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Policies failing Aboriginal people

Monday, 19th February, 2018

Menindee Aboriginal Elder Beryl Carmichael has a lot of research ready to give politicians Menindee Aboriginal Elder Beryl Carmichael has a lot of research ready to give politicians

By Emily Roberts

A local Aboriginal elder wants to develop programs to help Indigenous people close the gap.

Menindee Aboriginal Elder Beryl Carmichael spoke with the BDT about the failings of the closing the gap programs.

“I want to close the gap, but all the policies have failed the Aboriginal people,” Mrs Carmichael said.

She wants the State and Federal Government to know what could be done better.

“I would like to let the government know that we’re not idiots, we’re knowledgeable in the law of the land as well as Western laws.

“They need to put it in the blackfella’s hands and give it back to us.

“This has been going on since 1970 and I had hoped for a little ray of light but we’re worse off.

“The policies are there for self-gains and all the money is being wasted on land funds tax.”

The Ngiyampaa Elder has suggested putting the initiatives in the hands of Indigenous Australians.

“We need Aboriginal organisations to control these things,” Mrs Carmichael said.

“In terms of housing, we need to put it in the hands of our regional offices - so we can control what our needs and wants are.

“We are being denied our intellectual and cultural properties; even to the river.

“We are seeing a dead river, plants and birds - people are scared.”

She also invited politicians to visit the region and talk to the people.

“It’s time for action, it’s time for the politicians to come here and sit down and talk to us.

“Surely there is someone out there with a heart.

“We’ve been complaining for 10 - 20 years, it’s just fallen on deaf ears.

“I’ve written letters, but nothing has been done.

“I’ve gone to the local, State and Federal Governments.”

She suggested developing programs that will benefit the lives of Aboriginal people.

“We need programs to enhance the lifestyles of our people.”

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