An extraordinary discussion for extraordinary times 


Issues surrounding the Commonwealth’s response to child abuse in Northern Territory remote Indigenous communities as well as other recent Indigenous reforms came under the spotlight at a public forum hosted by Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) School for Social and Policy Research.

The forum, which included a number of experts offering their personal opinions on the Commonwealth’s response, was hosted at CDU’s Casuarina campus Friday, 20 July.

Co-Director of CDU's School for Social and Policy Research, Dr Tess Lea said it was great to see such genuine interest and concern for all aspects of Indigenous affairs.

“The School for Social and Policy Research recognised that recent changes to Indigenous policy in the Northern Territory have created unprecedented interest and debate in the community and media,” Dr Lea said.

“As an independent research centre with a strong record of assisting Indigenous interests, we were concerned to help fill the clear knowledge vacuum and fear of being critical in the current moment. We felt it was important to provide the forum as a discussion point for the community.”

More than 200 people attended and contributed to valuable and thought-provoking discussion.

“We would like to thank everyone involved, including the speakers and audience members from government, community organisations, local businesses and the general public. If there is a next time, we would like to see more involvement from our political leaders, given the high level of interest and clear appetite for deep discussion,” Dr Lea said.

“I would especially like to thank CDU staff who pulled out all stops to make it a successful symposia at very short notice.”