A local bureaucrat – who has spent her whole career bouncing between both Government and not-for-profit organisations within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations – is on the chopping block this weekend

With the historic Indigenous Voice referendum around the corner, local assistant-manager-director, Janette might be out of a deadwood job not too far from now.

With Australia now presented with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bypass the bloated bureaucracies that stall any real change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, the likes of Janette must find a new grift to insert themselves into.

It’s a shame really, given how long she has spent skilling herself up on Indigenous lingo and mannerisms.

In fact, Janette even introduces herself as Aunty Janny to new clients and employees – and has nailed the ‘aahhh’ sound that Murris make after they crack a joke.

“People round here just call me Aunty Janny!” she says, while introducing herself to a new Indigenous entry-level employee that will remain her subordinate until the funding dries up and they have to cut staff.

“Who’s ya mob love?” she asks, with baited breath waiting to see if she can rattle off any names of relatives.

Despite the fact that her job exists purely as another level of administrative padding between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, Janette Wyatt (55) relishes in her exposure and occasional invitation into the culture of First Nations people.

“Be careful of these gammon whitefullas next door. Always taking our parks” she warns.

Like many white saviours and seatfillers employed in made-up administrative roles within Aboriginal organisations without any cross-cultural familiarity other than the fact that they are comfortable with saying ‘deadly’, Janette could very well be moving into the lesser funded ‘refugee services’ sector in a few months.

But that’s only if the Indigenous Voice Referendum is succesful, providing Indigenous people with the opportunity to finally have a say in the development of programmes and laws that aim to minimise the extreme disadvantage face by Indigenous people.

If not, the gravy train continues for Aunty Janny! Choo Choo!


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