The statistics are now out of date but haven't improved since this was written, indeed many of the stats have increased.
By Gideon Polya 16 February 2014
There is an ongoing Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide that demands international action against a pro-war, pro-Zionist, US lackey, human rights-abusing Apartheid Australia. There are huge differentials between First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous Australians in relation to life expectancy, health, wealth, employment and educational attainment.
On the 13th February it was the 7th anniversary of the “Sorry Speech” by former Australian PM Kevin Rudd in 2008 in which he offered a very important formal apology to Indigenous Australians for the hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children forcibly removed from their mothers in the preceding century. However, as summarized below, while progress has been made in reducing the horrendous avoidable deaths of Indigenous Australians, there remain huge differentials between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in relation to life expectancy, health, wealth, employment and educational attainment. The so-called “Closing the Gap” has a long way to go in one of the richest countries in the world.
1. Appalling Indigenous Australian death rate has improved.
In 2001, according to Dr. Neil Thomson et al, (2004), the projected Aboriginal death rate was 2.2 % per year  as compared to about 0.4% for peaceful, high birthrate Developing World countries  i.e. the avoidable death rate was 1.8% per year or 9,000 such deaths per year out of an Indigenous population of about 500,000. By way of comparison, the avoidable death rate in Western European, Overseas European countries, Cuba and China are about 0-0.1% but are 1.0% in Non-Arab Africa and 0.4% in South Asia . Another way of representing this huge discrepancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous death rates is given by Thomson et al (2004): “After adjustment for the underestimate of the number of deaths identified as Indigenous (using the 1996 Census-based estimates and projections), Indigenous males born in 1999-2001 could be expected to live to 56.3 years, almost 21 years less than the 77.0 years expected for all males … The expectation of life at birth of 62.8 years for Indigenous females was almost 20 years less than the expectation of 82.4 years for all Australian females” .
According to a recent expert review by Professor Neil Thomson and his colleagues (2012): “In 2006-2010, the age-standardized death rate for Indigenous people was 1.9 times the rate for non-Indigenous people” . By 2011 the Indigenous population had grown to about 670,000 and there were 2,558 Indigenous deaths registered in 2011. Estimates of identification as Aboriginal ranges from 56% to 92%, the former indicative of 4,568 death per year, a death rate of 0.7% per year and an avoidable death rate (on a Third World-based assessment) of only 0.3% per year or about 2,000 such avoidable deaths per year, a huge decrease on the estimate for 2001. By way of comparison, annual preventable deaths (a First World-based assessment) totaled about 1,400 per year in the period 2006-2010 . MacRae et al. summarized this improved death rate thus (2012): “After adjustment for the underestimate of the number of deaths identified as Indigenous, the ABS estimated that Indigenous males born in 2005-2007 could expect to live to 67.2 years, 11.5 years less than the 78.7 years expected for non-Indigenous males… The expectation of life at birth of 72.9 years for Indigenous females in 2005-2007 was almost 10 years less than the expectation of 82.6 years for non-Indigenous females.”
2. Poor Indigenous health.
The discrepancies in health parameters of Indigenous Australians in comparison with those of non-Indigenous Australians are summarized with some technical simplification below :
proportion of low birth weight babies was 2x higher (2011);
fertility rate 1.5x higher (2011);
death rate was 1.9 x higher (2006-2010) and 1.7x higher (2005-2010;
hospitalization or separation rate was 2.5x higher (2010-2011);
heart condition incidence 1.3x higher;
cancer death rate 1.4x higher (2006-2010);
incidence of some kind of diabetes 3.4x higher (2004-2005);
diabetes-related deaths 7x higher (2004-2008);
high or very high psychological stress 2.6x higher (2008);
hospitalization for mental or behavioral disorders 2.1x higher (2010-2011);
suicide deaths 2.4x higher (2010);
notification rate of end stage renal disease 7.2x higher (2006-2010);
dialysis the most common reason for hospitalization and hospitalization 11.4x times higher (2010-11);
death rate from kidney disease 4x higher (2006-2010);
hospitalization rate for injury 2.0x higher (2010-2011);
hospitalization rate of women for assault was 36x higher (2006-08);
hospitalization rate for respiratory disease 2.8x higher (2010-2011);
respiratory-related death rate 2.6x higher (2010);
rate of low vision for adults aged 40 years and older was 2.8x higher (2008);
rate of blindness for adults aged 40 years and older 6.2x higher. (2008);
hospitalization rate for all ear diseases 1.3x higher. (2008-10);
profound/core activity restriction 2.2x higher (2008);
notification rate for tuberculosis 11.1x higher (2005-2009):
notification rate for hepatitis C 3.6x higher (2009-2011);
notification rate for Haemophilus influenza type b 20x higher (2010);
rate of invasive pneumococcal disease was 7.3x higher (2006-2008);
notification rate of meningococcal disease was 2.6x higher (2003-2006);
notification rate of meningococcal disease for children aged 0-4 years was 4.9x higher;
notification rates for gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia ranged from 5.6x to 64x times higher (2009-2011);
age-adjusted proportion of current smokers 2.3x higher (2008):
smoking during pregnancy 3.8x higher (2009);
consumption of alcohol at short-term risky/high risk levels at least once a week in the previous 12 months was 2.0x higher (2004-2005),
principally alcohol-related hospitalization for males 5x higher and for females 4x higher (2008-2010);
the age-standardized alcohol-related deaths for males and females 5x higher and 8x higher, respectively (2006-2010);
use of illicit substances in the previous 12 months 1.6x higher (2008);
rate of drug-induced deaths 1.5x higher (2005-2009).
The relatively good news is that 35% of Indigenous adults abstain from alcohol, this being 2.5x higher than that among the total Australian population; that 84% of mothers breastfeed their children; and 88% of children aged 0-6 years in non-remote areas were fully immunized against the recommended vaccine-preventable diseases .
However the bad news is that among Indigenous Australians:
care involving dialysis for kidney failure was the most common reason for hospitalization;
injury is the third most common cause of death, accounting for 14% of deaths;
57% of adults were classified as overweight or obese and the level of obesity/overweight is 1.2x higher than for non-Indigenous people;
47% of adults are current smokers, this being 2.3x higher than for non-Indigenous adults; and
23% of adults report that they had used an illicit substance in the previous 12 months. .
3. Indigenous Australian unemployment, poverty and educational deficits.
MacRae et al (2012) point out that, according to the 2011 Australian Census data, 42% of Indigenous people aged 15 years or older were employed and 17% were unemployed, whereas 61% of non-Indigenous people aged 15 years or older were employed and 5% were unemployed; the most common occupation classification of employed Indigenous people was “laborer” (18%) followed by “community and personal service workers” (17%) whereas the most common occupation classification of employed non-Indigenous people was “professional” (22%); and the mean equalized gross household income for Indigenous persons was around $475 per week - approximately 59% of that for non-Indigenous persons (around $800) .
MacRae et al. (2012) have also summarized the appalling educational deficits: “According to 2011 Australian Census: 92% of 5 year-old Indigenous children were attending an educational institution. 1.6% of the Indigenous population had not attended school compared with 0.9% of the non-Indigenous population. 29% of Indigenous people reported year 10 as their highest year of school completion; 25% had completed year 12, compared with 52% of non-Indigenous people. 26% of Indigenous people reported having a post-school qualification, compared with 49% of non-Indigenous people. 4.6% of Indigenous people had attained a bachelor degree or higher, compared with 20% of non-Indigenous people… 76% of Indigenous students in year 3 and 66% in year 5 were at or above the national minimum standard for reading, compared with 95% and 93% respectively of all Australian students… 84% of Indigenous students in year 3 and 75% in year 5 were at or above the national minimum standard for numeracy, compared with 96% and 96% respectively of all Australian students” .
Truancy is a major problem in Indigenous schools as revealed by the following media report (2013): “The federal government is going back to the past to persuade more Aboriginal parents to send their children to school. It will spend $28 million over two years to fund 400 truancy officers for more than 40 schools in remote communities throughout the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, NSW and South Australia. When more money becomes available, the program will be spread to other communities… The officers – five for every 100 children enrolled – will work with families on a case-management basis to tackle reasons behind a child's truancy. They won't have powers apart from persuasion, however, if their efforts fail, other compliance measures could apply. Most of the targeted schools have reported attendance rates of below 70 per cent during the past five years” .
Professor Helen Hughes AO on gross Educational Apartheid in the Northern Territory of Apartheid Australia (2008): “”Aboriginal schools in the Northern Territory have failed to provide Indigenous students with these essentials for entry into the labor force. Some 5,000 Indigenous teenagers, and another 5,000 young men and women in their 20s, are unable to speak English, and are illiterate and non-numerate. They cannot read road signs, menus, or instructions on packages of medicines, cleaning materials, and other packaged goods. Aborigines are often accused of using taxis wastefully, but many cannot read well enough to use public transport. They cannot fill shelves in a supermarket, or serve in a shop or café … These young peoples’ education has made them more foreign in their own country than the latest immigrants from Somalia… To overcome the damage these youngsters’ education has done to them would require sheltered accommodation in English-speaking environments, mentored part-time introductory jobs and one-on-one tuition for one or two years. The cost of sheltered accommodation for teenagers who are unable to live at home is $900 a week in Sydney. If the Northern Territory were serious about tackling the deficit its Aboriginal education polices have created, the cost would be between $500 million and $1 billion.” .
Professor Helen Hughes AO on gross Australian Educational Apartheid for Indigenous children from urban welfare dependent families or remote communities (2008): “Australia, however, has a serious problem in low participation in higher education by students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Indigenous children from urban welfare dependent families, just like non-Indigenous children from similar welfare dependent backgrounds, have very low participation in higher education. The mainstream schools they attend – the so-called “sink” schools – do not provide adequate primary and secondary education to enable these children to proceed to university. Children from remote communities are even more disadvantaged because Indigenous schools in those communities fail to teach basic literacy and numeracy, let alone a full primary curriculum. For these children, the chances of progressing to higher education are negligible” [6, 7].
4. Ongoing Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide by racist White Australia, Apartheid Australia.
The current, continuing appalling Indigenous health and social circumstances cannot be divorced from history. As summarized by MacRae et al (2012): “Indigenous peoples generally enjoyed better health in 1788 than most people living in Europe… They did not suffer from smallpox, measles, influenza, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, venereal syphilis and gonorrhea, diseases that were common in 18th century Europe. Indigenous people probably suffered from hepatitis B, some bacterial infections (including a non-venereal form of syphilis and yaws) and some intestinal parasites. Trauma is likely to have been a major cause of death, and anemia, arthritis, periodontal disease, and tooth attrition are known to have occurred. The impact of these diseases at a population level was relatively small compared with the effects of the diseases that affected 18th century Europe. All of this changed after 1788 with the arrival of introduced illness, initially smallpox and sexually transmissible infections (gonorrhea and venereal syphilis), and later tuberculosis, influenza, measles, scarlet fever, and whooping cough” .
The European invasion in 1788 resulted in the Indigenous population dropping from circa 1 million to about 0.1 million in the first 100 years as a result of introduced disease, dispossession from traditional lands, economy and food resources, and massacres by gangs of well-armed, horse-mounted Europeans. The remaining Indigenous populations were variously subject to racist “protection” Acts and confinement to reserves with an ethnocide policy of removal of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children from their mothers . According to MacRae et al. (2012): “The National Inquiry into the separation of the children concluded that 'between one-in-three and one-in-ten Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and communities in the period from approximately 1910 until 1970” .
These ethnocide and genocidal child removal policies (generating the so-called Stolen Generations) formally stopped in the decade after the 1967 Referendum that changed the Constitution (1) by extending power to the Commonwealth parliament to legislate with respect to Aborigines by deleting the caveat “other than the aboriginal race in any State” to its right to make laws about “people of any race, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws”, and (2) by deleting “In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted”. These changes were ostensibly beneficial to Aborigines but also had the effect of removing any mention of Indigenous Australians from the Constitution .
The reformist Whitlam Labor Government of 1972-1975 improved the situation further by passage of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act. However the racist Liberal Party -National Party Coalition Government with the support of the racist Labor Party Opposition specifically excluded Northern Territory (NT) Aborigines from the protection of this Act in legislation approving the racist 2007 Northern Territory National Emergency Response (NT Intervention) in response to allegations of rampant child sexual and other abuse. No prosecutions for child abuse arose from the Intervention were made in the 5 years after Australian armed forces “invaded” Aboriginal Communities . Indeed the expert “Little Children are Sacred” Report set up to investigate child sexual abuse allegations in the NT found (p57) that “it is not possible to accurately estimate the extent of child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory's Aboriginal communities”, but nevertheless the Indigenous Community was specifically and extensively singled out and defamed in this respect in the Mainstream media and Parliament. In contrast, the massive sexual abuse of Australia children as a whole was of course ignored, even though the “Little Children are Sacred” Report reported (p235) that 34% of Australian women and 16% of men have been subject to sexual abuse as children . Further, the Howard Government implemented only two out of ninety-seven of the Report's recommendations (preferring the racist, military and human rights-abusing Intervention).
According to Wikipedia: “In the late 18th century, there were between 350 and 750 distinct Aboriginal social groupings, and a similar number of languages or dialects. At the start of the 21st century, fewer than 150 indigenous languages remain in daily use, and all except roughly 20 are highly endangered. Of those that survive, only 10% are being learned by children and those languages are usually located in the most isolated areas” . In the Northern Territory the first 4 hours of instruction for Indigenous children is in English and only 8 schools offer bilingual education i.e. ongoing Aboriginal Ethnocide in the one Territory or State in Australia with a high proportion of Indigenous Australians .
Look-the-other-way Australia has an entrenched culture of lies and slices (spin-based untruths). Thus on 13 February 2008 PM Kevin Rudd made his famous “Sorry speech” in the Federal Parliament in which he apologized to the Stolen Generations but made no mention of the words “racism” or “genocide” . Further, the same policy of enforced child removal is presently continuing, albeit under a different rationale. Thus Paddy Gibson (a senior researcher with the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS, a founding member of the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney, and co-editor of Solidarity magazine.): “For each of the last five years, approximately a thousand Aboriginal children have been coming into the ‘out-of-home care’ system long-term. This is a higher number than were removed during any time in the twentieth century. Half of the children have not been placed with kin or relatives. We are fast approaching the Stolen Generations removal rate cited by Rudd: between 10 and 30 per cent of all Indigenous children. A 2011 annual report from the Department of Family and Community Services found that 9.6 per cent of Aboriginal children in NSW were in out-of-home care. Across Australia, nearly 6 per cent of Indigenous children are in out-of-home care. If current trends continue, the figure will exceed 10 per cent by the end of the decade. While Kevin Rudd was apologizing for the past Aboriginal children were being taken in numbers greater than at any time in the 20th Century” .
New South Wales Greens MP David Shoebridge states (2014): “These are the facts for NSW: The number of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander young people in out of home care in NSW increased from 3,865 to 6,060 between 2007 and 2011. This was a 57% increase in 4 short years. Today more than one in 10 Aboriginal children are in out of home care in NSW. This is the highest rate of any State or Territory in Australia and compares to less than 1 in 100 in the general community. These are the facts across Australia: As at 30 June 1997, the year of Bringing Them Home, 2,785 Aboriginal children were in out-of-home care across Australia. As at 30 June 2012, there were 13,299. This is almost a five-fold increase” .
At this point it is appropriate to consider the UN definition of genocide: Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention states that “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” .
Australia is one of the richest countries in the world. Thus in 2012 Australia topped, at USD200,000 per person, the world list for “median wealth” and at USD403,000 came second to Switzerland (USD513,000 ) for “average wealth” . However this wealth does not extend to the Indigenous Australian community that is subject to a continuing Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide that commenced with European Invasion in 1788. Yet Australia no more acknowledges the Aboriginal Genocide than it will acknowledge its involvement in numerous other genocidal atrocities, Australia’s “secret genocide history” [19, 20].
In a comprehensive example of this Australian denial, the 2-volume Cambridge History of Australia that was recently launched by the Australian Governor General fails to acknowledge Australian involvement in 30 genocidal atrocities . This amnesia and entrenched looking-the–other-way White Australian culture stems from politically correct racism (PC racism) involving, for example, assertions of “love” for Aborigines, Iraqis, Afghans, Humanity and the Biosphere while nationally participating in the 21st century alone in what must be described (with deaths from violence or imposed deprivation in parentheses) as an Aboriginal Genocide (2 million since 1788) , an Iraqi Genocide (2.7 million since 2003) , an Afghan Genocide (7 million since 2001) , a worsening global avoidable mortality holocaust (18 million avoidable deaths from deprivation each year)  and a worsening Climate Genocide (10 billion predicted to die this century due to unaddressed climate change with Australia one of the worst annual per capita greenhouse gas polluters) . PC racist White Australia adopts the attitude that if you don’t mention it then it doesn’t exist.
On 12 February 2014 the neoliberal Coalition PM Abbott made the following key points to Parliament in launching the latest “Closing the Gap” Report addressing key health, education and socio-economic differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia: “I can report that our country is on track to achieve some of the Closing the Gap targets. The target to halve the gap in child mortality within a decade is on track to be met. We are already close to meeting the target to have 95 per cent of remote children enrolled for pre-school – and should soon know what percentage are actually attending as well as just enrolled. And the target to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment by 2020 is also on track to be met. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there’s almost no progress in closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and other Australians – which is still about a decade. There’s been very little improvement towards halving the gap in reading, writing and numeracy. And indigenous employment has, if anything slipped backwards over the past few years. We are not on track to achieve the more important and meaningful targets. Because it’s hard to be literate and numerate without attending school; it’s hard to find work without a basic education; and it’s hard to live well without a job. We are all passionate to Close the Gap. We may be doomed to fail – I fear – until we achieve the most basic target of all: the expectation that every child will attend school every day” .
Yet the laudable commitment of the Abbott Government to spend $28 million to address Indigenous child truancy  is small change in comparison with the Coalition Government and Labor Opposition commitment to the $125 billion long-term accrual cost, so far, of the Zionist -promoted US War on Terror . Yet while 4 Australians have died within Australia from terrorism in half a century (3 of them likely from an Australian Intelligence operation gone wrong ), 2,000 Indigenous Australians die avoidably from deprivation each year in Apartheid Australia (9,000 per year back in 2001).
Not addressed is the appalling statistic that while Aborigines represent 3% of the Australian population they represent about 30% of the Australian prison population .
What can decent people do? Decent Australians should (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last. Decent folk around the world should urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all those complicit in the ongoing Australian Aboriginal Genocide, just as they urge and apply BDS against Apartheid Australia-backed Apartheid Israel’s ongoing Palestinian Genocide . Would you buy soap made in Auschwitz?
Thomson N, Burns J, Burrow S, Kirov E (2004) Overview of Indigenous health 2004. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, 4(4), October-December 2004.
Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, this including an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and now available for free perusal on the web.
MacRae A, Thomson N, Anomie, Burns J, Catto M, Gray C, Levitan L, McLoughlin N, Potter C, Ride K, Stumpers S, Trzesinski A, Urquhart B (2013). Overview of Australian Indigenous health status, 2012.
“Abbott Government to spend $28 million on truancy officers to help raise Aboriginal school attendance”, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 December 2013.
Helen Hughes, “Indigenous education in the Northern Territory”, CIS Policy Monograph 83.
Helen Hughes, “The Centre for Independent Studies submission to the Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander People”, 18 November 2011.
“Australian referendum, 1967 (Aboriginals)”. Wikipedia.
“Northern Territory National Emergency Response”, Wikipedia.
“Little Children are Sacred” Report.
“Australian Aboriginal languages”, Wikipedia.
Brian Devlin, “The status and future of bilingual education for remote Indigenous students in the Northern Territory”.
“Kevin Rudd’s Sorry Speech”, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 February 2008.
Paddy Gibson, “Stolen futures”, Overland, Spring 2013.
David Shoebridge, “Stolen Generation continues – time to break the silence”, 13 February 2014.
UN Genocide Convention.
Credit Suisse, “Global Wealth Report 2013”, 2013.
Gideon Polya, “Australia’s secret genocide history”.
Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”, now available for free perusal on the web.
Gideon Polya, “Review: “The Cambridge History Of Australia” ignores Australian involvement in 30 genocides”, Countercurrents, 14 October 2013.
“Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”.
“Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”.
Tony Abbott, “Statement to the House of Representatives –Closing the Gap”, 12 February 2014.
Gideon Polya, “Endless War on Terror. Huge cost for Australia & America”, MWC News, 14 October 2012.
Gideon Polya, “50 ways Australian Intelligence spies on Australia & the world for UK, Israeli and US state terrorism”, Countercurrents, 11 December 2013 .
“Aboriginal prison rates”, Creative Spirits.
“Boycott Apartheid Israel”.
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