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Filmmaker: Julie Nimmo


It all started when Australian politicians decided to tackle reports of sexual abuse in remote Aboriginal communities.

The government sent in the army, federal police and doctors to begin "stabilising" almost every Aboriginal community in the Aboriginal Territory.

Filmmaker Julie Nimmo travelled to the territory expecting to find frightened, abused children and adults who were at best neglectful, at worst paedophiles. What she found were communities burdened by poverty and lack of opportunity. The gulf between the two worlds could not have been wider.

But despite the heavy-handed response it seems everyone shares the same goal - where children are educated and valued and where adults live happily rather than slowly killing themselves with drink.

One year on from 'the intervention', what evidence of actual sexual abuse has been uncovered? Have the lives of families in these remote communities been improved in any way? And what, exactly, did 'the intervention' achieve?

This Witness special aired from Sunday, August 22, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera