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
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 2 October 1990 I have endeavoured to put together an account and a series of recommendat ions whi ch are open and honest about Abori gi na 1 vi ews of the problems and the possible answers. Education is perceived by many of these people as the central issue for the future of their communities. To be rea 1 i st i c and to take thei r poi nts of vi ew, I have not 1 imi ted the rang~ of my consultation strictly to educational or Northern Territory government matters. It was in this way that the review came to consider the dilemma of jobs in communities, the need. for improved cooperation with the Commonwealth and the impact of health problems such as substance abuse. In closing, I ask members to note the recommendations concerning the need for a review of educational issues affecting Aborigines in urban areas. I have stated in the report that the problems affecting educational opportun it i es for Aborigi na 1 peop 1 e in urban areas are seri ous. However, they are quite different from those which have concerned the many Aboriginal peop 1 e in remote areas and others who part i ci pated in my many vis i ts and di scuss ions over the past 2 years. In maki ng my report, I have endeavoured to portray the problems put to me in detai.l. To skim over any area or to cloak it within a larger document would be to undermine the value of the. information put forward by the many who contributed. I have directed my attent i on to the areas of greatest need and, in order to move forward in those areas, I believe it essential that we be prepared to take on board the comments which have been made. Soon after my most recent appointment as Minister for Education, I presided over a review of the regulations concerning the operation of school councils. One of the principal recommendations flowing from that review was that those schools in which a significant percentage of student enrolments were Aboriginal should ensure Aboriginal representation on their school councils. I suspect that such initiatives will play a big part in overcoming the problems which Aboriginal people in urban areas face in educat ion. However, it will be important for those problems to be considered and addressed honestly, openly and in detai 1. To achieve those results, a comprehens i ve invest i gat ion, such as the one proposed in my report, will be necessary. Mr Speaker, as mentioned earlier, the report as presented is not in its final form. The text will remain the same. However, the layout will be considered in more detail and a number of photographs will be included in the designated spaces in the report, which will be widely distributed. The report will include the address to which submissions and comments are to be sent. Mr Speaker, I move that the Assembly take note of the statement. Mr EDE (Stuart): Mr Speaker, I made my point of order advisedly. wished to clarify whether or not the report is a statement of policy. I am advised quite clearly that it is not and that it is not a report by the Department of Educat i on. Therefore, it has no status beyond bei ng a record of the personal views and observations of the minister following a very extensive trip around the bush. As we all know, the minister is leaving politics at the end of the term. He decided that, before he left, he would make a very thorough tour of the Territory, visiting a large number of communities, and that he would present what is little more than a self-indulgent report on what people said to him. I had the mi sfortune to be present at a couple of hi s consu ltat ions and, frankly, I was appalled at the methodology which he used to elicit the views of Aboriginal people. It involved nothing more than the minister 10 672
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