We can hold an idea in our minds, such as the statement ‘women are better at endings than they are at beginnings’, explore it, see what it offers, before letting it go. Just as we can hold desire before it scatters and reforms. We can take pleasure from a particular mode of submission until it no longer serves us. Endings well up from deep within, called up by who knows what, and arriving at who can guess what time.
It is tempting to dismiss Evans as unhinged, but it would be a mistake to view his radicalisation trajectory in isolation. Since the onset of the pandemic, some quarters of the wellness industry have been taken in by conspiritualist ideas, including those of QAnon. Militant wellness – think singing bowls, praise for Trump and the use of weapons – is now a thing.
The stories shared in the Ngaga-dji Report detail serious breaches of First Nations young people’s human rights and a failure of the Victorian Government and affiliated agencies to uphold them. The stories reveal chronic structural discrimination and ongoing systemic failures to respect, protect and fulfil young First Nations people’s rights in child protection, juvenile justice and out-of-home care settings.
The national Closing the Gap policy contains targets to address what is described as Indigenous disadvantage. In relation to education these targets include intentions to improve English literacy and numeracy outcomes, school attendance, early childhood education participation and Year-12 completion rates. However, in the last ten years progress on these targets has been minimal and policy to address Indigenous education appears to be at a standstill.
These reflections on the Ngaga-dji Report come at a time when the decision to build a new youth justice centre in Cherry Creek, west of Melbourne, has been scaled down but remains an inappropriate model for responding to the needs of Aboriginal children, many of whom are often caught on the residential care-youth detention-adult prison pathway.