author: Myrna Tonkinson

  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't be disheartened by dismal Close the Gap reports

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 16 February 2016
    3 Comments

    Last week, Malcolm Turnbull presented the eighth annual Prime Minister's Report on the government's Close the Gap campaign. The Close the Gap Campaign steering committee also released its 2016 progress and priorities report. While the reports identify modest gains, overall the gaps remain wide the words 'target not met' recur throughout. The results are disheartening but should strengthen the resolve of all concerned to set realistic goals, with consultation at local levels.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remote 'lifestyle choices' need careful consideration

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 13 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The PM's cavalier use of the term 'lifestyle choice' is totally inappropriate when referring to the people who will be affected by the proposed closures of remote Aboriginal communities. Undeniably it is expensive to sustain remote living, and effective schooling and health services are unfeasible. But we must avoid arbitrary decision-making, and implicit disparagement of people in remote communities.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Going backwards after Abbott's 'urban Aboriginal' gaffe

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 19 November 2012
    15 Comments

    The battle of words about what constitutes Aboriginality, sparked by Tony Abbott's ill-conceived remarks about Liberal Party member Ken Wyatt, has been discomfiting. References to Aboriginal 'blood' conjure up the absurd measurements that were used to classify and separate Aboriginal people in the past.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2010: Other unsung Indigenous heroes

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 14 January 2011

    Not yet 40, she must live in Perth, hundreds of kilometres from home, to receive dialysis. She is currently in hospital recovering from spinal surgery, and so is separated even from her city-based loved ones. Yet she appears always with a beaming smile.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A journey with Indigenous 'in-laws'

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 20 August 2010

    The women assemble to sing, dance, tell stories; thus the elders induct younger women into the religious knowledge and rituals that are shared across a wide area. Yuwani Annie's origin story blends a Yanyuwa version with the biblical Adam and Eve story.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Other unsung Indigenous heroes

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 07 July 2010
    1 Comment

    Not yet 40, she must live in Perth, hundreds of kilometres from home, to receive dialysis. She is currently in hospital recovering from spinal surgery, and so is separated even from her city-based loved ones. Yet she appears always with a beaming smile.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Football racism evokes ugly past

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 18 June 2010
    14 Comments

    Timana Tahu left the NSW State of Origin team after racist comments by assistant coach Andrew Johns. AFL heavyweight Mal Brown described Aboriginal players as cannibals. Why is it an insult to call someone black?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How to talk to Aboriginal students

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 13 October 2009
    14 Comments

    Some Aboriginal languages do not distinguish the unvoiced and voiced consonants 'b' and 'p', 'd' and 't', and 'g' and 'k'. Julia Gillard's push to provide 'English as a second language' training to teachers in remote communities can address such language obstacles and help lift levels of Indigenous education.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Indigenous Australians really need

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 07 September 2009
    3 Comments

    Like many Aboriginal communities, the Western Desert communities of WA's Pilabara are dealing with many pressing local issues. If plans for a national representative body can address some of these without introducing cumbersome structures that will inevitably fail, it will have achieved much.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Indigenous health: 'Things that work'

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 08 July 2009
    2 Comments

    The focus on the sensational when discussing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health tends to obscure some positives. Many families are dealing with problems of abuse and neglect with remarkable success.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget will test Labor's Indigenous commitment

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 11 May 2009
    2 Comments

    Any cuts made in this dire economic climate must exclude items for improving conditions for Indigenous Australians. This Budget will test the Government's determination to 'close the gap' between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the population.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we forgot the Apology

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 19 February 2009
    9 Comments

    The muted recognition of the anniversary of the National Apology was partly due to the bushfires in Victoria, which continue, understandably, to monopolise attention and emotion. But the momentous event of February 2008 has not been followed up by significant developments in Indigenous affairs.

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