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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2492 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

important gesture of reconciliation. We have also supported motions of apology to the stolen generation and moved motions recognising the contributions of significant members of the Aboriginal community, including one of the founders of the Aboriginal tent embassy and a founding father of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Billy Craigie. At the national level the Greens fielded an Aboriginal candidate in the last Federal election and have fought hard on issues that have directly affected the lives of Aboriginal people.

Some might argue that the day-to-day politics of the Assembly and a motion such as this one in support of the reconciliation processes are separate; but the debates, the policies and the policy outcomes are inseparable from the reconciliation process. This Assembly is currently considering issues associated with the administration of juvenile justice in the Territory. As I mentioned earlier, 40 per cent of the children in corrective institutions for children in 1996 were identified as indigenous. In the true spirit of reconciliation and in the spirit of the recommendations of the Aboriginal deaths in custody report, all major changes to juvenile justice must be undertaken after extensive, detailed and genuine consultation with the Aboriginal community. To ignore the Aboriginal community on this and other policy decisions which directly affect their lives and the wellbeing of Aboriginal people in the Territory is undemocratic and a complete abrogation of the reconciliation process.

Finally, I want to remind the Assembly of the extraordinary efforts of the local indigenous and non-indigenous communities in analysing government and community implementation of the 54 recommendations of the Bringing them home inquiry. This inquiry and its recommendations provided a very strong basis for addressing many of the facets of disadvantage to indigenous people in the ACT by addressing the ramifications of the policies of systematic forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families. Action on implementing the concerns addressed in this report will go some way to achieving reconciliation in the ACT.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (12.12): Mr Stanhope opened his speech today with a reference to the Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia. I keep a copy in the office because it is just a superb two-volume history of the Aboriginal people. I have the CD at home. He is quite correct in saying that it is an excellent journal in its ability to dispel the myths that terra nullius existed and that really there was an Aboriginal culture or an Aboriginal civilisation. Mr Quinlan said he was very keen to see that we preserve the attitudes and customs of the Aboriginal people and in some way incorporate them in modern Australian life.

It is interesting that in both volumes there is reference to a quote from a Fred Maynard. It is put as a prompt in both volumes in a condensed form, but it is somewhat longer under the reference to Fred Maynard. I would like to read it because I think what Fred had to say is a tremendous challenge to all of us. Fred Maynard died in 1944, so he did not live to see what is going on today, but he set up a body called the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association to fight the Aboriginal protection boards. It was the Aboriginal protection boards that really were removing the children and the start of the stolen generation. The Aboriginal protection boards' response to Mr Maynard setting up his association was to rely on the assertion that Aboriginal people were incapable of handling their own affairs. Fred's response is tremendously appropriate to a day like today, and I quote from the encyclopedia:

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