Archive for October, 2009


Posted in NEWSLETTER on 26/10/2009 by D

Reinstating the RDA (Racial Discrimination Act)
Other NT Intervention Articles
Other Aboriginal Articles


Indymedia Australia: Racial Discrimination Act to be
restored for Northern Territory Aborigines
16 Oct 09: “By Amnesty International Australia. It sounds
too good to be true. The Australian government says it will
next week start the process that will reinstate the Racial
Discrimination Act in the Northern Territory and give
Aboriginal people back the rights that non-Indigenous
Australians enjoy — and which they never should have been
denied in the first place. Yet there’s a sting in the tail:
right now politicians are talking up loopholes that will
allow the continuation of discriminatory and demeaning
‘special measures’ in the Northern Territory, such as the
compulsory quarantining of welfare payments. … “

Rollback the Intervention:
Amnesty campaign: No conditions, no excuses Mr Rudd
Oct 09: “Amnesty International is currently running a
campaign to tell the Prime Minister that the Racial
Discrimination Act should be reinstated immediately.
Considering that this legislation is not listed to be
introduced into Parliament this month (as promised by
Minister Macklin) it is important for as many people as
possible to support this campaign. Australia is a disgrace
in the international community whilst it continues the
racist policies of the Northern Territory intervention.
Link to Amnesty petition:

Green Left: Reinstating the RDA is hypocrisy
25 Oct 09: “Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin
announced in May that the federal Labor government would
reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act by the end of
October. But she has also said key policies of the Northern
Territory Emergency Response (NTER) would remain –
discriminatory policies that required the suspension of the
RDA to be passed. It now appears unlikely the government
will live up to its promise to reinstate the RDA in October.
But the fact that such a commitment was made, while pledging
to retain such racist policies, makes a mockery of any
concerns about racial discrimination the government might
claim to have.” Peter Robson

FaHCSIA: 3. The Racial Discrimination Act and other human
rights obligations
“When the Government accepted the third overarching
recommendation of the NTER Review Board it committed to
ensuring that Government actions affecting Aboriginal
communities respect Australia’s human rights obligations.
This does not mean that the NTER measures will have to
stop. … The Government will introduce legislation into
the Parliament in October 2009 to remove the provisions in
the three pieces of legislation that exclude the operation
of the RDA and the Northern Territory anti-discrimination


– Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response

– Coming Up on TV

Rollback the Intervention:
Report on filming of SBS programme Insight
(to be screened 27 October)
[scroll down page]
Oct 09: “Richard Downs, who had been invited by SBS to take
part in the programme, was advised that he would not be
able to speak as the programme had been changed to only
focus on housing in Santa Teresa and Alice Springs. Richard
expressed his views about this and opted not be a part of
the audience. … The small IRAG [Intervention Rollback
Action Group] protest group drew attention with their
silent but bannerly-visible protest … “

See: SBS Insight: Fixing Indigenous Housing
– Will the Government deliver?

ABC1 TV: Message Stick – Giving Voice
“1:30pm Sunday, 08 Nov 2009 … The Intervention into
Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory has not
had the best of publicity. In the two years since it was
announced, there has been mixed opinion of its outcomes.”

– Upcoming Events

Rollback the Intervention: Upcoming Events
[scroll down page]
“* 27 October 2009
Closing date for submissions regarding the possible
compulsory acquisition of the Alice Springs Town Camps. …
* 16 November 2009
Follow on from “Racism Hurts – Enough is Enough” gathering.
Andy McNeill Room Town Council complex [Alice Springs]:
Details to be advised. …
* 12 December 2009
International Human Rights Day Celebrations. Plans underway
for an event in Mparntwe-Alice Springs …
* 13 February 2010
National Day of Action
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Byron Bay,
Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth
2nd Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations
Still no compensation
Still a racist NT Intervention
Still Deaths in Custody
Less jobs, more imprisonment for Aboriginal people”

– Radio

(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
22 Oct 09: “Australia changing it’s view on the Federal


Age: Indigenous housing back on track: govt
23 Oct 09: “The federal government department that oversees
an indigenous housing project in the Northern Territory has
defended the rate at which new dwellings are being
constructed to address chronic overcrowding. The NT
opposition wants a royal commission into the government’s
$672 million promise to build 750 new homes in the
territory by 2012, citing serious construction delays and
mishandling of funds.”

ABC: Aboriginal housing plan ‘ahead of schedule’
23 Oct 09: “A senior federal bureaucrat says the target for
Indigenous housing in the Northern Territory will be
exceeded next year and 200 houses will be built. Earlier
this year, the Federal Government announced a revamp of the
$670 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure program, when it was revealed that no houses
had been built.”

ABC Alice Springs: Academic urges homeland health support
21 Oct 09: “An expert from Charles Darwin University says
the Northern Territory Government’s plan to develop ‘hubs’
in remote areas will not work unless homelands continue to
be supported. Professor Stephen Garnett will deliver a
speech this evening in Alice Springs organised by the
University’s Centre for Remote Health.”


– TV

Coming Up

ABC1 TV: Message Stick – Maralinga: The Anangu Story
“6:00pm Friday, 30 Oct 2009 … 50 years ago secret atomic
tests were carried out at a place called Maralinga in South
Australia. The traditional Aboriginal communities were to
be moved but somehow they were covered in radioactive
fallout. Part 2 of 2.”

See this related link: ‘Britain must compensate Aboriginal
people for radioactive fallout’
[scroll down page]


Posted in NEWSLETTER on 23/10/2009 by D

Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)
NT Intervention articles
Other Aboriginal articles


– Urgent Action

Amnesty International Australia – Working to Protect Human Rights:
No conditions, no excuses Mr Rudd
14 Oct 09: “Suspending the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA)
allows racially discriminatory actions to occur – and this
is exactly what happened in the roll out of the Northern
Territory Intervention. … The Federal Government has
promised to take steps to reinstate the RDA as soon as next
week. However, the Government is proposing to designate
some discriminatory practices, such as welfare quarantining,
as a ‘special measure’ to allow them to continue. Such
‘special measures’ would defeat the purpose and the spirit
of the reinstatement of the RDA. It is important that the
reinstatement of the RDA should contain no loopholes to
allow racial discrimination to continue. Call on the
Federal Government now to reinstate the RDA in full… no
conditions, no excuses! … Take action now – Send a letter
to the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, by clicking on the ACT
NOW button on right-hand side of this page.”

– News

ABC: Amnesty demands changes to intervention
19 Oct 09: “Amnesty International is calling for people to
write to the Prime Minister to demand immediate changes to
the Northern Territory intervention in Aboriginal
communities. The Federal Government has promised to
reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act, but says it will
keep welfare quarantining in remote communities.”

SMH: Aboriginal intervention plan rebadged to meet race
discrimination laws
18 Oct 09: “THE Federal Government’s intervention into
indigenous communities will be rebadged as a positive
measure as part of its plan to make the policy comply with
anti-discrimination laws. Legislation reinstating the
Racial Discrimination Act is expected to be introduced into
Parliament as soon as this week.” Stephanie Peatling

National Indigenous Times:
Rudd govt should rework or scrap intervention: QC
15 Oct 09: “A leading human rights lawyer says the federal
government must rework or scrap racist elements of the
intervention program in remote Indigenous communities and
honour Australia’s obligations under international law.
Labor is moving to reinstate the legislation that allowed
some of the more controversial measures to be rolled out.
But Julian Burnside, QC, said Australia would fail as a
signatory to a number of UN conventions and violate its own
laws, unless there are changes to the intervention’s
“overtly discriminatory” measures.”


– Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response

– Activities

Rollback the Intervention: Support
Oct 2009: “Current work (October 2009) [by IRAG –
Intervention Rollback Action Group] includes informing and
supporting Alice Springs town camp residents in their
efforts to get the federal government to listen to their
concerns about the proposed takeover of their land and
homes. These efforts have also been supported by the Human
Rights Law Resource Centre who have helped lodge court
cases in the Federal Court in Melbourne. IRAG is also
working on helping residents put in submissions to the
government about their concerns regarding Minister
Macklin’s threat of compulsory acquisition of their town
camps if they don’t sign over their land for 40 + 40 years.
… A campaign is continuing to pressure the government to
keep its pre-election promise to reinstate the Racial
Discrimination Act.”

– Events

Rollback the Intervention:
[Alice Springs] Assimilation and the Intervention Community Forum
“Wednesday 21st October
Andy McNeill Room 7-10pm
[Alice Springs Town Council]
Speakers include:
Richard Downs, Alyawarr Elder from Ampilatwatja
The Ampilatwatja walkoff and East Coast speakout
Barbara Shaw, Mount Nancy resident
Campaigning against the Intervention
Chris Graham, editor National Indigenous Times
On Racism
and more on the night!
BBQ on Town Council Lawns from 6pm.
Speakers will start from 7pm All welcome!
evening organised by IRAG
[IRAG – Intervention Rollback Action Group]

Stop the Intervention: Ampilatwatja Walk-off Info
Report on Ampilatwatja speaking tour
Oct 09: “The recent visit to Sydney of Richard Downs,
spokesperson for the Ampilatwatja walk-off in the Northern
Territory and Harry Nelson from Yuendumu (NT) was a great
success. The strong stand taken by the community at
Ampilatwatja and the clear leadership shown by Richard and
Harry galvanised profound support for the fight against the
Intervention. Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney has
been able to more seriously engage with a range of
progressive organisations and the campaign is building
momentum within the trade union movement. Following some
significant contributions from unions and individual
supporters, enough money has been raised to sink a bore to
supply water for the walk-off camp.”

Socialist Alternative:
Tour builds solidarity for Aboriginal walk-off
Oct 09: “In July, Aboriginal people walked off the
government-controlled community of Ampilatwatja in the
Northern Territory. Protesting against years of racism and
government neglect, the people of Ampilatwatja (pronounced
“umblud-witch”) have established a permanent protest camp,
vowing not to return to a life under government control.
Now, a speaking tour down the east coast of Australia has
started to galvanise union and community support for the
protest, and for other Aboriginal communities resisting the
Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER, or Northern
Territory Intervention).” Jerome Small

Green Left: ‘Stop toxic racism!’
19 Oct 09: “MELBOURNE — “The government wants the land
because there’s uranium underneath it!” Aboriginal activist
Robbie Thorpe told a vibrant October 16 rally protesting
against the NT intervention. He was referring to the
compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal land, one of the
intervention’s policies. “Racism has reared its ugly red
face.” Aboriginal people and supporters called on the
federal government and Aboriginal affairs minister Jenny
Macklin to halt the intervention and reinstate the Racial
Discrimination Act.”

Green Left: NT intervention: ‘a land grab’
19 Oct 09: “The Ampilawatja walk-off national speaking tour
is spreading the word about life under the Northern
Territory intervention and the Aboriginal elders who have
walked off their community in opposition.”

– Photo

Sydney Indymedia: Richard Downs portrait
19 Oct 09

– Interview

Socialist Alternative: Interview with Aboriginal activists
Richard Downs and Harry Nelson
Oct 09: “On Friday 16 October, Richard Downs and Harry
Nelson addressed a packed public meeting of 240 people at
the MAYSAR Aboriginal gym in Fitzroy, Melbourne. After the
meeting Richard Downs spoke to Christine Brown from the
Nunga Wangga show on Radio Adelaide, and Ford D from
Socialist Alternative magazine. …
Christine Brown: Can you tell us what led you to walking off
your community? …
Ford D: In your opinion what is exactly behind the
Intervention? Why are they doing this?”

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
Margin Notes: Why Jenny Macklin earned an Ernie
15 Oct 09: “EVA COX* nominated the Minister for Indigenous
Affairs in the annual Ernies. Here she explains why the NT
intervention is both racist and sexist. Once a year, Sydney
feminists gather for the annual Ernies’ awards dinner,
named after a deeply sexist trade unionist and run by a
group of feminist politicians.” Dr Eva Cox, a prominent
Australian feminist and a lecturer at the University of
Technology, Sydney

– Radio

CAAMA Radio news
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
19 Oct 09: “Federal Government is reportedly wanting to
promote the Intervention as a positive thing.”

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
13 Oct 09: “Glen Dooley – Karen Dorante spoke with North
Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) Principal
Legal Officer, Glen Dooley. They spoke about diversion
programs in Communities, Indigenous kids in court,
incarceration of Indigenous people, Northern Territory
Intervention, legal system and the legal education DVD.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

– News

Green Left: Racism begets violence in Alice Springs
19 Oct 09: “Five Alice Springs men have been charged for
the July 25 bashing of Aboriginal man … The killing is
part of a spate of racist violence that has plagued Alice
Springs over recent months. … The rise in racist violence
comes in the context of federal government policies that
clearly discriminate against Aboriginal people – the NT

SMH: All-in communities will be death of the Yolngu, elder says
17 Oct 09: ” Ancestral homelands are a life force, Lindsay
Murdoch reports. Gawirrin Gumana is deeply troubled.
Sitting in a wheelchair with his Order of Australia
insignia around his neck, the most senior traditional
leader in Arnhem Land warns that white men’s politics
threaten his Yolngu people’s future.”


– Activities

What’s Working: Aboriginal women have answers themselves
2009: “Having white people tell you what to do once again
is repeating history. By taking control of our own land the
government is taking control of our heart and spirit
Mitch, an Eastern Arrente woman from the Engawala community …
Below are some stories of the many programs that are
working in education, health, the law and other areas. … ”

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
The Pointed View: More wrongs than rights
15 Oct 09: “There was a lot of hope in the ALP’s national
human rights consultations, but once again the losers are
Indigenous people, writes PROF LARISSA BEHRENDT*. After a
nation-wide consultation process, the National Human Rights
Consultation Committee has produced its report. It
recommends that there be a Charter of Rights for Australia.
But what does it say on the rights of Indigenous people?”
Larissa Behrendt, a Professor of Law at the University of
Technology Sydney

– TV

Coming Up

ABC1 TV: Message Stick – Maralinga: The Anangu Story: Part One
“6:00pm Friday, 23 Oct 2009 … 50 years ago secret atomic
tests were carried out at a place called Maralinga in South
Australia. The traditional Aboriginal communities were to
be moved but somehow they were covered in radioactive
fallout. Part 1 of 2.”

See this related link: ‘Britain must compensate Aboriginal
people for radioactive fallout’
[scroll down page]

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Rights debate heats up as report handed down
15 Oct 09: “A report into the findings of nationwide human
rights consultations has found overwhelming support for a
Human Rights Act in Australia. It also found that the
protection of Indigenous rights is still a central concern.
The National Human Rights Consultation Report, outlines the
findings of The National Human Rights Consultation
Committee, which was commissioned by the federal government
in December last year to determine which human rights
should be protected and promoted in Australia.”
Madelaine Sealey

National Indigenous Times:
Abbott views ‘outdated’: CLC
15 Oct 09: “One of Australia’s most powerful Aboriginal
land councils has lashed out at opposition spokesman on
Indigenous affairs Tony Abbott, accusing him of holding
“outdated and purely ideological” views. Mr Abbott said
that he was going to investigate whether the Central Land
Council (CLC) should be broken up into a set of smaller

National Indigenous Times:
School rise not due to welfare reforms: Sarra
15 Oct 09: “Tough welfare reforms in Cape York are making
it harder, not easier, to get kids to attend school,
despite attendance almost doubling in one community, a
leading Indigenous educator says. Dr Chris Sarra accused
the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC) of taking
undue credit for the jump in attendance from 37 to 63 per
cent at Aurukun in the past year.”

National Indigenous Times:
Black jail rate jumps due to sentencing, report says
15 Oct 09: “An increase in the number of juveniles and
Indigenous people sent to jail in NSW is being attributed
to tougher sentencing in courts, not an increase in crime.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has
released research showing the adult Indigenous imprisonment
rate rose 48 per cent between 2001 and 2008.”


Posted in NEWSLETTER on 17/10/2009 by D


WGAR website:

NT Intervention articles
Other Aboriginal articles


– Background on the Northern Territory Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response

– Media Releases & Statements

Council of Churches of Western Australia:
Statement on Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act NT
[scroll down page]
9 Oct 09: “The Executive of the Council of Churches of
Western Australia (CCWA) welcomes the move of the Federal
Government to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act in
the Northern Territory, and calls for the Federal
Government to go further to review all Aboriginal policies
to ensure that they are in line with Australia’s
international obligations, especially those now involved
with the Northern Territory Intervention.”

Australian government accused of disempowering Aboriginal peoples
8 Oct 09: ” … In a statement issued today Richard Downs
accuses the Australian government of disempowering
Aboriginal peoples: “The NT Emergency Response (NTER)
measures have disempowered Aboriginal people. The
suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act has taken away
our rights. It has taken away our land rights, our
ownership and control. We have no say in the running of our
communities or lands. There is no self-determination. We
are taking our message to the Australian public to let them
know exactly what is happening under the NTER. We need to
get rid of the racial discrimination policies that are
imposed by the federal government!” “

Australia must honour its obligations under International Law
[download the document]
7 Oct 09: “In April this year Australia joined 144 other
countries in giving public support to the Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In conjunction with this,
the government announced its intention to reinstate the
Racial Discrimination Act in the Northern Territory during
the spring sitting of Parliament. … Australia has given
its very public support to the Declaration of the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples. It is essential that the directions
provided by Professor Anaya be given serious attention, as
government strives to implement new legislation that will
fully comply with its international obligations.
Julian Burnside AO QC”

Intervention walkoff’s Blog:
Statements – Appeal to our Church leaders:
28 Sep 09: “Our fathers you came to us in our peoples need
in last 200 years, our needs now are much greater, our
cultures, traditions and custom, are holding on by a single
strand. Return to us once again and walk with us as one
people, share with us our journey to stand against racist
policies that create divisions. Richard Downs, Spokesperson
for Alyawarr people”

Victorian Council of Churches:
A Statement from the Executive of the Victorian Council of Churches
“The Executive of the Victorian Council of Churches (VCC)
calls upon the Federal Government to take the opportunity
provided by the reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination
Act to review all Aboriginal policies to ensure that they
are in line with Australia’s international obligations. UN
Special Rapporteur Professor James Anaya has pointed out
that the Northern Territory Intervention, in its current
form and in its delivery, “is incompatible with Australia’s
obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Australia is a
party to both treaties. The intervention is also
incompatible with the Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, which Australia supports”.”

National Council of Churches in Australia NATSIEC:
Media Statement – NATSIEC supports Special Rapporteur’s findings
[scroll down page]
31 Aug 09: “The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC) has welcomed the
statement by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on his recent
visit to Australia. Graeme Mundine, Executive Secretary of
NATSIEC, said that Professor Anaya had visited Australia at
the invitation of the Federal Government and during his
short visit had talked to a wide range of Indigenous and
non-Indigenous people. Mr Mundine described the remarks by
Professor Anaya as insightful, but also expressed concern at
comments rejecting Anaya’s statement.”

Media Release by the Uniting Church:
Territory Intervention highlighted for UN Rapporteur
[scroll down page]
20 Aug 09: “The Uniting Church in Australia has taken its
vehement opposition to the Northern Territory Emergency
Response to the United Nations. The Uniting Church has
written to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the
Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of
Indigenous People, currently visiting Australia, to draw
his attention to the concerns being expressed by Indigenous
members of the Uniting Church.”

– Events

Intervention walkoff’s Blog: Speaking Tour – Brisbane
“Brisbane – Saturday 17th October, 1.30pm, Kurlipa Hall,
174 Boundary Street, West End
With Reverend Aunty Alex Gater, Aboriginal Women For Change
Brisbane – Monday 19th October, 1pm, Room 214,
Gordon Greenwood Building (32), University of Queensland.”

Stop the Intervention: Speaking tour
Ampilatwatja walk-off against NT Intervention;
6 – 20 October 2009
[scroll down page]

– Video

Intervention walkoff’s Blog – Video:
[scroll down page]
“October 7, 2009 Ampilatwatja speaking tour forum at UTS, Sydney.
The NT Intervention in Crisis, Why Jenny Macklin must resign
… Speech by Chris Graham, Editor National Indigenous Times
… Speech by Richard Downs”

– Speeches

Stop the Intervention: Ampilatwatja Walk-off
Oct 09: “Richard Downs’ Speech”

Social Policy Connections: Legal profession statements October 2009
Oct 09: “This is an edited extract of the Archbishop Daniel
Mannix Memorial Lecture delivered on Tuesday by Alastair
Nicholson, former chief justice of the Family Court of
Australia. … A formal treaty with indigenous people might
be the catalyst for more meaningful engagement, which the
intervention has not achieved, says Alastair Nicholson. … “

– Radio & Audio

(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
14 Oct 09: “* Tasmanian Aboriginal rights campaigner arrested at a protest. …
* A visiting senior human rights lawyer says Tangentyere
town camp residents must be provided with an opportunity to
participate with decision making of their own lives.”

ABC Radio National: Late Night Live: Ampilatwatja Protest
13 Oct 09: “A conversation about the protest by elders and
others from the Ampilatwatja community in central Australia.
Three months ago over a hundred people walked out of the
small community and refused to go back until the federal
government responded to their complaints about the lack of
consultation and restrictions placed on them under the
Northern Territory Emergency Response.
Guest: Richard Downs, Spokesman for the Ampilatwatja
community protest.
Presenter: Phillip Adams
Story Researcher and Producer: Chris Bullock”

(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
13 Oct 09: “Unresolved issues with an Utopia community store.”

CAAMA Radio Morning News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
12 Oct 09: “The Fed. Government has once again critisiced
after delaying action in dealing with housing needs for
Indigenous Australia.”

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
9 Oct 09: “Federal Opposition Indigenous Affairs
spokesperson Tony Abbott says he can understand why people
are disappointed with the Emergency response.”

CAAMA Radio Morning News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
8 Oct 09: “A leading Australian Human Rights lawyer says
Labour needs rework or scrap racist [elements of the NT

Intervention walkoff’s Blog – Audio:
2 Oct 09: “Richard Downs speaking in Sydney at the start of
the Ampilatwatja walk off east coast speaking tour”

– Opinion

On Line Opinion: The Northern Territory In(ter)vasion
14 Oct 09: “The saga of the Intervention will continue
until Prime Minister Rudd appoints a competent Minister for
Indigenous Affairs who can relate to Aborigines in a way
which respects their dignity, listens to what it is they
have to say, and upholds their rights to have the same
protection against racial discrimination as other
Australians. Such a Minister might even try to act in ways
which are compatible with the United Nations Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
John Tomlinson, a visiting scholar at QUT

Solidarity: It’s time to unite
Oct 09: “In July Aboriginal elders from the Ampilatwatja
community began a walk-off protest against the
Intervention. Solidarity spoke to Richard Downs, one of the
protest leaders. Where has the idea of the walk-off come
from? In the 1940s a few of our Alyawarr elders, now in
their mid-80s, were involved in a walk-off from Lake Nash
station. They were standing up to get the same rights as
the white people.”

Solidarity: Intervention fuels racist violence in Alice Springs
Oct 09: ” … The blame for increasing racism lies at the
feet of the federal government. Barbara Shaw, a resident of
Mt Nancy town camp and spokesperson for the Intervention
Rollback Action Group says, “We’ve got racial tensions in
this town because of the NT Intervention. They suspended
the Racial Discrimination Act to roll out a policy which
treats Aboriginal people as second-class citizens. This
opened the door for more racism from the general
community”.” Lauren Mellor

Green Left: NT walk-off: solidarity needed
10 Oct 09: “On October 9, 100 people gathered at the
Manning Clark Centre at the Australian National University,
to hear about the Northern Territory intervention and the
inspiring Alyawarra people’s walk-off at Ampilatwatja in
the NT. The speakers were Harry Nelson from Yuendumu, NT,
walk-off spokesperson Richard Downs, and Michael Anderson,
founder of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.”
Lara Pullin, Canberra

Green Left:
NT walk-off: Indigenous community defies racist intervention
10 Oct 09: “In early October, Green Left Weekly visited the
Alyawarr people’s walk-off camp, three hours north-east of
Alice Springs. … Ampilatwatja, part of around 300 square
kilometres handed back to the Alyawarra people in 1976, is
one of the communities compulsorily acquired under the
intervention. Elders at the walk-off camp told GLW they
felt shame and anger at the discriminatory measures of the
intervention.” Peter Robson & Emma Murphy

Arena: Contracting Out Indigenous Futures
Sep 09: “Noel Pearson and Peter Sutton both take an
assimilationist turn writes Geoff Sharp … Noel Pearson,
as Indigenous activist and intellectual, has consolidated
his national prominence of late; some even suggest that he
is on course to emulate Obama by moving on to seek election
as a federal parliamentary figure. … ”
Geoff Sharp, General Editor of Arena Publications

– Discussion Paper

CAEPR – Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research:
Ideology, Evidence and Competing Principles in Australian
Indigenous Affairs:
From Brough to Rudd via Pearson and the NTER
William Sanders – Discussion Paper 289 / 2009
13 Oct 09: “Abstract: This paper tracks the recent rise of
ideology and evidence discourse as a way of describing good
and bad Indigenous affairs policy. Expressing
dissatisfaction with this discourse, it suggests a slightly
more complex analytic way of thinking about Indigenous
affairs involving three competing principles; equality,
choice and guardianship. … ” William Sanders

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Indigenous demountable housing to be put on Christmas Island
16 Oct 09: “Plans to relocate demountable housing from
Alice Springs to Christmas Island have sparked a barrage of
criticism, with the Rudd government accused of pilfering
from impoverished Aboriginal people. The dongas will be
used to provide housing as well as recreational and office
facilities at the rapidly filling detention facility.”

Australian: Mal Brough says use dongas in Northern
Territory to house asylum-seekers,25197,26216509-5013871,00.html
16 Oct 09: “FORMER federal indigenous affairs minister Mal
Brough says demountable buildings being sent to house
asylum-seekers should be used to ease the accommodation
crisis in indigenous communities, despite claims they fail
to meet national guidelines.”

ABC: Alice’s unused demountables rile Brough
15 Oct 09: “Former federal Indigenous affairs minister, Mal
Brough, says it is appalling that demountables sitting in
Alice Springs for three years have not been used as
emergency accommodation in the town. … The organisation
managing town camps in Alice Springs says demountables are
not suitable for housing Aboriginal people.”

Australian: Asylum housing ‘not pilfered’,25197,26211948-5013871,00.html
15 Oct 09: “DEMOUNTABLES previously used to house
asylum-seekers in Woomera are on the way to Christmas
Island detention centre amid claims the Rudd government is
“pilfering” crisis accommodation intended for indigenous

ABC: Indigenous Australians ‘making way’ for asylum seekers
15 Oct 09: “The Federal Opposition has criticised the
Government’s decision to send demountable buildings to
Christmas Island to house extra asylum seekers.”

ABC: Town camp residents ‘denied investment say’
14 Oct 09: “A human rights lawyer says a $100 million
investment in Alice Springs town camps will not achieve the
Federal Government’s aims unless residents have a greater
say in how and where new houses are built. Ben Schockman is
representing town camp residents opposed to a 40-year-lease
deal signed between the camp housing associations and the
Government earlier this year.”

Australian: Indigenous housing to go to boat people,25197,26210093-5006790,00.html
14 Oct 09: “THE Rudd Government has been accused of
pilfering from Aborigines over claims it plans to relocate
demountable housing from Alice Springs to Christmas Island.”

St Marys Star: ‘This is 2009, not the 1700s’
13 Oct 09: “TREGEAR was the sixth stop in Richard Downs’
national speaking tour on the Northern Territory
intervention. A big turnout packed Wundunarrkoo Hall on
Sunday to hear one man’s views on the restrictions
Aborigines face in remote Northern Territory communities.
… it’s the removal of Aboriginal land rights that has
angered communities the most.”

ABC: Leader of an Aboriginal protest group arrested
13 Oct 09: “The spokesperson for Tasmania’s Aboriginal
centre has been arrested during a vocal protest outside a
community cabinet meeting in Hobart. … Indigenous
protesters have gathered outside, holding banners and
waving aboriginal flags. They are angry about the Federal
Government’s quarantining of welfare payments for
Aborigines in the Northern Territory.”

ABC: Call for Army to hasten remote housing
13 Oct 09: “The independent Member for MacDonnell says the
Northern Territory Government must start considering
radical initiatives to get houses built in remote
Indigenous communities. Alison Anderson deserted Labor over
concerns the Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program would deliver less than half the
promised houses.”

Impunuty Watch: Oceania: Australian Aboriginal Leader and
Advocates Criticize NT Intervention
12 Oct 09: “Aboriginal elder Richard Downs, along with
various political and legal adversaries, has accused the
Australian government of racism against the aboriginal
people. Downs criticizes the NT Emergency Response (NTER)
measures, stating that the measures have disempowered
Aboriginal people.”
Cindy Trinh, Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

ABC: Community store issues causing ‘division’
12 Oct 09: “The president of the Barkly Shire, Rosalie
Kunoth-Monks, says a delay in resolving issues at a
community store is causing division in the Utopia homelands.”

SMH: Government considers tracing welfare money
11 Oct 09: “PEOPLE who receive family assistance payments
or welfare could have their purchases tracked via barcodes
as part of a new income-management system being explored by
the Federal Government. Spending would be controlled by
making welfare and other payments available through
Eftpos-style cards that could allow recipients to buy only
products such as food, clothing and household goods.”

National Indigenous Times:
Intervention undoes 50 years of progress: Aboriginal elder
9 Oct 09: “The Northern Territory intervention is a racist
policy that undoes fifty years of progress, Aboriginal
elder Richard Downs says. Mr Downs is on a speaking tour to
rally support for a protest camp set up outside the
Ampilatwatja community in the NT. Residents of the camp say
they won’t move back into the community until the
intervention measures are lifted.”

ABC: Indigenous housing ‘beset by delays’
9 Oct 09: “The Federal Opposition has criticised the
Government for delaying action in dealing with housing
needs for Indigenous Australia. A report this week has
revealed that 11,000 homes are needed just to meet extreme
needs. The Opposition’s Indigenous affairs spokesman, Tony
Abbott, has just been on a tour of central Australia and
says the Federal Government’s remote Indigenous housing
program for the NT is beset by delays.”

Brisbane Times: Australia close to a charter of rights
8 Oct 09: “If Australia had a humans right act the Northern
Territory intervention would have been struck down, the
author of a government report recommending such a charter
says. Similarly, tough anti-terror laws allowing for
detention without charge, and the locking up of asylum
seekers’ children, may also have been scuttled, according to
National Human Rights Consultation committee chair Frank

National Indigenous Times:
Racist intervention measures must be dumped or reworked: lawyer
7 Oct 09: “A leading human rights lawyer says the federal
government must rework or scrap racist elements of the
intervention program in remote Indigenous communities and
honour Australia’s obligations under international law.
Labor is moving to reinstate the legislation that allowed
some of the more controversial measures to be rolled out.
But Julian Burnside, QC, said Australia would fail as a
signatory to a number of UN conventions and violate its own
laws, unless there are changes to the intervention’s
“overtly discriminatory” measures.”

National Indigenous Times:
Royal commission needed into Indigenous housing: CLP
7 Oct 09: “A Country Liberal MLA is calling for a Royal
Commission into Indigenous housing in the Northern
Territory. Opposition Indigenous affairs spokesman Adam
Giles says Aboriginal people in remote communities are
living in dilapidated, unsafe homes which they have no hope
of ever owning or improving.”

National Indigenous Times:
Cop shops prove Labor committed to NT intervention: Macklin
7 Oct 09: “The Rudd government is to spend $50 million over
three years building five new police stations in remote
Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Labor has
been accused of killing off the federal intervention into
remote communities after axing the role of operational
head. But on Tuesday Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin said the push to build more cop shops proved the
commonwealth was committed to strengthening the


– Media Release

ANTaR: Rights Report a good start but Indigenous rights
left in the “too hard” basket
13 Oct 09: “ANTaR today welcomed the release of the report
of the National Human Rights Consultation. “We welcome the
dawning of a human rights culture and legal framework in
Australia which this report represents,” ANTaR President,
Dr Janet Hunt, said today. “However it appears that the
distinctive rights of Australia’s First Peoples have been
left in the too hard basket. Yet the Report itself makes
clear that the consultations, especially those with many
Indigenous participants, clearly indicated that these rights
need protection.”

– Special email bulletin

ANTaR SA: Special email bulletin — ‘Britain must compensate
Aboriginal people for radioactive fallout’
[scroll down page]
“ANTaR SA and ALRM have re-issued this statement on 24
August 2009 (pdf 88kb), with some amendments to the
statement initially circulated on 6 August. Some
inaccuracies in the statement have been pointed out to us,
in relation to the references to compensation and Maralinga
Tjarutja – we are seeking to clarify these points. We
apologise for any misunderstanding caused. ANTaR SA and
ALRM are re-issuing the statement because the core issue
remains – the radioactive fallout from the 1950s British
atomic tests went to many places in Australia, and all
Aboriginal people ought to have access to pursuing
compensation for damages from this fallout.”

– Scientific Report

Alyawarr speakers from Ampilatwatja, Fiona Walsh and
Josie Douglas. 2009.
Angka Akatyerr-akert: A Desert raisin report,
Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre, Alice Springs.

– Opinion

Solidarity: Punitive welfare won’t improve education
Oct 09: “Conservative Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has
used recent school attendance figures to trumpet the
success of the punitive Family Responsibilities Commission
(FRC). The FRC, designed by Pearson’s Cape York Institute,
began operating in four Cape York Aboriginal communities in
2008. It has the power to quarantine welfare payments in
response to problems such as child school attendance.”
Paddy Gibson

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
6 Oct 09: “Tiga Bayles spoke with Chris Graham, Editor of
The National Indigenous Times.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

– News

National Indigenous Times:
Aboriginal rights need to be acknowledged: ANTaR
14 Oct 09: “Australia might be one step closer to adopting
a charter of human rights, but activists say it must
acknowledge Aboriginal people as the nation’s first people
if it wants to end racism. … Australia is currently the
only western democracy without a legislated charter of
rights, and Dr Hunt [president of the Australians for Native
Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR)] said action was long

National Indigenous Times:
Garret remains tight-lipped on future of Uluru rock climb
9 Oct 09: “Federal Environment Minster Peter Garrett
remains tight-lipped about the future of the Uluru rock
climb, more than 20 years after he sang at its base about
Aboriginal land rights.”

Richard Downs Speaking Tour

Posted in EVENTS on 06/10/2009 by D



Posted in OPINION on 06/10/2009 by D