By Colin Tatz
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Extra resources for Aboriginal Suicide Is Different: A Portrait of Life and Self-Destruction
14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. The 1996 census shows a figure of 314,120 Aborigines, 28,744 Torres Strait Islanders, and 10,106 who are either of the above, or both, or South Sea Islanders. For elaboration of what follows, see my article, ‘Race Relations in the 21st Century’, and my chapter, ‘A Question of Rights and Wrongs’. In the past two years the number of students undertaking Aboriginal Studies in New South Wales has declined: students, teachers and parents tend to shy away from 2-unit subjects in the Higher School Certificate.
Reconciliation began as a nonAboriginal concept at the start of the 1990s, conceived by Robert Tickner (then Labor’s Aboriginal Affairs minister). It was to be a ten-year program aimed at improving race relations through an increased understanding of Aboriginal and Islander culture and history, and then through an appreciation of the causes of continued Aboriginal disadvantage in health, housing, education and employment. For some proponents and believers, it means a moratorium — that is, each party desisting from causing injury to the other.
It is as if Aborigines, like new immigrants, have ‘just arrived’; and, to share in the ‘just’ and ‘equal’ society, they must compete on equal terms. The Aboriginal question is thus merged into a ‘multicultural society’, one in which Aborigines are no different from recent immigrants. ) Past violations are disregarded, thereby absolving anyone from atonement or compensation. On election, Howard began a systematic campaign against the ‘black armband’ interpretation of Australian history. Priority, he said, should be given to health, literacy and other practical programs.
Aboriginal Suicide Is Different: A Portrait of Life and Self-Destruction by Colin Tatz