KAK: I will spend night in an Indigenous camp
POPULAR television presenter Kerri-Ann Kennerley has agreed to spend the night in an Indigenous town camp to see the plight of communities first hand.
Kennerley was part of a panel discussion on Indigenous disadvantage with Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and former Victorian MP Lidia Thorpe following Studio 10's heated "Invasion Day" discussion involving author Yumi Stynes on Monday.
Ms Price invited the panel members to visit an Alice Springs town camp.
"I will educate you. I will take you to a community, you can stay the night in a town camp, if that's what you want. You can see first hand what is going on, on the ground."
Ms Thorpe agreed to visit if Kennerley also joined them.
"I will. I'd be very, very happy to," Kennerley said.
"I'm trying to stop rape of Aboriginal women and children."
Earlier in the program, Kennerley called out Stynes for being "unprofessional" for cancelling her booked guest panellist appearance on the program this morning.
Kennerley said that in the 50 years she had worked in television, she had only not turned up to work twice, and that was because she was very unwell.
Addressing Stynes' absence, Studio 10 host Sarah Harris said they "wanted her here," before broadcasting a social media post Stynes had shared late on Monday night declaring she was giving herself the day off today.
"I was booked come in to showcase a recipe from one of my cookbooks … INSTEAD, I decided to give myself the day off. This is not because of what happened today between Kerri-Anne and I. I am feeling stable and calm and like I'm on the right side of history. Everything is OK. I'm not coming in because I really urgently want to lie around and do nothing. It's very important," she wrote.
"I told the new producer Tamara that I won't be coming in tomorrow. I also gave her the number of my good friend James Mathison who kindly offered to fill in for me as he is available and has done the show a bunch of times and therefore I would not be leaving the hardworking team in the lurch. I have no idea if she will take me up on the suggestion and it's not my problem."
Police were called to a small gathering of protesters outside Ten's studios at Pyrmont today as the row dragged on.
During today's panel discussion Price argued the issue of changing the date of Australia Day from January 26 was a distraction from the real issues affecting indigenous communities across Australia.
"Indigenous women are suffering at the hands of our own people at alarming rates," she said.
"Children are suffering as well. When someone like Yumi turns around and can very easily calls Kerri-Anne racist, it is sending a message to those victims that they shouldn't have a voice for speaking out. We have got to have these difficult conversations and we are all Australian. Simply because someone is a different skin colour to yourself doesn't mean you should be silent on an issue affecting other human beings."
Thorpe on the other hand said the point was being missed as "Invasion Day" rallies at the weekend were "calling for the end of the injustice that Aboriginal people face each and every day of our lives."
"It is about truth telling," she said. "If you want to talk about rape and murder, we need to go back to when this country was invaded. Celebrating Australia Day is actually going to rub salt into our wounds. Celebrating Australia Day is actually dancing on our graves as Aboriginal people and sovereign people of this country who don't have a Treaty."
In the heated discussion, Kennerley questioned Thorpe's focus on the past rather than the present and future.
"It's an issue out there, children, babies, women are being raped. how do we stop that today? Lets put everything in an itinerary, please give me an answer."
Thorpe responded: "We stop stealing and stop killing our children in the prison system. These are all symptoms of this invasion … of colonisation that has occurred in this country. But it is not an Aboriginal problem, it is this nations problem that they have to address and a peace making instrument such as a Treaty is a way to go and what we should be talking about."