Press Release: The Challenge of Change

Professor Mick Dodson recently made a public statement to the effect that we should take a lesson out of Aus Aid’s book and learn from what Aus Aid does in Aid work.

To apply the lessons learned to the train wreck of Aboriginal affairs. Bernard Singer, Chairperson said, “We had the same idea in November last year and have been working with the development community since then to draw on home grown Adelaide based expert knowledge to get real value for public money in service delivery and build and empower Anangu capacity." The Minister said in a letter dated 2 December 2008:

“I understand that AARD officers had a productive meeting with Coffey International. I am pleased that you have indicated a desire to consider development strategies over the short, medium and long term. The South Australian Government supports this development…”

“We had a very successful and well attended public workshop in March this year in Adelaide. This was for public servants, non-government organisations and others working on the Lands in our sector. It enabled them not to feel left out or uncertain about Aboriginal people themselves driving and championing change, thinking up new ideas based on international development best practice and high level expert advice.” At the end of that workshop Parry Agius said “You have a new Executive with a new energy and vision. You can be part of that.  “I didn’t fully understand what Parry was driving at until the events of the last two weeks,” said Mr Singer “It’s only Anangu who can make real change here. You are either with us or against us,” concluded Mr Singer.

The final paragraph of the Minister’s letter of 2 December 2008 states:

“I note the resolutions in your letter regarding leasing of housing site and service delivery sites and would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support and swift action in these matters.”

It is hard to describe how shocked and disappointed we were in the Minister’s behaviour on 11 June and in the following weeks.

“There are now completely different stories about permits and some other things. The true story and what Mr Weatherill is saying. We need to get at the truth if we are really talking about amending the APY Land Rights Act. APY fully supports Dr McFetridge’s announcement that he will move for the taking of evidence by the Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee and that the Minister should stand aside as head of the Committee.” said Mr Singer.

APY calls on Mr Weatherill to make a public statement that he supports and will fully co-operate with Dr McFetridges proposal” concluded Mr Singer.

For further details, please contact Ken Newman, General Manager on 08 8954 8132.

Bernard Singer, Chairperson
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