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Scott Monaghan…building momentum. Image: Leanda Hunter

Lets build momentum

Scott Monaghan is CEO of Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation and is determined that his culture and people survive.

“It is a fact that the future health and wellbeing of communities is tied to the health of it’s children, adolescents and youth. The period of youth is vital in determining the future of the individual.

“The decisions a young person makes builds the foundation for the future and have lasting impact,” he said.

“In the Clarence Valley, 7% of the population identifies as Aboriginal – compared to less than 3% state-wide.”

“Nationwide Aboriginal young people constitute 5% of the population- this proportion in the Clarence Valley is 13%. The Aboriginal population is not only a younger population it also carries a greater burden of disadvantage and need,” he said.

There are many issues surrounding our Aboriginal youth, but forums to discuss these issues are being run for children, adults (parents) and smaller focused groups. Also, local organisations are invited to participate such as Justice Health and P.C.Y.C.

Sadly, racism is ingrained in white society. It is unintentional but there is an element of ‘privileged white bias’. This is racism in its most potent form.”

But Scott says things are getting better.

“Education is improving among our young people,” he said

Aboriginal culture is hugely important but not always understood. This connection has far reaching implications for young people’s sense of wellbeing, belonging and self-assurance.

“One in three Aboriginal young people report having experienced unfair treatment in educational institutions or in gaining employment is a huge concern to all of society.” he said.

Scott went on to say that we can observe encouraging signs of things getting better. For instance, education levels in the Aboriginal children nationwide is improving. Another positive sign is the increase in the number of Aboriginal young people with tertiary education.

One problem which is relevant is that only half of Aboriginal youth between the ages of 15 to 24 are in the labour force, and nearly half are employed on part time basis. Aboriginal people have significantly lower-median weekly incomes and home ownership.”

“The good news is that there is evidence of the empowering and positive impact of employment on a community,” he said.

Scott is a man of conviction and building momentum to create a better future for Aboriginal youth and all people, is a top priority for this very driven and caring man.