Sunday, 15 November 2009

In the Northern Territory: intervention but no prevention asserts Ros Pierce

Received through the Women for Wik and the Working Group on Aboriginal Rights (Australia) about the NT Intervention:
Hi my name is Ros Pierce. I am a Ngarrindjeri woman and my people are the traditional owners of the land around the Coorong in the upper south-east of South Australia. I am one of the Stolen Generation. I was removed at the age of 5 years and I returned to my people at the age of 18 years. I am now 58 years.

I have worked within Aboriginal communities most of my life at the grass root level. The areas I've worked in are drug and alcohol, family violence and Aboriginal family support worker. Later in my life, I received my degree in Nursing and continued work as a community nurse in the inner Adelaide area and remote nursing. For the past 10 years I've worked at SHine SA (formerly Family Planning SA) as the Coordinator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healthworker Sexual Health education for the female staff.

The point I wish to make is as follows:

The NT Intervention strategy is not focusing on prevention, it is addressing the issues after they have occurred, such as diagnosis of rape and child abuse. The strategy needs to be focusing on early intervention and prevention with the use of an education strategy.

All Australian children and young people, especially Aboriginal children and young people should have access to comprehensive, age appropriate, relationships and sexual health programs, commencing with personal rights and safety in primary schools and before young people become sexually active.

Since colonisation, Aboriginal children, young people and women have been denied information about their rights including their sexual health rights, this has been a major cause of "ignorance" that has been a major factor in silencing the rape and sexual abuse of our women and our children.

I am an advocate for all Aboriginal children, young people and women in having access to comprehensive, age appropriate, relationships and sexual health education program.

Ros Pierce

ATSI Women’s Educator

Workforce Development Team

Sexual Health information networking & education SA Inc (SHine SA)

64c Woodville Road Woodville (PO Box 76 Woodville 5011)

Tel: +61 8300 5324 Email: Fax: +61 8 8300 5399 Website: email:

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