White grandmother wins custody of Tiwi kids
Caroline Overington’ 14/1/10; (2 Items)
The Family Court has given a white grandmother custody of her two Aboriginal grandchildren on the grounds that a safe, stable upbringing in her home is more important than their immersion in the hunter-gatherer culture of their people. The grandmother, 60, has been fighting for full-time care of the children since 2008, saying they had been exposed to alcohol-fuelled violence in every home they lived in before coming to her. The mother’s legal team, from the Northern Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, argued that the children must be raised in the tradition of Tiwi Islanders: gathering bush tucker, doing craftwork, speaking the Tiwi language and attending ceremonies. They pressed the importance of extended family in Tiwi culture: the children’s mother is one of 11 children who were raised mostly in “bush settings”, and their grandmother on their mother’s side is a Tiwi elder.
Aboriginal girl’s family sues Health Department over death
Natasha Bita; 14/1/10
The bereaved family of a four-year-old girl who died after being turned away from a remote hospital is planning a million-dollar compensation claim against Queensland Health. Athol Walden, the grandfather of the late Nayla Walden, yesterday accused the Health Department of using Aboriginal communities as “training grounds” for foreign and trainee doctors. “I reckon Queensland Health should pay compensation,” Mr Walden said. “Her life would be worth millions of dollars to us. We loved her so, so much. “They need to be taught a lesson because they treat us Aboriginal people as training areas where they send inexperienced doctors to remote areas. “We’re talking about the new millennium, and we are treated here like the Third World.”