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"you're racist, you're just taking my kids because I'm black".

No I'm taking your kids because you have been in a violent relationship for 10 years, you attacked your partner with a carving knife and he you with a machete, you become violent when you're drunk, your 2 year old hasn't been taught to talk, she had to have 4 teeth pulled because you feed her soft drink and lollies, on any given day you can't tell me which family member your 8 year old and 12 year old are staying with, your 14 year old is chroming and prostituting, your Mum is living with a DV perp, and any and all family you have to help you out is 10 times as bad.

The problem is that she's right.

These social problems in the Indigenous community are as a direct result of Australian government policy. They violently gutted the people, drove them to the depths of poverty, took away self respect and with it education and health. Stole them away from the wisdom of their families and community and land. Then left them to rot.

So we as a social work profession, we as a community say "But it's stopped now, the laws are fair, the Government has changed. We are Sorry, we are here to help."

Now it's up to her to take on the wisdom we are pushing in our glossy pamphlets and community health services and change.


Come on its not hard, take my advice, do these things, make it better. I know we knocked you down, I know we did the wrong thing, we said Sorry. You can get up now, I'll reach out my hand to help you.

Can you see the problem here? The problem is that we can fix the symptoms. We can be culturally appropriate and educate, provide health services, teach about domestic violence and alcohol, change the way police respond. What we can't do is rewind 200 years of systemic abuse, 200 years of abuse of power and abuse of trust. We can't change that.

Without effective intervention-the best predictor of future behaviour-is relevant past behaviour.

If Indigenous Australia was in a relationship with the Australian Government, I'd be taking her children too.

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