Australian news, and some related international items

WARNING on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

‘Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convener of the Sovereign Union, 13 Aug 18 
last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and
Head of State of the Euahlayi Nation, said from Sydney today:

‘I am extremely concerned that the enthusiasm to quickly negotiate so-called Treaty/Treaties
with the illegal occupying colonial States under the Federation of the Commonwealth of Australia
will lead to First Nations unwittingly ceding their inherent sovereignty.

‘I must ring alarm bells nationwide, while the Australian Government and its colonial States
are sitting back in their warm and comfortable offices slowly applauding
the stupidity of our ‘childlike race’. …

‘The Governments have been very clever in the last thirty years to use the disunity within our communities
to withdraw funding and shut down burgeoning successful community organisations. The Governments
achieved the total destruction of these organizations by the First Nations lackeys,
of whom there are plenty, to shut down our hard fought for successes
and now these communities have nothing.

‘The regurgitated Constitutional Inclusion/Recognition and the Yulara Statement
have been rejected by the grassroots across Australia.
It’s only the half-educated half-baked Blacks, living off the blood money being paid by Governments,
who are still pushing this barrow. …

‘We need to make it very clear that there is no single body in this country that can speak for the many Nations.
I was reminded by the Yorta Yorta stalwart today that the NSW Aboriginal Land Council is an instrument of the Crown,
where the Minister, with a stroke of a pen, can shut it down and take back everything it has acquired,
in the name of the Crown. Monica Morgan of the Yorta Yorta also made the point that there is in excess
of 280 000 Aboriginal people in New South Wales alone and
only 10% are members of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. …

‘How can any one of you neo-liberal Blacks and the Two-Bob Mob want to negotiate with our foreigner occupiers
when their oppression meets all the definitions of the law against genocide,
the1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


August 12, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Vince Coulthard reiterates the Adnyamathanha people’s firm opposition to nuclear waste dumping on their traditional country

Vince Coulthard  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 7 Aug 18 am sick and tired of the lies about me in relation to the nuclear waste dump.

I do not want it anywhere in Adnyamathanha Yarta/country.
As Adnyamathanha people we have been entrusted by our ancestors, with the responsibility of caring for our country and there is no way any sane person would want to poison our land for hundreds of generations to come.

I know some people are trying to discredit me by misquoting me but anyone who knows me would already know there is NO WAY I would support this waste dump and only FOOLS sucked in by the $$$ would think it was ok to make these accusations against me.

And to suggest that I would want this toxic dump anywhere near my homeland and my family is even more foolish. This is ridiculous and I would ask that you please share this status as I have had enough of this slander.

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

At long last, Australia could be getting a Treaty with First Nation people

Could Australia soon recognise sovereigns other than the Queen?

‘It’s the last ex-British colony to not ratify a treaty with its First Nations people
but that may be changing.’

by Gabriella Marchant 
29 Jul 2018

‘ … “Treaty is [an agreement] between two sovereigns and to be asking the government to at least
acknowledge that Aboriginal people … maintain their sovereignty [supreme authority],
I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” says Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe,
Greens member of parliament in Victoria state.

‘”You know there’s this tokenistic gesture all the time to blackfellas in this country.
If you want true reconciliation and true healing then let’s be real about it
and stop these tokenistic gestures.”

‘Indeed, a treaty was the only thing indigenous leaders from Australia’s Yolngu nation
brought up with Prince Charles on his most recent visit. …

What is a treaty?

‘A treaty – defined as an “international agreement concluded between two states”
in 1969’s Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties – would require the
government to legitimise Aboriginal nations as separate to the nation of Australia.
From there, they must negotiate decisions that affect them
as equals and on equal terms.  

Associate Professor Dominic O’Sullivan, whose work centres on indigenous governance,
says unlike neighbouring New Zealand,
treaties were never a part of Australia’s settler history.

‘”Terra nullius was used to justify the British claim to sovereignty.

‘”Britain couldn’t identify an organised political or social order
among the indigenous population, and under international law,
these were required for a people to hold sovereignty,” O’Sullivan says.

‘”One could argue that it suited [the colony’s first Governor] Philip not to look too hard..” …

‘Obstacles remain, however, on a national level.
The current federal government has not addressed the call for
an Indigenous process similar to a treaty, makarrata, which after two years
of consultation was presented in an open letter, the Uluru Statement of the Heart.

‘”[Prime Minister] Turnbull’s government has been completely inactive in this space
and really quite offensive I think, particularly on the Uluru Statement,”
says Victorian Ged Kearney, whose opposition party supports Makaratta. … ‘

Read much much more of Gabriella Marchant‘s comprehensive, well-researched & in depth feature in Al Jazeera News:

August 6, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Aboriginal landowners not allowed to vote on planned nuclear waste dump

Traditional owners “locked out” of nuclear waste vote,  InDaily, 3 Aug 18 Stephanie Richards   The head of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association says the majority of Adnyamathanha people have been denied a vote on a proposed radioactive waste management facility near the town of Hawker in the Flinders Rangers.

Wallerberdina Station, located approximately 30km northwest of Hawker on Adnyamathanha country, has been shortlisted by the Federal Government for a facility that will permanently hold low-level nuclear waste and temporarily hold intermediate level waste.

It is one of three sites, the other two situated close to Kimba, that were shortlisted by the Federal Government to store nuclear waste.

The selection process is entering its final stages, with a postal ballot beginning on August 20 to measure community support for the three nominated sites.

But ATLA CEO Vince Coulthard said the voting guidelines were disrespectful to traditional owners, as the majority of Adnyamathanha people do not live close enough to the proposed Wallerberdina site to be eligible to vote.

The voting range includes residents of the Flinders Ranges Council and those who live within a 50km radius of the Wallerberdina site.

According to Coulthard, there are approximately 2500 Adnyamathanha people in total but only about 300 Adnyamathanha people who live in the voting range.

Coulthard said about 50 Adnyamathanha people who lived outside the voting range had expressed interest in voting, but when ATLA asked Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan during a consultation trip to Hawker last week if those people could be granted a vote, Coulthard said Canavan told him that only those living in the prescribed voting range could participate.

“It’s a crazy situation,” Coulthard said.

“This is Adnyamathanha country and it is a very important place to the Adnyamathanha nation.

“People have strong connections to land. There’s a large amount of people, many who don’t live on the land but they go back on a regular basis to travel around the land.”

……… Coulthard said he was disappointed that Canavan had not consulted with all ATLA members during his consultation visit.

He said Adnyamathanha people had been “locked out” from the vote, despite holding native title rights over the land.

“Canavan is saying this will strengthen our culture, that this will be good for us, but what it is actually doing is punishing the environment.

“This is a place where we have gone to get bush tucker, where we have come as traditional owners for thousands of years.

They’ve shown us disrespect and this is very hurtful.”

The proposed site holds sacred meaning for Adnyamathanha people, as it is located close to the Hookina Waterhole and ancient burial sites.

…….. Last month, the Federal Government tripled the incentive package for the community that hosts the nuclear waste repository.

The Government had promised to spend more than $10 million in the district where the facility is built, but under new incentives announced by Canavan, the Government increased funding to $31 million.

……. The Government has previously indicated it wants to choose a preferred site before the end of this year.

August 4, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | 2 Comments

Aboriginal landowners Wangan and Jagalingou take land rights fight to the UN

3 August 2018

‘Traditional Owners take land rights fight to U.N.
to head off threat of native title extinguishment for Adani

Authorised representatives of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council,
Adrian Burragubba and Murrawah Johnson, have submitted a request to the
United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
for urgent action under the early warning and urgent action procedure.

‘The request to the CERD is in relation to Australia’s violations of the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
for the Committee’s consideration during its upcoming 96th session in Geneva.
The complaint raises six violations of Australia’s international obligations under the Convention..
(Link to the CERD submission )

‘The complaint was also sent to the Queensland Premier and Ministers in the Queensland Government,
as well as the Foreign Affairs Minister and Federal Attorney General.

Adrian BurragubbaWangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners’ Council spokespersonand cultural leader said, 

‘“We are seeking the United Nations’ help to stop the destruction of
our ancestral homelands, waters, and sacred sites by Adani’s
massive Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project. Continue reading

August 4, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Bringing to the fore Indigenous voices the media ignore

Stephen Langford
July 27, 2018

Driving Disunity: The Business Council Against Aboriginal Community
By Lindy Nolan
Bexley: Spirit of Eureka, 2017

‘In reviewing this important – but not self-important – book by Lindy Nolan,
I can hardly do better than start by quoting Rosalie Kunoth-Monks,
Northern Territory Australian of the Year in 2015 and Amatjere Elder,
from the backcover of the book: “Such deep and fearless truth.”

‘Award-winning journalist Jeff McMullen, meanwhile notes:
“This important study highlights destructive strategies in the neoliberal era
that undermine Aboriginal progress through the age old tactic of divide and conquer.” …

Lindy Nolan is an activist in the Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS).
This is a small but talented group of people who organise events against the NT Intervention,
now 11 years since its disastrous and fraudulent imposition
by the John Howard government. …

‘Nolan has written a book full of Indigenous voices that most people will not have heard,
because the mainstream media has been mainly accepting Murdoch’s anointed “leaders”. …

‘I hope you buy or borrow Driving Disunity – and read it. 
It is full of Indigenous voices you simply will not hear in the mainstream.’

Read much, much more of Stephen Langford‘s comprehensive & interesting review of Lindy Nolan‘s book:

July 30, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Sarah Hanson-Young – a politician who cares

Flinders Local Action GroupJuly 20

The Adnyamathanha and Flinders Local Action Group would like to thank Senator Hanson-Young for coming to The Flinders Ranges and meeting with us. You listened to everyone with kind empathy and understanding and it was a pleasure to be with you. Thank you Sarah.

July 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Planned nuclear dump sites – Access denied to Barngarla Native Title Representative Body.

Everybody For A NUclear Free Future, 14 July 18, After claiming there was no aboriginal heritage issues at the proposed Kimba suppositories, DIIS denies entry to Barngarla Native Title Representative Body.

“We wrote to the department on 21 February requesting access for sites, for the purposes of that assessment being carried out, and advising that the DAC would contact the department after that assessment had been complete for the purpose of working a way forward for these consultation processes. The department advised that they couldn’t provide access to the sites. You’ve been provided a redacted version of the report. The material that was provided following our initial submissions—I think that was only provided to you in the last few days—is somewhat compromised, but it has identified that there are nine confirmed sites and nine potential sites that are affected.

As part of that assessment team, which included some of the DAC board members here. Mr Brandon McNamara, who’s a Barngarla elder, invited the department to come along to a board meeting on 3 March and that invitation was declined. There were also statements made to the assessment team that the engagement of Dr Gorring to carry out the assessment was premature, which we find quite surprising. If the department has already issued statements that there’s no heritage and not provided information about what heritage assessments of its own it has made, to then make a comment that for Barngarla to carry out its own heritage assessments was premature is a bit surprising.”;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Fcommsen%2F3b50aa48-41ab-4efe-92b1-1be895dcca94%2F0003;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2F3b50aa48-41ab-4efe-92b1-1be895dcca94%2F0000%22

Office Admin

July 14, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Medical Association urges fixing the uranium-polluted water supplies to remote communities

Filtering out heavy metals years away, despite high uranium detected in water, ABC News , By Bridget BrennanIsabella Higgins and Stephanie Zillman, -20 June 18

The Northern Territory Government has downplayed concern following the ABC’s revelation that drinking water has been high in uranium in three Aboriginal communities for a decade — even as the Power and Water Corporation said a plan to filter heavy metals was still years away.

Key points:

  • Earlier this week ABC revealed at least three Central Australian communities have uranium levels in drinking water that exceed health guidelines
  • The NT Health Minister has now responded, saying the NT Health Department and Power and Water were working together on the issue
  • But medical professionals said the situation was “unacceptable”

The response came as the Australian Medical Association urged the water supplies be fixed, with Aboriginal health organisations describing the situation as “unacceptable”.

On Tuesday, ABC’s 7.30 revealed the central desert communities of Laramba, Wilora and Willowra supplied bore water with elevated levels of uranium.

Data from the Power and Water Corporation showed Laramba’s water supply contained uranium at higher than 0.04 milligrams per litre (mg/L).

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines outline those levels should not exceed 0.017 mg/L — and the corporation agreed that several communities are drinking water above the national guidelines.

Yet the Power and Water Corporation said a plan to filter out elevated levels of heavy metals like uranium from drinking water in some Central Australian communities is still years away……….

Doctors said fixing the supply should be a priority.

“Contaminants which do make the drinking water unsafe to drink above the guidelines as stipulated, should be treated as a health priority,” AMA president Dr Tony Bartone said.

“All governments — of either jurisdiction — need to ensure that all Australians have access to potable drinking water.”

Dr Bartone said the AMA wanted safe drinking water levels to be part of the Closing the Gap targets, which are currently undergoing a review after 10 years of limited progress.

“Access to safe drinking water is a prerequisite for good health,” he said.

“You can’t really set aspirational targets for health without really pinning the strategy to the building blocks around good health — the social determinants of health.”

John Paterson, chief executive of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory, said an independent review was needed “as soon as possible”.

“Governments need to respond to this, we need the experts out there to explain how much contamination is in the water and what solutions have been provided,” he said.

Rod Little, co-chair of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, said he was shocked to hear of uranium levels not meeting health guidelines in Aboriginal communities.

June 22, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, uranium | Leave a comment

Launch of film “protecting Country”

Protecting Country


Alexander Hayes   After three years of listening, a huge trip across country, countless hours spent editing and many community consultations we are thankful to be releasing today the Protecting Country film which was produced by Bruce Hammond and features Aboriginal leaders in their stand against the continued genocide of uranium mining, testing and dumping in Australia –

“…Protecting Country is an independently produced film bringing the voices of the contemporary Adnyamathanha, Gurindji, Tanganekald, Yankunytjatjara Anunga, Mirning, Narunnga Aboriginal Australian people forward who are united in their stand AGAINST the present and planned uranium mining and nuclear dump activities in South Australia. Bruce Hammond, an Aboriginal Tanganekald man with ties to the coast in the lower South East of South Australia and the central desert regions of Finke and Alice Springs in conjunction with Alexander Hayes & Magali McDuffie from Ngikalikarra Media brought the ‘Protecting Country’ documentary film on a screening road trip across Australia –

June 22, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

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