Saturday, August 02, 2008

stand tall, tony abbott

Tony Abbott, Liberal MP, shadow minister for indigenous affairs, will spend three weeks of the parliamentary winter break working with aboriginal people in the township of Coen, north of Cairns (one of the most disadvantaged areas of Australia)

He will teach remedial reading to Aboriginal children in the mornings and work with an income management group in the afternoons, helping families manage their welfare payments

Tony Abbott:
"The problem with politicians getting to know the issues in indigenous townships is that we tend to suffer from what Aboriginal people call the 'seagull syndrome' — we fly in, scratch around and fly out ... You learn a hell of a lot more living in a place than just going in and talking to people about what it's like"
- Abbott teachers what he preaches
Sadly, this down to earth, commonsense, gutsy action by an Australian politician strikes me as so extraordinarily unusual that I feel compelled to draw attention to it.

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