Academics, politicians ‘hide behind the cultural curtain’ on indigenous education gap

Indigenous academic Dr Anthony Dillon says academics and politicians far too often hide behind the “cultural curtain” and make out the education gap in relation to indigenous kids is a cultural problem.

It comes after a new study revealed indigenous children in Australia are trailing behind other students, with just 39 per cent of indigenous children meeting the basic standard for year 8 mathematics.

“It would be a start to not just lump aboriginal people together as one unit,” Dr Dillon told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“I think for the majority of indigenous kids – even those that are living in remote communities – you’ll find that they have the same basic needs as non-indigenous kids.

“If you treat them in a similar manner, they’ll rise to the occasion and they’ll do well.

“For most indigenous kids – like the indigenous adults – they function quite normally and quite well in mainstream society.”

Dr Dillon said academic and politicians often “hide behind the cultural curtain” and make out the whole issue as a cultural problem.

“That leads to this notion that only indigenous people should be helping indigenous people, which is very damaging to aboriginal people,” he said.

“It keeps them separate, and it makes them think that they’re a separate species when in actual fact we should be celebrating oneness and connectedness.”

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