Earlier this month, ICAN Director Daphne Naden gave a keynote address on the Indigenous Consumer Perspective at the National Consumer Congress in Sydney. Sharing the stage with Cynthia Gebert, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the Honourable Stephen Jones MP, Assistant Treasurer, Daphne spoke about the ongoing impacts of colonisation and the continued exploitation of Indigenous consumers. The speech followed Daphne’s active role in the #savesorrybusiness campaign and highlighted the current consumer issues surrounding the demise of the Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund (ACBF)/Youpla.
Daphne spoke about how the talk was received, “The feedback showed me that people still really don’t know a lot about Australia’s colonial history and were shocked by the laws that Aboriginal people were controlled by in the state of Queensland. There is a perception in Australia that the process of colonisation is ancient history, but in fact, the impacts are still felt today,” said Daphne. “People need to realise that my generation was the first to participate fully in Australia’s financial system without having our money controlled by the state.”
“The ACBF disaster highlighted just how vulnerable to failure the consumer protection system in Australia is when it comes to ensuring the consumer rights of First Nations peoples are upheld,” said ICAN Operations Manager Jillian Williams. “It is critical that the experiences and voices of First Nations people are heard and included in consumer protection laws and policies decisions if we are to avoid another disaster like ACBF. This starts with truth-telling.”
Vowing to continue her campaign to #savesorrybusiness, Daphne spoke directly to the ACBF/Youpla issue in her speech. “It is a sad indictment on Australia that in this day and age, all that many Indigenous people could hope for is that our children wouldn’t go financially backwards due to our passing. Now, this has even been taken away from us.”
“Daphne’s story was a great truth-telling about the strength and resilience of First Nations peoples in the face of an exploitative colonial system and the interconnection between finances, health and wellbeing,” said ICAN CEO Aaron Davis. “We need to move away from inquiry after inquiry and move onto real action to address critical consumer issues that we’ve known about for decades, like the high cost of food in remote Australia.”
With the support of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, ICAN will produce a video of Daphne’s keynote address for our YouTube channel ICANtv1 in the coming months, so watch this space.