This Sydney Morning Herald article We need to get the children out of here describes the terrible extent of the problems in Aurukun, in far north Queensland:
Elders are calling for the children to be removed from the community at age nine, for their safety and education ...Clearly, we have to do a lot more than say sorry. Read the article in full and search this blog for "pearson" for further information about possible solutions.
... Recidivism rates for teenage boys run at 90 per cent, some having served up to eight terms for offences from stealing cars to assault by the time they are 15. Close to a tenth of the community's adults and teenagers are either on parole, a suspended sentence or community service orders, but the latter are rarely enforced. Another tenth is revolving through jail or juvenile detention.
One in three children are not enrolled at the school, which notionally teaches to year 10 level. Of those who are, they attend two days a week on average. Nine in 10 children do not turn up on a Friday, regarded by most parents as a holiday set aside for gambling the week's "sweat money" (work-for-the-dole payments) and "child money" (family tax benefits)...
There have been two alcohol-driven street riots this year, involving 50 people or more armed with iron bars, knives and hammers, on top of three last year. The past week has seen an influx of sly grog by sea, a stabbing, nightly assaults and the near-sacking of the chief executive officer for his efforts to apply general administrative standards to council business.
Tomorrow's local government election is largely being fought over the community's "right to drink" in the face of recent restrictions on the serving of alcohol at the local tavern by the Liquor Licensing Board.
Step one: face reality