Can a Voice to Parliament improve Indigenous lives
In a discussion led by Carly Williams, the ABC's National Indigenous Correspondent, and joined by Fran Kelly, they explore the potential impact of the proposed Aboriginal Voice to Parliament on addressing issues related to youth crime, particularly among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in regional towns across Australia.
The conversation begins with a focus on the problem of youth crime in regional towns, where Indigenous youth are often disproportionately affected. The discussion highlights that some attribute this issue to failed policies, including cuts to family services and a lack of attention to the voices of Indigenous communities.
Carly and Fran then delve into the potential role of the proposed Aboriginal Voice to Parliament in addressing these issues. They speak with two individuals who work with Indigenous youth but have differing views on the Voice. Ian Brown, a Wiradjuri man, believes that local, grassroots solutions and community-led programs like the Moree Model can be effective in addressing youth crime. He expresses skepticism about the Voice's ability to bring meaningful change, particularly due to the government's track record in responding to Indigenous advice and initiatives.
On the other hand, Cheryl Kikataka, a former basketballer and community leader, is optimistic about the Voice's potential to provide a platform for Indigenous communities to advocate for their needs and gain consistent, long-term support for programs that work. She emphasizes the importance of changing the funding and support structure for initiatives aimed at Indigenous youth to ensure their sustainability and effectiveness.
In conclusion, the discussion explores the varying perspectives on whether the proposed Aboriginal Voice to Parliament can make a difference in addressing issues such as youth crime in regional towns. It underscores the importance of community-led initiatives, long-term funding, and effective communication between government departments to create lasting positive change.
Questions for further reflection and discussion:
What are the key challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in regional towns, especially in relation to youth crime? How do these challenges differ from those faced by Indigenous youth in urban areas?
How does the lack of consistent, long-term funding for Indigenous programs and initiatives impact their effectiveness? Can you provide examples from your own knowledge or experiences?
Ian Brown believes that local, grassroots solutions and community-led programs like the Moree Model can be effective in addressing youth crime. Do you agree with this perspective, or do you think a broader national approach is needed? Why or why not?
Cheryl Kikataka is optimistic about the potential of the proposed Aboriginal Voice to Parliament. What specific changes or improvements does she hope the Voice will bring to programs and initiatives aimed at Indigenous youth?
How can the government be encouraged or compelled to respond more effectively to the advice and recommendations provided by Indigenous communities and leaders? What strategies might make this process more accountable and responsive?
The discussion mentions that the Voice may serve as a platform for Indigenous communities to advocate for their needs. What are the key issues and needs that should be prioritized, and how can they be effectively communicated to policymakers?
In your opinion, how can a balance be struck between maintaining local autonomy and allowing for broader, national-level initiatives to address Indigenous youth issues? What role should the proposed Voice play in finding this balance?