Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear waste dumping would destroy Adnyamathanha traditional land and cultural heritage

Heather Mckenzie Stuart Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 June 18 

Just thinking, the proposed nuclear rubbish dump been forced upon us and the rest of the Adnyamathanha people is like imperialism. It is an economic, political dominance over us.
We as traditional owners have not heard of or seen any report of the so called cultural heritage assessment that was done upon our traditional lands, so I believe and see that as tokenism, because the wider community of Adnyamathanha people weren’t involved or weren’t consulted in a proper manner and it looks like we will never get to see the cultural heritage report.
So why is there so much secrecy on the cultural heritage report because at the end of the day, we are the Adnyamathanha people and its our traditional land and cultural heritage, our overall a big part of our cultural stytem our Muda that will be destroyed.
It will be total cultural genocide, so please dont destroy our culture our Muda by ripping out the pages of our story lines just for a nuclear waste repository. Listen to the first sovereign people, the Adnyamathanha of the Flinders Ranges, because we know the end of the story and the consequences that the Muda will bring, please respect it as we dont want mankind to suffer today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
Leave the poison nuclear waste at Lucas Heights or wherever it is around the world today, we dont want it on and in our yarta its muntha, no good! Hopefully oned ay, but at the moment it is only a big dream, our knowlege of our yarta and of the Dreaming, our people will be accepted, respected and embraced by all non Aboriginal Australians as true history and sovereign people of the northern Flinders Ranges and surrounding areas so please dont put a nuclear waste dump on our yarta.
painting done by Regina McKenzie 6 yrs ago about Yurlus Dreaming tracks and where he went. This one depicts the a part of the tracks area where Yurlu went, but unfortunately now this area destined for a nuclear waste repository which will destroy the story and Dreaming tracks storyline and songs. 
 I want to stress, that I dont hate anyone regardless of race creed or colour all I want is for us as all Adnyamathanha people a tribal nation to be listened to by DIIS so that they dont destroy our cultural beliefs, our heritage our stories of creation of this land and where it goes.

June 19, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Unacceptable levels of uranium in drinking water for several remote communities

‘Our kids need proper water’: Families plead for action over uranium in drinking water, ABC, 7.30  by Indigenous affairs reporters Isabella HigginsBridget Brennan and Emily Napangarti Butcher, 19 June 18, 

June 19, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium, water | Leave a comment

Activists hold jamboree to organise beyond coal and gas

GLW author Margaret Gleeson June 14, 2018

‘The burgeoning movements against coal and gas projects,
to defend the Great Barrier Reef and to conserve precious water resources
were boosted by the Beyond Coal and Gas Jamboree
held on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland over May 31 to June 3.

‘More than 350 activists from around Australia joined
international guests from the Pacific, the US and India
at the fourth Beyond Coal and Gas gathering.

Participants included Indigenous campaigners
against fracking in the Kimberley, Western Australia; the Northern Territory; and
against coal mining on traditional lands in the Galilee Basin, in Queensland. …

‘All age groups were present but youth, particularly Indigenous people and women,
were well represented, …

Indigenous campaigns

‘The opening session, “Indigenous rising: protecting country and organising our people”, heard how
Indigenous communities are heading up the fight to defend their lands from coal and coal seam gas mining.

Adrian Burragubba from the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council (W&J) spoke
of their opposition since 2012 of the Adani Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin,
and the court challenges they have faced. The current challenge is
against Adani’s bogus Indigenous Land Use Agreement.
The mine cannot go ahead until this issue is resolved.
If the Federal Court rules in Adani’s favour, the W&J will call for a judicial review
and have pledged to take it all the way to the High Court. …

Micklo Corpus a Traditional owner from Yaruru people in Broome, Western Australia,
has been campaigning since 2014 against gas company Buru Energy,
where many of the gas wells are located in wetlands.
The government is claiming veto over land to which his people have exclusive rights.

‘“The gas mining company’s offer is only for 40 years financial benefit,” Corpus said.
“I say ‘put the money back in your pockets’, we have 40,000 years to safeguard.”

‘The opening session also included speakers from the Indigenous youth climate network SEED,
who work with remote communities facing extractive industries.

Yorta Yorta woman Karrina Nolan spoke of communities having to choose
between safeguarding country and meeting basic needs.
“Communities in poverty shouldn’t have to give into mining to get services
which should be provided by government anyway,” she said. … ‘

Read more of Margaret‘s comprehensive, well-researched & inspiring account,
including Sections on Victorious Campaigns & the View from India re Adani:

June 18, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Event 27 June The Need for Leadership to Address White Supremacy in the NGO Sector

  Pro Bono Australia  Luke Michael, 14 June 18 

Charities and not for profits need to show leadership to address the issue of white supremacy in the NGO sector, a prominent Aboriginal writer and activist believes.

Nayuka Gorrie is a Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta writer and activist who spoke on a panel at the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) 2018 Summit on Wednesday.

She was joined by Victorian ombudsman Deborah Glass OAM, Will Stracke from the Victorian Trades Hall Council, Reason Party leader Fiona Patten, and Centre for Social Impact CEO Kristy Muir.

The panel discussed the “shifting nature of leadership and the role of citizens to shape their own prosperous and inclusive society”.

One of the topics discussed was the need for greater diversity in leadership, particularly around race and gender.

Stracke admitted during the panel discussion that leadership in the trade union movement was “too white”.

“One of our values that we say is ‘diversity is our strength and solidarity is our power’,” Stracke said.

“And that’s about the diversity of our movement and our movement is very diverse… but I think we as a union movement [still] need more voices.

“We’ve very white in terms of our leadership and we need to get better at that.”………

“Leadership needs to be much more representative of the people,” Glass said.

“It’s not just gender, it’s race, it’s disability, it’s everything we all stand for. We can’t have leaders speaking for us who don’t represent us, who don’t look like us or don’t speak like us.”………

Gorrie has organised an event to discuss “dismantling white supremacy in the NGO sector” at Victorian Trades Hall on 27 June.

She told Pro Bono News why she decided to create the event.

“I decided to put on that event after chatting to a number of different people that work in the not-for-profit sector,” she said.

“And [people of colour] are doing twice as much work just to survive I think.”

Gorrie said while white supremacy was found across all sections of society, it was especially disappointing to see it in the not-for-profit sector, considering the sector’s purpose to make the world a better place.

……..“I think a lot of not for profits make a lot of money and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy was a really good example of that. Most of the money in the strategy went to non-black organisations.“So there is a lot of money to be made in perceived black dysfunction and I don’t know if it’s possible for them to do the work they’ve set out to do if they haven’t examined and [removed] the white supremacy within themselves.”

June 15, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACTION, Victoria | Leave a comment

Government assessment of proposed Kimba nuclear waste dump area is a farce

Regina McKenzie Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA 12 June 18 The cultural assessment is a sham, just another token gesture by the Federal Government to tick a box, RPS failed to do a full cultural walk through and find the cultural significance of the area, they did not survey all Adnyamathanha people, to find the ones with the cultural knowledge of the area, they only did small pockets of area, also for the holes that were dug, no tests pits were done, only just standing watching a front end loader dig, no sieving whatsoever,

I suggested this but no, also hole for the water from drills was dug without a archaeologist present and a grader over a sandhill, no walk through no archaeologist in sight, they ran over marked heritage , a grindstone and dumped waste outside of work area , this assessment is a farce, no one listened , its just all tokenism, and all the underarm dealings behind closed door with the fanatical yes blacks , sounding a lot like insider trading to me.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimberley Land Council (KLC and agencies)  wrong about Sovereignty

Ghillar, Michael Anderson 7 June 2018  ‘While the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) and the
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
convene the Native Title conference in Broome, hosted by the Yawuru People,
Anderson shines another light on the KLC and its agencies’ agenda.'”Since I’ve left Warmun the community has been bombarded by yet another Native Title meeting run by KLC agencies.
Again, Senior Elders were bullied to attend but they have reassured me proudly, ‘I didn’t sign anything.'”In their reliable report-back they joked about the way the KLC Legal advisor, Douglas D’Antione,
was telling them lies about sovereignty.

“He said that the only way to get sovereignty is by conquering and that you need
an army and navy to get sovereignty, like the English people did!!

“He then said that the second way to get sovereignty was for the owners just to say:
“OK, here. This is yours.”
At no time did he acknowledge that First Nations sovereignty is pre-existing
and continuing and is the basis of the continental common law.”

~ Ghillar, Michael Anderson

‘Having looked at the map of the Native Title applications’ areas and
then comparing those maps with the Kimberley tourist topographical map
being sold in stands in garages and newsagencies and information centres,
I realised that the KLC agencies are demanding the Peoples authority
to put a massive Native Title application over a vast area of land that
is already reserved under the WA State law as being set aside
exclusively for the use of Aborigines only.

‘I informed the people that they are about to, or have,
authorised a Native Title application to go over a massive area of land
that they already own through the Aboriginal Land Trust of Western Australia
and it is exclusively theirs, if their families came from these particular lands.

‘When I asked the people why they would authorise such a claim they all said
KLC agencies never informed them of this fact at all.

‘The KLC agencies fail to provide documents ahead of the meetings,
try to prevent independent legal advice and
do not give back copies of any papers the people may have signed,
or have been coerced to sign.

‘I am now informed that the people of Warmun and surrounding areas
have made a decision to dismiss the KLCKRED Legal and ARMAEHSIS
and other KLC agencies from having anything to do with their lands and waters.

‘They are understanding the KLC agencies plan to
take over negotiations to enable mining on their lands.

‘I am informed that the people are now gathering in significant numbers
and will inform the Federal Court that they no longer wish to
pursue the Native Title determinations, because as one of the
Senior Elders, Mr. Patrick Mung, has said with words to the effect:

“For too long we have been signing papers for KLC and its agencies 
and there are a lot of things going on on our lands, 
but look at us, we have nothing

“When we ask for royalty money they tell us there is not enough in the bucket. 
We don’t want these people any more. 
We joined KLC because they said we were being ripped off. 
But now we have just gone from one rip off to another.” … ‘

Read more of Ghillar’s comprehensive, well-researched, challenging media statement here:

June 13, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Historic Northern Territory treaty agreement  means ‘the old way is finished’

‘Chief minister says ‘nothing is on or off the table’ for new treaty agreement signed in Barunga’
Lorena Allam Sat 9 Jun 2018

‘Gunner told the crowd he was proud to have signed the memorandum of understanding,
calling it “the most significant Aboriginal affairs reform in the NT this generation”. … ‘

‘The chairman of the Northern Land CouncilSamuel Bush-Blanasi,
said it was “momentous.”

‘“We’ve got a big journey ahead of us.
The MOU gives us high hopes about the future, and
I hope the government stays true to the spirit of the MOU.”

‘That note of hope was echoed by the chairman of the Central Land CouncilFrancis Jupurrurla Kelly.

‘“I hope a treaty will settle us down together and bring self-determination.

‘“Today we bounced the ball,” Jupurrurla Kelly said,
“but we don’t want to stay the only players in the game.
The next steps must be led by Aboriginal people across the Territory so that
… everyone can have their say.”

Tiwi Land Council’s Gibson Farmer Illortaminni was more cautious.
“We’ve got to be careful and understand each other about what we want,
because we don’t want to have the same problems we’ve had in the past.
The MOU is a good start, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

‘The treaty agreement kicked off the annual Barunga festival.

Read more:

June 10, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

South Australian government decides against process towards Aboriginal Treaty

Kyam Maher started the treaty process as Aboriginal affairs minister and is now Labor’s spokesman for the portfolio.

“For far, far too long, policymakers have been doing things to Aboriginal people, not with Aboriginal people.”

A “massive amount of work” had been put in by Aboriginal people towards a treaty, he said.

He said the Premier had done “very, very little consultation” on the issue.

“To decide unilaterally without consultation to not go ahead with the most important reform process in Aboriginal affairs that we’re undertaking, I think there will be a lot of anger and it will be very difficult for the new government to operate with Aboriginal communities … letting them down in this way,” he said.

Yesterday, the Lower House of Victoria’s Parliament voted in favour of negotiating Australia’s first Aboriginal treaty, after the state’s Labor Government won crucial support from the Greens.

SA Government decides not to go ahead with Aboriginal treaties  The South Australian Government has scrapped a process to negotiate treaties with the state’s Aboriginal nations.

It comes on the same day the Northern Territory pledged to work towards a treaty with its Indigenous peoples. Continue reading

June 8, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s frontier war killings still conveniently escape official memory

Paul Daley ‘But change is inevitable.
The commemoration of the Myall Creek massacre is emblematic of a broader push for recognition’
@ppdaley  8 Jun 2018 
‘This weekend it is 180 years since white stockmen murdered 
28 unarmed Aboriginal men, women and children at Myall Creek 
in northern New South Wales.

‘The Myall Creek massacre was part of a pattern of violence against Indigenous people; 
hundreds of such massacres happened across the continent from 1788 
as British soldiers, settlers and pioneering explorers clashed with Indigenous people 
resisting pastoral expansion. 
By some credible accounts at least 60,000 Indigenous people 
– roughly the same number as Australians killed in the first world war – died.

‘Myall Creek was, however, remarkable for another reason. 
It was the only time on the colonial frontier that non-Indigenous men 
were successfully prosecuted for murdering Aboriginal people. 
Seven perpetrators were eventually hanged. … 

‘Meanwhile, the NSW Labor opposition has pledged $3m towards 
the construction of a Myall Creek Education and Cultural Centre 
that would be dedicated to public education of the massacre and frontier war. … 

‘But as yet there is no official Commonwealth memorial to the dead 
of the frontier wars in Canberra, the capital, whose monuments and 
institutions also serve as a national memory.

‘But it will happen, just as inevitably as the date of Australia Day 
is bound to change from the day of invasion, 26 January.’

June 8, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Victorian lower house passes treaty legislation  after Greens accept Labor deal

‘Bill creates framework for Indigenous body to represent Aboriginal Victorians 
and advance treaty process Calla Wahlquist @callapilla  7 Jun 2018

‘The legislation passed with the support of the Greens after
the Aboriginal affairs minister, Natalie Hutchins, proposed amendments
that went some way towards addressing concerns raised
by Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman and Northcote MP Lidia Thorpe.

‘Thorpe proposed additional amendments on the floor of parliament,
particularly demanding an acknowledgement of Aboriginal sovereignty
by the state of Victoria, but they were not adopted. …

‘The amendments to the Victorian legislation were moved
in response to concerns raised by Thorpe, the only
Aboriginal person in Victorian parliament, who said she was
concerned about a lack of engagement with elders;
a potential sidelining of Victorian traditional owners in favour of
government-appointed people on the representative body; and
the failure of the legislation to explicitly acknowledge the
sovereignty of Aboriginal clans in Victoria.

‘The latter remains a significant concern for Thorpe,
who said in parliament on Thursday that she was disappointed the government
had decided against including a firm acknowledgement in the legislation
that traditional owners in Victoria retained sovereignty over their lands.

‘“Treaties are between two sovereigns, and to talk about treaty
or to go ahead with treaty negotiations and not actually recognise
that Aboriginal people are the sovereign people of this land,
then I think that’s one of the major failures of this legislation,”
Thorpe told Guardian Australia.
“If we can’t start by addressing sovereignty, then that’s a joke.” … ‘

June 8, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Victoria | Leave a comment

Aboriginal sovereignty – mere symbolism will never be accepted

Challenging the Great Divide in a David and Goliath struggle 
Sovereign Union – F
irst Nations Asserting Sovereignty, by Ghillar, Michael Anderson
 Jun 4th, 2018 

‘What is currently and actively going on without our Peoples’ full realisation
is the struggle between, on the one hand, grassroots Peoples and their leadership,
who are beginning to assert their pre-existing and continuing sovereign status
as linguistically based Nations, whose Countries are occupied
by the Australian/British colonialist administrators and, on the other hand,
the assimilated two-bob-mob conditioned by the colonised mindset
who are attempting to derail the sovereignty movement.

Only yesterday at Warmun, Turkey Creek, Kimberley Land Council
presenters were challenged by people asserting their sovereign position,
only to be told sovereignty was a ‘load of rubbish’ but this was
strongly refuted by Elders and the younger generations.
This situation at Warmun is developing fast.

‘The complex and grimy underbelly of Australia is gradually being exposed for the world to see.
Meanwhile in the international arena, diplomats under the instruction of the
executive Commonwealth government falsely pretend that Australia is an independent Nation.
The Australians sitting in the UN are there at the behest of Britain
and are mere puppets to the United States and Britain.

‘These puppets, in the guise of the Australian State,
hide the fact that there is a major struggle for sovereign title
to this island continent, now known as Australia, These colonial puppets
know they have no legitimacy while ever our sovereign First Nations continue
to exist and our Law if the Law of the Land, always was, always will be.

‘On this most recent journey to the Kimberley,
I was alerted to the very real fact of the enormous destruction and desecration
that is looming without our people knowing what is coming.

​​​’The WALKOUT from the corrupt Referendum process at Yullara and the statements we made clearly
had an impact upon the government sitting in Canberra, because they were forced to realise that there
was NOT a true consensus on the proposed constitutional inclusion. The actual ‘Uluru Statement’
must have sent shock waves that propelled the government to abandon its enthusiasm for a referendum.’It is now clear that, because of the WALKOUT, the government became aware that the
leadership for this Constitutional inclusion had failed, because the grassroots people
saw through the con and did not want to be included in a racist colonial constitution belonging to Britain.

‘The impact that the WALKOUT had on those present created a situation that scared the organisers,
who clearly lost the complete overview of their original intentions, which the government know of.
The final document that was concluded came completely out of left field and
the government realised mere symbolism was never going to be accepted. …  Continue reading

June 6, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | 1 Comment

Adnyamathanha Traditional Land  Association again confronts Resources Minister Matt Canavan on nuclear waste dumping

AdnyamathanhaTraditional Land  Association (ATLA) RNTBC Email    ICN 3734 ABN 14 146 238 567 PO Box 4014 Port Augusta 5700 Ph 0429900222   29/5/2018

To. Minister Canavan  PO Box 6100  Senate  Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

per email Minister Canavan []

Dear Minister

I again write to you with regards to your departments treatment of ATLA.

I have already stated on numerous occasions, ATLA is the prescribed body corporate in terms ofour Native Title and we are an Aboriginal Regional Authority with the State Government and recognised as the peak organisation with regards to any heritage issues in our area. We are the representative body for Adnyamathanha people.

However, your department continues to use divide and conquer tactics with regards to the nuclear waste dump in our land.

We raised very grave concerns in relation to the Heritage Assessment and we had no choice but to pull out of this very early in the process. We have no faith in the process or the assessment and we will not accept any findings from this flawed non-inclusive process.

You visited our land recently and didn’t even contact ATLA.

It is not true that Bruce Wilson tried to contact me, I have had no communication with him in relation to your visit. The first I knew about you being here was when I was told you were meeting with individual Adnyamathanha people at Mamma Lou’s café in Port Augusta, that is only about 500 metres from my office in Port Augusta! You then added to the insult by entering our land with no contact with us.

I call on you as Minister to tell the truth and remove these lies from your website.

ATLA is a vital part of this whole process we are the Traditional Owners and we say NO!

Now you are going to hold some sort of vote for the people who live very close to Wallerberdina, however, this is Adnyamathanha land and ALL Adnyamathanha people must get the chance to vote.

I demand you include all Adnyamathanha people who are on the electoral roll in this vote!

This process has been flawed from the start, you continue to ignore our concerns and opposition to this dump and the very least you can do is include us in the vote. I believe there are at least 1500 Adnyamathanha people eligible to vote.

This is our land, ATLA is the peak body, show us respect as the Traditional Owners.

Please take action on this matter with some urgency and include Adnyamathanha people in the vote.

Yours sincerely

Vince Coulthard, CEO

May 30, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

We’re on the frontline defending our lands against Adani

We the leaders of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners.
We are the Traditional Owners of the land where  mining giant Adani want to build the Carmichael coal mine.

Our people have said no four times to a miserly land deal  offered by Adani in exchange for the destruction of our homelands.  We have been opposing Adani and holding them off since 2012.

‘Our resistance has nothing to do with dollars.  No amount of money or promises from a deceitful corporation  can stop us standing strong in defence of Wangan and Jagalingou  lands and waters and sacred sites.

But Adani are ruthless. They have used the dirtiest tactics to undermine  our right to say no, and manufacture a phony “Indigenous Land Use Agreement”.

Right now we’re fighting against Adani’s shoddy tactics and their sham “agreement” in court.
The judge could hand down a decision any day now.  But it won’t end there

Can you sign our petition to stand with us against Adani?

‘We are willing to fight Adani all the way to the High Court  to protect our environment and sacred sites.
We are working for a positive future for our people on our country.  We won’t stand by and watch its destruction for coal.

Adani are relentlessly pressuring the Queensland government  to clear our Native Title rights out of the way  — and as the clock ticks and Adani gets more desperate,  it will only intensify.
‘So we need to show Adani and our Governments that  they can’t fake or force our consent.

We have never given our consent to Adani to destroy our country,  and we never will.
Our land is our living law;  we are connected to it through our ancestors and our culture.  Without it we will cease to exist as a people.

‘Our people have been leading a courageous fight against a cashed-up mining giant with politicians in its pockets, and top end of town lawyers to argue away its collusion, bad faith and dishonesty.

We’re calling time on this. It’s time for Adani to walk away.

Sign our petition to tell Adani No means No. ‘Adani can’t keep bullying us, or pretending they have our consent.  Consent is written in our hearts and minds,  and the truth is we have said no. Time and again.. ‘And we shouldn’t have to keep saying it.
Adani haven’t been able to put money on the table for this project or even say when they’ll start digging.  They’ve given nothing to our people, or to the people of Queensland and Australia,  except a bunch of false promises. The smart money and honest commentators  know Adani’s Carmichael mine is going nowhere.

But still our rights are at extreme risk. The Queensland Government could yield to this corrupt polluting corporation and “legally” rip up our Native Title, just so they can say they have their final “approval”.

‘We continue to hold the line and have many tens of thousands of supporters in Australia
and around the world, but we need more. We need to build a more powerful movement,
standing in solidarity with us, to take on Adani’s wealth, political influence and dirty tricks

Sign our petition to support our fight against Adani.

We are in the fight of our lives. Adani have shown a relentless determination to  use unjust legal maneouvres to trample our rights. But this fight is bigger than Adani.  It’s about the rights that all Aboriginal people have to say no to dirty extractive industries  that profit from our traditional homelands. It’s about our right under international law  to be free from discrimination, and to choose our own economic future.

‘We have a vision for our people that’s sustainable.  We want economic independence, and to make a future on our country  that is respectful of the land and uplifting for our people.
We want to invest in solar energy and other new clean enterprises.  We don’t want scraps from a corrupt corporation looking to  profit from the permanent destruction of our culture, or meagre handouts  and low paid dirty jobs that require us to give up our human rights.

When we say No to Adani, we mean No. We hope you’ll stand with us.
‘Support our fight:

‘Adrian Burragubba, cultural leader and senior spokesperson with Murrawah Johnson, Youth spokesperson and Linda Bobongie, W&J Council Chairperson
for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council’

May 30, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

A year on, the key goal of Uluru statement remains elusive

‘The statement is a proposal of constitutional reform that would establish
a constitutionally enshrined First Nations representative body to advise parliament
on policy affecting Indigenous peoples and
commit Australia to a process of truth-telling of its colonial history
through the establishment of a Makarrata commission.’

Calla Wahlquist
@callapilla 26 May 2018 

‘While politicians have been demeaning it,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been having their own discussions.

‘The Uluru statement canvas, escorted by Uluru delegate and
Torres Strait man of Badhulgau and Kulkalaig heritage Thomas Mayor,
has traversed the northern half of the country and made its way down the east coast to Melbourne,
stopping in at community meetings, festivals, morning teas and business gatherings. …

‘It’s a slow, grassroots process, funded thanks to Mayor’s role as the
NT branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia
– although strictly it’s outside the union’s remit
– but the reception has been overwhelmingly positive.

‘“I still have hope because I’ve been travelling around with the Uluru statement
and everywhere I go there’s more and more support,” he said.

‘“I see momentum building.
And when you explain to people how many similar moments of hope
there have been throughout our history and how we have continued to struggle,
and how this particular time we’re not going to take no for an answer,
and how this statement is just going to keep travelling until we get what we seek,
I think that we can get enough pressure there so that
those aspirations can be achieved.”

‘Other working groups have been convened across the country.
On Saturday the statement and Mayor will be in Turnbull’s Sydney harbourside electorate of Wentworth,
one of the wealthiest in Australia, for a door-knocking campaign aiming to convince people to
lobby their local member to change his mind.

‘They will also aim to counter misinformation about the proposal,
which Mayor said is easily done once people hear the true intent
behind the proposed reforms. … ‘

Read more of Calla’s extensive, thought-provoking & interesting article:

May 27, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

The Custody Notification System saves Aboriginal lives. Why isn’t it national?

Gerry Georgatos   @GerryGeorgatosle’ 14 Mar 2018

‘We know that notifying an Aboriginal legal service
when an Aboriginal person is arrested saves lives and costs little.
The lack of nationwide action is unacceptable

‘The CNS has been championed by the federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion.
We have had a number of conversations about the CNS and he gets it,
he understands the need for it to be rolled out nationally.

‘He saved the CNS in NSW and the ACT by funding it to mid-2019,
pulling together the $1.8m out of his portfolio,
even though it was the responsibility of other portfolio holders.

‘The CNS has also been championed by WA’s Senator Sue Lines
who knows how desperately her home state needs it.

‘The Western Australian state Labor party has committed to implementing the CNS when elected.
It is time every state and territory does the right thing and implements the CNS.
There is no greater legacy than to save lives.

‘I will wrap up with the words of members of Ms Dhu’s familyUncle Shaun Harris said,
“We do not want this to happen to anyone else.
Our families are heartbroken and the pain has not left us.”
Ms Dhu’s mother, Della Roe, said,
“My daughter should be with us today.
Her loss haunts me each day and it will remain but it will give me
at least an ounce of peace to see the CNS implemented.”’

May 24, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment