Indigenous leaders from around Australia will
appeal to Prime Minister John Howard today to help them tackle
domestic violence in their communities.
Mr Howard says he is anxious
to hear their suggestions.
He says that under existing policies,
Indigenous communities are struggling with worsening social problems,
including domestic violence.
"We really do have to try and find a different approach," he said.
"The first thing we have to do is to listen
to what the credible leaders of the Aboriginal community have to
say on the subject."
Former ATSIC chief Lowitja O'Donohue is
one of the Indigenous leaders meeting the Prime Minister today.
plans to tell Mr Howard all governments must invest more in preventing
domestic violence in Aboriginal communities.
"It must have increased resources but I must
have commitment first on the part of Commonwealth, state and territory
governments," Ms O'Donohue said.
Mr Howard says Indigenous
leaders themselves say domestic violence has reached crisis proportions
in their communities.
"They're asking for help, they really are
and we all have a responsibility to do something about it," Mr
He says he called today's meeting to listen to
the views of Indigenous leaders like Noel Pearson, Mick Dodson
and Lowitja O'Donohue.
Ms O'Donohue says she is encouraged by the
Prime Minister's interest.
"The fact that he has initiated the meeting,
he must be serious about taking this matter forward and finding
some answers," she said.
Mr Howard has accepted an invitation
to visit some Indigenous communities on Cape York next week.