Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 31 Jul 2016



Sunday Territorian 31 Jul 2016


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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SUNDAY JULY 31 2016 NEWS 09 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA THE Northern Territory must stop the population slide or risk losing millions of dollars in Federal Government funding, a series of population seminars has heard. North Australia Development office general manager Luke Bowen said most of the NTs federal funding was linked to population. In more mercenary terms, population growth will adversely affect how much funding we get from the Australian Government. Our slow growth rate is expected to result in the Territory receiving, out to 2019-20, around $750 million less than was estimated in the 2015-16 Budget, he said. Around 70 per cent of the NT Budget goes on services like health, education, policing, housing, community services and transport. This is significant. The level of services is important in attracting and, crucially, retaining people. Currently 50 per cent or $3.3 billion per annum of our funding is from GST revenue. That funding is tied closely to population. Mr Bowen said the strongest message coming out of the regional seminars was the Push to keep NT numbers thriving need for engagement with locals, especially indigenous Territorians. It is critical that we engage the population we have in a meangingful way so that we are maximising the potential that we already have, he said. Aboriginal people have a vast interest in the land of the Territory. There has got to be a concerted effort when it comes to populating Northern Australia in that it has to involve the indigenous people. One of the challenges is we must improve the productivity and efficiency of our people. And the value for us is how do we maximise the engagement, socially, culturally and economically. We will take a range of issues and put them into one spot with a set of recommendations and then make it available to Government. A summit to conclude the Population Series will be held at Darwin Convention Centre on Tuesday from 5-7pm. Social commentator and demographer Mark McCrindle will join a panel of community leaders and experts who will discuss feedback Territorians provided during the NT Population Series which took place at six regional forums during June and July. ASHLEY MANICAROS ABORIGINAL history and culture will be at the heart of our curriculum in all Australian schools up to year 10, Nigel Scullion says. Speaking at the Garma Festival yesterday, the indigenous Affairs minister (pictured) questioned if the school curriculum surrounding Aboriginal matters was any better than when he was at school, promising to work with Education Minister Simon Birmingham to bring about change. Mr Scullion spoke of the most complex civilisations with highly evolved sets of rules guiding marriage, family, conflict resolution and agreements with other nations. He said first nations were eminently as complex as the Peruvian Empire and Egyptian Empire, which we learned lots about in school. What an interesting history and yet nobody knows anything about it, he said. And its so important in terms of reconciliation be cause its very hard for us to understand how aboriginal people are today until we really understand what we took away. I know that our indigenous culture is at the heart of our nation. Its my strong belief that Aboriginal and Islander culture and history must be explored, explained, learned about and delighted in our schools. So indigenous language and history will be at the heart of our curriculum, has to be at the heart of our curriculum, if we are to educate future Australians to be truly respectful and value our nations heritage. Territory Education boss Ken Davies said it was a great announcement. Scullion backs indigenous curriculum Yolngu dancers at the opening of Garma Festival at the Gulkula grounds in north-east Arnhem Land Picture: AAP Treaties back on agenda ABORIGINAL leaders have called for a Constitutional hook from which to hang settlements between Aboriginal nations and Australian governments, thrusting the concept of treaties back onto the national agenda. Speaking at the Garma Festival in northeast Arnhem Land yesterday, Cape York leader Noel Pearson, in conjunction with his friend and hero Galarrwuy Yunupingu, called for makarrata, a Yolngu word entailing reconciliation and atonement. At a practical level it goes further to mean a series of settlements, or treaties, between governments and First Nations which would broadly give them power to choose rather than be told - how they interacted with mainstream Australia and governments. Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion yesterday reiterated his support for Constitutional recognition of First Australians, but avoided a view on the concepts of settlements, treaties or makarrata. He said he had scheduled a meeting with Mr Yunupingu to talk more about what makarrata would involve. The hook Mr Pearson called for would mean broadening the discussion about Constitutional recognition to include how the wording of Australias founding document could be changed to compel legislated acts of parliament in favour of these settlements. A Constitution can only be an enabler of something that sits outside it, Mr Pearson said. This idea of agreement has had lots of different terminology document of reconciliation, treaty, compact, makarrata, settlement all these words have been used over the last four or five decades. What Im hearing from Galarrwuy here at Garma is the appropriate word is makarrata. Theres got to be an aspect of atonement. An acknowledgment of the suffering ... and a kind of solemn undertaking that we wont return to that past. The crucial questions is will Australia allow the Yolngu to develop to take part in the country to be part of the economic life of the country while being assured they are entitled to keep their culture, keep their heritage, keep their language. My approach as a leader from Cape York is if we can get it work for the Yolngu, we can get it to work for all of us. Mr Pearson said his view was for this hook to allow Parliament to create a document that existed outside the Constitution, like the American declaration of independence, which spoke to Australias moral future and relationship with its indigenous citizens. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke promised a treaty in 1988 but failed to deliver. ZACH HOPE IN GULKULA TUNING INTO TEENS Learn skills to support your teens emotional development during a six session parenting program for parents of adolescents aged 12-18 years. Would you like to learn how to: improve communication and develop greater connection with your teen help your teen to manage their emotions and behaviours teach your teen to deal with conflict Course details 08 8944 2000 E: darwin@catholiccarent.org.au www.catholiccarent.org.au When: Each Tuesday starting 9 August, concluding 13 September (6 sessions) Time: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm Where: CatholicCare NT, 17 Hidden Valley Road, Berrimah RSVP: by Friday 5 August to secure your booking