Telling you our story: how apology and action relate to health and social problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Telling you our story: how apology and action relate to health and social problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities Journal Article

Medical Journal of Australia

  • Author(s): Wendy Hermeston
  • Published: 2005
  • Volume: 183

Abstract: With the demise of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in 2004 after a long and painful 8-year illness, a new council to represent the views of Indigenous people, the National Indigenous Council, has been chosen for us. One of the first viewpoints expressed by one of the new council members concerned the “Sorry” debate. The council member stated that an apology for past injustice was important, “but does not address domestic violence in our homes”, and went on to say that the need to address poverty, poor health and lack of education were a higher priority than statements of regret. In my view, this comment was a disappointment, not only because of the leverage this kind of statement gives to the “anti-bleeding heart” brigade, but also because a true apology — and, more importantly, the actions that go with it — would address exactly these conditions in our communities. Genuine measures would go some way towards making holistic health gains and dealing with health inequities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To be truly effective, any actions taken should be based on the existing framework of the recommendations of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s report, Bringing them home.

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Suggested Citation
Wendy Hermeston, 2005, Telling you our story: how apology and action relate to health and social problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Volume:183, Journal Article, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3864.

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