Elder hopes good will come out of Palm Island turmoil
By CHRIS LYNCHchrisl@gladstoneobserver.com.au
CHARLES Coleman hopes only good will come from the controversy on Palm Island and turmoil surrounding ATSIC.
The Gladstone aboriginal elder will be among delegates at a regional community forum at The Country Plaza International today, and yesterday he offered a quiet view of what could be learnt from the controversies.
Mr Coleman said leadership on Palm Island could have done more to stop things escalating, and that he hoped other communities could see that.
"We've got our own leadership in place and we also need to work better with others,'' he said.
Positives were all he was hoping to draw from criticism levelled at governing body the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) as well.
He said discussions would be held today as to how an overhaul of ATSIC could be used to the ben- efit of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
"It's about changes to the Australian and Queensland governments and their ways of doing business with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.
"We'll be seeking ideas on how we can work together with government agencies within the community,'' he said.
Mr Coleman said some of the key topics covered would be education, employment and training.
"It's more or less to identify the main shared responsibility between the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait island community and government agencies.
"We want to help government agencies work with us better,'' he said.
The session begins from 10.30am today and will continue tomorrow. For information phone