Four Corners - Road to Nowhere, The (Imanpa)
There's another story buried deep beneath the horrific headlines about sexual abuse in indigenous Australia. It's a story that helps explain some of the dysfunction plaguing many remote communities - the chronic violence, the substance abuse and the persistent, shocking markers on health, schooling and jobs. The story can be found at places like Imanpa, a settlement that lies just out of sight of the tourists who stream down the road from Alice Springs to Uluru.
Imanpa is on the brink of collapse. Its main income stream, the work for the dole scheme, has been cut off. Someone has been ripping off community funds. The only store in town is broke. The nearest police station is 150 kilometres away. Few children go to school. The leaders who have stayed on are desperate. As they cast about for a quick fix to the money problems, an invited Four Corners team assembles a rare, intimate profile of a community in crisis.
This report raises uncomfortable questions about the administration and survival of far-flung Aboriginal communities. The long-held principle that indigenous people must be free to make their own decisions is now under direct challenge. "Self-determination doesn't work," one leader bluntly admits.
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