Speaking to 80 people at a public forum on 11 November 2008, Dr Hilary Martin OP was very critical of aspects of the federal intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Dr Martin has long specialised in indigenous issues, and lectures at Yarra Theological Union and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
Dr Martin recognised that many Australian indigenous communities were in urgent need of help, but in part blamed various governments over a long period for neglecting their responsibilities to provide adequate health care, education and services . He said that the recent federal intervention was too draconian and was undermining the sense of local responsibility that well-run indigenous communities had developed. He urged that it was not too late for informed groups to lobby for more nuanced government approaches that were more attuned to the circumstances of different communities.
Click HERE for a transcript of the talk.