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Commission urges better Qld Govt collaboration with indigenous communities

Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has called on the Queensland Government to work more collaboratively with Indigenous communities.

The call coincides with the appointment of a new Minister for Indigenous Policy and on-going controversy in the wake of the death in custody of a Palm Island man last year.

The Commission's Chair, Mr Rick Sheehan, said that the Palm Island experience showed the failure of Government-imposed solutions to Indigenous community problems.

"The Commission's discussions with Indigenous people makes it clear that they are very frustrated with the Government coming into communities and telling them it knows best," Mr Sheehan said.

"It hasn't worked in the past, but we keep spending millions of dollars on Government priorities rather than on Indigenous community priorities."

The Commission urged the Government to foster greater collaboration with local communities in the development of initiatives to address their problems.

Its statement said: "Indigenous communities want to be included in decision-making processes about what are the best ways to solve problems they face. They want to be empowered to establish priorities and to implement initiatives in their own communities."

Mr Sheehan said that the Commission would continue to talk with Indigenous people and work with them for change.

"If good things are to happen, Indigenous people need to be included and empowered."

Commission Advocates Collaboration With Indigenous Communities (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 4/3/05)

AN APPEAL For A New Indigenous Policy Approach (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane)
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane
Aboriginal Coordinating Council, Queensland | Palm Island

Community to pray for Palm Island reconciliation (CathNews 14/12/04)
Commission supports Palm Island Community (CathNews 8/12/04)
Nun sees African-style fear in Palm Islanders (CathNews 30/11/04)

Qld Govt urged to engage with Indigenous communities (AFP/ABC 5/3/05)
Pool rule has children making splash (The Age 7/3/05)

7 Mar 2005