Ampilatwatja Anti-Intervention Walk-off Speaking Tour
Restrictions on Bilingual Education in the NT
NT Intervention Chief removed
Call for Stolen Generations Compensation
Homelands / Outstations Policy
Proposed National Indigenous Representative Body
Aboriginal Housing in the NT
Other Aboriginal articles


– Background

Intervention walkoff’s Blog

WGAR News:
Intervention Walk-off community seeks UN support (26 Aug 09)

WGAR News:
Alyawarra people seek UN refugee status (29 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2009/08/29/wgar-news-un-expert-calls-nt-intervention-discriminatory-29-aug-09

– Top Story

National Indigenous Times:
Dreaming of a new Utopia
18 Sep 09: “SICK of having your welfare entitlements
compulsorily controlled by the Rudd government? Tired of
being treated like a third class citizen with no human
rights? Frustrated that you no longer enjoy the protection
of the Racial Discrimination Act? Well, why not do what
Richard Downs and about 200 of his countrymen and women
have done. Walk off your community, and start a new one…
outside the reach of the racist Northern Territory
intervention.” Chris Graham

– National Speaking Tour

Intervention walkoff’s Blog:
October 2009 – Speaking Tour – Sydney~Canberra~Melbourne~Brisbane
“Richard Downs will be visiting Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra
and Melbourne in October to spread the message of the
Alyawarra Elders and to rally support for the walk-off and
the campaign to stop the intervention.”

– Videos

YouTube: Ampilatwatja Anti-Intervention Walk off
Short film by Eleanor Gilbert
15 Sep 09: “From October 6 – 20, Richard Downs will be
speaking in major capital cities across Australia. Richard
is a spokesperson for the Alyawarr people, who have walked
off their community at Ampilatwatja against the NT
Intervention and established a protest camp outside the
boundaries of the “Prescribed Area”.”

Intervention walkoff’s Blog: Ampilatwatja Walk off
[scroll down page] http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/video/

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
14 Sep 09: “Richard Downs – Tiga Bayles spoke with Richard
Downs, spokesperson for the Ampilatwatja Community
Walk-Off. They spoke about Northern Territory Intervention
and the Walk-Off.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

– Statement

Intervention walkoff’s Blog: Appeal to Indigenous leaders
14 Sep 09: ” … I urge that we, as leaders, show true
leadership in Aboriginal ways to bring our people together
as one, or are we too far assimilated that we cannot put
aside our differences and can no longer think in the
traditional way? … Let us stand united against the
federal governments’ Northern Territory Emergency Response
legislation and other racist policies, and the Northern
Territory governments’ homeland policies by (sending
statements to govt and media, walking off communities,
signing on to support groups, attend a gathering) don’t let
the flame die down” Richard Downs, Alyawarr Spokesperson

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Downs calls on nation’s elders to lead more black walk-offs
17 Sep 09: “The man who led the community of Ampilatwatja
in a walk-off is urging Aboriginal leaders around the
nation to get behind the protest action.”


– Extended Interviews and Video; Reports and Resources; News

ABC Four Corners TV: “Going Back to Lajamanu”
14 Sep 09: “Should Aboriginal children in remote schools be
taught in their own language or in English? … Reporter
Debbie Whitmont travels to the Top End to discover what
will happen following a government move to scrap a
controversial 35 year-old experiment in bilingual

– Program Transcript

ABC Four Corners TV: “Going Back to Lajamanu”
“Read the program transcript for Debbie Whitmont’s report
“Going Back to Lajamanu”, first broadcast 14 September

– Further Reading

ABC Four Corners TV: Further Reading
14 Sep 09: “View key reports, statistics and news related
to indigenous education in the Northern Territory. Includes
a detailed chronology of the government’s bilingual
education policy.”

– Related Video
(Coming up on Friday September 25 2009, 6:00 PM ABC TV)

ABC Message Stick: Many Tongues One Voice
20 Sep 09: “Looks at how communities are retrieving their
dormant languages and maintaining these languages through
promoting and teaching not only Aboriginal youth but all

– News

ABC: Bilingual education changes hit roadblock
14 Sep 09: “The chairman of a remote Aboriginal school says
he is going to ignore the Northern Territory Government’s
edict to slash bilingual education. The Government is
making it mandatory for lessons to be taught in English for
the first four hours of every school day. Tonight’s Four
Corners program has been told that that is in direct
contravention of an agreement the Government signed with a
Top End community which guaranteed bilingual education
would continue.”

ABC: Bilingual debate rages in NT
14 Sep 09: “Last week, national literacy and numeracy test
results showed the Northern Territory once again lagged
behind the rest of the country. And the Northern Territory
Government has been accused of plunging Indigenous children
into further disadvantage through a mandatory policy for
teachers to speak English in remote classrooms.”

– Background

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

Friends of Bilingual Learning – Discussion Group
“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)

WGAR News:
NT Aboriginal Languages Policy (25 Nov 08)

WGAR News:
Restrictions on NT Bilingual Education (30 Nov 08)

WGAR News:
Restrictions on Aboriginal Languages in NT schools (4 Dec 08)

WGAR News:
Restrictions on NT Bilingual Education (15 Dec 08)

WGAR News:
NT Aboriginal languages restrictions delayed one year (18 Dec 08)

WGAR News:
Attempts to phase out Bilingual Education in the NT (23 Jun 09)

WGAR News:
Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory (30 Jun 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/2009/07/01/300609-united-nations-concerned-over-northern-territory-intervention/

WGAR News:
Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory (6 Jul 09)
[scroll down page] http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=144662

WGAR News:
Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory (12 Jul 09)
[scroll down page] http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=144730

WGAR News:
Attempts to restrict Aboriginal languages in NT schools (15 Jul 09)


– Background on the appointment of Mike Zissler

Canberra Times:
Silent servant: NT intervention’s new chief kept quiet
31 Mar 09: “The new Northern Territory intervention boss
has been gagged after only four weeks in the job. Former
Canberra bureaucrat Mike Zissler was appointed head of the
emergency response into Aboriginal communities on March 2,
replacing Major-General Dave Chalmers.”

ABC Lateline: New NT intervention head feels community anger
31 Mar 09: “Mike Zissler has just taken over as the head of
the federal intervention in the Northern Terrortiy and
already he is feeling the wrath of a central Australian
Aboriginal community.”

ABC PM: Territory community leaders offended by Federal action
31 Mar 09: “He’s the new man in charge of the Northern
Territory intervention but he’s keeping silent on its
future. Former Canberra bureaucrat Mike Zissler has been
gagged from speaking to the media. PM though was able to
join him as he visited the isolated community of Utopia a
couple of hundred kilometres from Alice Springs. There,
community leaders are frustrated and offended by some of
the Federal Government’s actions.”
[Includes comments by Mike Zissler and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks]

ABC: ‘Immoral’ to charge people to live on their own land:
Aboriginal leader
31 Mar 09: “A Central Australian Aboriginal community
leader [Rosalie Kunoth Monks] has told the new head of the
federal intervention it is immoral to charge rent to people
who are living in humpies on their own land. Mike Zissler
has met residents from the 16 homelands that make up Utopia,
north-east of Alice Springs.”

– News related to the removal of Mike Zissler

ABC: Role of NT Intervention chief quietly scrapped
16 Sep 09: “The Federal Government has today confirmed that
Mike Zissler left his role as Operational Commander of the
Northern Territory Emergency Response in June, despite only
being appointed to the job in March. … Barbara Shaw, from
the Rollback the Intervention group in Alice Springs, says
the Government’s move will make the intervention less

ABC: Intervention changed by stealth: Greens
16 Sep 09: “The Federal Government’s decision not to renew
the contract of the head of the Northern Territory
Emergency Response is another sign the intervention is
being changed by stealth, the Australian Greens say. The
Government has decided to axe the position, which was held
by Mike Zissler, and give control to the Indigenous Affairs
Minister, Jenny Macklin’s department.”

Australian: Opposition says intervention is over
16 Sep 09: “THE Federal Government has been accused of
burying the Northern Territory intervention by quietly
abolishing the position of operational commander. “It
effectively means the intervention is over,” the
Opposition’s indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott said,
adding it was a “very sad day” for Australia.”

Australian: Government abandoned NT intervention, says
opposition indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott
16 Sep 09: “THE government has abandoned the Northern
Territory intervention for business as usual, the
opposition has claimed. It has been confirmed today that the
head of the intervention, Mike Zissler, left in June. The
Government has said today his appointment was always only
ever for a fixed term.”

ABC: Intervention ‘tragedy’: Abbott slams job axing
16 Sep 09: “The Government’s decision not to re-appoint the
head of the Northern Territory intervention shows it is
quietly killing off the policy, the federal Opposition’s
Indigenous affairs spokesman, Tony Abbott, says.”

National Indigenous Times:
Labor says intervention not dead but shifting
17 Sep 09: “Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin has categorically denied Labor is quietly killing
off the Northern Territory intervention. On the contrary,
she says it’s moving into a stage where Aboriginal people
will take more control. … No announcement was made when
the head of the intervention, Mike Zissler, stepped down in
June after only three months in the top job.”

See also: Koori Mail: Intervention not dead: Macklin
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php

ABC: Henderson silent on intervention job
16 Sep 09: “The Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul
Henderson, says he has no comment to make on the departure
of the head of the Northern Territory Emergency Response.”

– Opinion

Australian: PM cuts and runs in NT
20 Sep 09: “THE Labor Party never really supported the
Northern Territory intervention and now the Rudd government
has killed it. The replacement in March of Dave Chalmers as
the operational commander with a Canberra-based bureaucrat
was a sign of bad faith.” Tony Abbott


– News

National Indigenous Times:
Greens table calico petition for Stolen Generations reparations
17 Sep 09: “A Greens Senator has tabled a petition made of
calico in Parliament, calling on the government to go one
step further from its apology to the Stolen Generations and
provide full reparations.”

Koori Mail: Stolen Generation petition tabled
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
17 Sep 09: “A PETITION calling on the Federal Government to
implement the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home
report was tabled in the Senate today. The calico petition,
which was organized by the Bringing Them Home committee in
Western Australia at last year’s Sorry Day event, demands
that all recommendations be Implemented, including


– Background

GetUp! Blogs: Benefits of homeland communities
2 Sep 09: “Homelands play a key role in the
self-determination and preservation of Indigenous culture.
These areas are important for Indigenous Australians and
the broader Australian community as a whole, as they create
valuable benefits for the environment, Indigenous health,
culture, and education.”

WGAR News:
Northern Territory Government’s new Homelands policy (4 Jun 09):

WGAR News:
Marion Scrymgour resigns from Labor Party (6 Jun 09):

WGAR News:
Marion Scrymgour (12 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]

WGAR News:
Marion Scrymgour / Homelands (19 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]

WGAR News:
NT Government Homelands / Outstations Policy (30 Jun 09):
[scroll down page]

– Ongoing Petition

GetUp! Action for Australia: Save the homelands
“UPDATE: Thanks to GetUp members’ support, the delegation
traveled to Canberra to meet with key politicians during
the week of the 7th September. You can see how it went by
watching the video here. The campaign continues so keep
your signatures coming in!”

– News

National Indigenous Times: Labor paid Indigenous
organisations to roll-out homelands policy: Henderson
14 Sep 09: “Labor has admitted it paid half a million
dollars to two powerful Indigenous organisations to smooth
the roll-out of controversial policies. But Northern
Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson has denied it was
“hush money” or an attempt to buy community support.”


– Background

WGAR News:
Proposed national Indigenous body (29 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2009/08/29/wgar-news-un-expert-calls-nt-intervention-discriminatory-29-aug-09

WGAR News:
More media responses to proposed national Indigenous body (31 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/310809-more-media-responses-to-un-expert-james-anaya/

WGAR News:
Still more media responses to proposed national Indigenous body
[scroll down page] http://wgar.info/2009/09/03/3-sep-2009-governments-review-of-aboriginal-housing-scheme-in-the-nt/

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
The Pointed View: Debating a black body
17 Sep 09: “For the first time in modern politics, the
Australian Government is without an Indigenous advisory
body – elected or otherwise. Which is why we must debate
the new national rep body model, writes PROF LARISSA

National Indigenous Times:
At Large: Suffering from electile dysfunction?
17 Sep 09: “Black rep bodies don’t have a monopoly on
political problems, writes CHRIS GRAHAM*. Jesus Christ
himself could have descended from the heavens to announce
to the world that the new National Representative Body
proposed to replace ATSIC was the perfect model, and The
Australian newspaper would have still bagged it.”

Green Left: A new Aboriginal peak body?
13 Sep 09: “Aboriginal Social Justice Commissioner Tom
Calma released the Our Future in Our Hands report to the
National Press Club on August 27. It outlined a proposed
structure for a new national body to represent Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people. However, the federal
government has already said it will not adequately fund it.
The proposal has also come under fire from some Indigenous
leaders.” Peter Robson

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
7 Sep 09: “Professor Larissa Behrendt – Tiga Bayles spoke
with Professor of Law & Director of Research at the
Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS in Sydney,
Larissa Behrendt. They spoke about Northern Territory
Intervention and National Rep Body.”
Listen to this interview on-line:


– Background

WGAR News:
Government failure over Northern Territory Aboriginal housing (24 July 09)

WGAR News:
Governments’ review of Aboriginal housing scheme in the NT (3 Sep 09)

WGAR News:
Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps Takeover Delayed (8 Aug 09)

– Opinion

On Line Opinion: Manufacturing Indigenous homes
17 Sep 09: “After reading various reports about the
Strategic Indigenous Housing Infrastructure Program (SIHIP)
in the Northern Territory, the project designed to build
750 houses for Aboriginal people and refurbish older
housing stock, I concluded the program was retreating
rather than advancing.” Don Allan

– News

ABC: Wanted: new boss for Indigenous housing
21 Sep 09: “The Federal Government has created a new role
within the controversial $672 million Strategic Indigenous
Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP). The Department
of Indigenous Affairs is advertising nationally for an
executive director to run the overall strategy for the
program, which is charged with building 750 new houses in
Aboriginal communities by 2013.”

ABC: Town camp issues ‘not just bricks and mortar’
21 Sep 09: “Indigenous residents of Alice Springs say the
Federal Government’s plan to address chronic overcrowding
and violence in town camps will not be enough to fix the
problem. … But the Indigenous residents in the camps say
their problems run deeper than just bricks and mortar. And
the deal has been stalled because of a legal challenge by a
camp resident, who says the lease deal isn’t fair.”

ABC: Indigenous housing policy ‘haemorrhaging money’
17 Sep 09: “The Federal Opposition says the Government’s
$672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program is “haemorrhaging money” because the
program did not have a solid foundation.”

National Indigenous Times:
Housing failures have underminded NT intervention: Coalition
16 Sep 09: “The Rudd government has undermined the
intervention into remote Indigenous communities in the
Northern Territory by bungling its $672 million housing
scheme, the federal coalition says. Opposition housing
spokesman Scott Morrison has told parliament the Strategic
Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) was a
national disgrace and Labor had let down Aboriginal

– Radio

ABC AM: Towns camp residents want more than houses
21 Sep 09: “The town camps of Alice Springs are notorious
for chronic overcrowding. The Federal Government is
promising to fix up the camps by building 85 new houses and
bringing infrastructure up to the same standard as that in
other parts of Alice Springs. But the Indigenous residents
in the camps say that their problems run far deeper.”
[includes comments by Kevin Wirri and Bob Durnan]


– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
10 Sep 09: “Les Malezer – Tiga Bayles spoke with
Chairperson of the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander
Research Action (FAIRA), Les Malezer. They spoke about
Northern Territory Intervention and Suspension of the Racial
Discrimination Act.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

– Media Release

Indymedia Australia:
Melbourne attacks on Indians “reflect Australian racism”
17 Sep 09: “A northwest NSW Aboriginal political activist
says the assault on four Indian men outside a bar in
Melbourne this week is representative of the hidden racism
that exists in Australia. Michael Anderson, last survivor
of the four Black Power activists who set up the Aboriginal
Embassy outside Parliament House in Canberra in 1972, says
politicians remaining mute on these racist attacks reflects
badly on Australia as a nation.”

– Opinion

New Matilda:
Does International Law Matter On Remote Communities?
21 Sep 09: “Supporters of the NT Intervention can’t deny
that it contravenes our international human rights
commitments, writes Michel Streich. The real question is:
why does that matter?” Michel Streich

National Indigenous Times:
EDITORIAL Perceiving racism
17 Sep 09: “For Aboriginal people, tales of racism are
nothing new. Whether it has happened to their grandparents,
their parents, their cousins, their friends, or themselves,
I would bet that the majority of Aboriginal Australians
could recount a story where they have been belittled on the
basis of their ethnicity.” Amy McQuire, acting editor

National Indigenous Times:
The Big Read: Trust or Treachery?
17 Sep 09: “When the ALP was ushered into power in 2007,
there were many who held out great hope they would see a
change in the way government engaged with Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people. But has it? Many have
doubted the ALP’s commitment. Federal, territory and state
Labor have all implemented controversial policies that will
be detrimental to the very people supposed to benefit. The
truth is a change of government has not brought a change of
life chances for Indigenous Australians. JEFF MCMULLEN, one
of Australia’s most respected journalists, argues in this
special NIT feature that there needs to be a partnership
built on trust, rather than on the past record of

– News

ABC: Aborigines don’t want ‘sit-down money’
17 Sep 09: “An Alice Springs town camp community leader
says the Federal Government needs to increase its economic
development efforts in Indigenous communities. Barbara Shaw
says the need is more urgent since the Federal Government
started moving people away from Community Development
Employment Projects (CDEP) onto Work for the Dole in July.”

Australian IT: Tech to prevent welfare cheats
17 Sep 09: “More than 18,000 welfare recipients have been
issued with a BasicsCard in the past 12 months, … But
these restrictions are seemingly not sufficient, with the
government now seeking ways to automate “product level
compliance” – essentially ensuring merchants don’t bend
the rules by supplying alcohol, cigarettes or other banned
items in the absence of audits.”

Australian: Union slams NT teacher staffing
16 Sep 09: “ABOUT one in five students in the Northern
Territory is not assigned a teacher as a result of
government policy to staff schools based on attendance
rates rather than the number of students enrolled at a
school. … The policy runs counter to federal and
territory efforts to encourage students, particularly in
indigenous communities, to attend school regularly, … “

Koori Mail: Native Title laws set to pass
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
14 Sep 09: “DRAFT laws that aim to speed up the resolution
of native title claims are set to be passed by Federal
Parliament. The amendments to the Native Title Act propose
to give the Federal Court the power to manage the mediation
of land claims by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island

Green Left:
Activists confront Pearson on support for NT intervention
13 Sep 09: “Aboriginal rights supporters and environmental
activists protested at the opening of the Brisbane Writers’
Festival on September 9, where the keynote speaker was
conservative Aboriginal figure Noel Pearson. Local Murri
leader and Socialist Alliance member Sam Watson organised
the protest. He said that while the UN human rights
rapporteur had recently denounced the Northern Territory
intervention as “racist”, Pearson championed the policy.”


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