• Pat Anderson AO, at Referendum Council Meeting, 2016 (File Image: Supplied by PM&C) (Supplied)
On day two of the formal hearings, Alyawarr woman and co-author of the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ report, has told the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory the ‘survival of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory depends on the commission making a real impact’.
By
Elliana Lawford

Source:
NITV News
12 Oct 2016 - 4:28 PM  UPDATED 13 Oct 2016 - 3:49 PM

Ms Anderson told the commission that all of the issues raised in the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ report had been raised many times before.

Her report into the protection of Aboriginal children from sexual abuse was used in 2007 to justify the Northern Territory National Emergency Response, also referred to as ‘the intervention’.  

"We spend a lot of time talking about Aboriginal problems, but very little has been done… I hope commissioners that this isn't the fate of this report,” Ms Anderson said.

"In fact, I would go so far as to say the very survival of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory depends on this inquiry.”

Ms Anderson said if Australia continues to ignore reports and inquiries, Aboriginal people will not survive.

“All this country does is talk about black fellas…nothing ever happens and that’s got to stop, or we are not going to be here in another 20, 50 years.”

She made an impassioned plea on the witness statement, that the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory be a game changer.

"Please, I beg you, do not just put it in the filing cabinet, you're morally bound to do something about it, not just talk about it,” she implored.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the royal commission after shocking footage of boys being tear gassed at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre was aired on national television.

The Northern Territory National Emergency Response was a controversial package of changes to welfare, law enforcement, land tenure and other special measures, introduced by former Prime Minister John Howard in 2007, in response to allegations of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

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