the world) and 3-5 times the death rate from chronic respiratory disease. Aboriginal babies are twice as likely to be of low birth weight, to die or fail to thrive. Aboriginal people are 10 times more likely to suffer blindness than the general population and twice as likely to be admitted to hospital. Indigenous Australians suffer higher than average rates for mental disorders, alcohol and other drug related conditions, circulatory diseases, nervous system disorders, skin diseases and infectious and parasitic diseases. These conditions reach an acute stage because of lack of early attention—either because services are not available, or because they are inaccessible to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSIC, 2001).
Australia should allocate resources first to ensuring that all Australians have a reasonable expectancy and quality of life.” ~ Australian Review of Public Affairs (Oct 2001)
With the National Apology been and done (13 Feb 2008), and despite millions of dollars being allocated annualy for “Aboriginal health programs”, the overall state of the Aboriginal life-style is status quo as described above, and the Aboriginal “industry” is business as usual, creating career opportunities and career paths in “Indigenous affairs” for many 1,000s of non-Aboriginal Australians. Darn pity about that.