Call to an Aboriginal summit in Canberra
Ampilatwatja Walk-off


– Media Releases

Indymedia Australia: “Overwhelming interest in Aboriginal summit”
13 Jan 10: “There’s been overwhelming interest in the
forthcoming Aboriginal summit in Canberra on 30 January and
[until] 1 February. The many calls I have received from our
people throughout Australia indicate that the
representation should be national. Many say that if they
had the money they would be there, but many also say they
will endeavour to organise state meetings I have been asked
to attend to talk of the ‘New Way’. This being a grassroots
national movement means we will do this our way with NO
government support. This is an Aboriginal-owned initiative
and we must fight the government through determined
diplomacy. We know what we want and we must do it our way.
Even though we seek the knowledge and experience of our
elders we also need our youth to stand beside us and learn
to take the lead from this summit. I have been asked by
many non-Aboriginal people who seek to attend whether they
are welcome and I have reminded them that in the 1970s
Black Power movement many non-Aboriginal people stood
shoulder to shoulder with us and without them we may not
have been as effective as we were. … The summit is open
to all who wish to be involved in overcoming and addressing
the racial conflicts that have persisted in this country
since white settlement. We must find solutions and ways
forward. government-sponsored solutions have failed and
continue to fail our people, so let us hear our people talk
of a ‘New Way’ and then let us find ways forward together.
If the government seeks to engage with us then they must
understand that it is ‘our way or no way’. What I expect to
come from this summit is a ‘communiqué’ of grievances and
new ways that I hope will be given to the prime minister
and his government through a reading in the federal
parliament when it reconvenes on the 2nd of February. This
‘communiqué’ will then be circulated to our people
throughout Australia, so that we can all ensure that we
are working towards a common solution to shared historical
experiences. … Michael Anderson”

Indymedia Australia: Call to an Aboriginal summit in Canberra
18 Dec 09: “I’m calling for a ‘New Way’ summit to take
place on 30 January [until] 1 February 2010 … at the
Australian National University (ANU) Canberra. This summit
is so important for our future because we need to take back
or right to make our own decisions and stamp out the
government- appointed spokespersons. We must set an agenda
for our development and advancement. Yes, we all made
mistakes but in a democracy this is our right. We all learn
from mistakes, but here in Australia us Blackfullas are
stigmatized as cheats and thieves who have no ability to
conduct strategic planning and properly deliver services to
cater for the needs of our people. What must be exposed is
the tight stranglehold the government bureaucrats have over
Aboriginal people’s lives and affairs. … Michael Anderson”

Indymedia Australia: Aboriginal elder calls for national
meeting to “talk of a new way”
5 Dec 09: “All the recent talks on the internet of the need
to be politically pro-active is inspiring and exciting. But
challenging the political dominance of the dominant society
is an admirable yet real objective that we as a people must
plan for. The greatest hurdle that we face as a people is
the need to politicize our youth. As a people, though, we
cannot and should not overlook our need to work through
that which is hurting our people the most, poverty and
hopelessness. There are many elders, middle-aged and youth
who would revel in political action. Those of us who have
been out there fighting this fight at the bureaucratic and
grassroots levels understand and know what it takes to make
changes. Our enemy, this system, dominates and suppresses
us and cleverly disguises the demon by arguing that they
(the whites) need to bridge the gap for us! … Michael

Stop the Intervention:
Welfare addiction causes Aboriginal rifts, hides real enemy
20 Dec 09: “Our people need to take a long hard look at
their lives for a number of reasons. In the first instance
we have by circumstances become addicted to and dependent
on welfare. I do not always share the sentiments of the
Noel Pearson types but we need to take responsibility and
fight our way out of this dependency because it is like a
drug. All too often our people will betray each other and
side with the State if they feel their welfare cheque is at
risk. … This summit [30 January until 1 February 2010 at
the Australian National University (ANU) Canberra] is so
important. No matter what it takes to get it together, it
is a must-happen. Old and young must now come together to
put our collective thoughts together to fight this evil
that is engulfing us. … Michael Anderson”

de.indymedia.org: Aboriginal struggle like in China and Iran
3 Jan 10: “De-colonisation has occurred in every previously
colonised part of the developed world except Australia.
Everywhere else people have fought for their right to
retain their distinct identity, including their right to
keep and speak their own languages, their culture and their
own religious practices. The repressive and discriminate
laws that we are subject to here in Australia would not be
tolerated anywhere else in the free world. But here in
Australia the government has spin doctors operating full
time to hide the true state of play in respect of
Aboriginal people. They are paid big dollars to convince
the white Australian public that what they do for
Aborigines is in the interest of the Aboriginal people and
that special measures are necessary. The reason for the use
of the words ‘special measures’ is to continue with their
assimilation policy of 1968. We Aboriginal people cannot
permit this to continue without a fight. … Michael Anderson”

Indymedia Australia:
“Australians no longer need to hide their racism”
8 Jan 10: “It is absolute cowardice on the part of the Rudd
Labor government and their Liberal coalition Opposition to
deny that the recent killing of an Indian student in
Melbourne was racially motivated. The audacity of the
government and police to say that the student should not
have carried a lap top computer while walking to work after
dark is absurd and pathetic. For the Victorian police to
say that this is just another crime by ordinary criminals
is to show their naivety in such matters as race relations.
… Michael Anderson”

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
11 Dec 09: “Michael Anderson – Karen Dorante spoke with
Political Activist and Elder, Michael Anderson. Mr Anderson
is the last survivor of the four Black Power men who set up
the Aboriginal embassy in Canberra in 1972. They spoke
about Mr Anderson calls for national meeting to “talk of a
new way”.”
“Karen Dorante: You are calling it the New Way Conference …
Michael Anderson: We’ve gotta raise money, we’ve go to do
whatever we can to get down there. This is our move, it’s
our initiative, and we’ve gotta take the bull by the horns
right now.
KD: You are looking at about 200 people to participate at
this New Way Conference. Are you expecting to get some mob
from the Northern Territory? … they are people who are
experiencing the most oppressive type of government
MA: Absolutely. … Some people say can I be a participant.
As far as I’m concerned if we get 500 people there, all the
KD: The more the merrier?
MA: The more the merrier. We all have a say, we all have
concerns, we all have a right to express those concerns.
Let’s then put all our collective heads together and make
and develop a strategy. We need to create a revolution,
let’s change our ways.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

CAAMA Radio News AM 22/12/2009
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
22 Dec 09


– Background

Intervention walkoff’s blog:

– Speech

Stop the Intervention:
Ampilatwatja Walk-off: Richard Downs’ Speech of 3 January 2010
3 Jan 10: “Yes a crisis does exist for Aboriginal people in
this country. This has existed for 200 years. The crisis is
racism. It is colonization, dispossession, assimilation,
intergenerational trauma, decades of underfunding and
attacks on Aboriginal organizations and Aboriginal autonomy,
coercive cultural genocide. It’s not getting any better.
Since the introduction of NTER Measures in 2007
* Our land and communities taken away
* Our permit system taken away
* All our corporations / Associations closed down
* All our offices, assets taken away
* We are now where we were over 40 years ago left with
nothing and back on welfare control
* Communities are a mess
* No community meetings, consultations
* No real jobs only work for the dole programs, which has
not been started
* No training to give people skills to be work ready to
move away from welfare
* No meetings, discussions about future development or
hand over of roles and responsibilities
* No health programs in communities to talk about health and
hygiene issues, the focus is on bandaid programs and
* Income management is a farce, children, families are still
able to use each other’s basic cards to shop, and Chidren
go to shop to buy soft drinks and lollies using their
family, mother’s card.
* No coordination of other government agencies to work
together by the General Business Manager.
* Personal attacks between CEO Barkly Shire and ICC Manager
in Tennant Creek. …
We have human rights issues, disempowerment of our people,
land taken away, all our corporations, associations,
infrastructure, assets taken away and we are back where we
were over 40 years ago with nothing. …
With our intervention Walk off, and our protest camp, this
was about standing up against policies and laws which takes
away everything we believe and stand for. Human rights, our
rights as indigenous people to determine our own future
directions, our rights to determine to live in peace,
freedom, and security, free from genocide and other acts of
violence. …
Some of Our solutions to this crisis:
* We want binding and unconditional autonomy over the lives
of our people / communities.
* Empowerment of communities through funding and support
for Aboriginal organizations / programs i.e. CDEP
* Empowerment of culture through integration of Aboriginal /
cultural systems in decision making for communities
* Job creation in culturally appropriate industries
i.e. caring for country … “


  1. Andrew Partos Says:

    Aboriginees must have direct representation at the Government level.
    They should have dedicated permanent seats in Parliament. They have it in New Zealand and Canada. In the present system the Government has no real understanding about how to preserve Aboriginal culture and how to improve Aboriginal life, housing, education and health. So they make decisions without Aboriginal consultation.

  2. Interesting, the discussion and topics are about empowerment for Aboriginal people, good one.
    My community people are focused on empowerment for our Aboriginal peoples , to get strong away from Government ideas of where Aboriginal people ‘should be’ i.e staying were we were put by the Brittish 200 years ago.
    All Aboriginal people have a voice, all Aboriginal people have the right to express their own ideas and cultural identity and to be taken very seriously by Government.

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