The Northern Territory news Sat 23 Jan 2010
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www.ntnews.com.au Northern Territory News, Saturday, January 23, 2010 31 P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 3 -J A N -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 3 1 C O L O R : C M Y K Get involved in a growing industry Be it for business or pleasure, if you want to study full-time or part-time, there are courses to suit everyone with CDU Horticulture this coming semester. We offer night classes, Saturday classes, and industry workshops. All units of study count towards Nationally Recognised Horticulture Qualifications. To enrol and for more information P: 8946 7513 or 8946 7158 E: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and many more. Propagation Plant Trees and Shrubs (including basic botany) Irrigation Installation and Maintenance Top End Weed Identification Chemical Safety and Accreditation Garden Design Tropical Plant Identification Pruning Tractor operation Pest and Diseases Soils and Growing Media 4x4 Vehicle Recovery Mick out to educate RESPECTED LEADER: Indigenous leader Professor Mick Dodson AM holds his award after being named Australian of the Year 2009 on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra Aussie of the Years work far from done EDUCATIONAL MATTERS: Mick Dodson browses through Yipirinya Language Centres Aboriginal books with Anne Hickling-Hudson and Marcia Langton in April last year. Picture: DAN MOSS ByCRYSTAL JA in Canberra Weve been letting disadvantaged kids down for toolong and sadly too many of those disadvantaged kids are Aboriginal kids M ICK Dodson started his term as Australian of the Year in 2009 vowing to try to have every child enrolled for school by the beginning of 2010. Try he did. He visited more than 40 schools across the country and spoke to countless young kids about the importance of sticking with school and seeing it through. And if he got through to even one of them, the indigenous rights campaigner considers that a years work well done. Even if Ive inspired one child to go to school I think Ive made an achievement, he said. I would hope Ive inspired at least a handful of kids to stick at it and to be proud of who they are and understand the importance of education. The respected academic has had a busy, busy, busy 12 months, after being named the 2009 Australian of the Year. His successor will be announced on Monday. For some of those previously honoured, its a great way of getting your voice out there and being heard. Thats never been a worry for Prof Dodson. Ive never really had a much of a problem getting my voice out to people but I think Ive been much more selective and focused, he said. Thats what it does, being Australian of the Year does that it really puts the spotlight on you. In 2010, he plans to branch out from indigenous rights and will continue to lobby for education reform, while also pushing for action on climate change. Education, which couldnt get much worse at the moment, and the environment loom as crucial battlefronts for Australia, he said. In Melbourne on Wednesday, Prof Dodson was convincing teachers to take up the cause and implement a 25-year plan to improve education for indigenous kids. We want to improve the participation and completion rates so that were actually getting more kids to school, getting them to stay in school, and getting them to complete school, he said. Prof Dodson, who runs the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at Canberras Australian National University, has plans to sell an indigenous education plan to politicians. Weve been letting disadvantaged kids down for too long and sadly too many of those disadvantaged kids are Aboriginal kids. Prof Dodson believes there is a long way to go when it comes to improving the lives of Australias indigenous people. And reconciliation, if it has an end at all, is a fair way off being reached. Im increasingly thinking of reconciliation as a process each generation takes up, not something that has an end point, he said. It has an end point for us as a generation, when we die, we die in the knowledge that we have done stuff to better that. Were edging closer, inching, but I cant say we are going forward by centimetres. There have been gains: the apology, the Governments endorsement of the UNs declaration on the rights of indigenous people. Racism remained a problem for Australians, Prof Dodson said, adding he did not think it was worse than anywhere else. Everywhere theres this horrible thing called racism, he said. Weve got to stand up when this happens and weve got to find these people. Im talking to all Australians to speak up when theyre confronted with racists and to tell them thats intolerable. He tells it like this. I was at the footy once watching my beloved Sydney Swans play and some idiot in the crowd sledged an Aboriginal player on the other team, he said. The whole stand turned on him and said get out of here if you want to behave like that. And how did the man react? He shut up, Prof Dodson happily recalls. Thats all weve got to do.