20 September, 2010

Indigenous kids must speak like us – just don’t teach them “Ketchup”!

Two stories appeared on news.com.au today and their comparison is a glaring example of how our many in our community (or at least, some news editors) are yet to understand the cultural ramifications of gentrification – when it comes to Aboriginal people anyway!

In this piece newly appointed Indigenous Employment Minister Mark Arbib says Indigenous Australians must be taught English ahead of their traditional language if they are to get jobs. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/breaking-news/english-first-for-indigenous-kids-mark-arbib/story-e6frea73-1225926332548

In another article (see link below) it seems Australia is up in arms because Heinz are trying to change the name of “Tomato Sauce” to “Ketchup” here in the Great Southland.
In response to this proposed name change business and community leader Dick Smith (himself a warrior for Indigenous rights) says the move is “disrespectful” and "They don't give a stuff about Australian culture or our way of life".
Channel 9 star (and all round “great Aussie bloke”) Scott Cam goes even further – “They’re infiltrating us – it’s not our way of life”.

Ummmmm… Need I say more?
We are – as a nation, it seems – up in arms when a multi-national company attempts to change one word that has American connotations.
We are - as a nation, it seems, happy for our Government to openly state (again) it’s intentions (again) to impose our culture, our way of life and our language (again) on a people who have already had so much of their culture, way of life and language wiped out by us, well meaning white fellas (again)?

I took the liberty of changing the two articles around a little to address the huge contradictions…

IT IS enough to make Kevin Rudd shake his sauce bottle. Or at least stir a dead horse.

INDIGENOUS Australians must be taught English ahead of their traditional languages if they are to get jobs, Indigenous Employment Minister Mark Arbib says.
Senator Arbib said while he wanted to see traditional languages kept alive, the focus had to be kept on English.

Dick Smith labelled the move "disrespectful", "They don't give a stuff about Indigenous culture or their way of life," Mr Smith said.
Channel 9 star Scott Camm said the final remnants of the thousands-year old Indigenous culture and heritage would be lost to future generations.
"What, are they gonna start walking down the sidewalk?" he said.
"We’re infiltrating them - it's not their way of life."

Senator Arbib said he would work with School Education Minister Peter Garrett and all state governments to ensure that literacy skills were being taught to indigenous children.
"Because they need it," he said.

08 September, 2010

Suicide - silent and deadly

Suicide claims on average the lives of seven Australians a day. There are approximately 65,000 suicide attempts each year – and more than 2,200 loved ones will die by suicide in Australia annually. Despite these horrifying numbers, suicide remains a taboo in Australia and is still horribly misunderstood and mistreated.
Friday, 10th of September is World Suicide Prevention Day, a global awareness day operating internationally as an initiative of the World Health Organisation and the International Association for Suicide Prevention. This year’s theme is ‘Many Faces, Many Places: Suicide Prevention Across the World’.

‘Suicide can affect anyone and it is up to us to get to know the signs of suicide and how we can not only get help – but how we can also give help’ said Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Ryan McGlaughlin.

‘We hope that World Suicide Prevention Day can be the catalyst for a national stigma reduction campaign that the recent Senate inquiry The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia has called for. This is a day in which we can start to remove the stigma of help-seeking and mental illness and ensure that embarrassment or fear of what others may think never claims another life through suicide.’

Suicide Prevention Australia Chair, Dr. Michael Dudley lamented ‘Australians are more than aware of how to perform CPR after seeing it glamorised many times on television and movies. But if you were to ask how we as people can help those around us with suicidal thoughts, many would be left scratching their heads. Suicide is now the most likely cause of death for men under 44 years of age and for women under 34 years of age – yet no one outside of the sector is actively working to reduce these staggering figures’.

Most people are still shocked to learn suicide claims more lives than motor vehicle accidents, cirrhosis and liver disease, influenza, skin cancers or deadly assaults. It is with this that suicide now deserves the national attention, funding and nation-wide initiatives to raise awareness, dispel the myths and save thousands of lives each year.

Suicide Prevention Australia has launched www.wspd.org.au to raise awareness for World Suicide Prevention Day. The website offers a fantastic range of resources for all Australians to get involved in reducing suicide in Australia.

(info from http://suicidepreventionaust.org/Home.aspx)

Check out http://salvos.org.au/suicideprevention/ for Salvo specific information...

06 September, 2010

Some great quotes from the UN Health Conference...

"Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good" Dharmapriya Wesumperuma

"When big brother gives aid, he usually wants something in return" Dr. Caleb Tyndale O.Otto

"We must raise the profile that peace is an achievable goal. People wrongly believe that war will bring stability and security. We must change our understanding and know that it is peace and not war that will bring stability and security and life" Dr.Sue Wareham

Following on from this, Dr.Wareham talked about the culture of war that is celebrated and honoured so highly. In reference to Canberra, and the campaign to build two more war memorials, she said:
"We already have 38 war memorials in Canberra...do we really need two more? When are we going to start memorialising peace?"

"Australia must start preparing itself for climate change refugees. We could build rafts for ourselves, but I don't think they are going to last very long!" Dr. Caleb Tyndale O.Otto (this one got a few laughs :-)

02 September, 2010

Over 24,000 children die every day around the world.

That is equivalent to:

•1 child dying every 3.6 seconds
•16-17 children dying every minute
•A 2010 Haiti earthquake occurring almost every 9-10 days
•A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring almost every 10 days
•An Iraq-scale death toll every 16–40 days
•Just under 9 million children dying every year
•Some 79 million children dying between 2000 and 2007

Can you handle more??
•2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation
•1 billion children are deprived of one or more services essential to survival and development
•148 million under 5s in developing regions are underweight for their age
•101 million children are not attending primary school, with more girls than boys missing out
•22 million infants are not protected from diseases by routine immunization
•8.8 million children worldwide died before their 5th birthday in 2008
•4 million newborns worldwide are dying in the first month of life
•2 million children under 15 are living with HIV
•>500,000 women die each year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth

The wealth and good will of Christians alone could end a large portion of this needless pain and suffering. The fact that we are no where near reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 says to me that people are more interested in God's 'other' priority areas. I wonder what they are?


01 September, 2010

More information from the UN global health conference

More information from the UN global health conference:

  • One billion people do not have access to adequate and appropriate food.
  • 2.6 billion people around the world lack access to an improved sanitation facility.
  • 8 out of 10 people who are without access to safe drinking water live in rural areas.
  • Almost 9 million children die before the age of five, uncounted more have preventable disabilities.
  • At least 340000 women die each year of pregnancy related causes, including the lack of trained health care professionals during childbirth.
  • Millions of people die prematurely of non communicable diseases, as well as TB, malaria and complications of Aids every year.
  • An estimated 420 million people in developing countries have a disability; 267 million world wide have preventable visual impairment.
  • Human induced environmental degradation causes short and long term health threats including climate change.

Tomorrows blog will give us an idea as to what the UN want us to do. But until then, pray!

And wow, while typing this, I just witnessed Reverend Tim Costello making an unrehearsed plea to help Pakistan. Very inspiring. He calls for a debt moratorium while they deal with the current crisis crippling their nation.