Archive for June, 2009

Bilingual education under threat-AIATSIS symposium 26/6

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 23/06/2009 by D


Media Release: WGAR – Working group for Aboriginal Rights

Bilingual education under threat

The Northern Territory Government has taken steps to limit and phase out bilingual education in their jurisdiction.

There is no evidence that this move will help any students to achieve better results at school.

Ellie Gilbert, a spokesperson for WGAR said today that these moves are counter to the Australian Government’s decision to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“Article 14 of the Declaration states that Indigenous peoples have the right to their own schools where Aboriginal students are instructed in their own languages and taught their own cultures” Ms Gilbert said.

“We need to ensure that Aboriginal students can exercise their universal rights to learn their languages and culture.  The importance of language is well understood in the international community. It is a tragedy that ancient Aboriginal languages are not afforded the same respect in Australia. Language is the source of identity.”

A symposium organised by AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) to discuss bilingual education is to be held in Canberra on 26 June at the Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia, Acton Peninsula, Canberra, ACT.

WGAR calls for broad public support to retain bilingual education and for as many as possible to attend the symposium.

Contact:  Ellie Gilbert

Phone – 0421 795 639

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23/06/09: ATTEMPTS TO PHASE OUT BILINGUAL EDUCATION IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 23/06/2009 by D

Contents:
Attempts to phase out Bilingual Education in the NT
NT Intervention ‘Consultations’
Demise of CDEP (Community Development Employment Projects)
June 20 Rallies Against NT Intervention
Other NT Intervention articles
Reprint of “Coercive Reconciliation”

ATTEMPTS TO PHASE OUT BILINGUAL EDUCATION IN THE NT:

– Media Release

WGAR: Bilingual education under threat
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/bilingual-education-under-threat-aiatsis-symposium-26-6
22 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory Government has taken
steps to limit and phase out bilingual education in their
jurisdiction. There is no evidence that this move will help
any students to achieve better results at school. Ellie
Gilbert, a spokesperson for WGAR said today that these
moves are counter to the Australian Government’s decision
to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples.”

– Event

Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory:
Principles, policy and practice
AIATSIS Research Symposium 9am – 5pm, 26th June 2009
Venue: Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia, Canberra
http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/research_program/events2/bilingual_education_symposium_2009
“At the start of the 2010 school year, the number of hours
of bilingual teaching in Northern Territory Two-Way schools
is set to decrease by more than half. The public debate
that followed the announcement of this policy change
revealed a need for further research on the models,
achievements and challenges of bilingual education in
Indigenous communities. Acknowledging this research gap and
recognising that the new policy represents a significant
shift in educational practice, AIATSIS will hold a one day
symposium to debate and discuss the policy change and its
implications.”

– Background

For up-to-date info on the issue, see:

Friends of Bilingual Learning – Google Group
http://groups.google.com.au/group/foblmail
“Supporters of Bilingual & Multilingual education,
living and learning in the Northern Territory.
Recognising the importance of language in
human development, identity and wellbeing.”

For background on the issue, see:

WGAR News:
Restrictions on Aboriginal Languages in NT schools (20 Nov 08)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/restrictions-aboriginal-languages-nt-schools

WGAR News: NT Aboriginal Languages Policy (25 Nov 08)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-nt-aboriginal-languages-policy-cont

WGAR News: Restrictions on NT Bilingual Education (30 Nov 08)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-restrictions-nt-bilingual-education-30-nov-2008

WGAR News:
Restrictions on Aboriginal Languages in NT schools (4 Dec 08)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-restrictions-aboriginal-languages-nt-schools-4-dec-08

WGAR News: Restrictions on NT Bilingual Education (15 Dec 08)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-restrictions-nt-bilingual-education-15-dec-08

WGAR News:
NT Aboriginal languages restrictions delayed one year (18 Dec 08)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/nt-aboriginal-languages-restrictions-delayed-one-year-18-dec-08

NT INTERVENTION ‘CONSULTATIONS’:

– Background

WGAR News: NT Intervention Consultations (19 Jun 09)
[scroll down page] http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-nt-intervention-two-years-19-jun-09

– Media Releases

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Let’s not wait another two years to get it right
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2009/52_09.html
21 Jun 09: “Open and genuine consultation driven by a
desire for trusting, long-term relationships with
Aboriginal people must be central to federal government
consultations in the 73 prescribed communities affected by
the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER),
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice
Commissioner Tom Calma said today, two years after the
intervention was announced. Commissioner Calma repeated his
praise for the government’s moves to introduce legislation
later this year to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act
(RDA) in the affected communities but cautioned that any
attempts to make compulsory income or alcohol management
strategies special measures must be completely understood
by the affected communities and must be demonstrably
supported by them.”

ANTaR: Flawed and inadequate consultation continues
at the second anniversary of the NT intervention
http://www.antar.org.au/flawed_and_inadequate_consultation_continues_at_the_second_anniversary_of_the_nt_intervention
19 Jun 09: “Flawed and inadequate consultation with
Aboriginal communities remains a key concern at the second
anniversary of the Northern Territory Emergency
Intervention, according to ANTaR (Australians for Native
Title and Reconciliation). “The lack of significant
improvements resulting from of the intervention measures
and the continuing concerns and opposition from affected
communities, demand that fundamental changes are made to
the Australian Government’s approach in the Northern
Territory”, ANTaR spokesperson, David Cooper said.
“Instead the Minister continues to ignore this evidence and
significant community opposition and to push for the
intervention measures to be continued largely unchanged.” ”

– Opinion

Green Left: Fake consultations in the NT
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/799/41136
21 Jun 09: “Aboriginal residents living in remote
communities in the Northern Territory have condemned the
government’s “consultation” about the NT intervention as
farcical. … The government started the consultation
process with NT Indigenous communities in an effort to
comply with provisions within the RDA that permit racial
discrimination if it is considered in the interests of the
people in question and they have given their informed
consent. The consultations with Aboriginal communities will
supposedly give the government the “consent” it needs to
make the intervention legal.” Peter Robson

– Video

SBS World News: Calma approves NT intervention revamp
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1030896/Calma-approves-intervention-revamp
19 Jun 09: “Aboriginal Social Justice Commissioner Tom
Calma has welcomed the Rudd government’s changes to the
Northern Territory intervention. Mr Calma praised the
government for starting consultations this week with 73
remote NT communities over the commitment to re-instate the
Racial Discrimination Act.”

DEMISE OF CDEP (COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT EMPLOYMENT PROJECTS)

– Media Release

Greens: CDEP jobs cut in favour of dole
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/cdep-jobs-cut-favour-dole
18 Jun 09: ” “The Greens do not support the Government’s
plan to move Aboriginal workers from CDEP jobs onto income
support,” said Senator Rachel Siewert today. “This is a
backwards step that undermines their work-readiness and
esteem, ultimately leading to worse employment outcomes. In
Aboriginal communities the sense of having a job is very
important. I have spoken to a lot of people in successful
CDEP programs who feel that they have a ‘real’ job that
helps their self-esteem and helps their standing in the
community.” ”

– Speech

Greens: CDEP in the NT
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/speech/cdep-nt
18 Jun 09: ” … The ALP government then came in and
reintroduced CDEP. Now they are changing CDEP. In
non-remote areas people will be moving off CDEP as of 1
July, and I will go into the numbers in a minute. In remote
areas there is a transition period, but any new people who
go onto CDEP will go onto income support rather than wages,
because the government can quarantine income support. That
is in the Northern Territory. You can quarantine income
support; you cannot quarantine wages. So they are
essentially now doing what the previous government was
doing-and that is, subjecting those people to income
quarantining. … ” Spokesperson Rachel Siewert

– News

ABC: Questions raised over CDEP replacement
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/19/2602956.htm?site=news
19 Jun 09: “A New South Wales mid-north coast MP wants to
know what will replace an Indigenous employment service
when the Government starts to phase it out.”

JUNE 20 RALLIES AGAINST NT INTERVENTION:

– Background

WGAR News: Protests against NT Intervention (22 Jun 09)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-protests-against-northern-territory-intervention-22-jun-09

WGAR News: NT Intervention – Two Years On (19 Jun 09)
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-nt-intervention-two-years-19-jun-09

– Radio

SBS Aboriginal program: Intervention Maurie Ryan
http://www20.sbs.com.au/podcasting/index.php?action=feeddetails&feedid=65&id=34371
22 Jun 09: “Maurie Ryan Japarta flew from the Northern
Territory to Sydney for the event. He says that the
intervention has failed to adequately address issues faced
in remote communities, and instead has made people’s lives
more miserable. I’ve spoken with him this morning about the
Intervention two years on – and other issues vital to
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comunities.”

SBS Aboriginal program: Intervention Paddy Gibson
http://www20.sbs.com.au/podcasting/index.php?action=feeddetails&feedid=65&id=34366
22 Jun 09: “Protesters gathered in their thousands around
Australia on Saturday – to mark the second anniversary of
the Northern Territory intervention. They vowed to continue
their campaign to increase public knowledge about income
quarantining, the government plan to take control of the
Alice Springs town camps and give housing responsibility to
Northern Territory Housing, and the decision to concentrate
services in 20 “hub” communities only. Paddy Gibson from
Stop the Intervention Collective is speaking with Michelle
Lovegrove.”

CAAMA News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association)
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-news-22-06-09/
22 Jun 09: “Second anniversary of the Federal Intervention”

– Video

YouTube: “Shame on Australia”
Valerie Martin at 2nd anniversary of NT intervention
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-wK_kpDqEI
22 Jun 09: “On 20 June 2009 rallies were held across
Australia to mark the 2nd anniversary of the then Howard
Government’s “intervention” in the Northern Territory. At
the Melbourne rally, which was attended by some 200 people
on a wintry day, one of the main speakers was Valerie
Martin from Yuendumu, NT.”

YouTube: Gary Foley speaks at rally in Melbourne
to mark 2nd anniversary of NT Intervention
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbEUkIa33bg
21 Jun 09: “On 20 June 2009 rallies were held across
Australia to mark the 2nd anniversary of the then Howard
Government’s “intervention” in the Northern Territory. At
the Melbourne rally, which was attended by some 200 people
on a wintry day, one of the main speakers was veteran
activist Gary Foley, who took the opportunity to attack the
policies advocated by Noel Pearson”

– Summation of Public Meeting at Trades Hall, Melbourne

slackbastard: more notes on “the intervention” (one)
http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=3319
23 Jun 09: “Following the protest, there was a public
meeting @ Trades Hall, with a panel presentation featuring
Adam Bandt, Valerie Napaljarri Martin, Aletha Penrith and
Robbie Thorpe. … The first speaker was Adam Bandt. He
outlined Greens’ policy on The Intervention, which the
Greens oppose. He made note of the fact that The
Intervention has required the suspension of the Racial
Discrimination Act. … The second speaker was Valerie
Napaljarri Martin. She outlined the effects of The
Intervention upon her community in Yuendumu. … Valerie’s
determination to resist the seizure of Aboriginal lands and
to maintain her culture was made very clear, … ”

OTHER NT INTERVENTION ARTICLES:

– Opinion

Brisbane Times: Vanishing orphans of the intervention
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/vanishing-orphans-of-the-intervention-20090619-cr7z.html
20 Jun 09: “Populations are mysteriously dwindling in some
remote towns, writes Yuko Narushima. ASK Mutitjulu’s
community leader, Vincent Forrester, what he thinks of the
intervention and he’ll answer with a question. “Ever been
up Uluru? You will not see one Aboriginal person working up
in the resort. You go into town in Alice Springs, you will
not see one young kiddie working in the shops. You ask
yourself why.” … ”

On Line Opinion:
The contribution of homelands to traditional owners
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9055
19 Jun 09: “It took Marion Scrymgour’s resignation from the
Northern Territory Labor Government to force Chief Minister
Paul Henderson to agree to do more research about, and
economic modeling of, the Territory’s ancestral lands with
a view, we hope, to changing the homelands policy.”
Jimmy Pascoe

SBS World News: NT intervention: What now?
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1027862/NT-intervention-What-now
15 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory Intervention was
introduced by the Howard government  in June 2007. However,
several aspects of the intervention have changed during
this time, and the Rudd government indends to make further
amendments.” Chiara Pazzano

– Speech

Greens: CDEP in the NT
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/speech/cdep-nt
18 Jun 09: “There have been many claims made about the
success of income quarantining, but to date there is no
satisfactory data to prove it one way or the other. There
is a lot of anecdotal evidence, and I agree with Senator
Scullion that there are people in the Northern Territory
saying that they are glad to have income quarantining-I
acknowledge that. There are also a large number of people
who do not like income quarantining, which is why the
Greens have maintained all along that income quarantining
should be done on a voluntary basis. We believe that the
reason it was exempted from the Racial Discrimination Act
is that it is racially discriminatory. It picks on one
group of people and subjects them to compulsory income
quarantining.” Spokesperson Rachel Siewert

– Radio

ABC AM: Government report shows income quarantine positive
for women and children
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2009/s2603728.htm
20 Jun 09: “Tomorrow marks two years since the Federal
Government announced its intervention into Aboriginal
communities in the Northern Territory. To coincide with the
anniversary, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny
Macklin has released a report which she says shows the
quarantining of welfare payments is having positive effects
in communities.”
[Includes comments by Priscilla, Jenny Macklin,
Robert Conway and Imelda Palmer]

ABC PM: Labor looks for consensus on intervention
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2603461.htm
19 Jun 09: “It’s almost two years since the beginning of
the federal intervention in the Northern Territory. The
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin says that
much has been achieved in that time. But she is considering
changes in the areas of compulsory income management and
alcohol restrictions. She also says she’s trying to forge
a new relationship with Aboriginal people based on
consultation and respect.”
[Includes comments by Barbara Shaw, Jenny Macklin,
Robert Conway, Chris Wallace and Tony Abbott]

ABC The World Today:
More questions about Territory’s policies for the bush
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2008/s2603275.htm
19 Jun 09: “This weekend marks two years since the
beginning of the Federal intervention in the Northern
Territory. Earlier this week the Commonwealth began a
series of consultations with people in Central Australia
about possible changes to its emergency response. But
further north it’s another issue which has many Indigenous
people fired up – the Territory Government’s policy on
small remote outstations or homelands on Aboriginal land.”
[Includes comments by Djambawa Marawilli,
Malarndirri McCarthy, Marion Scrymgour and Rolf Gerritsen]

ABC PM: Former intervention chairwoman criticises NT on
child abuse targets
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2602271.htm
18 Jun 09: “It’s almost two years since the launch of the
Federal Government’s intervention in the Northern
Territory. Its main aim was to tackle child abuse in remote
Aboriginal communities. But the former chairwoman of the
intervention, Sue Gordon, says that still not enough is
being done to protect children from abuse.”
[Includes comments by Sue Gordon, David Ashbridge,
Jenny Scott, Malarndirri McCarthy and Howard Bath]

– News

Northern Territory News: Bid for committee
http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/06/22/60571_ntnews.html
22 Jun 09: “INDEPENDENT MLA Marion Scrymgour is trying to
set up a parliamentary committee to oversee indigenous
development in remote communities.”

Age: Fresh food sales up since intervention
http://www.theage.com.au/national/fresh-food-sales-up-since-intervention-20090619-cr9y.html
20 Jun 09: “STORE operators in the Northern Territory say
welfare quarantining has led to more sales of healthy food,
and a reduction in people “humbugging” or begging relatives
for cash.”

Australian: Kids’ lives better as indigenous intervention
improves health: Jenny Macklin
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25662726-5006790,00.html
20 Jun 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says
children’s lives in Northern Territory indigenous
communities are changing for the better – because of one of
the Howard government intervention’s hallmark successes,
compulsory management of incomes.”

ABC: Outstations policy a ‘political stunt’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/19/2602824.htm?site=news
19 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory Opposition says the
Government’s outstations policy is flawed because it is not
based on any form of economic modelling.”

National Indigenous Times:
Rushed intervention resulted in protocol gaps, inquest hears
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=18006
18 Jun 09: “The hasty rollout of police stations as part of
the federal intervention into remote Aboriginal communities
in the Northern Territory meant standard protocols were
overlooked, a coronial inquest has heard.”

SBS World News: Bagot mulls success of intervention
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1030386/Bagot-mulls-success-of-intervention
18 Jun 09: “Community members in Bagot, in the heart of
Darwin, have mixed feelings towards the emergency
intervention announced by the Howard Government nearly two
years ago.”

Koori Mail: Macklin responds to men’s statement
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
17 Jun 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin has reaffirmed the government’s support for
Indigenous men, praising their determination and leadership
a year after an Aboriginal men’s health summit near Alice
Springs apologised to women and children for violence. The
Minister had been criticised for the delay in responding to
the summit.”

REPRINT OF “COERCIVE RECONCILIATION”

“You may remember that Arena Publications published a book
on the Intervention soon after it occurred called Coercive
Reconciliation edited by Jon Altman and Melinda Hinkson. It
has now been reprinted with a new preface given that the
Intervention has not basically changed in two years. … ”
John Hinkson, Arena Printing and Publishing

For more information or to order your copy:
http://www.arena.org.au/coercive_order.pdf

22/06/09: PROTESTS AGAINST NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 22/06/2009 by D

Contents:
Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance Statement
June 20 rallies against NT intervention
Regional and Remote Indigenous Communities

PRESCRIBED AREA PEOPLES’ ALLIANCE STATEMENT:

[Ed. note: Northern Territory Aboriginal communities
targeted by the Australian Federal government’s
Northern Territory Intervention have united as
PAPA, the Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance.]

Australian Aborigines publish a long catalogue of
complaints about their treatment
Stop the Intervention: Self-Determination not Assimilation
http://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/8158
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/long-list-aboriginal-complaints
20 Jun 09: “We members of the Prescribed Area Peoples’
Alliance have made the following statement from our June
18-19 meeting in Darwin. Everybody else has their rights.
Aboriginal people aren’t recognised. They don’t want to
listen to us because they want our land. We are our own
leaders, passed down through our families. We don’t need
leaders in parliament to speak. We can use our own voice.
The government says they support the declaration of the
rights of indigenous peoples but they haven’t made it
legal. The government has to make it legal. All Aboriginal
people are being treated as second class citizens. …
Stop the Intervention: Self Determination not Assimilation
* No takeover of Aboriginal town camps
* Full funding, housing and services for all communities
* No blanket welfare quarantines
* Reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act
* Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs”

JUNE 20 RALLIES AGAINST NT INTERVENTION:

– Background

Stop the Intervention:
Actions marking two years since the announcement of the
NT Intervention: Saturday, June 20, 2009
[scroll down page] http://stoptheintervention.org/
“June 20, 2009 will mark two years since the Howard
government announced its Intervention into NT Indigenous
communities. The Intervention promised health, housing and
education – but it has delivered only racism, the
destruction of Aboriginal control and worsening social
problems. … A key aspect of the Northern Territory
Intervention has been the compulsory acquisition of
Aboriginal township land for five years. Housing assets
have been forcibly transferred from community councils to
the NT public housing agency.”

SBS World News: What is the Northern Territory Intervention
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1027847/What-is-the-Northern-Territory-Intervention-
12 Jun 09: “The 21st of June marks the second anniversary
of the Federal Government’s intervention in the Northern
Territory. What is it exactly and why was it introduced by
the Howard government? … The measures of the response
which have attracted most criticism comprise the exemption
from the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the compulsory
acquisition of an unspecified number of prescribed
communities and the partial abolition of the permit system.”

‘Intervention’ on ABC1
http://greensmps.org.au/blog/intervention-abc1
19 Jun 09: “A collaboration between Tangentyere Research
and filmmaker Vincent Lamberti, Intervention looks at the
impacts of the Federal Government’s Northern Territory
Emergency Response into Aboriginal Communities, otherwise
known as the ‘Intervention’, from the perspective of the
people who live under the legislation day in day out. It
was the Winner of the Documentary Australia Award 2008 for
Best Documentary raising awareness around an important
social issue.
Intervention will screen on ABC1 this Sunday June 21st
at 1.30pm …
It will be repeated on ABC2 this Monday June 22nd at 5.00pm
and again on ABC1 next Friday June 26th at 6.00pm”

Wikipedia: Northern Territory National Emergency Response
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_National_Emergency_Response
“The Northern Territory National Emergency Response (also
referred to as “the intervention”) is a package of changes
to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and
other measures, introduced by the Australian federal
government under John Howard in 2007, nominally to address
claims of rampant child sexual abuse and neglect in
Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. … The package
was the Federal government’s response to the Territory
government’s publication of Little Children are Sacred, but
implemented almost none of the report’s recommendations.
… The current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has and continues
to support the response, though he did make some
adjustments to its implementation.”

– Video

SBS World News:
Sydneysiders brave rain to protest NT intervention
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1031301/Sydneysiders-brave-rain-to-protest-NT-intervention
20 Jun 09: “About 100 protesters have braved torrential
rain in Sydney’s CBD as part of a nationwide protest
against the intervention which enters its second year this
weekend. Maurie Japarta Ryan Gurindgi, from the community
of Kalkaringi, 950km southwest of Darwin, said he had
travelled to Sydney to denounce the intervention into his
and other remote towns. The policy, instituted by the
Howard government but continued by Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd, was racist, Mr Gurindgi said.”

– Speech

Stop the Intervention: A Way Forward – Jeff McMullen
Address to Stop the Intervention rally, Belmore Park, Sydney
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/speeches/jeff-mcmullen-20-6-09
20 Jun 09: “Australia’s governments are breaking
international laws in the way they are trying to control
Aboriginal lands and Aboriginal lives. While Australia’s
government has apologized to Aboriginal people, signed the
UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights and promised to ‘Close
the Gaps’, the treatment of Indigenous people remains
patronising, discriminatory, assimilationist and unlawful.”

– News

WA today: Intervention anniversary sparks protests
http://www.watoday.com.au/breaking-news-national/intervention-anniversary-sparks-protests-20090620-crvh.html
20 Jun 09: “As the federal government hailed the success of
the Northern Territory intervention on its second
anniversary, protesters rallied around the country to say
otherwise. … Dr David Cooper, a spokesman for Australians
for Native Title and Reconciliation, said there was very
little evidence to suggest the intervention was having
positive effects on Aboriginal communities.”

Telstra BigPond: Leaders plea for intervention ending
http://bigpondnews.com/articles/National/2009/06/20/Leaders_plea_for_intervention_ending_344007.html
20 Jun 09: “Aboriginal leaders from across the Northern
Territory have issued a plea to the Rudd government ahead
of the second anniversary of the intervention into remote
Aboriginal communities to end the intervention now. …
Town camp resident Barbara Shaw says the intervention
measures have caused dispossession, confusion, fear and
disempowerment. She says they haven’t improved child
safety, nor reduced rates of sexual abuse.”

Green Left: Rallies demand justice for Mr Ward
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/799/41166
20 Jun 09: “In the wake of the inquest into the shocking
death in custody of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, more than
1000 people rallied in Perth in rainy weather on June 20.
Ward was roasted in a prison van on a four-hour journey on
a 42ºC day. … Other rallies took place across the country
to mark the second anniversary of the announcement of the
racist intervention into Northern Territory Aboriginal
communities.”

Age: Rally to highlight Aboriginal deaths
http://www.theage.com.au/national/rally-to-highlight-aboriginal-deaths-20090619-cr9z.html
20 Jun 09: “EIGHTEEN years after a royal commission report
into Aboriginal deaths in custody, a rally in Melbourne
will be told today that the deaths have continued and that
the issue needs to be put back under the spotlight. …
Today’s rally, at noon at the State Library, is being held
to mark the two-year anniversary of the Northern Territory
intervention.”

ABC: Intervention has stolen our rights: elder
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/19/2603437.htm?section=justin
19 Jun 09: “Aboriginal community leaders have gathered in
Darwin today to tell the Northern Territory and Federal
Governments to stop the intervention. … Traditional owner
Tibby Quall told the group the intervention is taking away
his community’s ability to make decisions. “We are our own
leaders, passed down through our families,” he said. “We
don’t need leaders in parliament to speak, we can use our
own voice. … ” ”

West Australian: NT intervention anniversary: ‘end it’
http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=581845
19 Jun 09: “Aboriginal leaders from across the Northern
Territory are pleading with the Rudd government ahead of
the second anniversary of the intervention into remote
Aboriginal communities to “end it, and do it now”.
Indigenous people from more than 20 remote communities and
major towns, including Alice Springs and Katherine, have
converged on Darwin for protests to be held on Saturday.”

National Indigenous Times:
Second anniversary of intervention to be marked by protests
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=18011
19 Jun 09: “This Sunday will mark the second anniversary of
the announcement of the controversial NT intervention, and
protestors are readying themselves for a rally tomorrow to
call for its abolition. … Mr [Maurie] Ryan says that the
intervention had only targeted the “most downtrodden
people” and agreed that it was racist. “I am being accused,
like every Aboriginal male in the NT, of being a
paedophile, alcoholic and basher,” Mr Ryan says.”

ABC: 2 years on, intervention ‘causing confusion’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/19/2602690.htm?section=australia
19 Jun 09: “An anti-intervention campaigner, Barbara Shaw,
says many Aboriginal people still do not understand the
full extent of the Northern Territory Emergency Response
and only associate it with welfare quarantining. …
[Barbara Shaw said] “They don’t know about the five year
lease take over. They don’t know the compulsorily land
acquisition the five year leases,” ”

Koori Mail: NT intervention ‘two years too long’
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
18 Jun 09: “Rallies are scheduled for Darwin, Sydney,
Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne tomorrow and on Saturday
to protest against the ongoing Northern Territory
intervention. More than 50 community leaders from across
the NT are expected to attend the Darwin protest tomorrow,
marking two years since the racially discriminatory
intervention began.”

REGIONAL AND REMOTE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES:

Parliament of Australia: Senate:
Senate Select Committee on Regional and Remote Indigenous
Communities:
Submissions received by the Committee as at 11 June 2009
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/indig_ctte/submissions/sublist.htm

[Note: Included are submissions from Indigenous
organisations in the Northern Territory and other states]


Stop the Intervention: Self-Determination not Assimilation

Posted in NEWS on 20/06/2009 by D

We members of the Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance have made the following statement from our June 18-19 meeting.

Everybody else has their rights. Aboriginal people aren’t recognised. They don’t want to listen to us because they want our land. We are our own leaders, passed down through our families. We don’t need leaders in parliament to speak. We can use our own voice. The government says they support the declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples but they haven’t made it legal. The government has to make it legal. All Aboriginal people are being treated as second class citizens.

Moving Forward

We mob gathered here from all over. Black people and their supporters need to stand and fight together. We Aboriginal people are getting big problems from the mainstream system. We’re disempowered. The intervention is taking our rights away. We need to be recognised, even though we are a minority in Australia. Support us to fight both the Federal and NT government, their system and what they’re doing to us.

Assimilation and Rights to Culture

We are who we are. They want to make Aboriginal people into white people. They are pushing us into a corner. That will mean they will take away everything that we belong to. Our culture and lore would be lost. If we go the white man way and they don’t recognise our culture they control you by the laws they make.

The Intervention is an attack on Aboriginal people’s identity.

White law is not working otherwise we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about the intervention.

Racism

We shouldn’t have separate Aboriginal policies. Racism cuts us away. It feels like we’re not citizens of Australia. People discriminate against us in every way. We don’t have our rights.

We went through racism and hardship at school in the old days, and today our children are still going through that. There is still a lot of prejudice. The government is running us down altogether under the intervention. It’s demeaning to us.

We want the government to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act (1975). Human rights for all. Empower the law, bring it out in the open. Bring back the Racial Discrimination Act will empower us again.

Homelands and Communities

Homelands are our traditional country. It’s where we teach our kids about our culture. It’s been handed down from generation to generation. We need to keep the traditional ties to our land.

People are healthier and stronger living on homelands. Eating traditional foods. It’s the right environment to raise kids.

Everybody pays rent but there are no basic services like running water for our homelands. The government says no more funding for services.

If people are forced to leave off homelands they will lose everything, their identity. When the communities are empty the bulldozers will come in. Why would we give it up now, after what our old people went through to get it?

We sat on the land and protested to get the land to begin with, and that’s how we will keep it. We are not moving! These are our homelands. We fought long and hard to get native title and now they come with this policy of denying of services and resources. It’s wrong.

We are going to stay there forever – We are not moving!

Government demands regarding homelands

We need more housing on our homelands and provide basic services like phones, water and electricity. We want help to set up our own enterprises on homelands. We need public transport to help people get home and out of town. We should have rights for public housing on homelands.

Both governments must respect and recognise people living on homelands.

Government Business Managers

The GBMs think they’re the controller. As Traditional Owners we don’t have a say anymore. They’ve got the policy and procedures manual behind them and think they wield the power. They made all these rules down in Canberra, never consulted with us and the GBM just tells us all the new rules. They are working against our people.

In communities GBM’s houses get put up in a matter of days, but we’re still waiting for houses and schools.

The government is not accountable to communities. We have to prove where every dollar is spent, why don’t they?

Government demands regarding GBMs and public servants

We’ve got people with skills that can do the work of the government business managers, people from our communities should be managing our communities.

Income Management

The basics card is discriminatory to us all. We have had no consultation. It’s taking away our rights and degrading us. It’s disempowered us. It’s very racist. We are going backwards to the welfare days.

Little children are sacred, but under the Intervention they are going hungry.

The basics card makes it hard to travel for cultural obligations. Basics card cannot be used to help family out with food when you’re stayng with them. Basics card takes away our ability to contribute and our independence. It makes it hard to travel for funerals and cultural business.

Nothing has changed since the basic card has been introduced. It’s gotten worse and worse. It’s not doing anything for the kids. They’re saying its working but where is their accountability? Show us the figures – where it is helping?

We need more support for those that need help with income management, not blanket quarantines for everyone. It’s making it harder for us to live day to day. The kids are suffering too. Income management should be voluntary. We need to fight for our rights – they’ve been taken away from us.

We want basic rights – not Basic cards!

Demand regarding income management:

The Income Management system should be voluntary

Housing/Leases

The government will only give you a house if you sign a lease. Our houses are broken down. We don’t believe the government’s promises anymore. We’ve come to a dead end. The only way we can get services and housing is to sign a lease.

They’re pushing us into a situation where land is the name of the game. They want the minerals that are in the sacred lands right across the territory. They want to take the town camps now but there are always strings attached. The government will control the country then. We want to stay in control. We need to work together. We don’t want the government to take over our communities and camps.

The government is only promising housing to a few communities who sign leases. All the rest miss out. It’s causing argument and division between communities. We are all in this together. We want housing without signing a lease.

Demands for government re housing

We want houses without having to sign leases and give up our land.

We want houses on remote communities and homelands. We want proper infrastructure. We need electricity and water, we don’t want to have keep using generators and water trucks. We need proper roads to our communities.

Consultation

We feel shame. This policy is continuing to put us down. There is no consultation.

People need to have ownership over decisions that affect their community.

Jenny Macklin says she is talking to people in the communities, but everytime we invite her to come meet with us she refuses.

Demand regarding consultation:

Proper consultation is government coming to our homelands or communities, sitting down with us without a time limit and listen and talk to us face to face. Listen to our ideas. Talk to us properly. What we want. Come out to our homeland.

Bilingual Education

We didn’t come on the boat with the Government, they need to understand we had our own language before they came with English. We want to keep passing it on.

Demand regarding bilingual education:

We want the government to support bilingual schools. We want Aboriginal languages taught in schools. All schools should have cross-cultural training for teachers. Bilingual language is keeping our culture alive and strong.

Health

This intervention was supposed to be about helping Aboriginal people. Health and education should be the first priority. It’s a disgrace.

People needing medical help have to travel into town. Pregnant women have to travel long distances on buses to give birth. We used to have a mobile clinic that visited outstations.

The government has made a lot of cut backs to health and mothers’ services on communities.

The government says they’re closing the gap, but it’s getting wider. Under the intervention policy the government said they’re going to make it better for indigenous people – better in housing, education and health. They say they’re closing the gap in a few years but it’s not getting smaller, it’s getting bigger and bigger. It’s dividing the nation and getting worse for everyone.

Demand regarding health:

We want Aboriginal controlled medical services to be fully-funded. Remote communities need clinics with full-time staff.

Police

Under the intervention police have Star Chamber powers where they can hold Aboriginal people for longer periods.

Police should not be able to enter our ceremony. The police think that we are low down people.

Deaths in custody are increasing. We should have independent people investigating any deaths in custody. We don’t trust the police. Police should have permits to search our houses and people.

Demand regarding police:

Implement the recommendations from the report into Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Statement made by members of the Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance from:

Angkelengklwe, Blank Tank, Harry Creek, Sixteen Mile, Angulur, West Waterhouse, Iteyepinpye, Laynhapuy homelands

Yuendumu, Finke, Papunya, Tara, Ntaria, Mutitjulu, Galawinku, Ramingining Milingimbi communities

Hidden Valley, Palmers, Mt Nancy, Trucking Yards town camps

Stop the Intervention: Self Determination not Assimilation

No takeover of Aboriginal town camps

Full funding, housing and services for all communities

No blanket welfare quarantines

Reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act

Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs


19/06/09: NORTHERN TERRITORY INTERVENTION – TWO YEARS ON

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 19/06/2009 by D

Contents:
NT Intervention – Two Years On
NT Intervention Consultations
NATSIEC Forum on the NT Intervention
Alice Springs Town Camps
Marion Scrymgour / Homelands
Darwin Town Camps
‘Dead people’ on anti-CLC petition
Other Aboriginal News

NT INTERVENTION – TWO YEARS ON:

– Media Release

“Enough is enough” NT Intervention two years on
http://wgar.info/2009/06/17/enough-is-enough-nt-intervention-two-years-on/
16 Jun 09: “Aboriginal people from across the NT travel to
Darwin to say “enough is enough.” Aboriginal people from
town camps, communities and homelands right across the
Territory leave today to travel to Darwin to meet on June
18-20 as the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA). The
gathering will mark two years of the Federal Intervention
and aims to consolidate the Territory-wide opposition to
the Rudd Government’s continued rollout of the measures.
The Alliance has already met twice in Alice Springs and
statements developed at these meetings have been presented
at several United Nations forums.”

– Radio

SBS Aboriginal program: NT Intervention – Two Years On
http://www20.sbs.com.au/podcasting/index.php?action=feeddetails&feedid=65&id=33512
17 Jun 09: “Thousands of people are expected to gather
across Australia on Saturday June 20 mark the second
anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention, and to
protest continued measures by governments.”

– Statement

Socialist Alliance: Stand up for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander rights on June 20!
http://www.socialist-alliance.org/page.php?page=848
13 Jun 09: “The Socialist Alliance supports the National
Day of Action for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Rights on June 20 marking two years since the announcement
of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (or
Intervention). …
EVENTS PLANNED FOR JUNE 20
* Darwin: 11 am Raintree Park, speakout by people from
communities and town camps throughout the Northern Territory
and short speeches from invited guests, 8 pm Brown’s Mart,
Rock Against Racism
* Perth: 12 noon Forrest Chase, Never Again! No more deaths
in custody! Public protest rally
* Melbourne: 12 noon, GPO, rally against the intervention,
followed by a public meeting at 3pm at Trades Hall with
George Newhouse, lawyer for the NT group against the
intervention, organised by the Melbourne Anti-Intervention
Collective
* Sydney: 10:30am Belmore Park, Eddy avenue, Haymarket
(opposite Central station), protest, march and concert –
marking two years since the announcement of the NT
Intervention
* Brisbane: 11 am Queens Park, corner George and Elizabeth
Streets, City. With Sam Watson, Socialist Alliance
Indigenous Rights spokesperson, Deputy Director UQ ATSI
Unit and Community Activist. Organised by the Aboriginal
Rights Coalition”

– News

Northern Territory News: Protest heads to Darwin
http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/06/17/59105_ntnews.html
17 Jun 09: “ABORIGINAL people from across the NT are on
their way to Darwin to protest against the intervention.
The protesters – who are calling themselves the Prescribed
Area People’s Alliance – left their communities yesterday
and will meet in Darwin from today until Saturday.”

NT INTERVENTION CONSULTATIONS:

– Timetable of Consultations

Community visits/meetings schedule:
http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/indigenous/progserv/ntresponse/future_directions/Pages/NTERVisits_alice_springs.aspx

– Media Releases

WGAR: Website launch for National Day of Action against NT Intervention
http://wgar.info/2009/06/18/website-launch-for-national-day-of-action-against-nt-intervention/
18 Jun 09: “The WGAR, Working Group for Aboriginal Rights,
website is now up and running. … There is a world of
difference between ‘consult’ and ‘consent’. In Article 19,
the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
advocates Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), despite
attempts by several Nation States to substitute ‘consult’
for ‘consent’ during the drafting process in the UN. The
progress of the Intervention and the resistance to it is
turning on these two words. Minister Jenny Macklin appears
content with her version of ‘consult’ whereas the NT
Aboriginal voice for ‘consent’ is growing louder.”

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical
Commission:
Negotiation not Coercion Needed in the Northern Territory
http://www.ncca.org.au/media_releases/090617_negotiation_not_coercion_needed_in_the_northern_territory
17 Jun 09: “Mr Graeme Mundine, the Executive Secretary of
the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC), expressed concern that the
‘consultations’ the Federal Government are undertaking with
Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory on the
intervention are token gestures. Negotiation not coercion
is needed in the Northern Territory. “Following recent
statements made by Minister Macklin, I am concerned that
the Government has already decided about the future of the
Intervention and these consultations are simply window
dressing”, said Mr Graeme Mundine.”

Testimony proves NT Intervention consultations ‘farcical’
http://wgar.info/2009/06/17/testimony-proves-nt-intervention-consultations-farcical/
15 Jun 09: “Campaigners against the Northern Territory
Intervention have criticised the ‘community consultation’
process initiated by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin as farcical. As the consultations began today,
testimonies of people living in ‘prescribed areas’
demonstrate a strong anger that compulsory Income
Management will continue and that meetings are taking place
without adequate notice. Minister Macklin is relying on the
consultations to help characterise Intervention powers as
‘special measures’ under the Racial Discrimination Act,
which require the informed consent of affected people.”

– Opinion

Australian Editorial: Income management compatible with RDA
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25635197-16741,00.html
15 Jun 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin
expressed a personal view yesterday that compulsory income
management — under which 50per cent of welfare payments
must be spent on essentials such as food and clothing —
could be retained as a special measure under the Racial
Discrimination Act. The idea showed Ms Macklin has a
sensible and sensitive grasp of her portfolio.”

National Indigenous Times:
This Little Black Duck: Govt’s cosmetic changes to the NTER
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17947
11 Jun 09: “Proposed changes to the Northern Territory
intervention are just more self-serving doublespeak, writes
NICOLE WATSON*. … Tragically however, thousands of
Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory are
experiencing this very humiliation as a result of the
income management regime. The insult is all the more
insidious because the government’s promise to lessen the
harshest impacts of the Intervention has proven to be mere
self-serving doublespeak.” Nicole Watson, Murri lawyer and
researcher based with the Ngiya Institute

– News

ABC Alice Springs:
Govt needs to canvass views on intervention: rights group
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/17/2600562.htm?site=alicesprings
17 Jun 09: “The head of the Federal Government’s Human
Rights Consultancy Committee says Aboriginal people in the
Northern Territory still need to have their say about
aspects of the Emergency Response. … Father Brennan says
a significant issue raised is how the Federal Intervention
will accord with the Government’s commitment to reinstate
the Racial Discrimination Act. He says unless the Federal
Government ensures Aboriginal people agree with income
management, the policy could be contravening international
law.”

ABC Alice Springs:
Government defends NT intervention consultations
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/17/2600600.htm?site=alicesprings
17 Jun 09: “A Federal Government department has rejected
claims of “farcical” consultation practices surrounding the
Northern Territory Emergency Response.”

ABC Alice Springs: Talks begin for future of intervention
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/15/2598100.htm?site=alicesprings
15 Jun 09: “The Federal Government will begin its
consultation with Aboriginal communities today over the
future of the Northern Territory Emergency Response.”

ABC: Govt to consult with communities on NT intervention
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/14/2597566.htm
14 Jun 09: “The Federal Government will this week start a
series of consultation meetings with Indigenous communities
in the Northern Territory over the future of the
intervention. The Government released a discussion paper
last month where it raised the possibility of allowing
people to opt-out of the compulsory quarantining of welfare
payments.”

Australian: Macklin endorses income quarantining
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25636330-2702,00.html
15 Jun 09: “INDIGENOUS Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has
strongly endorsed a key plank of the Howard government’s
intervention into remote Aboriginal communities, indicating
that income quarantining of welfare payments will continue
despite the reintroduction of the Racial Discrimination
Act. … Valerie Martin from the central Australian
community of Yuendumu was scathing of moves to continue
compulsory income management.”

National Indigenous Times:
Quarantines breach human rights: expert
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17966
11 Jun 09: “A Canberra -based expert has warned that plans
to continue compulsory income management of prescribed
Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory will only
worsen Australia’s poor human rights record. Professor Jon
Altman, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic
Policy Research at the Australian National University said
that federal plans to continue income quarantining of
Aboriginal people will be viewed as a “crude instrument”.”

NATSIEC FORUM ON THE NT INTERVENTION:

– News

Christian Today:
Indigenous Church leaders call for negotiation not consultation
http://au.christiantoday.com/article/indigenous-church-leaders-call-for-negotiation-not-consultation/6422.htm
11 Jun 09: “Indigenous Church leaders from across Australia
have met in Sydney to develop a unified platform for action
on the many adverse issues affecting Aboriginal people in
the wake of the Northern Territory Intervention. The forum
was hosted by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC) with its members
attending in solidarity with those of the National
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Alliance
(NATSICA). Executive Secretary of NATSIEC, Mr Graeme
Mundine, said there was a clear message from the forum
that, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians,
we are united against the Northern Territory Intervention
in its current form.”

National Council of Churches in Australia:
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical
Commission (NATSIEC):
Northern Territory Intervention Forum
[scroll down page] http://www.ncca.org.au/natsiec
9 Jun 09: “In early June 2009, NATSIEC hosted a forum of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Church leaders to
discuss the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER)
also known as the Intervention. The aim of the Forum was to
develop a common voice from Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Church bodies and to develop a common platform for
action. … We met over four days and focused our attention
particularly on the Northern Territory Intervention. The key
areas of concern were the lack of proper negotiation with
Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and the lack of
voice given to many community people. An additional area of
concern was the discriminatory nature of the Intervention.”

– Statement

National Council of Churches in Australia – NATSIEC:
NATSIEC Forum on the Northern Territory Emergency Response – Forum Statement
http://www.ncca.org.au/__data/page/3784/NATSIEC_FORUM_NTER_Statement.pdf
June 2009: “As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Christians, we strongly believe that the Creator gave us
our identity as well as this land and the wisdom to care
for it. We recognise that there are many issues to resolve
as a Nation, one of which is the Northern Territory
Emergency Response (NTER – the Intervention). We believe
that, in its current form, the Intervention does not and
will not work for Aboriginal peoples. … We believe that
Aboriginal Peoples have not been listened to and our
stories have not been heard. … We have a particular
concern about the discriminatory nature of the Intervention.
… We believe that Government and Churches should nurture
and give greater recognition to the strong spirituality of
Aboriginal people. … We stand in solidarity with our
Northern Territory brothers and sisters and we send messages
of hope to them.”

ALICE SPRINGS TOWN CAMPS:

– Background

WGAR News: Alice Springs town camps takeover (12 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-darwin-town-camps-takeover-12-jun-09

WGAR News: Alice Springs town camps takeover (6 Jun 09):
[scroll down page] http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-marion-scrymgour-resigns-labor-party-alice-springs-town-camps-takeover-6-jun-09

WGAR News:
National support for Tangentyere Council (3 June 09):
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-national-support-tangentyere-council-3-june-09

WGAR News:
Compulsory Acquisition of Alice Springs Town Camps (30 May 09):
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-compulsory-acquisition-alice-springs-town-camps-30-may-09

WGAR News:
Takeover of Aboriginal Land in Alice Springs (26 May 09):
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-takeover-aboriginal-land-alice-springs-26-may-09

– Speech

Greens: Alice Springs Town Camps
http://greensmps.org.au/content/speech/alice-springs-town-camps
17 Jun 09: “I rise today to speak about two issues that I
feel very strongly about and am passionately concerned
about: the Alice Springs town camp leases and the exemption
of the Northern Territory intervention from the Racial
Discrimination Act. I have been extremely concerned by the
manner in which the government and the Minister for
Indigenous Affairs have proceeded with the negotiations
over the Alice Springs town camp leases and the way this
issue has been presented. In many cases-and I am not
accusing the minister of doing this-the way the government
has gone about saying that they are going to be compulsorily
acquiring leases has led to a blame game at Tangentyere
Council.” Rachel Siewert

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
Ringy’s Ramblings: Shakedown at Tangentyere
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17951
11 Jun 09: “The federal government is demanding that Alice
Springs town campers sign over their leases in exchange for
the kind of basic services that other Australians take for
granted. This scam is tantamount to extortion writes GRAHAM
RING*. … But instead of services, Macklin is offering
only a manipulative political strategy designed to wedge
Tangentyere and garner public support for a takeover. This
shameful con trick involves conflating the separate issues
of land tenure and service delivery. The minister is being
deeply disingenuous in her insistence that she can do
nothing without the leases to the camps in her pocket.”
Graham Ring

National Indigenous Times:
Blackcurrent: A world away from our nation’s shame
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17949
11 Jun 09: “The irony of watching a film [Samson and
Delilah] about life in an Alice Springs town camp from the
luxury of a Canberra movie theatre was not lost on AMY
McQUIRE*. … And yet, as I left the cinema and stepped
into the cold confines of the winter streets, I couldn’t
help but be transported back to the political ponderings
that so often take hold of Aboriginal Australia. I
contemplated the irony of this film’s timing. The film’s
success comes at the same time as a Rudd government threat
to compulsorily acquire the Alice Springs town camps.”
Amy McQuire

FaHCSIA: Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs town camps,
Central Land Council
[transcript of interview with Jenny Macklin]
http://www.jennymacklin.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/jennymacklin.nsf/content/jm_t_tangentyere_council_11june09.doc.htm
11 Jun 09: “REPORTER: Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny
Macklin is in Alice Springs today to officially open the
new Central Land Council building; to open a new safe house
amongst other things. But what she won’t be doing is any
further negotiating with the Tangentyere Council over the
town camp lease deal. I spoke with her just before we went
to air and asked her whether she would be meeting with
Tangentyere Council at all during her visit.
JENNY MACKLIN: Not specifically. As you know they are on the
Alice Springs Transformation Group and so I am meeting with
that group, with the Alice Springs Town Council and the
Northern Territory Government representatives. …
REPORTER: And will you be discussing that $100 million,
40-year lease deal?
JENNY MACKLIN: Not on this occasion. …
REPORTER: Now you extended Tangentyere’s deadline to July
28 so that as you mentioned people could provide
submissions about an acquisition, to date have you had any
submissions and who from? JENNY MACKLIN: No I haven’t.”

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Deadline extended for Alice town camps
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17968
11 Jun 09: “The federal government will give Indigenous
people more time to comment on a controversial plan to
acquire the Alice Springs town camps before action is
taken. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says she’s
been advised by the government’s solicitor to extend to 60
days the time in which people can put their views.”

MARION SCRYMGOUR / HOMELANDS:

– Background

WGAR News: Marion Scrymgour (12 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-darwin-town-camps-takeover-12-jun-09

WGAR News:
Marion Scrymgour resigns from Labor Party (6 Jun 09):
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-marion-scrymgour-resigns-labor-party-alice-springs-town-camps-takeover-6-jun-09

WGAR News:
Northern Territory Government’s new Homelands policy (4 Jun 09):
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/wgar-news-northern-territory-governments-new-homelands-policy-4-jun-09

– Media Release

NT Greens: Greens Congratulate Marion Scrymgour and
Welcome More Representative Parliament
http://nt.greens.org.au/2009/MR20090606.html
6 Jun 09: “The Greens congratulate the NT’s most successful
Aboriginal politician Marion Scrymgour for her strong
action this week in resigning from the ALP over important
matters of principle.”

– Opinion

GLW: Aboriginal MP: ALP fails on land rights
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/798/41084
13 Jun 09: “Marion Scrymgour — the highest ranking
Aboriginal member of any government in Australia — quit the
Northern Territory Labor Party over its Aboriginal policy
on June 4. As an independent, she now holds the balance of
power. The former Indigenous affairs minister quit the
party due to disagreements on the proposed “outstations”
policy, which would provide priority infrastructure funding
to only 20 of the roughly 600 remote Aboriginal homeland
communities.” Peter Robson

National Indigenous Times:
The Big Read: We dream of Marion
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17980
11 Jun 09: “In politics you can justify almost anything.
But being an Aboriginal member of the Labor or Liberal
Party is no longer one of them. CHRIS GRAHAM looks at the
startling developments in the Northern Territory with the
resignation of Marion Scrymgour from the ruling Labor
Party. … Scrymgour’s defection has changed the face of
black politics in this country forever. … There are
currently five black faces in NT parliament – Scrymgour,
Malarndirri McCarthy, Alison Anderson and Karl Hampton for
Labor, and Adam Giles for the Country Liberals. The
question now becomes who else will follow Scrymgour’s lead?
Which of them will split with the major parties? The black
faces of NT parliament have an historic opportunity to
change not just governance in the NT, but the Australian
political landscape forever.” Chris Graham, editor of the
National Indigenous Times newspaper

National Indigenous Times:
The Box Seat: Homelands are where the heart is
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17953
11 Jun 09: “The media reporting of Marion Scrymgour’s defection from the ALP was of its usual standard, writes BRIAN JOHNSTONE*.
Last Thursday Darwin’s only daily newspaper the
Murdoch-owned Northern Territory News told its readers a
fairy tale.” Brian Johnstone

– News

ABC: Indigenous ‘concerned, angry’ over outstation policy
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/13/2597326.htm
13 Jun 09: “The Northern Land Council (NLC) says Indigenous
people living in homelands have a deep mis-trust of the
Northern Territory Government because of its outstations
policy. Copies of the policy were burnt in protest at
Yilpara in Arnhemland yesterday, while hundreds of people
including the new Independent Marion Scrymgour watched on.”

National Indigenous Times:
NLC attacks govt’s homelands policy, backs Scrymgour
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingNews/story.aspx?id=17930
12 Jun 09: “Aboriginal people feel “betrayed and
marginalised” by the Northern Territory government’s
controversial homelands policy, says one of Australia’s
most powerful Indigenous councils. … The Northern Land
Council (NLC) on Thursday threw its support behind Ms
Scrymgour, who is now sitting as an independent, and voted
unanimously to condemn the initiative.”

Koori Mail: TOs slam NT homelands policy
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Jun 09: “TRADITIONAL owners in Maningrida in West Arnhem
Land have called on the Northern Territory Government to
review its new homelands policy. TO Jimmy Pascoe said the
policy could force people to move to larger communities for
Government services, threaten traditional culture and
increase the exposure of children to problems such as drug
abuse that are more endemic in larger centres.”

ABC: Protesters burn, spear outstation policy
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/12/2597022.htm
12 Jun 09: “Copies of the Northern Territory Government’s
controversial funding policy for remote Indigenous
communities have been burned in a protest in Arnhem Land.
Hundreds of people were on hand at Yilpara for a
celebration of the first anniversary of the Blue Mud Bay
High Court decision, which gave traditional owners
exclusive rights over waters overlying Aboriginal lands.
But the celebration turned to protest when Yununmul
Munungurr from the Lhaynapuy Homelands Association spoke
out against the Territory Government’s outstations policy.”

ABC: NLC condemns outstations plan
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/12/2596285.htm
12 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory Government is facing
increasing resistance to its Indigenous homelands policy.
The policy will see funding kept at current levels for
hundreds of outstations while extra services and
infrastructure go to 20 larger communities. The Northern
Land Council has voted unanimously to condemn the policy,
saying traditional owners are angry they have not been
consulted.”

National Indigenous Times:
NT Labor is disconnected, Opposition says
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17978
11 Jun 09: “The NT opposition says it’s too soon to say if
it will call for a no-confidence vote in the Northern
Territory government after the shock resignation of the
former deputy chief minister.”

DARWIN TOWN CAMPS:

– Background

Northern Territory News: Push to take over camps in Darwin
http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/06/11/57601_ntnews.html
11 Jun 09: “ABORIGINAL town camps in Darwin should be next
on the agenda after the Federal Government takes over those
at Alice Springs, Territory Senator Trish Crossin has said.
… Aboriginal Development Foundation manager Bernard
Valadian said Senator Crossin had not spoken to him about
the call. “I’m not sure what that would achieve … to give
the land back after the hard struggle to get it,” he said.”

Australian: Senator urges takeover of Darwin camps
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25608112-5006790,00.html
9 Jun 09: “NORTHERN Territory senator Trish Crossin
yesterday called for a federal takeover of the Aboriginal
town camps in Darwin, as the government extended its
deadline before compulsorily acquiring the fractured
communities on the edge of Alice Springs. The Labor Left
senator said the Darwin camps needed to be offered a similar
deal to the one offered to rebuild the 18 settlements in
Alice Springs.”

– News

Northern Territory News: Government eyes town camps
http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/06/15/58451_ntnews.html
15 Jun 09: “DARWIN town camps will soon be next in line
after the Federal Government sorts out Alice Springs.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said yesterday
the camps would soon be the focus for the government.”

Brisbane Times: Macklin set to improve indigenous camps
http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/macklin-set-to-improve-indigenous-camps-20090614-c6zu.html
14 Jun 09: “Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says
she’s got lots of money to spend and wants to get on with
the job of improving Alice Springs’ squalid indigenous town
camps and maybe also those of Darwin. … Ms Macklin said
she was willing to also consider the Darwin town camps.”

‘DEAD PEOPLE’ ON ANTI-CLC PETITION:

– Media Release

Central Land Council:
Media, Giles and Parliament duped by petition
http://www.clc.org.au/Media/releases/2009/Petition_a_fraud.html
15 Jun 09: “The Central Land Council says a petition
purporting to be from the people of Hermannsburg is a
fraud. CLC director David Ross said the petition allegedly
containing the signatures of 400 people who wanted the land
council sacked had received much press in recent days but
some simple research by the media and the Country Liberals’
member for Braitling Adam Giles, who tabled it in
Parliament, would have caused them to doubt its veracity.”

– News

ABC Alice Springs: ‘Dead people’ on anti-CLC petition
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/16/2599284.htm?site=alicesprings
16 Jun 09: “The Central Land Council says a petition
purporting to be signed by about 400 people who want the
council sacked contains forged signatures and the names of
dead people.”

ABC: People have ‘right to call for CLC’s sacking’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/15/2598016.htm
15 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory’s Indigenous Policy
Minister says people have a right to call for the sacking
of the Central Land Council.”

OTHER ABORIGINAL NEWS:

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
The Pointed View: A white fight against rights
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17950
11 Jun 09: “The people who lobby for the erosion of other’s
rights never have their own under threat, writes PROF
LARISSA BEHRENDT*. An editorial in The Australian on 26
October 2007, titled “Let them Eat Rights” gave a classic
account of the false rhetoric that dismisses human rights
as merely an idealistic concept – devoid of any practical
purpose.” Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law, University of
Technology, Sydney

National Indigenous Times:
Marginal Notes: Closing the gap in an unequal world
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17946
11 Jun 09: “How can you hope to ‘Close the Gap’ in society
that remains unequal, asks Dr EVA COX*. There is a lot of
talk about ‘closing the gap’ but somehow they end up
blaming the victims. Look at the NT! There are problems but
are they because of locals’ drinking, porn use and other
sins? That seems to be the assumption so the governments
start getting bossy: take away local language learning,
move people off their land, quarantine their income, give
bigger bureaucracies their housing and so on….”
Dr Eva Cox, prominent Australian feminist and lecturer at
University of Technology, Sydney

National Indigenous Times:
Your Say: The underbelly of income management
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=17944
11 Jun 09: “There is something rotten in the Income
Management content of the intervention in the Northern
Territory. The paternalism inherent in the design targets
the Australians who, through no fault of their own, are
powerless in the vacuum of ‘No Jobs’ and a lifetime of
Government Dependency by Policy.” Ian Newnham

– News

ABC: Inquest not a trial of NT intervention: coroner
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/16/2599631.htm
16 Jun 09: “The Northern Territory Coroner says an inquest
into a death in custody is not an investigation into the
federal intervention. The inquest, which is being held in
Katherine, is examining the death of a 22-year-old man, who
cannot be named for cultural reasons.”

National Indigenous Times: Aboriginal justice group calls
for fed govt to allow customary law
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=17927
12 Jun 09: “Commonwealth legislation that restricts the use
of Aboriginal customary law is resulting in “unjust and
unfair” sentences, says a group of lawyers representing
Indigenous people. The North Australian Aboriginal Justice
Agency (NAAJA) is calling on the commonwealth to repeal the
law, introduced by the Howard government as part of the
federal intervention, following the case of a Yolngu man
who allegedly stabbed his wife with a steak knife.”

National Indigenous Times: McMullen to host intervention
debate in Sydney on Friday night
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=17924
11 Jun 09: “The controversial Northern Territory
intervention is the most dramatic policy change since the
policies that gave birth to the Stolen Generations,
prominent Australian journalist Jeff McMullen says. And he
says Australians have an obligation to be informed of the
repercussions of the intervention, which was announced
during Prime Minister John Howard’s 2007 election campaign
and continued by the government that succeeded him.”

Website launch for National Day of Action against NT Intervention

Posted in EVENTS, MEDIA RELEASES on 18/06/2009 by D

WGAR Media Release:

18 June 2009

Website launch for National Day of Action against the NT Intervention – Two Years on

Launch of an informative website: http://wgar.info/

– know the voices, news and opinions on the NT Intervention –

1pm Friday 19 June 2009

Garema Place, Civic, Canberra

Other events are being held around Australia for the National Day of Action in Darwin, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane on Saturday 20 June

The WGAR, Working Group for Aboriginal Rights, website is now up and running. In the interest of raising awareness on the intricacies and impacts of the NT Intervention the wgar.info website contains sourced news summaries, opinions, as well as radio and video weblinks.

There is a world of difference between ‘consult’ and ‘consent’. In Article 19, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples advocates Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), despite attempts by several Nation States to substitute ‘consult’ for ‘consent’ during the drafting process in the UN.

The progress of the Intervention and the resistance to it is turning on these two words. Minister Jenny Macklin appears content with her version of ‘consult’ whereas the NT Aboriginal voice for ‘consent’ is growing louder.

Even the version of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was handed out in Parliament House during Minister Jenny Macklin’s formal support of the Declaration omits the words ‘free prior and informed’ before the word consent. The importance of free prior and informed consent is illustrated by recent events at Santa Theresa in the Simpson Desert, NT:

Imelda Palmer is a teacher and community leader in Santa Teresa, where consultations were held recently. She says that no notice was given for the meeting.

“Not many people know about this meeting. I only found out about the meeting when the ABC journalists came to interview me. I walked up and there were maybe 12 or 17 people sitting around the table. That’s not good enough. It should have been a public meeting out in the open, for the whole community, not behind closed doors. It needs to be one voice out there in the open if this is proper consultation”.

Ms Palmer is angry that the government has already decided to continue with compulsory Income Management.

“Why did she send out a team from her government bodies with their discussion paper to talk about the Intervention and ask us how its going? What’s that for when behind our back she’s on the media saying its going to keep being compulsory. That’s not fair. That’s not right, to be controlled like that.When they first went ahead, they didn’t think of consulting with communities in the NT. Now this time, they are coming in a different way. When the people write down that we don’t want that basics card, or anything like this Intervention, are they going to listen to them?”

“We are all Australians, we are all in one country. Why treat the indigenous people like that, with the Basics Card? Its outright discrimination. The whole Intervention isn’t working in communities anyway, the community has just been going down since they started. People are confused. We are suffering because the government is taking the power away”.

Contact: Eleanor Gilbert 0421795639

“Enough is enough” NT Intervention two years on

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES with tags , on 17/06/2009 by D



MEDIA RELEASE for immediate release

June 16, 2009

NT Intervention two years on. Aboriginal people from across the NT travel to Darwin to say “enough is enough.”

Aboriginal people from town camps, communities and homelands right across the Territory leave today to travel to Darwin to meet on June 18-20 as the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA). The gathering will mark two years of the Federal Intervention and aims to consolidate the Territory-wide opposition to the Rudd Government’s continued rollout of the measures.

The Alliance has already met twice in Alice Springs and statements developed at these meetings have been presented at several United Nations forums.

Barbara Shaw a mother from Mount Nancy town camp in Alice Springs says: “I’m travelling long way up to Darwin to join forces with other Aboriginal people, leaders, elders, men and women who against the Intervention. We support homelands and bilingual education and we want basic services without having to sign leases and our land away. We’re meeting to plan a way forward.”

Elaine Peckham Central and Western Arrente woman who is a great grandmother, grandmother and mother from Iteyepinpye homeland says: “we’re travelling to Darwin because we want to meet with Aboriginal people from all of the Northern Territory to talk about our human rights, how the Government’s not respecting us and what we can do about it. When is the Intervention going to end? I feel so strongly about the Intervention, it’s hurting our people young and old. We want to live on our country, our homelands, we’re stronger that way.”

Following the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance meeting, Unions NT is convening a meeting on June 19 for interstate Trade Unions representatives to talk with the PAPA delegates and NT Ministers have also been approached for meetings.

Dave Suttle from Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition says: “It’s great that so many unions want to meet with PAPA, hear their concerns and how they can support Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”

There will be a public rally at Raintree Park at 11am on Saturday 20 June, followed by the Annual Rock Against Racism concert at Browns Mart in the evening.

The events are being organised by the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA), Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition (DARC) and the Alice Springs Intervention Rollback Action Group (IRAG).

Contacts:

Barbara Shaw: 0401 291 166

Elaine Peckham: 0427 302 493

Dave Suttle: 0407 209 520

PLEASE NOTE: Barb and Elaine (members of PAPA) will have limited reception while traveling to Darwin on the bus June 16-17 but are available for comment. If they are unavailable please contact Dave Suttle in Darwin (DARC).

Timeline for Prescribed Area People’s Alliance (PAPA), press conference, union meeting and rally in Darwin

June 16: 9am Bus leaves Alice Springs

June 17: 6pm Bus arrives in Darwin

June 18-19: PAPA meeting in Darwin (Venue TBC)

June 19: 2:30 – 3:00pm PAPA Press conference outside Parliament House in Darwin

June 19: 4:00pm PAPA and Union NT meeting (Venue TBC)

June 20: 11 – 1pm Public rally at Raintree Park

8pm Rock against Racism at Browns Mart

– – – – – – – – – end media release – – – – – – – – –

Source of media release: IRAG <rollbacktheintervention@gmail.com>

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group) Website: http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com

This media release was posted by Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (WGAR) as a community service, with the kind permission of Dave Suttle. Please note, WGAR is not the author of this media release.