QandA – Nova Peris and the Deadlys (transcript) from Garma.
TONY JONES: Now, Ken, in the meantime, should someone find the money for the Deadly Awards, which were hugely successful as a demonstration of Aboriginal excellence?
KEN WYATT: I have had a discussion with the Parliamentary Secretary and suggested that we should seriously look at reviving the Dead Awards itself but I know an evaluation was undertaken by KPMG and that money was provided by the Commonwealth for a transition period, which would have enabled those Deadly Awards to occur. I think the facet that was or the part of it that was being debated was the magazine. But, look, there is still thoughts around the importance of the Deadlies. The commitment is there and I’ve not seen the evaluation report.
TONY JONES: Nova just wants to respond to this.
NOVA PERIS: I think government made a really, really, really bad decision in cutting the – well, what was in effect of the entire budget of the Vibe. But it wasn’t – Gavin Jones who, unfortunately, is no longer with us, he dedicated his life to inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and across this entire country. A report was undertaken in November and December, where KPMG gave an absolute glowing report of his entire program. Gavin’s program, he succeeded in obtaining funding for 19 years. This should have been the 20th year of the Deadlies. Gavin’s magazines reached out to 55,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids across this country. He was a Logie finalist this year for one of his television programs. His radio programs that reached out right across this country, the 3on3s, you know, they were mentoring programs. They were, you know, the entire major event on a calendar year for Aboriginal kids, which I know they came here to Yirrkala many times. This was a program that should never, ever have been cut and what we’ve seen now where a Government wants to say we want to close the gap on health and education and reduce incarcerations, all of those things is what Gavin’s program encompassed and it did all of that and I won’t have anyone tell me any different. That program should never have been cut. It was advised badly but, again, if someone had have actually read the report, that says that program should never have been cut.
TONY JONES: I am sorry to…
KEN WYATT: Sorry, there is…
TONY JONES: Yeah.
KEN WYATT: There was ongoing funding and there were discussions that did occur, so it is not totally true to say it was cut in the sense that you have described.
NOVA PERIS: Well, there…
KEN WYATT: But let me also say that there are other commitments to a range of programs for education at the community level across this nation and there are challenges for all governments in the way that they fund education programs, tackle incarceration rates, improve health outcomes, improve economic participation and you have to make judgments sometimes as to what the reach is and I don’t disagree with you…
NOVA PERIS: And this reach was six out of ten.
KEN WYATT: No, no, but I don’t disagree with you.
NOVA PERIS: Six out of ten Aboriginal kids right across this country.
KEN WYATT: No, but we are also talking about those at the frontline that have a direct impact on them where…
NOVA PERIS: It was a frontline service.
TONY JONES: I’m sorry, I’m going to have to wind up.
KEN WYATT: No, that’s fine.
Full transcript: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s4040700.htm