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One Day. One Glorious Day.

15/09/2010

Julia Gillard’s cabinet was announced and almost immediately, interest groups found it wanting.

Those in the Tertiary sector got their backs up when they discovered that their industry had been split into two; a research portfolio, a major factor of that industry and one they did not fault, and one they did fault.

They took offense that they were brought under the umbrella of Jobs, Skills and Workplace relations. To many, it was demeaning. How dare the government classify what they do as having anything to do with jobs and skills!

Oh please. Grow the fuck up. The role of Tertiary Education is to empower and offer opportunity for adding to existing skill bases and bettering  job and workplace for its clients. It MUST be their goal. Does the tertiary sector fear being scrutinised on doing their task? Still, the PM acquiesced and added Tertiary to a title.

So much for a rose is still a rose by any other name.

The other more distressing name change for me is the need to include the title of  indigenous to some portfolios. Not because I feel this was not needed. But because it is still necessary.

In this case, the PM had attempted something no other PM has dared to try: to include Indigenous people into the rest of Australia, not to ignore it as many claim. John Howard claimed this was what he wanted to do, but never backed words with action.

The problem though is the glowing disparity between Indigenous Australians and the rest of us is undeniable. Indigenous Australians have lower life expectancies. They are more likely to be imprisoned and usually for minor offenses. They are more likely to be discriminated against. They are less likely to attend tertiary education. And so on.

This problem we can all see, and needs to be addressed. It is a result of decades of divisive policies and ironically, we still need to distinguish between Indigenous Australians and the rest of us Australians via titles of ministry positions and cabinet portfolios.  It’s a shame on all of us and the gap between these two ‘groups’ needs to not only close, but no longer can a gap exist.

I remember the late Dr Fred Hollows who went into the outback to restore sight to many. Some mistook this as charity. It was not charity. It can never be considered charity. It was delivering a service to Indigenous Australians that we elsewhere take for standard medical care.

Dr Hollows  helped reduce and highlight just one gap. There are many more that need to be addressed. Then maybe one day, we can have a Health minister that cares for all Australians.

Unfortunately, that time is not now and I feel Julia, while attempting to change mindsets via  nomenclature, has upset those who job it is to close that gap because it takes the spot light away from that gap.

Ironically, the Coalition played a game of one-upmanship. They created a Shadow ministry entitled Disabilities, Carers, and the Voluntary Sector. I say ironic because all the while under the Coalitions 11 year reign, they continued to ignore these areas. So much so, that now the Coalition feels it a savvy move to create a separate ministry.

I see this and hang my head in shame. They created the disparity much like the Menzies reign helped continue disparity between Indigenous Peoples and the rest of  at that time White Australia, and now they create a shadowy Shadow ministry to attempt to SEEM like they give a shit. If the Coalition gave a shit, then there would be no disparity. They only give a shit when they can see a vote in it.

Notably, they neglected to add the title mental health into this recent position. Apparently Mental Health is just a Disability?

One day. One glorious day, there will be no need to distinguish between Australians who are Indigenous and who are not because there will be no disparity. One day disability and ability will not be dividing points. One day we not need to ignore those that care for others. One day voluntary work will be recognised as important as any other work.

And one day, the tertiary sector will get its head out of its arse.

One glorious day.

A. Ghebranious    2010                All Rights Reserved

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One Comment
  1. I could absolutely utilize a version of those.

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