The Intervention: What that means for remote Indigenous Children's Service Workers in the NT.

Fasoli, Lyn and Maglis, Selena (2008) The Intervention: What that means for remote Indigenous Children's Service Workers in the NT. In: 20th NT Children's Services Conference, conference, Sustaining Childhood: October 6-8., 6-8 October, 2008, Darwin, NT. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The Northern Territory ‘Intervention’: Struggling to imagine and practice citizenship rights for children and adults in remote indigenous communities.

The Australian Government 'Intervention' into remote communities has created a challenging context within which to even imagine, much less practice, the interactive strategies necessary to empower young indigenous children to exercise their citizenship rights. As a socially constructed concept, the ability of Indigenous peoples the world over to practice citizenship rights has been regularly constrained by colonialist and racist policies and practices. The rights of Indigenous people in Australia to exercise citizenship within their own communities and on their own land is similarly constrained. This presentation will provide a snapshot of the impact of one such policy, the 'Intervention', which has evoked mixed reviews from those most affected by it.

The possibilities for citizenship for children, as well as adults, have been significantly affected in diverse and problematic ways by the Howard Government led ‘Intervention’ into over 60 remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory of Australia. This presentation provides results of a participatory action research project documenting community-based perspectives on the impacts of the ‘Intervention’. The project was undertaken from August 2007 when the ‘Intervention’ began, through to September 2008, just prior to the release of the review report on the 'Intervention' being undertaken by the Rudd government. Supported by a Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education Internal Research Grant, three early childhood staff and 25 child care students from 15 different communities worked collaboratively on the project. Participants discussed and reflected on what they knew about the Intervention and how it has affected (and continues to affect) their work with children and what it has meant for their communities. Few published accounts are available from the people on the ground and arguably most affected by the ‘Intervention’, namely Indigenous early childhood staff and parents who work in child care services in regional and remote Indigenous communities. While not claiming to be representative, these findings are an important contribution to the ongoing debates surrounding on this topic, from both positive and negative perspectives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Field of Research: 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2010 05:45
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2012 02:53
URI: http://eprints.batchelor.edu.au/id/eprint/131

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