with thanks to Liam
SBS was right: the world is an amazing place
On July last year, former ‘Independents’ faction NUS office-bearer and now journalist Misha Shubert had an article in The Age entitled : Hotel jobs plan for Aborigines in ’showcase’ of first Australians. This is it:
INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Mal Brough has backed a plan to “showcase” Aborigines to tourists at five-star hotels across Australia.
Tourism training experts yesterday launched a campaign to entice indigenous people from remote communities to jobs in swank establishments such as the Sydney Hilton.
The new recruits would be trained as receptionists, concierges and waiters in a bid to give foreign tourists the chance to meet indigenous people.
Speaking at an indigenous business conference in Sydney yesterday, Mr Brough praised the plan as an opportunity for indigenous Australians to acquire skills and qualifications in tourism and hospitality.
“But it also provides an opportunity for Australia to showcase our first Australians, and that is exactly what tourists come here to see,” he said.
Mr Brough said the recruits would be given prominent roles in major hotels.
Tourism Training Australia chief executive Bill Galvin said the plan would deliver benefits to all involved.
He rejected suggestions the plan was treating indigenous people like museum exhibits.
“Exactly the opposite,” he said. “What will happen is that once these people have introductory skills, they will undertake further training elsewhere around the country at TAFE colleges.”
But former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission chairwoman Lowitja O’Donoghue rejected the plan as “patronising”.
Labor’s national president, Warren Mundine, who is indigenous, described the push as bizarre.
“If they want to recruit Aboriginal people, there are plenty of them already living in Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane,” he said.
Indigenous Business Australia chairman Joseph Elu said the proposal was a way forward.
“We have to educate kids and get them to have the passion to go and seek employment in the wider world,” Mr Elu said.
who will survive, and what will be left of them?
In the same post I discussed the censorship introduced as part of the NT intervention, which has not been subject to much public criticism or attention. On the 14th of this month The Age ran an article entitled ‘SBS is porn problem in NT: Brough’:
Aboriginal women have singled out SBS television as one of the main distributors of pornography in the Northern Territory, says Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough.
As of today, anyone caught in an Aboriginal community in the territory with pornographic DVDs or magazines faces fines of up to $11,000.
People in possession of five or more prohibited items will be automatically deemed traffickers and face up to two years imprisonment.
The bans form part of the second phase of the federal government’s intervention in the NT but critics claim they don’t target problem areas and will be easily undermined.
“Foxtel R rated channel is still by far the major source of porn going into communities and unfortunately the federal government hasn’t turned that stream off yet,” said Robbie Swan from the Eros Foundation, an adult entertainment industry lobby group.
“The minister is aware of it but he’s finding it difficult to deal with it because big business owns that.”
Mr Swan said only 15 to 25 per cent of pornographic material viewed in remote Aboriginal communities came in the form of a DVD or magazine, while the rest was sourced through pay or commercial television.
He said there as “plenty of evidence” to suggest that Foxtel representatives were promoting the channel in Aboriginal communities, despite the government’s intervention.
Mr Brough today said the Attorney-General’s department was looking at ways to restrict cable salesman from selling their products, but he said the concerns of Aboriginal women lay elsewhere.
During a visit to Alice Springs a few weeks ago, Mr Brough said he was surprised to learn that SBS was considered to be a problem.
“The woman actually said to me their greatest concern of television type programs was SBS, believe it or not,” he told ABC Radio today.
“That is just what they have said is a real concern with some of the women, obviously some of the programming on free-to-air programs as well, we just need to be aware of it.”
Mr Swan said the government could legislate against pornographic pay TV in remote communities but “it is about the political will to go that extra step”.
In addition, he said rogue traders were still operating from Darwin post office boxes, selling unclassified and pirated x-rated films.
To stop this, Mr Swan called for a licensing scheme for all adult movie traders in the Northern Territory, similar to the scheme currently operating the ACT.
“This can’t come about soon enough because if we have a licensing scheme in place of course these people can’t open up,” he said.
Asked if he thought the films were making their way to Aboriginal communities, he replied: “At $12 a DVD, yes I think they could, I mean it’s extremely cheap.”
Mr Brough said he was surprised to learn of the problem.
“I was disturbed to learn that you can sell anywhere in the territory, from your home if you register as a business, x-rated material,” he said.
“I just presumed it was like the ACT.”
See also here and here. The Little Children are Sacred report had already talked about SBS as a source of pornography. The report quotes “Service Providers at a Central Australian community” as declaring that: “Porn is available in the community - SBS and Austar are probably the main sources.” In the same section, on ‘pornography’, those cited more often complain of music videos, and of ‘violent movies’ by which they seem to mean mainstream Hollywood films. A ‘Men’s meeting’ in the Katherine Region is quoted as worried that “the kids in the community were constantly using the term, “mother fucker”".
This is the report which fretted that, because of severely overcrowded living conditions, “it is more than likely that children would be exposed to adults, and others, engaging in sexual activities within the household”.
The legal porn industry, like the legal brothel industry, tries to shift the focus to illegal or informal forms of distribution, partly as a defense but mostly, I’d suggest, as a way to attack the competition. Everyone agrees that these black people can’t be trusted with the kind of material other adults in Australia can legally possess, can in fact buy at newsagencies and convenience stores. The legal porn industry, like their brothel-owning equivalents, try to use the state to shut down their competitors, hence the Eros Foundation has been complaining that “80% of the banned (ie Refused Classification) pornography coming onto the communities has been coming from four pirate operators in Darwin who do not sell X rated material but sell illegal material for ridiculously low like $5 per DVD”, and urging the government to put a stop to these bargains. Indeed, they even claim to be outraged that the Federal Government has “ignored the effect of the big commercial R rated film companies who sold Texas Chainsaw Massacre films”. I will fight to the death for people’s ability to see the Hooper/Henkel original, and even the remake had it’s good points. (I haven’t seen the sequel to the remake yet.)