Symbolism or Real Action in Indigenous Affairs?

Every year around Australia Day, discussions inevitably lead to rehashed statements around symbolic gestures and posturing rather than effective strategies and policy for improving the lives of our indigenous population. In 2022, as the next federal election looms, as the covid response continues to evolve, and as we face persistent threats and sanctions from China, will Indigenous affairs be forgotten? Will we come any closer to Closing the Gap?

CIS Indigenous Forum director Nyunggai Warren Mundine and journalist and author Stan Grant will discuss the crucial questions facing Indigenous Australia ahead of the next federal election. Why has vaccine uptake amongst Indigenous Australian’s been far lower than the rest of the population? Is the government is misspending when it comes to Indigenous health? Would a Labor government bring about change and progress or just empty symbolic gestures? Are remote indigenous communities being overlooked in recent federal education and criminal justice policies? And, importantly, what do Warren and Stan make of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Voice to Parliament?

Stan Grant is a journalist and author. Host of China Tonight on ABC and a former correspondent for Al Jazeera and CNN. His latest book, With the Falling of the Dusk, is published by HarperCollins.

Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO is a media commentator, author, businessman, former deputy mayor of Dubbo, national president of the ALP and chair of the Abbott and Turnbull government’s Indigenous Advisory Council. Warren is now Indigenous forum director at the Centre for Independent Studies.