Although Alyawarr people have a relatively high level of social functioning, we are poorly resourced. We seek to raise revenue to help address these inadequacies.
Our culture has protected us from many of the effects of colonisation. Outstations enable many of our people to maintain traditional family and social structures. Aboriginal people who live in remote areas of the Northern Territory are healthier if they live on homelands. However the Commonwealth and Territory governments seem loath to fund them.
However, our social structures and traditional lifestyles can only do so much for our health. Currently, the primary health care services that are provided on Alyawarr lands are fragmented. We wish to establish a regional health service. Housing on Alyawarr lands is inadequate and, together with over-crowding, increases susceptibility to skin infections and infestations.
Further to a reduction in over-crowded housing, the public health problem response to skin infections must include improved hygiene and education, particularly amongst children. Getting children to attend school is a priority of the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments. It is also a priority for Alyawarr. However, education has to be relevant to maintaining and improving our capability and functioning. For further discussion of education issues, click here.
Further to out language and culture, employment is an important part of our participation and functioning on our lands and beyond. In the past, the pastoral industry has been complementary to our way of life. Other economic opportunities are now presenting and offer employment possibilities.
ILO 169 provides a suitable basis for articulating and realising our social rights. Importantly, Article 7(1) provides:
- The peoples concerned shall have the right to decide their own priorities for the process of development as it affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands they occupy or otherwise use, and to exercise control, to the extent possible, over their own economic, social and cultural development. In addition, they shall participate in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of plans and programmes for national and regional development which may affect them directly.