In August this year, The Federal government released the Forrest Report, a policy doctrine of sorts delivered by Andrew Forrest to inform Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s approach to indigenous affairs in Australia. The response to the content of this report has been mixed; some hailing it as a comprehensive work that will evolve the place of indigenous Australians in our society, whilst others have called it an ignorant and idealistic document that ignores evidence-based research. Two months on, Sustaining People looks at the impact of Australian business on the indigenous community, and what is being done, and what could be done better. Continue reading The Forrest Report: Closing The Gap?
“Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes. We need gigantic monumental changes.”
Merely a quote from character Sam Seaborne, of the critically acclaimed US political drama The West Wing, this sentiment nevertheless rings true as the most promising way to lift a society out of the quagmire of poverty and ill-health.
Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people are severely under-represented in local and private education programs, with only around 10% of aboriginal children graduating from high schools nationally. Research from the last decade shows that ASTI students are often disadvantaged due to language barriers in early conceptual development and a mismatch between cultural beliefs and national education values. Indeed, by the time they start year one, 60% of ATSI children are behind developmentally. Later, at a university level, adjusting to socio-economic challenges in a predominantly non-ATSI student population can prove extremely difficult. Continue reading CSIRO invests $28.8 million in Indigenous Education