Letters Kevin reads Mandy Mandy Nolan is right about the enormous challenges facing Indigenous people, but she’s dead wrong about the history of the Apology to Indigenous Australians in 2008. Far from ‘stealing’ the stolen generations’ trauma, the Apology was recommended by the Bringing Them Home inquiry co-led by Mick Gooda, a Gangulu man from central Queensland, with his indigenous and non-indigenous co-commissioners. It should have been given in 1997 except for John Howard’s indifference to the pain of his fellow Australians. The Apology was never intended as a feel-good moment, but a genuine act of contrition and a step towards healing. Since meaningful apologies are backed by action, we secured the first intergovernmental agreement to close the gap in life expectancy, child mortality, education and employment. The Prime Minister of the day must regularly report to parliament and stand accountable for their government’s progress towards these targets. Since leaving office, I have established the National Apology Foundation for Indigenous Australians to keep holding politicians’ feet to the fire.
accidents happen. I would suggest to Feros Bangalow that they change the staff ratios; 1 to 5 would be ideal, currently it is more like two care staff to 25 patients, or 6 to 65. The carers are exhausted and spent at the end of each day while management sit in their air-conditioned offices. Downstairs residents’ rooms are not air-conditioned and have reached temperatures of up to 42 degrees. It is time to spend some more money on your residents, wages and staff Feros. Name withheld
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Bob’s story Cartoon Gary Cavanagh – Instagram: @gary_cavanagh Nolan casts me as a modern Martin Luther, but the only miracle of the Apology wasn’t that it was given; it’s that it was accepted by Indigenous Australians. Although true reconciliation remains far away, it starts with telling the truth and admitting our wrongs. On that, I hope we can all agree. Kevin Rudd 26th Prime Minister of Australia
Frantic carers Staffing levels are too low at Bangalow Feros Care facility,
especially as it is a high care home with 65 beds. As a previous employee of five years at Feros Bangalow I know that each one of these patients needs to be toileted, showered, pads changed, dressed and taken to the dining room and their beds made up. Then at the end of the day 65 people need to be put back to bed. Sometimes there are only six carers and one nurse to take care of everyone in the afternoon and evening. It is often such a rush to get everything done in time that
My name is Bob Maughan and this is my story. I am refusing to pay my rates whilst living in the ghetto. Drug addicts fighting in the early hours bringing police and the ranger. Homeless people using the public toilet block to charge their mobile phones. The rubbish behind the council site includes six cars, a caravan, and a number of tents. Evidence of home invasion includes smashed screen door and window. ▶ Continued on next page
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mşưĕŔćĕſǭǽǩǧǨǰ The Byron Shire Echo 11
Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in north eastern NSW, Australia.