"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny."
– Martin Luther King
We stood up for the health and safety of Indigenous students at the Alekarenge School in the Central Australian desert in 2008. When Indigenous parents turned to us for help in finding out the asbestos risk to their children – we did not turn away. When Indigenous parents asked us to improve the disgusting conditions we encountered at the school – we refused to compromise, insisting that the Education Department do something. We put our jobs and careers on the line to help the Indigenous community, who were only seeking a better life through education for their children. We are now asking you to stand with us on this issue.
This story is not about us, but the future of Indigenous Australia. Everyone knows of the Stolen Generation. It is now time to stop the Wasted Generation of health and human potential in remote Territory schools where children are being robbed of their hopes and dreams – through inferior education and health practices. How can this happen in the heart of Australia in the 21st century? It’s a crying shame. If you believe as we do that it is time to take remote education out of the Dark Ages – we ask you to stand with us on this issue.
The final chapter of this story is blank. You decide the ending. Ignore it – do nothing, and it will become one of many non-fiction horror stories in Indigenous history. Act, stand up, refuse to be a victim – hold the Education Department accountable, and it can become a triumph of the human spirit – of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together for the betterment of all.
You have the power to rewrite the script.