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Why the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report is still largely a story of failure

Eva Cox writes in The Conversation (24.11.16) about the latest release of the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report, and asks why, despite substantial spending, serious difficulties continue to plague efforts to improve Indigenous wellbeing.

‘The fairly negative seventh report on Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, released last week, claimed to: “… measure the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians”.

‘However, this biennial effort continues to record mainly no changes or some increased deficits in wellbeing. The language has changed, in response to Indigenous group concerns, from emphasising gaps to reporting strengths. But official data continues to record substantial failures.

‘… This report contributes to a record, over time, of the failure of those with power to seriously tackle both the formal evidence and community feedback on what works.

‘Past and current inequities of Indigenous peoples have deep roots that require attention. We can only hope the increased awareness of Indigenous traditional and professional expertise in these areas will be acknowledged and recognised.’

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