Welcome to our 46th Newsletter!
In this Newsletter we reflect back on 2015 and some of its highlights and the issues that we’ve tracked over the year. We provide information about the latest Paper Tracker radio shows and identify key areas that we plan to focus on during 2016.
Key developments during 2015
A number of key developments and events took place during the past year. Amongst others, these included:
- APY Governance
APY Executive elections: In May 2015, the APY Executive Board elections were held. Mrs Paddy from Kalka was elected as Chairperson and Mr Bernard Singer as Deputy Chairperson.
- New APY General Manager: An Interim General Manager, Mr Richard King, was appointed in April on a three month contract. He was then confirmed in this position, on a three year contract.
Review of APY Land Rights Act: In April 2014, the Hon Dr Robyn Layton presented the final report of the limited review of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981 to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation. The APY Executive responded to the recommendations in mid-December 2014. The Minister has indicated that he is committed to implementing the findings of the Review and, as part of this implementation, plans to call fresh APY Executive elections.
Amendment to the APY Land Rights Act: In late 2014, the previous Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation introduced urgent amendments to the APY Land Rights Act through Parliament, giving the Minister the power to suspend the APY Executive Board and appoint an Administrator. These amended powers were not used during 2015.
Forensic audit of APY finances and administration: In July 2015, the Federal and State Ministers for Aboriginal Affairs undertook a forensic audit of Government funds awarded to the APY Executive Board in 2014-15.
- Community safety
Community Constables: Two new Anangu Community Constables were trained by SAPol and employed in Mimili and Amata.
According to a SAPol representative, as at October 2015, four Community Constables were employed and three Police Aboriginal Liaison Officers (PALO) positions were filled; six Community Constable positions remain unfilled.
Community Patrols Program: As part of improving community safety and protecting children, the Community Patrols Program is being rolled out across six communities.
For more information about this Program, you can listen to the Paper Tracker radio interview with the Program Coordinator, Mr Bob Smith.
Mimili Community CFS: The Mimili Community Country Fire Service now includes a Women’s Fire Brigade which has been trained in using fire-fighting equipment.
- Umuwa Trade Training Centre:
Since its opening three years ago in November 2012:
631 individuals have enrolled in either formal nationally-accredited training or non-accredited training.
These 631 individuals enrolled for 1,029 accredited and/or non-accredited training courses.
There were 3,607 competency enrolments, with a total of 1,416 competencies achieved.
88 certificates were attained over the past three years:
Certificate I in Hospitality: 55
Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management: 11
Certificate II in Hospitality: 1
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment: 20
Diploma in Training and Assessment (RPL): 1
In addition, a number of training organisations have used the TTC facilities to run courses; overnight accommodation has been provided; two Anangu Work Expos have been held; and over 2,500 meals were catered during 2015.
South Australia Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission was established by the SA Government on 19 March 2015 to undertake an investigation into South Australia’s participation in four areas of activity – the potential for the expansion of exploration and extraction of minerals, undertaking of further processing of minerals and manufacture of materials containing radioactive substances, use of nuclear fuels for electricity generation and the storage and disposal of radioactive and nuclear waste.
Given the history and impact of the atomic bomb tests on communities across Central Australia and the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands, Anangu communities have had a strong response to the announcement about the Royal Commission and continue to monitor its work.
Fresh and nutritious food: The Mai Wiru Regional Stores Aboriginal Corporation started its weekly freight service to APY community stores in September 2014. This has had a positive impact on the availability and price of fresh food – there has been a 25% reduction in the cost of many foods.
Paper Tracker Radio Shows
During 2015, the Paper Tracker produced 52 radio shows, and since our September 2015 newsletter, we produced and broadcast 18 radio shows. If you’d like to listen to any of these more recent programs, you can click on the links below.
Program 195: Tauto Sansbury: Critical Issues
Program 196: Bob Smith on Community Patrols Program – Part 1
Program 197: Bob Smith on Community Patrols – Part 2
Program 198: Avon Hudson on Nuclear Royal Commission
Program 199: Update from Yalata Community
Program 200: Update from Yalata Community – Part 2
Program 201: Mark Connelly on Umuwa Trade Training Centre
Program 202: Minister Susan Close on the APY Lands
Program 203: SAPol and new Community Constables
Program 204: Update from Nerida Saunders (DSD-AAR)
Program 205: Uti Kulintjaku – finding words to express feelings
Program 206: Update from APY General Manager
Program 207: Update from Steven Marshall
Program 208: Jon Whelan (DPTI) on APY Road Upgrade
Program 209: Stuart Sturgess on Landfill and Waste Management
Program 210: DASSA on drug and alcohol support services
Program 211: Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement
Program 212: Karina Lester at World Nuclear Victims’ Forum
If you’d like to listen to previous radio shows, you can visit the Paper Tracker website at https://www.papertracker.com.au/category/radio-programs/, and then click on the program or interview you’d like to listen to.
The Paper Tracker Project continues to appreciate the support from Radio Adelaide which hosts our weekly radio show. The Paper Tracker would like to thank Radio Adelaide for the important work they do in sharing information with the broader community, their inclusion of over 400 volunteers, the training they provide to media students, their reach into remote communities, and their commitment to producing shows in Aboriginal languages and strengthening community radio.
Our Facebook page is continuing to be a great way to exchange information with Anangu and the broader community. We currently have 1,282 ‘friends’ and our reach per week ranges from 1,000 to 7,000! We’ve enjoyed the increased level of Facebook interaction this year and we’d appreciate it if you and your friends would ‘like’ our page and engage with us about issues that you think are important and that affect Anangu communities.
Key areas of focus for 2016
The Paper Tracker will continue to monitor key areas of concern, such as governance, food security, housing and employment. During 2016, there will be a particular focus on access to dialysis, the levels of hearing loss among children on the Lands, and the safety of children:
Community-based Dialysis: In July 2015, the Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, committed funding to Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (The Purple House) to extend their work to include a permanent community-based dialysis facility in Pukatja/Ernabella. The Purple House submitted a business plan to SA Health but the Department has yet to indicate whether it will support the initiative. Many dialysis patients, who have been forced to move out of community in order to access dialysis, are eagerly awaiting SA Health’s response and are very keen to be able to live back in community with their family and friends.
The Paper Tracker was invited to make a presentation about community-based dialysis to the South Australian Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee in September 2015. The key focus of this presentation was an historical overview of the attempts made over the past fifteen years to improve access to dialysis by Anangu communities. You can access this presentation and the timeline here.
Access to dialysis services will remain a key focus of Paper Tracker’s work during 2015.
Hearing loss among Anangu children: There is a high level of hearing loss among Anangu children on the APY Lands. Research data compiled by audiologists and researchers from Flinders University shows that 75% of children fail standard hearing tests and over one third of children have at least one perforated ear drum. The Paper Tracker has raised this issue with both the Federal and State Ministers for Aboriginal Affairs; the South Australian Minister for Health; and with the Women and Children’s Health Network.
An audiologist involved in tracking the ear health of children across the APY Lands for more than nine years, Associate Professor Linnett Sanchez, was invited to present to the APY Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee in October 2015. You can read the Hansard transcript of her presentation here.
The Paper Tracker will continue to monitor and advocate about hearing loss and looks forward to hearing how this serious problem is going to be addressed by health service providers.
Ongoing monitoring of the implementation of Mullighan Inquiry recommendations: In late 2013, the Government tabled its fifth and final report to Parliament about its implementation of the recommendations of the Children on APY Lands (Mullighan) Commission of Inquiry. The report states that the APY Lands Steering Committee will have responsibility for the ongoing monitoring of the implementation of the Inquiry’s recommendations. However, the APY Lands Steering Committee met only twice in 2014 and child protection was not on the agenda. According to the APY General Manager, this Committee met in November 2015 and held general discussions about child protection and the need for services to work together. It appears that no detailed discussions about the actual monitoring of the Mullighan recommendations were held.
The question as to who has oversight and responsibility for the ongoing implementation of the Mullighan Inquiry recommendations remains unanswered.
Child Protection Protocols: In October 2013, the South Australian Government commenced a review of the APY Lands Child Protection Protocols for the Investigation and Assessment of Suspected Child Abuse and/or Neglect. These protocols provide guidelines for how government agencies and non-government organisations should respond to child protection notifications.
After repeated requests for an update on the progress of this Review, on 17 December 2013 the Department advised the Paper Tracker that it expected the Review to be completed by August 2014. According to Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation’s 2014 Progress on the Lands Report, the Review was to be finalised by mid-2015. In an interview with Paper Tracker Radio in October 2015, the Minister for Education and Child Development indicated that the Protocols are ‘still in the process of being reviewed’. To date, no final report or outcome has been made available.
The Paper Tracker will continue to monitor child protection issues during 2016.
- The future of Radio Adelaide: The Paper Tracker radio show is hosted by Radio Adelaide, which is facing an uncertain future – the Station’s current premises have been sold by the University of Adelaide and it has to relocate by June. The Station’s ongoing funding is under serious threat. Not only is this critical for Australia’s oldest community radio station but it also has implications for the ongoing broadcasting of Paper Tracker radio shows through Radio Adelaide.
There has been an overwhelming level of community support for Radio Adelaide. For more information or to sign the petition, visit http://www.saveradioadelaide.org/
The Honourable Tammy Franks moved a motion of support for Radio Adelaide in the Legislative Council on 9 December 2015. A number of speakers gave strong support for the ongoing work of Radio Adelaide and made reference to the role and contribution of Paper Tracker Radio. The Hansard transcript of these discussions can be read here (from page 2718).