Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Sunrise Got It So Wrong

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Sunrise Got It So Wrong

Article excerpt

JUST BECAUSE

MARK COPLAND

IT WAS a meeting like no other.

A group of men, mainly from a professional background, some young and some old, sitting in a hall in the Toowoomba CBD, a few with tears in their eyes.

The Federal government had just introduced the Northern Territory Intervention.

This was a drastic measure designed to address what was deemed endemic abuse of children in Aboriginal communities.

This measure had brought its own brand of hurt to the Darling Downs.

The group I sat with were all First Nations men and they keenly felt the slur that had been placed upon Aboriginal men across Australia.

They were hurt, they felt ashamed and they were angry.

This may give some insight into backlash that occurred following the recent all white panel on Channel Seven's Sunrise Breakfast show discussing, "Why we might need another stolen generation."

Before I detail why Sunrise got it so wrong let me be clear. The number one priority must always be the safety and well-being of a child in care.

This comes before race, religion, culture or any other factor. These factors may come into play but safety must be the bottom line for all child safety authorities.

Sunrise was talking to the wrong people. It's Tabloid TV 101. Ask a question such as, "Is Australia racist?" and then seek comment from people who have never experienced any form of racial discrimination in their lives.

The reality is that panellists Prue MacSween and Ben Davis have no expertise whatsoever in the subject of child protection, especially the safety and well-being of Indigenous children.

The argument was based on a completely false premise.

2016 figures for the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that at least a third of Indigenous children across Australia are placed in care with non-Indigenous carers. …

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