Mal Brough at Melbourne Uni

The 2007 Alfred Deakin Lecture is on at Melbourne University this Tuesday, 2 October. The lecture is to be given by Mal Brough, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, on ‘The Emergency Response to Protect Aboriginal Children in the Northern Territory’.

It’s at 6.30pm in the Copland Theatre, in the Economics and Commerce Building. A campus map is available here.

19 thoughts on “Mal Brough at Melbourne Uni

  1. I can never understand why they invite politicians to give these things. Don’t we have to put up with their mendacious puff pieces enough already?

    If they insist on inviting Brough they could at least ask him to speak about his vision for the future role of indigenous people within Australia instead of recycling all his press releases about the NT.


  2. Ken L
    If he was going to give his vision of “the future role….” then they may as well have got you to give the speech. Your flawless prediction that the UK government was responsible for the first of the attack in London a few hours prior to the attack in Scotland showed impeccable timing and laser like foresight. Many others and I would await your prediction with baited breath.


  3. SD – Though when even Tom S calls me a conservative, what hope do I have in trying to carve out a distinct classical liberal political identity?


  4. Tom is describing conservative as being a broad church. Perhaps conservative in an Oakshottian sense and not a Hayekian sense.


  5. Sinclair Davidson wrote:

    OT – an honorable mention in dispatches. Well done!

    Alongside those other worthies Bolt and Albrechtson. Since Tom can’t see the difference between a classical liberal and a conservative (and neither can I) is it vanishingly small?

    What is Brough doing back from the NT already? Is it fixed now?


  6. Leon – I was impressed with Brough. He was very passionate about what he was doing in Indigenous affairs, and used very clear and forceful (indeed, graphic) language.


  7. Re – Brough: Just because you’re passionate and have bucket loads of conviction does not mean you are competent or right. The NT intervetnion is the worst example of policy on the run I’ve ever seen, accompanied by a manipulative campaign against any critics as ‘heartless’. Note – not one NT child sexual abuse charge has been laid in the over 100 days since the intervention began and there has been no follow up on child health checks already completed. Welfare quarantining is being trialled in 4 communities, each with different administrative systems – in one a new non-indigenous staff member has been employed to manage the quarantining of 45 people’s welfare. Anything that has EVER worked in remote aboriginal communities (see Gunya, Titjikala – closing down because of the intervention) has been a product of partnerships, consultation, long-term planning and investment.


  8. Although his speech was incredible Andrew, I was more impressed with the way he handled himself outside Copeland.

    He had an answer for everything the activists threw at him, and controlled his aggression throughout. I’ll particularly remember his solemn retorts: “that’s a very sorry comment” and “you talk so much, yet you know so little”.


  9. “Just because you’re passionate and have bucket loads of conviction does not mean you are competent or right.”

    Indeed, the same could be said of Indigenous policy over the last 30 years that has led us to this situation. Well-meaning but catastrophic in its outcomes.

    I did not comment on the policy issues, because I do not know enough about the issues. I don’t think there is much precedent anywhere in the world for dealing with this set of problems.

    But I think it is pretty silly to say it not working after 100 days. Most government programmes would be no more than a few outlines on a bureaucrat’s desk after 100 days.


  10. How would any of you like the community you live in be labelled as all Aboriginal communities as sexually abusing their children. This done on ancedotal evidence.

    I am of the understanding that the cases mentioned in All Sacred Children report were actually investigated and dealt with.

    How would you react to the alleged problems being dealt with by bringing the army.

    I for one would be very angry that my children are being abused by the system.

    There are ways of dealing with abuse already in place. The Children’s Courts in all of Australia can or should be able to make orders where there is proof that children are at risk. It does not take a Federal Government invasion using the army to bring this about.

    No one has the right to be able to libel or label any Australian community as child abusers. How must the children feel about being labelles as victims of child abuse.


  11. Recently received from media some CLP advice :

    …when the legislation is proclaimed Katherine will be able to invite anyone to come to her house without a permit, just like any other place in Australia.

    So, when the legislation is proclaimed Katherine’s husband will not require a permit to live with her in her house in Kintore, at her invitation.

    When the main permit system changes become law (on a date to be proclaimed but no later than 18 February 2008) there will be public access to common areas of community land and related access roads / airstrips / barge landings. It is important to emphasise that the changes are not yet law.

    Community land is generally communities of over 100 people and includes Kintore.

    The public will be able to enter or remain on premises on community land with the permission of the occupier. This will apply, for example, when people have been invited into residences by the occupiers, or when there is indication that shops or art centres are open for sales.

    Whilst from the ALP received… well nothing… no change, sorry will undo the changes, sorry no change, sorry will undo the changes… oh forgot they are arguing that a Traditional Owner does NOT have right to have their family or relations live with them or visit them in their homes… unless they to agree to the racial tag game…

    Special mention for Alison Anderson ALP MLA Macdonald who has been out there going around her electorate helping to explain the changes, and admitting she sees these changes overall as positive towards building a better future…


  12. Re – “Indigenous policy over the last 30 years that has led us to this situation. Well-meaning but catastrophic in its outcomes…” This perception concerns me, it’s become a popular and incredibly misinformed way of seeing Indigenous Affairs policy as being dominated over the last 30 years by self-determination and land rights. In fact this is very much not the case, while Brough may be promoting it as such. Self-determination has been solidly undermined, capacity building underfunded and millions and millions spent by the government contesting native title claims (most often for non-pastroal crown land, through the NTT) I urge you to buy the newly released ‘Coercive Reconciliation’ a compilation of essays by people who know what they’re talking about. Brough, sadly, does not. He uses rhetoric and emotive arguments in place of facts. And yes, I do think we should have seen some arrests in the last 3 months if this indeed was the main purpose of this intervention. The WA government, in the same time frame, has made dozens of arrests without all the bleating about saving children.


  13. Sorry – and one more in response to Paul’s comments about permits… Paul, this information regarding permits is wrong. Indigenous people (relatives etc) from other communities have always been allowed free access to communities on Aboriginal land without permits. Where signs on roads or tracks indicate (and they commonly do) tourists and travellers have ALWAYS been welcome to enter a community on Aboriginal land without a permit to visit the art centre or the store. Traditional owners have ALWAYS had the capacity to grant permits to non-Indigenous visitors – so “Katherine” if she was a TO or permananet community resident would have had the capacity to have visitors without officially going through the CLC. Get your facts straight – read the ALR Act (1976). The permit system has been an uncomplicated way of managing the comings and goings of non-Inidgenous staff and visitors on what is legally PRIVATE land.


  14. Brough may have been impressive in arguing against the Trots outside, but I’ve yet to see him be willing to take on any of the Indigenous people opposing aspects of his actions. If anyone can point me to examples I’d be grateful.

    Crikey ran a series of pieces about tourists parking themselves on aboriginal land even before the legislation had been passed (believing that it had). The fact is that these changes make it vastly easier for white drug dealers or pedophiles to access these communities.

    Brough prefers to debate opponents about whom he can legitimately say they “know so little”, while refusing to even meet people who obviously know more about the issues than he does, since they’ve lived them all their lives.


  15. FS – I’ve seen plenty of footage of Brough visiting remote communities, and he discussed some of his trips in the lecture.


  16. Oh there’s no doubt he visits them – unlike the Prime Minister, who I think has been twice in his term. There is no way he can get away with not going.

    However, does he actually engage with the critics? I’ve never seen him respond to what I see as the more substantive points. Doing the equivalent of a streetwalk through some community surrounded by a phalanx of minders is not the same as actually answering why he refused to adopt a single one of the recommendations in the report that supposedly inspired the intervention, or how he proposes to deal with the inevitable rise in external criminals visiting the communities as a result of the removal of the permit rules.


  17. FS – I think you will find that Indigenous people in the communities are not generally familiar with the content of reports. They want to tell the Minister about their experience and what they think needs to be done.


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