Senator demands fair go for children
Palm Island and a foundation member and director of Aboriginal Hostels Ltd.
The Townsville Bulletin reported the next day, July 13, that the Senator hoped similar accommodation would be built soon in other areas and that specialised student hostels would become a reality in Townsville, Charters Towers and Mount Isa.
Federal president of the Labor Party from 1962 to ’ 70, Senator Keeffe said the Whitlam Labor Government had p r o v i d e d many additional homes and a range of s e c o n d a r y school grants in the North.
“M e d i c a l and local services have been established at most centres and for the first time in almost a century and a half, Aboriginal and Islander people in this part of Australia can hold up their heads with pride as equal members in the community,” he said.
But the same day the Bulletin reported the disillusionment of Aboriginal leader Charles Perkins with the Whitlam Government.
“When Labor came to power in December 1972, we thought they had the greatest Prime Minister and the best political party for Aborigines,” Mr Perkins said.
“Nothing has come out of it. They have denigrated us. They have suppressed us.”
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Les Johnson reportedly dodged reporters after Mr Perkins’ speech marking National Aborigines Day. In 2005, Queensland Aboriginal Hostels Ltd renovated and refurbished the Iris Clay Hostel at a cost of $ 3 million, providing 18 rooms and short- term accommodation for 40 people.
They have denigrated us.
They have suppressed us.