Products – The Centre for Independent Studies

Indigenous suicide: Finding a catalyst for action

Anthony Dillon
06 May 2021 | OP180
Indigenous suicide: Finding a catalyst for action

This paper aims to provide a catalyst for the actions needed to address the crisis of Indigenous suicide. It begins by examining a major barrier to addressing Indigenous suicide—the politicisation not only of Indigenous suicide, but all Indigenous issues—before discussing some of the likely causes of suicide, and factors that make Indigenous suicide qualitatively different from non-Indigenous suicides. It then summarises possible solutions based on this discussion.

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found there were 27.1 Indigenous suicide deaths per 100,000 persons in 2019, compared with 12.9 non-Indigenous suicides per 100,000 people in the same time period. A reduction in the suicide rate among Indigenous Australians was included as a specific target area when the Closing the Gap initiative was updated in July 2020.

The most recent Productivity Commission report on mental health stated that “suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, compared with the twelfth for non-Indigenous people”.

A 2019 systemic review argued that the term “crisis” is appropriate, given that young Indigenous Australians not only die by suicide at significantly higher rates than their non-Indigenous peers, but also do so at an increasingly younger age, particularly in remote areas.

Latest Publications

Scaling up success in majority Indigenous schools
Noel Pearson
08 July 2021 | OP182

Addressing the Centre for Independent Studies, Noel Pearson outlines his insights and observations from decades of experience supporting education in remote majority Indigenous communities. He outlines the 6C Education model — Childhood, Class, Club, Culture, Civics, Community — adopted at Good to Great Schools, the organisation he co-Chairs, and the critical role played by teacher-led, direct instruction. Noel argues that…

READ MORE
Afghanistan on the brink of an abyss
William Maley
01 July 2021 | OP181

Australia’s recent closure of its embassy in Kabul, and the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan after 20 years by 11 September 2021, casts a deep shadow over Afghanistan’s future prospects. In this paper, leading expert on Afghanistan, William Maley, examines the implications of the US withdrawal. He discusses how the ‘peace process’ that was supposed to flow from…

READ MORE
A 2021 education resolution: keep an eye on the Australian Curriculum
Fiona Mueller
11 February 2021 | OP179

The COVID-19 pandemic is stimulating debate about the relationship between the governed and their leaders, both elected and appointed. In Australia, the world’s tenth-oldest continuous democracy, there is an unanticipated but positive opportunity for a nation-building refocus on the principles and aspirations that underpinned the 1901 agreement ‘to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth’.[i]  That agreement reflects an enduring belief…

READ MORE
The New President: What Biden’s Foreign Policy Agenda Means for Australia
Salvatore Babones
19 January 2021 | OP178

Joe Biden comes to the presidency amid great expectations for a return to normalcy in American foreign policy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a more benign international environment for Australia. The United States has global priorities and responsibilities, but there are three areas in particular where the Biden administration’s policy choices are most likely to affect Australia: China policy, climate…

READ MORE
The Elite Embrace
Rowan Callick
03 November 2020 | OP177

After suffering pushback at home and abroad in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has resumed its course to achieve key Chinese Communist Party goals by retaining the backing of the elites that count, both within China and overseas. In this paper, leading China expert Rowan Callick traces the elitist evolution of the Party…

READ MORE