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March 2013. A report from Closing the Work Gap in Corporate Australia, a partnership between the Diversity Council
Australia, Reconciliation Australia and Lend Lease, found that private sector engagement with Indigenous communities had improved, but long-term strategies were needed to capitalise on Indigenous talent.
6 Feb 2013. PM Julia Gillard made her annual report to Parliament on efforts to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.The Closing the Gap campaign steering committee, chaired by Jody Broun and Mick Gooda, released its shadow report in response.
Feb 2013 A report commissioned by the Australian National Council on Drugs and prepared by Deloitte Access claims governments could save up to $A111,000 per year for each Indigenous offender moved from prison into treatment programs.
Feb 2013. Reconciliation Australia’s Barometer 2012 report finds little significant change in relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Indigenous and other Australians don’t trust each other but most agree the relationship is important,
A second survey found vast improvements in attitudes among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working in organisations with a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
17 Jan 2013. Inspector of Custodial Services Professor Neil Morgan released a report following an inspection of Hakea prison (WA’s largest remand prison) in May-June 2012. The report stated that although Hakea met satisfactory standards in most areas, the prison’s negative workplace culture needed to change and there were environmental failings..
15 Jan 2013. A German study published in PNAS has found evidence of substantial gene flow between Indian populations and Australia about 4000 years ago.
Jan 2013. A National Assessment of Australia’s Children’s Courts conducted over 3 years by La Trobe’s Allan Borowski with Monash’s Rosemary Sheehan has concluded that the nation’s children’s court system is damaged, starved of resources and handing out sentences that vary widely depending on where children live; Indigenous children were found to be receiving the harshest sentences and bail was under-utilised.
Dec 2013.The National Mental Health Commission’s first annual report called for the mental health of Indigenous people to be made a national priority.
22 Nov The 2012 Indigenous Engagement Survey by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) revealed a large increase in Indigenous employees and trainees. 81% of BCA members replied to the survey; 76% said they had formal Indigenous engagement strategies, over 8 firms had over 500 Indigenous employees and almost one third had more than 50. BCA members provided 48,500 hours unpaid work in Indigenous engagement activities, especially enhancing the capacity of Indigenous organisations.
Nov A study by UNSW’s Kirby Institute and the NT Department of Health in the journal Vaccine shows rates of chronic hepatitis B infection are 80 % lower in young Aboriginal women born since the hepatitis B vaccination program for NT Aboriginal newborns began in 1988.
15 Nov. Report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare examining links between child protection, homelessness and juvenile justice supervision.
14 Nov Release of a 2011 survey by the Lowitja Institute, VicHealth and Beyond Blue. The survey covered 755 Aboriginal adults in four Victorian communities with sizeable Indigenous populations. More than 70% of respondents were the target of eight or more racist incidents, and half reported high or very high levels of psychological distress. Risk of distress was found to increase with the number of racist incidents.
Nov. Research undertaken by the Lililwan Project in WA’s Kimberley region found that half the babies there are born with disabilities from foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Also that half the Aboriginal children attending school in the Fitzroy Valley have the disorder, a condition that ranges from severe learning and behavioural problems to acute intellectual impairment.
Nov. A Medical Journal of Australia report finds a 45% decrease in the number of Indigenous Australians (except older people) smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day, but an increase of c 30% in those smoking 1-10 a day. 50% of Indigenous people smoke (against 20% of non-Indigenous) and smoking is the main cause of chronic conditions and diseases among Indigenous Australians.
30 October. Second wave of Australian Bureau of Statistics data from the 2011 census. Many more Aboriginal people are completing Year 12 and taking degrees. The healthcare industry is the biggest employer of Indigenous people, mostly lower-skilled, but there were 218 Indigenous medical students and 153 doctors.
By occupation, labouring remains the highest proportion of the Indigenous workforce (17.6%,down from 23.7% in 2006), with community and personal service workers at 16.6 %, professional workers at 13.1% and clerical/administrative workers at 13%.
29 October. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority releases a draft national curriculum. A cornerstone of the new civics curriculum will be Aboriginal histories and cultures.
15 October. A report by the Baker International Diabetes Institute in Alice Springs indicates that rates of sexually transmitted infections are significantly higher among Indigenous Australians.
14 October. Poverty in Australia report by the Australian Council of Social Service finds that 1 in 8 Australians lives below the poverty line.
October. ‘A Picture of Australia’s Children 2012′ by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare finds the mortality rate of Indigenous children is 2.1 times higher than for the non-Indigenous, and infant mortality rates (based on NSW, Queensland, SA and the NT) are 1.7 times higher. Aboriginal children had higher smoking rates and were less likely to have achieved reading and numeracy minimum standards.
October. An AMP Foundation report The Best of Every Woman: An Overview of Approaches for Philanthropic Investment in Aboriginal Women and Girls focuses on the learning and development pathways of Aboriginal women and girls aged 0-34 years. Produced by Effective Philanthropy, it explores how to assist Aboriginal women and girls in education and gaining the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need to pursue life and career goals.
October. ’ Homeless away from home: Understanding homelessness patterns arising from the seasonal mobility of aboriginal people’, by the University of South Australia’s Centre for Rural Health and Community Development, studies the nature and extent of seasonal homelessness experienced by Aboriginal people moving between remote and rural communities in South Australia.
October. The Lifecourse Institutional Costs of Homelessness for Vulnerable Groups study (UNSW) suggests that early intervention to stop children and young people becoming homeless could save taxpayers $millions in health, legal and custodial services. 11 people were found to have cost State and Commonwealth Governments c A$22m in control agency and support costs.
October. A 10 year study by the National Drug Research Institute showed a correlation between higher alcohol prices in Alice Springs and fewer assaults on Aboriginal women.
17 Sept: Federal Parliament release ‘Our Land, Our Languages ‘ report, suggesting that there were c 250 Indigenous languages at colonisation and only c 18 now. Recommendations call for more action to protect endangered Indigenous languages, recognising their role in strengthening identity and culture and their benefits in early education.
14 Sept: A Government ‘Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’ chaired by Prof Larissa Behrendt outlines measures to break down barriers faced by Indigenous students to university education and to create a new generation of Indigenous professionals.
10 Sept. Report ‘Fixing the hole in Australia’s heartland’ by Desert Knowledge Australia recommends radical change to the governance of remote Australia, including decentralising governance and decision making.
Sept: The first report by Olga Havnen as NT Co-ordinator General for Remote Service Delivery underlines the needs for financial accountability through adequate monitoring and evaluation of programs; for money to go to communities not bureaucracy and overheads; and for more decisions by communities rather than centralised government and non-Indigenous advisory committees. On 8 October Ms Havnen was sacked and her office closed.
Sept: A Cape York Cannabis Project facilitated by James Cook University and funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council finds endemic cannabis use in Aboriginal communities, with alcohol restrictions a contributing factor.