Mr Abbott, open your mind before you open your mouth.

Describing remote community living as a lifestyle choice again demonstrates that Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, just doesn’t get it.

For indigenous people, their remote community is their home.

It is their place of belonging, their land, their life.

Take them away from that, and their lives are diminished.

Many people living in remote communities are still not quite at home. Their family lands  have been taken and used by others; and they are forced to live alongside people who may be hostile to them. But it is as close as they are going to get to “home.” We, the dominant culture, have seen to that.

Remote communities are inconvenient, and costly. We might hope that they go away. In time some of them most likely will. Our racist attitudes and policies will ensure that this happens. And the people will suffer even more than they do now.

Jane and I have chosen to live in a remote community, but it was never a ‘life-style’ choice. The issues of remote communities are complex and multi-layered. In our third year here each day brings new insights, and challenges to our understandings; and we feel we are just beginning.

Mr Abbott, open your mind before you open your mouth.

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