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Indigenous rights: The difficult conversations Australia needs to be having

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EVERY year in July, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year’s theme is ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future’.

Indigenous affairs is a national priority for Australia. Ken Wyatt’s appointment as the first Indigenous Minister for Indigenous Australians has brought about a shift in the national dialogue with First Nations peoples. Having an Indigenous voice in Cabinet is an important step in the right direction.

But there’s still a lot to be done. Australia has a long way to go before First Nations peoples have equal rights, opportunities, and access to services.

SEE ALSO: Freedom of the press, security of the nation: How Australia is risking both

The government has attempted to address this issue by committing to Closing the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians across health, education, employment, and many other sectors. Whilst the Closing the Gap framework aims to eliminate these disparities, the current state of things proves that it’s far from perfect.

For example, Indigenous incarceration and suicide rates are severely disproportionate when compared to the non-Indigenous population. Whilst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders account for 2 percent of the population, they constitute 27 percent of the national prison population.


© Asian Correspondent