No Illusions Podcast #50 – Aboriginal Suicide

I wonder how many of you are, like me, feeling terrible about the indigenous affairs situation in Australia.

Gundjeihmi hand stencil
Gundjeihmi hand stencil

My guest today is Justin O’Brien, Executive Officer of the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation ( The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) represents the Mirarr traditional owners of the Ranger uranium mine area, the site of the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine, much of Kakadu National Park and parts of Western Arnhem Land. They are the royalty receiving entity for the Ranger uranium mine and intimately associated with the political and social advancement of Indigenous rights.

We talk about some of the factors relating to indigenous youth suicide and the general need for more non-indigenous Australians to spend time with our indigenous citizens so we can better understand their situation.


4 thoughts on “No Illusions Podcast #50 – Aboriginal Suicide

  1. Great podcast, Cameron Reilly. Good luck with the series. I look forward to it.

    I had an idea while I was listening to this podcast and the argument for changing the way that aboriginal children are educated. My thought is this: Let’s invert the situation. Perhaps, we will only be more sensitive to the ways that indigenous people are educated if aboriginal studies is a compulsary part of our syllabus.

  2. Great podcast

    continues to be one of the most thought provoking of all podcasts listening is not all ways easy because of that, but rest assured those that those of us who listen really appreciate your effort.

    As far removed as I am in the UK I feel reluctant to comment but want to express my opinion with the proviso that I know very little and the following may all be simplistic horseshit

    Aboriginal rights seem to have been disserved by both right and left politics if we can call them that veering from child stealing in the 19th(?) century to assimilate by force to saying that aboriginal culture is separate and children of aboriginals shouldn’t worry about studying in schools as it isn’t part of their culture

    Education should be about providing equality of opportunities and part of that may be may include a degree of compulsion.

    Th ability to read, write, some mathematical skills, critical reasoning (how and why is this lying bastard lying to me) and probably these days IT skills (accessing and judging information) should be basic and needs to be transferred to everyone not regarding cultural background, after that everything is probably fair game.

    This I would say is true for all societies ancient and modern.

    The following is mere opinion ,probably more influenced by watching Neighbours and a channel4 documentary, rather than any actual information and is my own very narrow and uninformed perspective.

    The most admired part of Australian society is rejection of pure material wealth and status as being the overwhelming part of life being instead of being a part of society, of welcoming in strangers and having a goodtime with friends, family and local cohorts, the reification of the weekend and freetime. I think this attitude has been informed by aborignal civilization.

    I also think the split between aboriginal and colinizers is a somewhat imposed ideas. If an aboriginal has a white ancestor this is ignored and they are separated and put into a different category, Similarly aboriginal ancestors I suspect are suppressed in the colonizing community.

    In absolute terms we are all part of the same family tree and should have knowledge of where we come from but should not be imprisoned by that knowledge.

    In conclusion I think Australians (everyone?) should be able to celebrate their aboriginal and European (african, egyptian, babylonian, chinese) roots but should not be constrained by them.

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