'And there'll be NO dancing' - Policies impacting Indigenous Australia since 2007

And there'll be no dancing

Just prior to the federal election of 2007, the ultra-conservative Australian government led by John Howard decreed the “Northern Territory National Emergency Response”, commonly known as the Intervention, officially in reaction to an investigation by the Northern Territory government into allegedly rampant sexual abuse and neglect of Indigenous children. A police investigation found that no such crimes had been committed. The emergency laws authorised the Australian government to drastically intervene in the self-determination of Indigenous communities in contravention of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Far from improving the living conditions of Indigenous Australians and children, the policies have resulted in disempowerment, widespread despair, criminalisation and higher unemployment.

The Intervention and subsequent political measures have led to heated controversies and continue to divide the Australian nation.

They have revived the trauma of the past—including of the Stolen Generations—and have substantially damaged the process of reconciliation.

A book of 14 essays,
'And there'll be NO dancing', by scholars from Australia and Germany, due out on 1 May, examines (historical) contexts and discourses of the Intervention and subsequent policies impacting Indigenous Australia since 2007 from the perspective of diverse academic disciplines including history, sociology, law, Indigenous studies, art history, literature, education.

View an extract by clicking here.  


The opposition Greens’ spokesperson for Aboriginal issues, Senator Rachel Siewert says 10 years on the federal government is still hiding behind its failures.


“Facing electoral annihilation and media pressure, the Howard government launched an unprecedented assault on Aboriginal rights and communities,” she writes.

"At the time of the announcement, and as the government prepared to send the army into the Northern Territory, a group of senior Aboriginal women from the Northern Territory sat in my office for an unrelated meeting and sobbed.

"The intervention ripped decision making powers away from Aboriginal people, and wrapped up into this policy was the Basics Card, a form of income management that to this day has failed in its objectives."


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