Yumi Stynes brands Kennerley as “racist” during debate

Yumi Stynes brands Kennerley as “racist” during debate


A couple of days ago a row broke out on commercial television between veteran TV presenter Kerry- Anne Kennerley and fellow panellist Yumi Stynes. The argument ignited due to a clash of opinions between the two women when the panel was discussing the weekend’s Invasion Day protests, in which thousands of Australians took to the street in support of changing the date of Australia Day.

Yumi Stynes during the debate branded Kennerley’s stance “racist” after the daytime queen claimed Invasion Day protesters were ignorant of Aboriginal women and children “being raped” in the outback. Kennerley took offence to being called a “racist” and the two women have been at loggerheads since.

So here’s the thing. I don’t have the statistics or the proof to suggest that what Kennerley said was exactly true. I have no idea about whether or not the protestors are doing anything to support aboriginal women and children. If they are, good on them. If not, I’d suggest that they put their money where their mouth is and do something a little more productive to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Kennerley’s comments have drawn us all in. We all have a say. But in this situation lets look to the Indigenous leaders. A number of them have come out in support of Kennerley. Indigenous leader Warren Mundine has gone as far to say that ‘there were 'more than a hundred' issues more important to Indigenous communities than the date of Australia Day’.

You see you can huff and you can puff but surely the only thing that can blow the house down is FACTS. Now facts don’t lie, do they? Someone reporting on facts can’t be called a ‘racist’ can they? So here are the facts and by the way, if you have an issue with them being accurate, take it up with the Australian Government as these statistics come directly from The Australian Government website the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Family violence occurs at higher rates for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians. We all know that. But in case you weren’t sure, keep reading.

  • In 2014–15, 1 in 7 (14%) Indigenous women experienced physical violence in the previous year. Of these, about 1 in 4 (28%) reported that their most recent incident was perpetrated by a cohabiting partner (ABS 2016).
  • From 2012–13 to 2013–14, 2 in 5 Indigenous homicide victims (41%) were killed by a current or previous partner, twice the rate of non-Indigenous victims (22%) (Bryant & Bricknell 2017).
  • In 2014–15, Indigenous women were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised due to family violence as non-Indigenous women, while Indigenous men were 23 times as likely to be hospitalised as non-Indigenous men (SCRGSP 2016).
  • In 2015–16, Indigenous children were 7 times as likely to be the subject of substantiated child abuse or neglect as non-Indigenous children (AIHW 2017a). 

I don’t know about you but I’d hazard a guess that what these women and children need is our support, our care and above all our protection. Clearly, we are missing something and a march or two here and there just isn’t cutting the mustard.

So let's move the discussion from Invasion Day to more pressing issues and let's ask the question ‘what can we do?’ to solve the problems that are so clearly evident within our community. Oh, and let's drop the ‘racist’ tag for anyone out there who dares highlight the issues at hand.  

Feature Image: Former Greens MP Lidia Thorpe, TV veteran Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Nampijinpa Price on the Studio 10 morning show. (Network Ten)


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