Social justice issue that needs serious attention

The Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has backed calls for cemetery fees to be re-examined.

“My view is that the council should be looking very carefully at ensuring that people can afford to do something that everybody would see fundamentally as a right – to be able to bury your own with some dignity,” he said.

In a report by ABC journalist Alice Matthews: Calls for graveyard fees to be dropped for struggling Aboriginal families (Monday 25 July 2016) we learn that Wally Stewart from Dream Time Funerals is doing his best to help his people provide affordable farewells for family members who have died.

Mr Stewart said the Dream Time Funerals model could be effective across the state.

“We could teach people how to do that funeral…[and] then we could relieve all the burdens and they would have their own service,” he said.  “If you really want to talk about reconciliation and closing the gap, this is a high need not only [on the south coast], but in a lot of areas,” he said.

“Why should we be paying to be buried in our own land anyway? We’ve been fighting land rights forever and the only land rights we seem to end up with is a six-foot grave.”

To read the full story with pictures and a video, go to: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-24/aboriginal-burials-funerals-fees-scrapped/7577638

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