The Emergency Response has been heavily criticised and described as an approach that defies international human rights law (Fejo-King & Briskman 2009, & Lovell 2012). This essay will examine the impact of the Northern Territory Emergency Response and how this has contributed to the distrust of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people towards white institutions.
The Northern Territory Emergency Response was launched in response to a Northern Territory Government report, which indicated that child abuse and sexual child abuse was a predominant problem among Aboriginal communities (Hunter 2008, p. 381). Many Aboriginal and non-Indigenous people and organisations expressed their concern over the Emergency Response. The Australian Psychological Society supported the concerns that the intervention would promote fear and distrust of white institutions with Aboriginal communities (Hunter 2008, p. 382).
Lovell (2012, p. 200) argues that when debating the Emergency Response both governments; the Labor government and the Coalition government, understood Aboriginal culture as inapt to modern life and regarded their role of the state to ‘civilize’ Aboriginal citize...
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...(Hunter 2008, p. 385).
Students of Social Work must be educated about Aboriginal history and culture in order to collaborate and consult with Indigenous agencies (Fejo-King & Baldry 2009, p. 385).
Hunter (2008) supports the concept of a new approach to social welfare of the Indigenous people, particularly one that respects the rights of Aboriginal people to self-determination. This can only be achieved by consultation with Indigenous communities.
This essay has established that the Northern Territory Emergency Response has aided in the lack of trust of Indigenous people regarding white institutions and social work. Due in part to the lack of communication with Indigenous communities on launching the intervention. This essay has also established some measurements that are required in order to improve relations between Indigenous Australians and white institutions.
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