An Indigenous elder has made an impassioned plea for greater cooperation between black and white communities to tackle juvenile delinquency in the Northern Territory, saying the current way of punishing criminals just doesn’t work.
In the emotional video, which went viral on social media and garnered dozens of positive comments, a local named Manuel can be seen in front of a smashed car that tumbled onto rocks and was abandoned in front of a servo in Alice Springs.
The city is suffering a crime wave that tourism bosses say is deterring visitors, with locals desperate for more law and order amid “crisis levels” of antisocial behaviour.
“I’m here in Alice Springs and look what I saw,” he said, pointing to the car.
“It’s not good and it’s happening all over the (Northern) Territory.
“Somebody has to take responsibility.”
The man (pictured) made an impassioned video calling for greater collaboration between black and white communities
Tourism businesses have urged the Northern Territory government to take action to improve the situation in the city as alcohol-fueled assaults have risen by 20 per cent in the last year.
Domestic violence rates are also up 22 percent, with vehicle theft and home burglaries also up significantly.
Mr Dean said if whoever wrecked the car doesn’t get in trouble then they just do it again, with existing penalties not stopping potential criminals.
“The Whitefella Act, the police and the prison don’t work and don’t teach young people,” he claimed.
“They come out and still do the same thing.”
Instead, Mr Dean said the solution lies within the Aboriginal community.
“Living in the bush when I was young, I got into trouble from the elders if I did anything wrong,” he said.
“But now it’s different because we all live in the city and people don’t listen to the elders, they’re not connected to the culture… so things have to change.
Mr Dean said teenagers should not be locked up in jail and would instead learn better lessons by spending time in their communities.
“They should be out in the bush, connected to the land and culture and learning[Aboriginal]ceremonies from their elders,” he suggested.
He urged the elders to “step up and do things and make it work,” adding, “We can’t wait for the white people. We will make it happen ourselves. Blackfella to take the action.’
Once things improve, he said, “the territory will be good for everyone and not Australia’s disgrace.
“More tourists will come from all over the world, people feel safe.”
The man used a crashed, smashed and abandoned car used as a symbol of juvenile delinquency in the Northern Territory
NT Police Commander Craig Laidler admitted the latest statistics were worrying and agreed with Mr Dean that help is needed to deter young offenders from breaking the law in the first place.
“Actually, I’d like to see that early intervention where they don’t bump into our way,” he told the ABC.
Danial Rochford, chief executive of Tourism Central Australia, agreed, saying: “The ultimate definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”
He said current crime-fighting methods just weren’t working, and revealed that a tourist was recently cowardly beaten while innocently browsing the city’s information center.
In his video, Mr Dean went on to say that society “needs to give Aboriginal people a purpose, something to work towards” that would “strengthen our family, our community”.
He said that while making a change is difficult, “doing nothing becomes even more difficult”.
“We must work together, Blackfella and Whitefella,” he added.
He also addressed politicians, saying they “need to listen because the current methods of dealing with juvenile delinquency and exit are not working.
“The more energy we invest now, the money we invest in listening to Aboriginal people will save money and save lives in the future,” he added.
‘Enough is enough. We cannot look back, we must look ahead.”
A crashed car tumbles onto rocks after being left outside a petrol station in the Northern Territory
The elder said he wished for a better future for his children and grandchildren and all children.
He ended his powerful speech by thanking those who took the time to listen,
“Spread the message to everyone, whether you’re Whitefella or Blackfella, everyone needs to listen and demand change.”
Mr Dean received a very positive response on social media with many thoughtful comments.
One poster said: “There is definitely a divide between children and land.
“I’ve tried to get one of our elders to take my children and tell them their stories, but it’s impossible.”
Another agreed, saying: “Everyone in the woke brigade should listen to this older gentleman. Well said, old fellow.”
“This should be played out to all politicians and government officials at the local, state and national levels. It makes a lot of sense,” said another man.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/nt-indigenous-elder-calls-for-blackfella-and-whitefella-to-help-end-bush-towns-youth-crime-spree/ NT Indigenous elders call for ‘Blackfella and Whitefella’ to help end juvenile delinquency in bush towns