Sumary of ‘Trying to do our best’ is just not good enough from our leaders | Katharine Murphy:
- Political reporting can be like battling chronic low-level tinnitus.
- But Thelma Schwartz, the principal legal officer at the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service, burned through the fog.
- Schwartz began her contribution to this week’s National Women’s Safety Summit by acknowledging her ancestors, the “women who came before me, who laid the foundations for me to be here as an Indigenous woman, as an Indigenous lawyer”.
- “I refuse to be used as a tick and flick measure,” she said – not when Aboriginal women were 32 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence, 10 times more likely to die due to assault, and 45 times more likely to be victims of violence.
- Not when she was aware of cases in remote communities where young children, victims of sexual assault, had to “wait, untouched, unshowered, because there was no paediatric specialist to undertake the forensic intimate service”.
- “So for those politicians who speak and say we’ve got this great spread [of services], it covers all of this and that, with respect, it doesn’t,” she said.
- “You cannot ever excuse to me children who have been victims of sexual assault waiting for specialist service providers to be flown in to conduct those assessments”.
- Bearing witness to people opting out of their responsibilities, in a crisis that is life and death, casts a long shadowHer righteous shirt-fronting pointed to a deeper inquiry about intention.