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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2812

RESPONSIBILITY FOR ABORIGINAL EDUCATION IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/02/1973

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2812

PRESS STATEMENT NO. 51
12 February 1973
RESPONSIBILITY FOR ABORIGINAL EDUCATION IN THE NORTHERN
TERRITORY
The Prime Minister, Mr. Whitlam, announced last
night that in future the Education Minister, Mr. Beazley,
would have the responsibility for all special education
including adult education in the Northern Territory.
The decision, Mr. Whitlam said, was the result of an
agreement following discussions between Mr. Beazley and
the minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr. Bryant, who
formerly controlled the area.
It would become effective from tomorrow, 13 February.
Mr. Whitlam said the Minister for Education was already
responsible for the community education system in the
Northern Territory.
There would be continuing consultations between the
Ministers and Departments of Education and Aboriginal Affairs,
Mr. Whitlam said, to ensure that the overall policies of the
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs were reflected in the
education programs.
Particular consideration would be given to the special
and sometimes different needs of aborigines, including such
matters as staff/ pupil ratios, teaching in Aboriginal languages
and instruction in Aboriginal culture.
Mr. Whitlam said he was confident that the new
arrangements would provide the most effective means of ensuring
that the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory had the
best possible educational opportunities.
He said that consultation between the two Departments
had led to a start in the plans for implementing the policy
of teaching Aborigines in their own languages.
Mr. Whitlam went on to say that grouping the formerly
separate educational systems under the Department of Education
would allow an integration of resources and a more effective
approach to the provision of educational facilities in the
Northern Territory.

Transcript 2812