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A Face for Indigenous Disparity

A Face for Indigenous Disparity

The stats on Aboriginal Australians can be a little numbing. Unemployment among Indigenous Australians is three times higher than for non-Indigenous. Twenty-nine percent of young Indigenous Australians aren’t working or going to school, compared to just 9 percent of non-Indigenous.

In some parts of Australia, up to 70 percent of school-age Indigenous children don’t regularly attend school.

It takes stories to understand what it means to grow up Indigenous.

Tania Major is the daughter of a Kokoberra mother and a white father. In her majority Aboriginal hometown, Kowanyama, alcohol abuse, violence, high unemployment and poor educational standards were the norm. Tania’s mother insisted she go to school, but she didn’t learn much. In 9 years of school, she can only recall one assignment. Still, she was at the top of her class, so she won a scholarship to attend a boarding school in Brisbane.

The opportunity was eye-opening. Tania’s new school was so much more demanding that her grades slipped from As to Cs and Ds. But she worked hard and went on to become the first person from her community to earn a college degree.

Getting out of Kowanyama gave Tania perspective on her hometown. The violence against women, neglect of children and a lack of opportunity stifle her community. Now, Tania is working with our friends at GenerationOne to change this reality and make life better for all Indigenous Australians.

It’s a big challenge, and it’s going to take an effort by all Australians. Indigenous children need mentors and help navigating the education and employment systems. Australian businesses need strategies to make sure Indigenous people get a fair opportunity to work. At the most basic level, Australia must ensure Indigenous children can get a good education that prepares them for life.

GenerationOne believes Australians can close the gap in this generation. You can join the fight to end Indigenous disparity.

Take Action: Share your own story about what you and your community are doing end the disparity.

 

Related Stories:

UPDATE: U.S. Will Sign Declaration Recognizing Indigenous Rights

Great Barrier Reef Threatened By Australian Flood Waters

Did Oklahoma Ban Native American Rights?

 

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Photo credit: GenerationONE

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40 comments

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8:24AM PST on Jan 12, 2013

Thank you Emily, for Sharing this!

1:13AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

Thank you for information

9:51PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

It is sad and unfair that all over the world native cultures are treated so disrespectfully...

5:44PM PST on Feb 17, 2012

@ Roberta K - No, I didn't miss out on the history. The difference between you and me though, is that what history gave me is no reason to continue on the same path. History is there to learn from - not keep dredging it up as an excuse as to why I or ANYONE else cannot get ahead. I stick with my original comments.

5:43PM PST on Feb 17, 2012

@ Roberta K - No, I didn't miss out on the history. The difference between you and me though, is that what history gave me is no reason to continue on the same path. History is there to learn from - not keep dredging it up as an excuse as to why I or ANYONE else cannot get ahead. I stick with my original comments.

9:28AM PST on Feb 17, 2012

THANKS FOR THE POST.

3:59AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Interesting article. Thanks

3:24AM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

Native Americans go through the same type of discrimination, and it's starting to get better. Perseverance!

11:08AM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

❤❤❤

4:42PM PDT on Apr 19, 2011

@Krystyna, you ask how people can overcome, that's simple, with equal education. First Nation people should be accorded the same respect as others.

I too have heard of the rapes in Africa of babies and young girls. The reasoning behind that is, that if they have AIDS, they believe that having sex with a virgin will cure their disease. They need proper education.

This lack of work and education happens in all countries where the explorers have "discovered" new land. The indigenous people are treated as if they are not entitled to live on their own land and do not belong, in fact as if they don't exist.

Here in "Turtle Island" (U.S.A.), Native American Studies, in the colleges is listed under the Anthropology Department, along with other dead cultures.

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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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