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Ten years after the declaration by the Australian government of a ‘national emergency’ in remote Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal people contend with the devastating consequences of this Intervention. The Intervention marked the introduction of a comprehensive new policy approach in Aboriginal Affairs that had been fermenting after the abolition of ATSIC. It promised to ‘stabilise’ and ‘normalise’ life for people living beyond the reach of mainstream service provision and then ‘exit’. Yet today, ten years on, there is no sign of ‘normalisation’. All the evidence shows that Indigenous people in remote NT communities are more marginalised than ever. People are living with heightened surveillance of their everyday lives after a punitive approach based on Western behaviouristic approaches was deployed to dramatically alter their life-ways and make them compliant neoliberal subjects.
Arena Publications, the Institute for Post-colonial Studies and Mark the Evangelist Uniting Church invite you to a frank dis cussion of what has happened on the ground in the last decade and to consider what might be done to restore some common sense and community control to Indigenous affairs in the NT.
Joe Morrison, of Dagoman and Torres Strait Islander heritage, was born and raised in Katherine in the NT. He is CEO of the Northern Land Council in Darwin and was previously head of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance.
Muriel Bamblett, AM Hon DLittSW is a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman who has been employed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency since 1999. Muriel was Chairperson of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care for ten years.
Thalia Anthony is an Associate Professor in Law, University of Technology Sydney with long-term expertise in the areas of criminal law and procedure and Indigenous people and the law. She is the author of Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment.
Jon Altman is a Research Professor at the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University. He was the co-editor of Coercive Reconciliation: Stabilise, Normalise, Exit Indigenous Australia and is an outspoken critic of the NTER and its aftermath.
Arena Magazine issue 148 (June–July) with a special focus on the 10th anniversary of the Intervention will be launched at the event and will be available for purchase.