Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (02 October 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (02 October 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Tuesda1 2 October 1990 In the Aboriginal people, we have what is probably one of the strongest lobby groups in the Territory - 22.4% of our population who currently own 37% of the land and potentially could own almost 50% of the land. It is probably the most powerful group in the Territory and these left-wing fanatics are telling us that we must teach them empowerment. The Aboriginal people know the power they possess. Talk to the Tiwi people or the people of Ngukurr who recognise the power that they have. They do not say that they need this at Batchelor. We can read the words of James Gaykamangu. I recall this letter. I am not denigrating James in this. James is a man for whom I have a great deal of respect, but the letter would indicate to me the level of understanding of English, for a start, that students of education have when coming out of our college. James Gaykamangu asked: Why students are doing too many community research and electives and not what we as student teachers should be learning what we are being taught in our schools. We should be learning maths, 6 + 13 = or English reading writing spelling literacy sports and so on, which we as Aboriginal teachers should be learning in the college, because we won' t be teaching our children in our school about community research and electives in the classroom when we finish from studying at Batchelor College. Aboriginal people want to have an education equal to that which the rest of the community receives. Currently, they are not getting that and that is not because of the direction of this government. We have only to look at places like Batchelor College which was established and mostly funded by this government over the years until now. I know the Commonwealth is starting now to accept its responsibility in that regard and that it is placing a greater commitment on it but, until now, it has been largely the responsibil ity of this government. It is the only college of its kind in the country. Ta 1 k about the support of Labor pol it ici ans interstate! There is no support for Aboriginal people interstate. They do not know the meaning of the word. Talk to the government in Victoria. Its big 'do' for the year is to develop a 20-acre paddock, and it is not doing even that on its own. It is bei ng done joi nt ly wi th the Catho 1 i c Church, but that was a bi g deal for Aboriginal people in Victoria in the last 12 months. Talk to the Western Australian ministers. They say: 'Aboriginal affairs is a federal responsibility. We do not want to become involved in all this housing and community development. That has nothing to do with us. That is a Commonwealth responsibility. Leave it to ATSIC. Why should we get involved?' That is not the way we do bus i ness in the Northern Territory. We establish facilities like Batchelor College. We improve our school system year by year, and currently it is being hijacked by a few left-wing people, Reports that have been written on the educat i on system and the teacher training program at Batchelor College by level-thinking people have been buried, and that is unfortunate because it is essential that we do not lose the agenda of Batchelor College. It is essent i a 1 that we do not lose the agenda of education for Aborigines in,the Northern Territory. I am aware of some of the saner lecturers who come to Batchelor College being forced out of the system. In fact, they are frozen out. One lecturer, in an area as important as the arts was frozen out completely. No student of the Teacher Education Program was allowed to use his arts program 10 677