Thursday, July 05, 2007

Noel Pearson

I really, really like this guy.

Noel Pearson on the seven dysfunctions within Indigenous communities in Cape York.

'Lack of child protection, alcohol, drugs, petrol sniffing, gambling, poor school attendance, and dysfunctional housing tenancy arrangements.'

Noel Pearson On Welfare

'Far from participating in a real economy, people in Cape York have been almost completely dependent on passive welfare for over three decades. By removing the incentive to work, passive welfare delivery has embedded dependency, effectively sapping people of motivation and eroding personal responsibility.'

'Welfare is a perpetual drip feed, a completely poisonous situation. We have got to stop seeing welfare as some kind of inalienable right. We have not got the right to sit under the mango tree and do nothing.'

Noel Pearson On Work

'Work is not just a necessity - it's a cultural principle and a value. And it's not just a Lutheran or whitefella value. It's a principle from 40,000 years ago.'

Noel Pearson On Charity

'In particular, those members of the progressive middle class who are involved in the so-called helping industries contribute most to the misery of those whom they believe they are helping.'

Noel Pearson On Housing

'Individuals and families must be given (and must take) greater responsibility for their housing in all its forms. This involves a movement towards a functioning property market based on home ownership.The current system of public housing in Cape York communities is at odds with the goal of personal responsibility for housing. For example, no financial investment is required by the tenants towards construction of their house; rental rates are very low and are frequently not collected; tenancy agreements frequently do not exist or are not enforced; families do not pay for repairs and maintenance even if they cause significant damage.'

Noel Pearson On Alcohol

'The epidemic of alcoholism is now deeply embedded in Cape York communities. Social and cultural relationships between drinkers are expressed, reinforced and reiterated, such that non-drinkers are pressured either to participate or provide money to support the dysfunctional lifestyles of the drinkers. Critically, an effective response must involve restricting alcohol supply.'

'The current health outcomes for Indigenous Australians are unacceptable, with Indigenous life expectancy on average 17 years lower than for non-Indigenous Australians.'

Noel Pearson On Howard's 'Land Grab' Proposals

'I'm amazed that anybody would put the protection of children secondary to anything, particularly when those children are subject to imminent abuse, abuse that takes place on a regular basis that's the subject of binge drinking, week in, week out. I think that those who have objections to immediate intervention have to ask themselves whether they're willing this whole exercise to fail, and geez, if you're willing the whole exercise to fail, what kind of priorities do you have in relation to the wellbeing of Indigenous children?'

'I've got as much objections as anybody to the ideological prejudices of the Howard Government in relation to land, but this question is not about a 'land grab'. The Anderson Wild Report tells us about the scale of Aboriginal children's neglect and abuse. This is what this is about. It's an absolute alibi to try and characterise this debate as being about land grabs and so on. Who wants a land grab in main street Hopevale, for goodness sake?'

Noel Pearson On Education

'In every year level, Indigenous students are between two and four years behind the non-Indigenous average.

The Cape York Institute believes that reform needs to occur on both the “demand” and the “supply” side of education. On the demand side (ie the demand for education by parents), reform efforts need to occur to ensure that parents send their children to school and that children are properly fed, clothed and rested. There should be no excuses for children not attending school. On the supply side of education (ie the education providers), reforms need to be made to deliver better services. This includes ensuring that there is a focus on the basics of literacy and numeracy in the school curriculum, that the very best teachers are employed, and that children’s performance is regularly tracked and additional assistance provided where they are falling behind.'

Noel Pearson On Liberal Do-Gooders

'The greatest impediment to policies that are needed to relieve suffering is the confusion of those parts of the middle class who think themselves progressive.'

Noel Pearson On The Aboriginal Bureaucracy

'I used to think it was just money we needed. But it's not the money - it's the people they can give us. Boston Consulting Group wouldn't know Aboriginal affairs from a bar of soap before we met them. And we achieved more from three months with a high-calibre person from BCG than i've seen from the bureaucracy in three years.'

'The great majority (of the family services and welfare services) have an intense dislike for our program (The Cape York Institute). There's a big industry in Aboriginal dysfunction. There's jobs involved.'

Sources; The Cape York Institute
The Australian