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Minister praises report by Catholic commission for justice and peace



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A report on attitudes toward Australian Aboriginals presented by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace has been welcomed by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Ian Viner.

The report "Aborigines - A Statement of Concern" is directed to the Catholic Bishops of Australia and draws att- tention to the serious health, education, housing and crime problems being experienced partly through a lack of·'·.. , appreciation of the difficulties experienced by Aboriginal : Australians. It is being distributed throughout Australian

Roman Catholic Churches today - Social Justice Sunday„ .

Mr Viner said today that the Report reflected something of the deep sense of hurt and injustice among Aboriginal people as well as their hopes and aspirations.

"It is an important social document reflecting the changing attitude of white Australians towards Aboriginal people," the Minister said.

' "It is also significant in that it reflects the changing role of the church from missionaries to supportive social institutions in areas of substantial need.

"I hope the report will be widely read, not only by those close to the Aboriginal problem but also by Australians generally. ■ . '

"It is a document which I hope will lead to more .

enlightened attitudes tarcaghout.· Australia where Aboriginals are still suffering the humiliation of ■

paternalism.

"Independent research into the problems encountered by the Aboriginal people is always appreciated, and my Department will be studying closely the comments and conclusions contained in the Report."

CANBERRA A.C.T. 24 September, 1978

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