Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016

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Parliamentary Record 1


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 65 to 124


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Wednesday 19 October 2016 92 Maurice as the most humble and dignified person in any gathering. I never once heard him brag about his considerable achievements. He was a great example for us all. The fourth person I would like to thank is the current CEO of the Tiwi Islands Regional Council, Marion Scrymgour. She has shown me and many other Indigenous men and women that if you work hard you can be anything you want to be. She has shown the way in leadership in Aboriginal affairs in a number of important areas, including building better health services, being a strong voice for women and standing up for the people of Arafura against the federal government of the day in relation to the Intervention. The fifth person I would like to mention is my uncle, Francis, who I have always had the utmost respect for. I want to thank him for all his hard work over the past four years. Over the past two decades I have seen communities embrace self-determination and self-management. There is a desire for greater autonomy and a sense of urgency about committing to the core values of community life. Some communities are travelling better than others, but there is a one-size-fits-all approach that will fix all the problems across the board. During my time in remote health I have seen many things happen, both good and bad. Chronic disease is a major concern in many communities across the Territory. We need to actively engage with communities in regard to providing adequate primary health care services. In doing this there needs to be more educational programs. It needs to be resourced so Indigenous people can take control by being skilled and trained so they can go back to their communities to provide this education in a more culturally-appropriate way. I am passionate about Indigenous Mens Health. I have seen and experienced first hand the hardship Indigenous men face in remote communities. They feel they are disengaged from family and kinship. Depression plays a big role in why these men feel the way they do. Suicide is very high amongst Indigenous men, especially our youth. We need to look at solutions to how we engage and make them the strong family men they were once. What I would like to see during my term in government is that we develop a strong mens committee across the NT to tackle issues around drugs and alcohol, depression and domestic violence, and to employ Indigenous male health workers and engagement officers remotely so they have control. Homelands/Outstationswe need to protect and develop country. We need to look at economic development, but the key is to consult and make sure clans are happy. My electorate covers the Tiwi Islands, Maningrida, Gunbalanya, Minjilang, Warruwi and many outstations spread throughout the electorate. Each place has its own unique identity and needs to be treated with sensitivity and respect. I am looking forward to working hard for all my constituents and doing my best to make our fresh new Labor government understand their needs and concerns. I would like to thank Kent Rowe, Ryan Neve, Anna Goode and Ella McGuire for all their hard work throughout our campaign. I make special mention of Peter Wellings, who I have the utmost respect for in his understanding of Aboriginal people, not only in my electorate but across the NT. He has taught me a lot in regard to government policies, and his extensive knowledge of Aboriginal affairs is unbelievable. I personally thank my cousin Leon Puruntatameri for travelling and helping campaign in the West Arnhem area. I also thank Stanley and Gawin Tipaloura, and the list goes on as there are many more I would like to thank, but I will do that in person. Throughout the endeavour I will be relying on the support of my own close family members, and I take this opportunity to thank them for the support they have given me over the years, especially my dad, who is not only my father but my best mate. A special thanks goes to my wife, my daughter and my granddaughter. Without them I would not be standing here today. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Mana. Mrs WORDEN (Sanderson): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to address the House today. I begin by acknowledging, as so many of my colleagues have today, the traditional owners of this land, the Larrakia, and pay my deepest respect to their elders, both past and present. I am truly grateful to them for