Archive for February, 2010

“This is What We Said” Book launch Feb 11th 2010

Posted in EVENTS on 19/02/2010 by D

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of this land, the Ngunnawal people and recognise their sovereignty here today. I thank their Elders, past, present and future, for their kind welcome to their country, and the safety, and courtesy that to those of us who are not from their peoples, who live, work and walk on their lands receive. I will honour your country, walk softly and leave no footprints. I also acknowledge the representatives of other Aboriginal nations represented here today and thank them for their support. Thank you to everyone else for showing your support for democracy in this country by being here to support this launch.

I also wish to thank Michele Harris, and Eleanor Gilbert for inviting me to launch this book, “This is what we said” in Canberra today. On Tuesday the 9th February, this book was launched in Melbourne by the former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, Professor Alastair Nicholson and Irene Fisher, former CEO of the Katherine Sunrise Health Service, located in Katherine in the Northern Territory. I am privileged to follow in their footsteps.

I am Christine Fejo-King, an Aboriginal woman from the Northern Territory. My father was a Larakia man, and my mother is a Warrumungu woman. My skin name is Napaljarri. All my relations through blood and through the kinship system reside in the Northern Territory, our homelands. Only my small family, which include my partner and three children, are away for a season. I speak to you today as I launch this very commendable book with two hats on. One as the Chairperson of the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Workers Association and the second as an Aboriginal woman from the Northern Territory, whose family has been impacted upon by the Northern Territory Intervention and who will be even further impacted upon, if the extended powers of the income management special measures go ahead.

From the perspective of the Association we agree with Professor Nicholson that there are many objectionable features of the NTER”, but given the time I have here I concentrate on the reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act within the Northern Territory. We are gravely concerned as social workers who believe in and work toward human rights and social justice, that the rights of our peoples have been and continues to be violated. Firstly, by the Howard government who repealed the Racial Discrimination Act in the Northern Territory, to enable what has been described by Jim Ife (2007) a leading community development professor in Australia, as “a quasi military action” against a group of the most disadvantaged, ill serviced, poverty stricken and disempowered members of this nation.
By deploying the army and police against our peoples, using the cover of concern about the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children, we believe a political agenda was served, against which the human rights and social justice of our peoples came a sad second. How would you our fellow Australians feel if this action had been carried out against you and your communities, because the statistics, the imperial evidence that governments rely so heavy upon, shows that the sexual abuse of non-indigenous children is relative to that of Aboriginal children.

By no means imaginable do we as a group of social workers, or as human beings, support practices that harm our children, we know they are not cultural and we find them abhorrent, or we would not work in the areas that we do. But we will not be railroaded into the, “you are either with us or against us” mindset. We are for the safety of all children, be they black, white or brindle, but actions taken must fall within what has been found to work. Domination, and neo-colonialism (which is the only way the Northern Territory Intervention can be seen) and punitive measures is way beyond what is considered “good practice”.

The Rudd government, through their lack of action in reinstating the Racial Discrimination Act which was an election promise, seem bent on continuing Howard government policy which they supported at the time. This is despite their recent support for the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples. It is time for the Racial Discrimination Act to be reinstated with no strings attached and for governments to stop using our peoples as a political football. As Professor Nicholson points out, the present bill will in fact protect the Commonwealth from any claims for damages that might otherwise have arisen (I wish our peoples had enjoyed this kind of protection). It will also prolong Income management in the Northern Territory for a further twelve months “from the date that the Bill becomes law” and extend it to all other people in the Northern Territory and leaves open it’s extension anywhere the government and bureaucrats deem it should be taken.

For so long Aboriginal Australians lived under the policy of ‘protectors’, it almost seems that we have gone full circle and have arrived back at that point. A state of affairs spoken of by a number of people in this book! Will we in the future be taken back to the time when the approval of the ‘Protector of Aboriginals’ must be sought for our movements, our education, employment and our marriages as noted on my parents marriage certificate here, or the ‘Register of our Births’ as shown here on my grandmothers birth certificate which I have permission by the matriarch of our family to raise and to show. Will we have to seek exemption from a new ‘Protector of Aboriginals’ before we can again experience life outside the policies of the Northern Territory Intervention? We will not do it! We are proud of our law, our culture and the resilience of our peoples.

Free us from your paternalistic yoke, we are not children, stop privileging the voice of so called Aboriginal leaders (your tag, not ours) who aren’t even from the Northern Territory and have no right to speak above the voices of our elders and community leaders who are on the whole good and honourable men and women. Yes there is a difference of opinion about income management but why should that be surprising? Give people a choice and support them where necessary to manage their money, but do not disempower and shame us more than you already have and are currently doing.

This book is a collection of quotes from members of communities directly affected by the Northern Territory intervention, and other concerned Australians. As such it is very powerful, as it gives voice to those who have been marginalised and whose voices have been silenced and unheard. It is very important that all voices be heard on this issue, not just those privileged by the government. By hearing all sides of the story a balanced understanding might be had by the wider Australian population.

You may think that this issue only concerns Aboriginal peoples of the Northern Territory however, it is an issue that should concern all Australians. Today we are here to launch the book “This is What We Said”. Along with my friends in Melbourne who launched it in their fair city a couple of days ago, I too congratulate the efforts of concerned Australians to produce it. May the voices of the people who speak within it be heard loudly and clearly, may what they have said not fall on deaf ears. I join my voice with the voice of Irene Fisher in urging you all “to read the book so that you too can help take it from a whisper to a loud roar that will reverberate across this great country of ours and bring about equality for all Australians”.

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16/02/2010: PROTEST HOUSE AT THE ALYAWARR PEOPLE’S WALK-OFF CAMP WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 16/02/2010 by D

Contents:
Protest House at the Alyawarr people’s walk-off camp
Racial Discrimination Act – New legislation
Other NT Intervention Articles

PROTEST HOUSE AT THE ALYAWARR PEOPLE’S WALK-OFF CAMP:

– Background

Intervention walk-off’s Blog: http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

– Articles

The Northern Myth: Kevin Rudd’s “clanging gong” rings
hollow at the Ampilitawatja walk-off camp
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2010/02/15/kevin-rudds-clanging-gong-rings-hollow-at-the-ampilitawatja-walk-off-camp/
15 Feb 10: “I got up early yesterday morning to drive 300
kilometres – most of it over rough roads muddy and puddled
by recent storms – from Alice Springs to the Ampilitawatja
walk off camp, where a ceremony would be held to hand-over
a house recently donated to the walk-off campers by a
generous donor and good “friend in the south”. Lots of
other friends of the walk-off camp – from the north, south,
east and west – also made the long, hot trek out to the
walk-off camp to celebrate the occasion … ” Bob Gosford
[Includes impressive photos!]

Solidarity: Black and white unite to build protest house
http://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/black-and-white-unite-to-build-protest-house/
Feb 10: “A “protest house” built at the walk-off camp
established by the Alyawarr people, is set to be opened on
February 14. It will coincide with national demonstrations
against the NT Intervention. Many Alyawarr walked off their
community at Ampilatwatja, 350kms northeast of Alice
Springs, in July last year. They set up camp outside the
boundaries of the “prescribed area” established by the
Intervention. The strong stand at Ampilatwatja has become
an important focal point for the national campaign. … ”
Paddy Gibson

Green Left:
Our Common Cause: A brilliant showcase of solidarity
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2010/826/42486
14 Feb 10: “In October, when Ampilatwatja walk-off
spokesperson Richard Downs toured the eastern states with
Yuendumu elder Uncle Harry Nelson, … They also made a
very specific appeal for solidarity: for trade unionists
with the appropriate skills and qualifications to travel to
Ampilatwatja to help build a house. This is something the
government had failed to do, despite housing being promised
to NT Aboriginal communities in exchange for the rights
that the intervention took from them.” Tony Iltis

Age: ‘Outcast’ Aborigines stage red desert walk-out
http://www.theage.com.au/national/outcast-aborigines-stage-red-desert-walkout-20100212-nxko.html
13 Feb 10: “Sixty-eight years later Mr [Banjo] Morton has
led another walk-off, this time from Ampilatwatja, a
settlement in central Australia’s red desert country, …
But three kilometres away at Honeymoon Bore volunteers this
week poured a concrete slab, and a $25,000 kit home donated
by an Adelaide company arrived by truck and was expected to
be erected in time for a traditional smoking ceremony
opening tomorrow.” Lindsay Murdoch

Green Left:
NT protest house: union solidarity with Aboriginal struggle
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2010/826/42472
12 Feb 10: “On February 14, the house was launched with
traditional Alyawarr songs and dancing as well as speakers
including MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer. A bus
load of Anangu from the APY lands in South Australia joined
the celebrations. Elder Banjo Morton told GLW: “That’s the
way we wanted it with the unions helping us. All different
people working here together, helping us with the
walk-off.”” Emma Murphy, Ampilatwatja

Socialist Alternative:
Unions help build a house of Aboriginal resistance
http://www.sa.org.au/aboriginal-rights/2576-unions-help-build-a-house-of-aboriginal-resistance
12 Feb 10: “A house being built at a protest camp against
the NT Intervention will be publicly opened on Sunday 14
February at Honeymoon Bore, near Ampilatwatja. … Trade
unions from around the country have come in behind the
walk-off. Representatives from the CFMEU, AMWU, AWU, LHMU
and Unions NT have sent volunteers to help build the house,
with donated materials.”

– Slideshow of construction of Alyawarr Protest House

Picasa Web Albums – Tim – Walk Off Project
http://picasaweb.google.com/tim.gooden.gthc/WalkOffProject02?feat=email#
“Laying a concrete slab for the protest house being by the
Alyawarr people of central Australia as part of a protest
against the federal government’s intervention program.”

– Photos at opening of Alyawarr Protest House

The Northern Myth: Kevin Rudd’s “clanging gong” rings
hollow at the Ampilitawatja walk-off camp. By Bob Gosford
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2010/02/15/kevin-rudds-clanging-gong-rings-hollow-at-the-ampilitawatja-walk-off-camp/
15 Feb 10

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT – NEW LEGISLATION:

– Background

WGAR News: New NT Intervention laws that extend welfare quarantining (12 Feb 10)
http://wgar.info/2010/02/13/11022010-new-nt-intervention-laws-that-extend-welfare-quarantining/

– Opinion

On Line Opinion:
Discrimination as usual for Australia’s Indigenous policy
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10047&page=0
15 Feb 10: “The Government says that Bills now before the
Parliament fulfill its promise to reinstate the Racial
Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) so that the Northern
Territory Emergency Response complies with Australia’s
human rights treaty obligations. However, in reality,
passage of these Bills would deliver business as usual:
discrimination, disempowerment and disappointment.”
Robyn Seth-Purdie

SMH: Checks and balance awry in welfare rework
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/checks-and-balance-awry-in-welfare-rework-20100213-ny14.html
13 Feb 10: “The federal government’s commitment to
‘evidence-based policy’ falls short when it comes to
payments management. … It is not overly dramatic to say
the government is setting about the biggest overhaul of the
social security system since it began. At first glance the
changes look like little more than a tinkering with the
intervention into indigenous communities in the Northern
Territory. … ” Stephanie Peatling

Green Left: Macklin’s cynical Aboriginal policy
http://www.greenleft.org.au/2010/826/42508
13 Feb 10: “Minister for Aboriginal affairs Jenny Macklin
will move in March to restore the Racial Discrimination Act
(RDA) in the Northern Territory. But the move has been
described by Aboriginal advocates as a cynical ploy. …
Macklin’s change will mean that the RDA would be restored
in December and income management would be rolled-out to
other welfare recipients in the NT … The government plans
to extend welfare management to welfare recipients in the
rest of Australia over time.” Peter Robson

SMH: Far-reaching welfare reform quarantined from evidence
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/farreaching-welfare-reform-quarantined-from-evidence-20100212-nxel.html
13 Feb 10: “No friends, no money, and no support in high
places. Australians reliant on welfare payments – we once
called it social security – have not a speck of political
clout. They are easy targets for a government hell-bent on
showing its tough side, and getting out of a bind.”

Crikey: Failure to restore Racial Discrimination Act means
double jeopardy for Aboriginal people
http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/02/12/failure-to-restore-racial-discrimination-act-means-double-jeopardy-for-aboriginal-people/
12 Feb 10: “The legislation to change the basic social
security system is attracting some very interesting
tensions. The Government has nastily linked a range of
legislation that has different constituencies and the
conflicts are emerging. The Government has surpassed itself
in political trickiness and manipulation by trying to play
various groups against each other.” Eva Cox

Solidarity: New laws will entrench Intervention’s racism
http://www.solidarity.net.au/21/new-laws-will-entrench-interventions-racism/
Feb 10: “The changes will do nothing to end the racist
measures of the Northern Territory Intervention. Worse, the
delay in the reinstatement of the RDA allows the government
enough time to force communities to sign over their land on
40-year leases, without the risk of court challenges. This
will provide the government with a much greater scope to
control the lives of the people in these communities.”
Ben Dharmendra

– News

ABC: Welfare quarantining under Senate spotlight
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/15/2819656.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
15 Feb 10: “A Senate inquiry into proposed changes to
social welfare will sit in Darwin today. Government
legislation aimed at making income management compulsory
for many people on welfare benefits has been introduced to
Parliament. … Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, who is on
the committee, says there have been about 30 submissions
to the Senate. “Virtually all of the submissions are
opposed to legislative changes,” she said.”

See submissions to the Senate Inquiry:
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/soc_sec_welfare_reform_racial_discrim_09/submissions/sublist.htm

ABC: Welfare quarantine changes ‘still discriminate’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/15/2820165.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
15 Feb 10: “Today, a Senate committee sitting in Darwin
heard from the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency.
It believes the proposed changes to welfare quarantining
could still conflict with the Racial Discrimination Act
because Aboriginal communities could be disproportionately
affected.”

ABC: Abbott criticises welfare reforms
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/14/2818956.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
14 Feb 10: “Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has
criticised the Government’s moves to make welfare
quarantining measures comply with the Racial Discrimination
Act. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has
introduced legislation that will make income management
compulsory for disadvantaged people.”

Age: Banker lashes welfare controls
http://www.theage.com.au/national/banker-lashes-welfare-controls-20100210-nsgw.html
11 Feb 10: “GOVERNMENT moves to expand ”welfare
quarantining” across the country are paternalism gone mad,
Australia’s most senior indigenous banker says. As Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd releases a progress report on his
”close the gap” targets today, NAB’s senior manager of
community finance, Glen Brennan, said indigenous people
needed more power to control their finances, not less.”

Koori Mail: AMSANT supports NTER reform bill
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 Feb 10: “THE Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance
Northern Territory (AMSANT) has called on all political
parties to pass proposed federal legislation to reform the
NT Emergency Response. AMSANT Chairperson Stephanie Bell
says the bill, which seeks to introduce compulsory income
management for welfare recipients nationwide, isn’t
perfect but deserves support because it would restore
Indigenous rights under the Racial Discrimination Act.”

Koori Mail: Mounting criticism over welfare plan
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
10 Feb 10: “CRITICISM is mounting over Federal Government
plans to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act in
Aboriginal communities under the Northern Territory
intervention, by extending compulsory income quarantining
to all Australian welfare recipients.”

OTHER NT INTERVENTION ARTICLES:

– Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

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

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):
http://stoptheintervention.org/

Intervention walk-off’s Blog:
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):
http://wgar.info/

– Opinion

Solidarity: Town camp takeover sets back Aboriginal control
http://www.solidarity.net.au/21/town-camp-takeover-sets-back-aboriginal-control/
Feb 10: “After four years of struggle, the federal
government has finally secured 40-year leases over the
Aboriginal town camps in Alice Springs, represented by the
Tangentyere Council. The takeover push started before the
Intervention, when Liberal Minister Mal Brough announced
that no new houses would be built in the camps until
99-year leases were signed by Tangentyere. Despite a
desperate need for resources, town campers consistently
refused to sign away their land. … ” Paddy Gibson

– News

ABC: Indigenous camps ‘crying out for transport’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/14/2818997.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
14 Feb 10: “An Alice Springs town camp resident says people
in remote Indigenous communities are finding it difficult
to get transport because of the changeover from councils to
shires. Barbara Shaw says when local Aboriginal councils
controlled council assets, including vehicles, local
communities had access to them to get to medical
appointments and for other transport needs.”

Australian:
Income card failing to prevent `humbug’ in Tiwi Islands
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/income-card-failing-to-prevent-humbug-in-tiwi-islands/story-e6frg6nf-1225829865435
13 Feb 10: “INCOME-QUARANTINING was supposed to stop young
Aboriginal people hassling their elders for money, but on
the Tiwi Islands, just north of Darwin, residents say
there is still “too much humbug”.”

Croakey: The latest on the Australian Crime Commission’s
invasion of medical records and patient privacy
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/02/12/the-latest-on-the-australian-crime-commissions-invasion-of-medical-records-and-patient-privacy/
12 Feb 10: “It’s taken some of Australia’s finest legal
minds, but after two years of deliberation the result is
clear-cut. The Australian Crime Commission — the
clandestine organisation set up to do battle with organised
crime — can legally seize the medical records of Aboriginal
children and adults in the NT.”

ABC: Expectations too high: Indigenous housing boss
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/11/2816671.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
11 Feb 10: “Remote community residents cannot expect major
upgrades to their homes when they are refurbished, the
manager of an Aboriginal housing program says. The
executive director of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Program, Andrew Kirkman, says an average of
$75,000 will be spent on each of the 2,500 houses due for
repairs.”

Koori Mail: Houses at last
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
10 Feb 10: “THE largest Indigenous housing program ever
undertaken in Australia has finally delivered its first
houses. The remote community of Wadeye, south-west of
Darwin, is celebrating the completion of two three-bedroom
houses under the Strategic Indigenous Housing and
Infrastructure Projects (SIHIP) program. And more are set
to follow, with a number of slabs poured and electricity
and sewerage connected.”

National Indigenous Times:
Commonwealth strikes deal to takeover Ilpeye Ilpeye
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=19336
4 Feb 10: “The Rudd government took steps on Monday to
compulsorily acquire the Alice Springs town camp of Ilpeye
Ilpeye, utilising legislation under the Northern Territory
Emergency Intervention, while cutting a deal with
traditional owners who will receive “just terms”
compensation under the new deal.”

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
11 Feb 10: “Blair McFarland – Karen Dorante spoke with
Blair McFarland from the Central Australian Youth Link Up
Service (CAYLUS). They spoke about the Northern Territory
Intervention and Indigenous Health Issues.”
Listen to this interview on-line:

– – –

15/02/2010: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF PM’S APOLOGY; CLOSE THE GAP REPORT

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 15/02/2010 by D

Contents:
2nd anniversary of PM’s apology to Stolen Generations
Closing the Gap report card
New Way Summit Task Force
Other Aboriginal Articles

SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF PM’S APOLOGY TO STOLEN GENERATIONS:

– Video & TV

SBS News Video Player: Anniversary of Rudd apology
http://player.sbs.com.au/naca/#/naca/wna/Latest/playlist/Anniversary-of-Rudd-apology/
“Today marks two years since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s
apology on behalf of the nation to the Stolen Generation.”

ABC1 Television Guide:
Message Stick – Talking Stick: Healing A Nation
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/guide/netw/201002/programs/IP0905H002D2010-02-20T113000.htm
[coming up] 11:30am Saturday, 20 Feb 2010:
“On the anniversary of ‘The Apology’ to the Stolen
Generations of Australia, Miriam Corowa talks about the
next steps in the healing of past traumas with board
members of the newly created National Healing Foundation.”

– News

The Northern Myth: Downtown Alice Springs, Saturday morning
– the Prescribed Area People’s Alliance rally
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2010/02/13/downtown-alice-springs-saturday-morning-the-prescribed-area-peoples-alliance-rally/
13 Feb 10: “I wandered downtown earlier today to catch up
with some friends & countrymen at the Prescribed Area
People’s Alliance Rally outside the historic John Flynn
Church in the middle of the Alice Springs Mall. The main
theme of the Rally was to celebrate – in a very ironic
sense – the second anniversary of Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd’s “Sorry” speech to the Australian Parliament. There
was a pretty healthy turnout … ” Bob Gosford
[Includes impressive photos!]

Koori Mail: Anniversary a national day of action
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Feb 10: “ANTI-NT intervention campaigners will hold a
national day of action at various locations around the
country tomorrow, the second anniversary of the national
apology to Indigenous Australians. Rallies are expected in
Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Alice
Springs, calling for an immediate end to the intervention
and showing support for Aboriginal communities in the face
of racially discriminatory laws and government policies.”

Koori Mail: Mixed feelings on eve of apology anniversary
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Feb 10: “MANY Aboriginal people will have mixed feelings
on tomorrow’s second anniversary of the Prime Minister’s
apology to the Stolen Generations, according to the WA
Bringing Them Home Committee. Committee Co-Chair Jim
Morrison welcomed the recent establishment of the new
national Indigenous healing foundation but said the trauma
felt by Stolen Generations members and their families would
take years and targeted funding to heal.”

Koori Mail: Govt ‘insensitive’ around apology anniversary
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Feb 10: “THE National Sorry Day Committee has questioned
the sincerity of the national apology to Indigenous
Australians, suggesting the Rudd Government is now using it
to push its Close the Gap campaign. NSDC Co-Chair Helen
Moran says the timing of the tomorrow’s Allstars rugby
league match on the Gold Coast, heavily supported by the
Government, demonstrates a lack of sensitivity towards the
Stolen Generations.”

SMH: Macklin heckled on apology anniversary
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/macklin-heckled-on-apology-anniversary-20100212-nwlc.html
12 Feb 10: “Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has
defended the federal government’s intervention policy after
being heckled during a speech to mark the second
anniversary of the apology to indigenous Australians. Ms
Macklin was speaking in Sydney on Friday when she was
interrupted by an indigenous man who accused her of being
racist and shouted “stop the intervention”.”

ABC: Oral history puts Stolen voices online
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/12/2817650.htm
12 Feb 10: “The National Library of Australia’s oral
history collection on the Stolen Generations is now
available online. The Bringing Them Home Oral History
Project was carried out from 1998 to 2002 to preserve the
stories of Indigenous people and others involved in or
affected by children being forcibly removed from their
parents.”

– Speeches at Feb 13 Protest

[The protest was timed to coincide with the 2nd anniversary
of the PM’s apology to the Stolen Generations]

Stop the Intervention: Speech Jeff McMullen
A Day of Reckoning
http://stoptheintervention.org/feb-13-2010-protest/speech-jeff-mcmullen
13 Feb 10: “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s national Apology
two years ago was a long overdue admission that when a
nation lives with officially sanctioned racial
discrimination we are all diminished as human beings. It is
hypocritical to Apologise to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people and say that the “injustices of the past
must never, never happen again” and then to persist for
more than two years with the humiliation and the
discrimination of the Northern Territory Intervention.”

Stop the Intervention: Speech Irene Fisher
The Northern Territory Emergency Response laws: “Acts of Infamy”
http://stoptheintervention.org/feb-13-2010-protest/speech-irene-fisher
13 Feb 10: “I feel that I have been talking on this issue
pretty well non-stop since 21 June 2007. On that day, as
many of you would know, a decision was made in the halls of
power to remove the rights of around 40,000 Aboriginal
Territorians. That was – in my view – a day of infamy in
this nation’s history. And that infamy continues to this
day. … And what has the Emergency Response – better known
as the Intervention – achieved for these 40,000 Aboriginal
people? The answer is, very little.”

For more speeches at the protest see:
Stop the Intervention:
Information about the February 13, 2010 Protest
http://stoptheintervention.org/feb-13-2010-protest

– Opinion

Age: Sorry not enough for stolen generations
http://www.theage.com.au/national/sorry-not-enough-for-stolen-generations-20100212-nxkq.html
13 Feb 10: “For many Australians the apology represented
the drawing of a line under a divisive debate about whether
this generation of Australians was liable for the misdeeds
of their forebears – the righting of a wrong and the
healing of a gaping wound. For many of those more
intimately involved, it was something altogether more
complex, and certainly not an act that brought any sense of
finality or closure.” Michael Gordon

Age: Many gaps remain in indigenous policy
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/many-gaps-remain-in-indigenous-policy-20100212-nxh5.html
13 Feb 10: “The apology two years ago was a good start, but
much work is still needed. IN MARKING the second
anniversary of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology to the
stolen generations, it should not be forgotten that an
official apology was the first recommendation of the
Bringing Them Home report, which followed an inquiry that
detailed a dark chapter in our history, when children were
systematically removed from their families because of their
race.” Professor Mick Dodson, Director, National Centre for
Indigenous Studies, Australian National University

Socialist Alternative:
Protests demand end to the NT intervention
http://www.sa.org.au/aboriginal-rights/2583-protests-demand-end-to-the-nt-intervention
13 Feb 10: “Two years since Kevin Rudd’s formal apology to
the Stolen Generations of Australia’s indigenous people and
nothing has changed. The Rudd government has continued and
expanded the racist Northern Territory Intervention. On the
second anniversary of the Apology, demonstrations were held
across Australia to draw attention to the rank hypocrisy of
the Government, and to demand an end to the Intervention.”
Tim Arnot

Socialist Alternative:
After these two years, does anyone remember the apology?
http://www.sa.org.au/aboriginal-rights/2577-after-the-last-two-years-who-wouldnt-think-the-apology-was-a-con
12 Feb 10: “Last July Kevin Rudd argued that not to allow
tourists to climb Uluru, despite every wish of its
traditional custodians, would be “very sad”. But it is not
only in cultural insensitivity that Rudd has channelled
Howard. Two years since Rudd’s ultimately empty apology to
the Stolen Generations is as good a time as any to assess
the government’s record as a whole.” Diane Fieldes

Solidarity:
Hawke, Keating and Aboriginal rights: Labor’s “sorry” history
http://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/hawke-keating-and-aboriginal-rights-labors-sorry-history/
Feb 10: “In 2008, Kevin Rudd said “sorry” for past wrongs.
Yet his government was implementing the assimilationist
policies of the Intervention that ensure the wrongs
continue. There is a sorry history to Labor governments.
Saying one thing and doing another did not start with Kevin
Rudd. On Aboriginal rights, each Labor government since
Whitlam has been more right-wing than the one before.”
Jean Parker

– Photos

Perth Indymedia:
Photos from the Justice not racism rally in Perth
by Alex Bainbridge
http://perth.indymedia.org/?action=newswire&parentview=150184
14 Feb 10: “100 people protest in Perth against the NT
intervention and against black deaths in custody. 13 Feb 2010″
[Rally timed to coincide with the 2nd anniversary of the
PM’s apology to the Stolen Generations]

– Media Release

Greens to address Perth rally to oppose the NT Intervention
http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/greens-address-perth-rally-oppose-nt-intervention
12 Feb 10: “Greens Senator WA Scott Ludlam will tell a
rally in Perth tomorrow (SAT 13 Feb) that the Greens will
continue opposing Northern Territory Intervention measures
introduced by former prime minister John Howard and since
extended across the nation under Kevin Rudd. The rally,
organised by the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, is calling
for an end to the Intervention and the restoration of the
Racial Discrimination Act, suspended by the Federal
Government to enable it to conduct actions that constitute
racial discrimination.”
[Rally timed to coincide with the 2nd anniversary of the
PM’s apology to the Stolen Generations]

CLOSING THE GAP REPORT CARD:

– PM’s Report

Prime Minister of Australia: Speech
Ministerial statement – Closing the Gap – 11 February 2010
http://www.pm.gov.au/node/6480

– Media Releases

Close the Gap: PM’s report welcome but Government yet to
develop plan to Close the Gap: new report
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/health/media_release20090211.html
11 Feb 10: ““The Close the Gap campaign’s Shadow Report on
the Australian Government’s progress, launched today, found
that the government has no comprehensive plan to close the
gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
inequality by 2030 despite committing to one almost two
years ago,” Mr Calma said. Mr Calma, former Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, whose
2005 Social Justice Report laid the groundwork for the
Close the Gap campaign, said the Shadow Report outlined
what was missing in the Government’s approach and detailed
ways in which its commitments to closing the gap could be
met.”

Greens: Close the Gap measures – sum is much less than the parts
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/close-gap-measures-%E2%80%93-sum-much-less-parts
11 Feb 10: “”Failing to consult and engage Aboriginal
communities and sticking to a top-down one-size-fits-all
approach, is undermining efforts to close the gap on
Indigenous disadvantage,” said Australian Greens Senator
Rachel Siewert today. “We welcome the general increase in
funding and acknowledge that the Prime Minister is funding
some promising programs here and there – but a
comprehensive national plan is needed if we are going to
reach headline targets and close the gaps.””

– Shadow Report

ANTaR: Close the Gap Prime Minister’s 2010 report to parliament
http://www.antar.org.au/close_the_gap_prime_ministers_2010_report_to_parliament
“To mark the Prime Minister’s 2010 report to parliament,
the Close the Gap Coalition for Indigenous Health Equality
is releasing its inaugural Shadow Report on the Australian
Government’s progress towards closing the gap in life
expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
Australians. Take a look … “

– 3 Online Actions

Oxfam Australia: Close the Gap
http://www.oxfam.org.au/act/take-action/close-the-gap
Feb 10: “Almost two years after the Federal Government
committed to developing a long term plan to Close the Gap
in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy,
no such plan exists. Help ensure the Government gets it
right on closing the gap – ask them to develop a long term
plan, work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people, and give more support to Aboriginal
community controlled medical services.”
[Click on the link to participate in these 3 online actions]

– Radio

ABC Triple J: 11 Feb 10
http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/daily/hack_thurs_2010_02_11.mp3
[Includes Jon Altman on Closing the The Gap]

– News

Koori Mail: Govt ‘insensitive’ around apology anniversary
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Feb 10: “THE National Sorry Day Committee has questioned
the sincerity of the national apology to Indigenous
Australians, suggesting the Rudd Government is now using it
to push its Close the Gap campaign.”

Koori Mail: NACCHO: We need to be equal partners,
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Feb 10: “AUSTRALIA lags behind America, Canada and New
Zealand in improving Indigenous life expectancy because
Indigenous Australians have less control over their health
services, according to the National Aboriginal Community
Controlled Health Organisation. NACCHO Chairperson Justin
Mohamed welcomed yesterday’s Closing the Gap statement but
called for a more equal partnership between government and
health services.”

SMH: Indigenous figures better but there’s a long way to go
http://www.smh.com.au/national/indigenous-figures-better-but-theres-a-long-way-to-go-20100211-nv7r.html
12 Feb 10: “THE yawning gap between black and white living
standards persists, with the Prime Minister’s annual report
derided as an Australian State of the Union address,
celebrating process over progress.”

Medical News Today:
Comprehensive National Plan Needed To Close The Gap On
Indigenous Health, Says Australian Medical Association
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/178880.php
11 Feb 10: “Dr Pesce [AMA President] said that every new
funding announcement for Indigenous health services will
make a difference – however, in regard to overall progress,
the AMA endorses the Close the Gap campaign’s Shadow
Report, which finds that the Federal Government still lacks
a comprehensive plan to fulfil its commitment to close the
gap.”

Koori Mail: Govt warned: No plan, no progress
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 Feb 10: “A COALITION of health, human rights and
Aboriginal organisations says government failure to develop
a proper plan is endangering efforts to close the gap. The
group’s chairman Tom Calma released a ‘shadow’ report on
progress in addressing Indigenous disadvantage, also
calling for more support for Aboriginal medical services,
while rights campaigner Les Malezer described today’s
government ‘report card’ as little more than a policy and
budget statement.”

Koori Mail: PM concedes ‘slow path to change’
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 Feb 10: “THE Prime Minister has delivered his second
annual Closing the Gap statement, telling the Federal
Parliament that some progress is being made in key areas of
Indigenous disadvantage but conceding it is too slow. Kevin
Rudd described closing the gaps between Indigenous and
non-Indigenous Australians – frustrated by a lack of
reliable baseline data – as the nation’s greatest social
challenge.”

ABC: Gap closing, but progress too slow: Rudd
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/11/2816691.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest
11 Feb 10: “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says more Indigenous
people are in work and completing high school, but progress
to raise living standards is still too slow. Delivering his
second “Closing the Gap” statement to Parliament today, Mr
Rudd defended his Government’s record on reducing
Indigenous disadvantage.”

– Opinion

Australian: Long way to go to close the gap
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/long-way-to-go-to-close-the-gap/story-e6frg71x-1225830262498
15 Feb 10: “TWO years after Kevin Rudd apologised to the
Stolen Generations, an initiative that brought comfort and
closure to many, and which we endorsed wholeheartedly, the
dominant focus of government policy is on redressing
present rather than historical wrongs.”

Australian:
Rudd’s Closing the Gap mission can only get harder from here
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/rudds-closing-the-gap-mission-can-only-get-harder-from-here/story-e6frg6zo-1225829869355
13 Feb 10: “The PM’s indigenous report card deserves high
marks for honesty, but progress is slow … This is
possibly the last year Rudd can describe the Closing the
Gap campaign in broad or aspirational terms. From here on
it will be harder, not easier.” Wesley Aird, member of the
Gold Coast Native Title Group and a board member of the
Bennelong Society

National Indigenous Times:
EDITORIAL: More of the same from the PM
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=19306
4 Feb 10: “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has broken one of his
much-touted promises for the second year in a row. In 2008,
our dear Mr Rudd took the stage at the Progressive
Governance Conference in London and made a rather
impressive statement. “On the question of Indigenous
policy, I have decided that each year in Australia’s
Federal Parliament the first working day will be marked by
a Prime Ministerial statement reporting on progress in
closing the life expectancy gap, progress in closing the
gap on infant mortality and mortality of children up to
five, and progress on closing the literacy and numeracy gap
between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Mr Rudd
said. … ” Amy McQuire, acting editor

NEW WAY SUMMIT TASK FORCE:

– Resolutions

WGAR: New Way Summit Task Force
http://wgar.info/2010/02/09/new-way-summit-task-force/
[Includes resolutions of New Way Summit of 30 January – 1 February 2010]

– News

Koori Mail: Summit task force to work on charter
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
10 Feb 10: “A TASK FORCE has been established to examine
international and domestic sovereignty options, develop an
Aboriginal Charter of Rights and establish protocols for
inter-nation relations following a three-day Indigenous
summit in Canberra last week. About 120 people attended the
New Way Summit, an ‘unfunded grassroots initiative’
convened by NSW Aboriginal activist Michael Anderson.”

– Radio

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
8 Feb 10: “Les Malezer – Tiga Bayles spoke with Les
Malezer, Chairperson of the Foundation for Aboriginal and
Islander Research Action (FAIRA). They spoke about the New
Way Summit in Canberra.”
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/audio/98fm-podcast-2010-02-08-68091.mp3

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
4 Feb 10: “Michael Anderson – Tiga Bayles spoke with Tent
Embassy Founder, Michael Anderson. They spoke about the New
Way Summit: Our Way or No Way and The Tent Embassy Summit.”
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/audio/98fm-podcast-2010-02-04-74976.mp3

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane
Let’s Talk – Indigenous presented talkback:
http://989fm.com.au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
2 Feb 10: “Larissa Behrendt and Mark McMurtry – Tiga Bayles
spoke with Professor of Law & Director of Research at the
Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS in Sydney,
Larissa Behrendt and Mark McMurtry. They spoke about the
New Way Summit.”
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasting/audio/98fm-podcast-2010-02-02-68437.mp3

– Background

WGAR News: Call to an Aboriginal Summit in Canberra (13 Jan 10):
http://wgar.info/2010/01/13/130110-call-to-an-aboriginal-summit-in-canberra/

WGAR News: Update on Aboriginal Summit in Canberra (23 Jan 10):
http://wgar.info/2010/01/23/23012010-update-on-aboriginal-summit-in-canberra/

WGAR News: New Way Aboriginal Summit about to begin in Canberra (29 Jan 10):
http://wgar.info/2010/01/29/29012010-new-way-aboriginal-summit-about-to-begin-in-canberra/

WGAR News: Outcomes of the New Way Aboriginal Summit (6 Feb 10):
http://wgar.info/2010/02/06/06022010-outcomes-of-the-new-way-aboriginal-summit/

OTHER ABORIGINAL ARTICLES:

– Opinion

National Indigenous Times:
RINGY’S RAMBLINGS: A government slips on The Rock
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=19303
4 Feb 10: “In the heart of the country, the Anangu owners
of Uluru politely request that visitors do not climb the
rock. GRAHAM RING* reports that most comply happily – and
suggests the others just need a little more convincing.”

National Indigenous Times:
BLACKCURRENT: The last fighting words
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/story.aspx?id=19301
4 Feb 10: “Australia is one of the world’s “hot spots” for
endangered languages. We must act before it’s too late,
writes AMY MCQUIRE*.” Amy McQuire, editor of the National
Indigenous Times

– News

Koori Mail: TJ’s family still seeking justice
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
12 Feb 10: “THE Indigenous Social Justice Association
(ISJA) has called for justice and redress for the family of
an Aboriginal teenager who died six years ago after
becoming impaled on a Redfern fence during a police chase.
TJ’s mum Gail Hickey has asked the UN Human Rights
Committee to find that Australia has failed in its human
rights obligations by not having the matter independently
investigated.”

National Indigenous Times:
Aboriginal victims to sue British over nuclear tests
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=19331
4 Feb 10: “Five Aboriginal people affected by the British
nuclear tests carried out at Emu Field in 1953 are taking
their case to the UK, with Cherie Booth – the wife of
former British Prime Minister Tony Blair – as their
representative. The compensation case comes after 800
British nuclear veterans were last year granted permission
to sue the British Ministry of Defence over personal
injuries stemming from radiation exposure during the tests.
Last month, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM) in
South Australia placed an ad calling on both Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal people who were interested in pursuing
compensation against the UK government. … “

See: ANTaR (SA): ‘Britain must compensate Aboriginal
people for radioactive fallout’
[scroll down page] http://antarsa.auspics.org.au/

National Indigenous Times:
ailing funds better spent on community programs: report
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=19326
4 Feb 10: “The money spent on incarcerating Indigenous
Australians would be better spent on preventative programs
and community building, a new report has recommended.
Delivering his sixth and final Social Justice Report in
Sydney late last month, former Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma called for
“justice reinvestment” in communities with large numbers
of offenders.”

National Indigenous Times:
THE BIG READ: Looking back, looking forward
http://www.nit.com.au/story.aspx?id=19337
4 Feb 10: “The Apology was the first step towards creating
an Australia that is inclusive and embracing of its First
Peoples. However, we have a long way to go before we can
stand in this country as equals, and this will take
commitment from Governments at all levels and ongoing
efforts by our people to achieve true justice, equality and
reconciliation.” Tom Calma, former Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

Koori Mail: Govt moves to provide some financial relief
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
10 Feb 10: “THE Federal Government has committed $7.5
million towards growing the community development financial
institution sector, to give Australians shunned by
mainstream banks and services access to fair loans and
other financial products. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny
Macklin’s recent announcement followed concern that
vulnerable Aboriginal people in the WA Goldfields were
accepting high-interest loans from an unauthorised lender
in Laverton.”

National Indigenous Times:
Emergency funds given in the wake of outback “loan shark”
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=19327
4 Feb 10: “The federal government has announced it will be
providing a further $20,000 in emergency relief funds for
the Ngaanyatjarra Lands and Laverton, amid reports a West
Australian man has been “exploiting” Aboriginal people in
the region.”

– Media Release

Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney:
Don’t punish loan shark Sam Tomarchio’s victims
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/press-releases/don-t-punish-loan-shark-sam-tomarchio-s-victims-1-2-10
1 Feb 10: “”Centrelink shouldn’t punish the victims of loan
shark Sam Tomarchio with income management” said STICS
spokesperson, Monique Wiseman. “We’ve all been shocked by
the exploitation by Tomarchio of some of the poorest
members of WA’s remote Aboriginal communities. Charging
exorbitant interest rates – and taking the bank cards and
PIN numbers – is exploitation of the highest order.” But,
according to the January 19 Australian, Centrelink’s
solution is to put people on income management – a solution
that can only increase poverty and one that devious
operators like Tomarchio can get around.”


11/02/2010 NEW NT INTERVENTION LAWS THAT EXTEND WELFARE QUARANTINING:

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 13/02/2010 by D

Contents:
New NT Intervention laws that extend welfare quarantining [only item]

– Special feature

Stop the Intervention:
Racial Discrimination Act – New Legislation
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation
[Includes Comments by:
* Les Malezer
* Greens Senator Rachel Siewert
* Eva Cox, Women for Wik
* Marlene Hodder, IRAG
* Alexis Wright
* Michele Madigan
* Michael Anderson
* Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney
* Neil E Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, ALRM
* Richard Downs, spokesperson for the Alyawarr walk-off camp
* Professor Alastair Nicholson,
former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
* The Aboriginal Support Group – Manly Warringah Pittwater
Also includes Links to:
* Government info on the new RDA Legislation
* Information about the Consultations
* Info on Inquiry into Social Security and Other Legislation
Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial
Discrimination Act) Bill 2009 etc
* Submissions to the Senate Inquiry]

– Media Release

Stop the Intervention: Aboriginal rights advocates support
Greens move to vote against new NT Intervention laws
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/stics-9-2-10
9 Feb 10: “Prominent Aboriginal rights supporters including
Jumbunna House of Learning UTS, The Aboriginal Legal Rights
Movement (SA), the CFMEU (Construction Forestry Mining and
Energy Union), ‘concerned Australians’, The Working Group
for Aboriginal Rights, Eva Cox and Stop the Intervention
Collective Sydney are giving their full support to the
Greens Senators’ plans to vote against new NT Intervention
legislation that extends welfare quarantine.”

– News

SMH: NT’s welfare powers could extend to all
http://www.smh.com.au/national/nts-welfare-powers-could-extend-to-all-20100206-njwl.html
7 Feb 10: “PLANS to extend aspects of the Northern
Territory intervention in indigenous communities to all
welfare recipients – first in the territory, then
countrywide – could become the federal government’s next
battle in the Senate.”

SMH: Call to stop compulsory income quarantining
http://www.smh.com.au/national/call-to-stop-compulsory-income-quarantining-20100207-nkxq.html
8 Feb 10: “THE government’s plan to roll out compulsory
income management across Australia for long-term welfare
recipients, including sole parents and young people, is
based on flimsy and contradictory evidence from the
Northern Territory intervention and should be stopped, the
nation’s peak welfare organisation [Australian Council of
Social Service] says.”

SMH: Income program a cloak for racism: professor
http://www.smh.com.au/national/income-program-a-cloak-for-racism-professor-20100209-nptg.html
10 Feb 10: “THE federal government’s plan to extend income
management of welfare payments beyond the Northern
Territory is a ”clumsily disguised and cynical attempt”
to perpetuate racial discrimination against indigenous
Australians, a former chief justice of the Family Court of
Australia [Alastair Nicholson] said yesterday.”

Australian: Coalition to block `watered down’ welfare reform
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/coalition-to-block-watered-down-welfare-reform/story-e6frg6nf-1225828489841
10 Feb 10: “THE opposition has threatened to block
government welfare reform plans over concerns that key
aspects of the Northern Territory intervention will be
watered down. Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin
released proposals last November to extend income
management across the Territory from July 1 and later
expand it nationally.”

See: http://www.liberal.org.au/news.php?Id=4717

– Comments about the new RDA Legislation

Stop the Intervention: Les Malezer
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/les-malezer-4-2-10
4 Feb 10: ” … The legislation introduced by the government
is unfortunately not primarily intended to reinstate the
RDA, it is intended to find another way to discriminate
against the rights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people and to continue the hostile approach to our
rights to self-determination. Now is not the time to debate
this point but the government has made clear its intention
to not change policy in the NT or elsewhere. In fact the
government is making an attempt to extend non-democratic
principles, paternal decision-making and impacts upon our
peoples around the entire country. …”

Stop the Intervention: Greens Senator Rachel Siewert
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/greens-senator-rachel-siewert-5-2-10
5 Feb 10: “… the Greens objected strongly to the
suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act under the NTER.
We were the only party to vote against it being suspended –
the ALP in opposition voted to suspend it. … These laws
are introducing the most major changes ever seen in
Australia to our welfare system. The Introduction of
national income quarantining attacks the basic tenet and
fundamental underlying philosophy of the inalienability of
social security entitlements. On this basis alone there is
a compelling argument that such wide-sweeping changes
require proper parliamentary scrutiny. … “

Eva Cox
Pushing bad policy against the evidence
Crikey Blog: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/02/05/pushing-bad-policy-against-the-evidence/
Stop the Intervention: http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/eva-cox-women-for-wik-5-2-10
5 Feb 10: “Sole parents and the unemployed beware! Jenny
Macklin is trying to take half your income away. From July
in the NT, and 2011 for the rest of the country, she wants
to implement the most drastic change to our social security
system ever. And almost nobody knows about it. She is
expecting support from the very conservative Opposition
front bench to have the legislation passed quickly so she
can impose these new measures as soon as possible despite
almost universal opposition from a wide range of groups.”

Stop the Intervention:
Marlene Hodder, Intervention Rollback Action Group
An appeal to the public regarding the proposed Social Security legislation
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/marlene-hodder-irag-5-2-10
5 Feb 10: “I have just witnessed FaHCSIA staff present
their case to the Senate Inquiry into the proposed Social
Security amendment legislation in Canberra. I am shocked
that obviously high up bureaucrats can speak with such
expertness on the justification for imposing such measures
initially on all people (mainly Aboriginal) in the Northern
Territory and possibly eventually on other ‘disadvantaged’
areas around the country, as the minister deems fit. …
I am appealing to all people to write to their local
newspaper or contact their local Federal member and/or
Senator to express their concern at this drastic change in
social security in this country.”

Stop the Intervention: Alexis Wright, Author
Your help on the Racial Discrimination Act so we don’t stand still
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/alexis-wright-author-4-2-10
4 Feb 10: “I am writing to you to back the letter sent to
you today from Les Malezer. I received advice of your email
earlier today and I could not believe that this Government
could be so blind and deaf to how most Indigenous people
think about the NTER, to expect us to back the suggestions
in your email.”

Stop the Intervention: Michele Madigan
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/michele-madigan-5-2-10
5 Feb 10: “Please don’t allow this legislation to pass in
its present form. … I have to point out that simply
nullifying the Racial Discrimination Act- for example by
extending blanket Income Management to non Indigenous
people as the Bill intends, is not a justification for then
being able to reinstate such an Act. It seems surely that
discrimination is merely extended to become also class
discrimination … “

Michael Anderson
Welfare changes will cause survival crime and more child removals
Stop the Intervention: http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/michael-anderson-7-2-10
Indymedia Australia: http://indymedia.org.au/2010/02/07/welfare-changes-will-cause-survival-crime-and-more-child-removals
7 Feb 10: “These amendments will cause some very rude
shocks to Australia’s poor. Firstly, they will permit the
minister to identify any particular location in Australia
and impose welfare quarantining there. … It should also
be known that based on the $150 million administration
costs of the quarantining program across the Northern
Territory, covering about 10,000 people, it costs around
$15,000 per person to administer.”

Stop the Intervention:
Neil E Gillespie, CEO, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/neil-gillespie-alrm-9-2-10
9 Feb 10: “I find the continuation of the racist NT
Intervention by the Rudd Government disappointing. I remind
everyone that the Intervention is about access to
Aboriginal land by business interests (mining) and the
location of a dump for uranium waste. SA, WA and Qld will
not accept uranium waste so we are deluding ourselves the
Intervention is anything but accessing Aboriginal land in
the NT. It has NOTHING to do with children.”

Stop the Intervention:
Richard Downs, spokesperson for the Alyawarr walk-off camp
Open letter to Jenny Macklin from Alyawarr protest camp
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/richard-downs-9-2-10
9 Feb 10: “Dear Minister Macklin. Stop making excuses. We
have read a recent email from your department appealing for
support for your new Intervention legislation. It pretends
your proposed laws will end discrimination. We know that
this is a lie. If you really cared you could act now. Using
Ministerial powers granted by the Intervention laws you
could immediately de-prescribe communities, grant mass
exemptions from Income Management and declare that the NT
Anti-Discrimination Act applies to Intervention
legislation.”

Stop the Intervention: Professor Alastair Nicholson,
former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/prof-alastair-nicholson-9-2-10
9 Feb 10: “What is clear is that this is little more than a
ruse to overcome the provisions of the RDA and that the
real targets of the income management scheme are likely to
be Aboriginal people including Aboriginal people living
beyond the NT. It is little more than a clumsily disguised
and cynical attempt to perpetuate racial discrimination.
This in itself involves a breach of the Racial
Discrimination Act as it is clearly indirect
discrimination”.”

Stop the Intervention:
Aboriginal Support Group – Manly Warringah Pittwater
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/asg-manly-warringah-pittwater-10-2-10
10 Feb 10: “There are worrying reports of impending Federal
Legislation which may shortly extended “income management”
to the entire country. We encourage our members and all
those concerned about human rights to attend the Rally
against the NT Intervention this Saturday, 13th Feb – the
2nd anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations
when Kevin Rudd said”… this Parliament resolves that the
injustices of the past must never, never happen again.”

– Radio

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-radio-11th-february-2010/
11 Feb 10: “A former chief justice of the Family Court of
Australia says a Rudd Labour Government plan to extend
income management of welfare payment beyond the Northern
Territory is a “sloppy, cheap and unfair solution” that
reflects lazy politics.”

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-radio-news-10th-february-2010/
10 Feb 10: “NTCOSS has called on the Federal Government to
stop forced welfare quarantining.”

CAAMA Radio News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
http://caama.com.au/radio/caama-radio-news-9th-of-february-2009/
9 Feb 10: “Rudd Government predicted to roll out income
managment to populated Aboriginal towns and communities
across the country.”


11/02/2010: UPCOMING EVENTS – NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 11/02/2010 by D

Contents:
Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
Prescribed Area People’s Alliance Meeting – 12 Feb 2010
National Day of Action – 13 Feb 2010
Ampilatwatja – Celebration and opening of Protest House – 14 Feb 2010
National Book Launch: “This Is What We Said” – Feb 2010

BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

Intervention walk-off’s Blog:
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

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

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):
http://stoptheintervention.org/

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):
http://wgar.info/

PRESCRIBED AREA PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE MEETING – 12 FEB 2010

[scroll down page] http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/

“12 February 2010

Prescribed Area People’s Alliance Meeting
Mparntwe-Alice Springs

Salvation Army Hall, 9.30 am till 4 pm

Important meeting for people living in communities,
outstations and town camps in Central Australia.

To discuss where people are at with the Intervention.

Some help available with transport. … “

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION – 13 FEB 2010

There are several articles on the STICS (Stop the
Intervention Collective Sydney) homepage about the National
Day of Action against the Northern Territory (NT)
Intervention and for Aboriginal rights. Included is a
statement by representatives from “prescribed communities”
in the NT calling for protests on Saturday February 13,
2010. Scroll down the page to read them:
http://stoptheintervention.org/

There are also details about National Actions in Adelaide,
Alice Springs, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney on the
STICS homepage. Scroll down the page to read about them:
http://stoptheintervention.org/

– Media Release from Central Australia

Rollback the Intervention:
Nationwide Protests to Mark Two Years Since the Apology
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/media/
Feb 10: “Protest actions around the country on Saturday
13th February will mark two years since the National
Apology to the Stolen Generations when Prime Minister Rudd
committed the government to “a future where this Parliament
resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never
happen again”. There will be rallies in Brisbane, Sydney,
Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Alice Springs calling for an
immediate end to the Northern Territory Intervention and to
show support for Aboriginal communities standing up against
the government’s racist laws. Speakers at the Alice Springs
rally will include members of the Maritime Union and the
CFMEU who have worked with the Ampilitawatja community in
building a ‘Protest House’ at the walk-off site and
walk-off spokesperson Richard Downs along with members from
outback communities, town camps and outstations who are
resisting long-term leases over their land and intervention
control measures. … Barbara Shaw, leader of the
Intervention Rollback Action Group based in Alice Springs,
is calling on people around the country to attend a rally
to protest the proposed new laws. “If you can’t get to a
rally, please lobby politicians to support the legislation
that the Greens introduced into Parliament last November
which would bring back the Racial Discrimination Act
straight away with no strings attached,” Ms Shaw says.
“Let’s do away with the NT Intervention and start
respecting Aboriginal people”. … rally and march Saturday;
13th February starting at 10 am at the Flynn Church lawns”

AMPILATWATJA – CELEBRATION AND OPENING OF PROTEST HOUSE – 14 FEB 2010

Lunchtime – Honeymoon Bore

Intervention walkoff’s Blog: Invitation to attend opening
of Alyawarr protest house: Feb 14, 2010.
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/
“Richard Downs and Alyawarr elders would like to invite
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to the opening of our
protest house at lunchtime, February 14 at Honeymoon bore
near Ampilatwatja community. This is a stand against the
federal government Intervention. The protest house has been
build with support of Northern Territory and national trade
unions and the general public to show the governments it
does not take over 2 years to build one house. This is also
an opportunity for people of all races to come together in
unity against racism and discrimination, … “

– Video

Intervention walkoff’s Blog: Video
Invitation to attend opening of the Walk Off Camp ‘Protest
House’
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/video/

NATIONAL BOOK LAUNCH: “THIS IS WHAT WE SAID” – FEB 2010

Stop the Intervention:
Book Launch: “This Is What We Said”
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/films-and-literature/book-this-is-what-we-said

“Below you will find an invitation to the launch of a book
“This Is What We Said’. The book puts on record some views
about the NT Intervention that were expressed by Aboriginal
people during the NTER consultations between June and
August last year. We feel that it is very important that
these views are heard.. It is our belief that Government
failed to listen to what was said by Aboriginal people and
this is now evident by the legislation that is currently
before Parliament. … ”
Michele Harris on behalf of ‘concerned Australians’

“Melbourne 12.30PM – 9 February, at Melbourne University
Bookshop. …
Canberra 5pm for 5.30pm – 11 February, at ANU Co-op
Bookshop, Building 17, Union Court, Australian National
University, to be launched by Christine King. …
Adelaide 1pm to 3pm – 13 February at North TceParliament
House.
Alice Springs 10 am – 13 February, Todd Mall Church Lawns
Sydney starting 1 pm – 13 February at The Block, Redfern,
For further info: http://stoptheintervention.org/
6pm for 6.30pm- 16 February at Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point
Road, Glebe. For further info:
http://www.gleebooks.com.au/default.asp?p=events/launches4_htm
Darwin there is a launch being planned for later in February
– details are not yet to hand.
From mid-February in Darwin you will be able to be
purchase books from the CDU Bookshop or from Absolutely
Books in Cullen Bay.”

[Canberra launch hosted by Working Group for Aboriginal
Rights and Concerned Australians. The photography in the
book is by Canberran documentary film maker Eleanor Gilbert,
based on video footage of the FaHCSIA consultations.]

– Media Release from Central Australia

Rollback the Intervention:
Nationwide Protests to Mark Two Years Since the Apology
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/media/
Feb 10: ” … Professor Larissa Behrendt from Jumbunna
Indigenous House of Learning will launch a new book “This
Is What We Said” at the Alice Springs rally. This book
puts on record views about the NT Intervention that were
expressed by Aboriginal people during the NTER consultations
held between June and August last year, which the government
has falsely claimed show support for income managment. The
book is also being launched in Sydney and Adelaide on 13th
February. … “


New Way Summit Task Force

Posted in EVENTS on 09/02/2010 by D

# MichaelAnderson, Convenor, ngurampaa@bigpond.com.au
Mobile: 0427292492 Ph: 02 68296355

# Mark McMurtrie
# Vicki Winters
# Marianne Mackay
# Amala Groom
# Barbara Shaw
# Donna Jackson
# Lyall Munro
# Jenny Munro
# Malley Monsell
# Nathan Moran

NEW WAY SUMMIT 30 January – 1 February 2010

Resolutions of 30 January 2010

That the New Way Summit nominate a Task Force group to organise the second New Way Summit to be held at the University of Technology Sydney over the Easter weekend Friday 2nd-4th April 2010.

Moved by Vicki Winters
Passed by Waratah Gillespie
Passed unanimously

Resolutions of 31 January 2010

That the Australian Greens rescind their support for the proposed National Representative Body “The First Nations Congress” as designed by the former Human Rights Commissioner Tom Calma. And that the New Way Summit will also boycott the First Nations Congress.

Moved by Lyall Munro
Seconded by Nathan Moran
Passed unanimously

Resolution: Resolve to have the National Parliament recognise the Domestic Sovereignty of the Aboriginal Nationals within Australia.

That the New Way Summit conference agrees that whilst we as First Peoples of these lands identify by our Nations, collectively we will be referred to as Aboriginal Peoples.

Moved by Lyall Munro
Seconded by Waratah Gillespie
Passed unanimously

Resolutions of 1 February 2010

That the New Way Summit conference requests the Australian Greens to put up a Private Members Bill, in the Australian Parliament, to recognise Aboriginal Peoples as having domestic sovereignty.

Moved by Darlene Hoskins
Seconded by Waratah
Passes unanimously

That the New Way Summit conference endorses the abolishment of Section 51 subsection 26 of the Australian Constitution regarding race powers including the permanent eradication of special measures.

Moved by Marianne Mackay
Seconded by Ray Jackson
Passed unanimously

That the New Way Summit agrees that there should be no uranium mining and no nuclear dumping on Aboriginal land, as per article 29 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (no dumping hazardous waste on Aboriginal land).

Moved by Donna Jackson
Passed by Barbara Shaw
Passed unanimously

That the New Way Summit demands that Minister Macklin should resign from her position as Minister and replaced by an Aboriginal person selected by Aboriginal people. We call for the resignation of any other person that holds an Aboriginal position and is not acting in the best interest of the people they represent. If these people perceive that they are acting in the best interest of our peoples then they need to demonstrate this to us.

Moved by Vicki Winters
Passed by Darlene Hoskins
Passed unanimously

MOVED TO THE NEXT MEETING IN APRIL
That the New Way Summit calls for a National Aboriginal Sovereignty Day and that this day be a Public holiday.

Moved by Genie Bartlett
Passed by Barbara Shaw
NOT PASSED – MOVED TO THE NEXT MEETING

That the New Way Summit agree that the handpicked representatives on the AUA, Langton, Mundine etc must be shamed. As they themselves are not recognising our rights as Aboriginal people under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We must have the right to pick our own representatives.
Moved by Donna Jackson
Passed by
NOT PASSED, NEEDS TO BE REWRITTEN – MOVED TO THE NEXT MEETING


Welfare changes will cause survival crime and more child removals

Posted in NEWS on 09/02/2010 by D


Goodooga, northwest NSW, 7 February — An Aboriginal leader warns that changes to the welfare system will cause a major jump in petty crimes, as people steal to survive, and increase the number of children being removed from their families.

The last survivor of the four activists who set up the Aboriginal embassy in Canberra in 1972, writes that Aboriginal affairs minister, Jenny Macklin’s “dictatorship goes on unchallenged inside or outside of parliamentary circles”.

He urges the poor to stand up and revolt against welfare quarantining or trouble and revolution will be the only solution.

“We all must speak out and take to the streets to stop Kevin Rudd’s dictatorship,” Michael Anderson writes in a media release.

“We must also be mindful of how this will impact on the elderly. Life is hard enough on our community elders without them being humiliated by quarantining their money. They are not children, they have made their contribution to this country. There is no justification for what this Labor government is doing.”

Mr Anderson also argues that the welfare amendments will kill the few shops still operating in remote areas because they depend on Aboriginal money.

Breaking down the $150 million it costs to administer the quarantining program across the Northern Territory to $15,000 per person of the 10,000 people it covers, he asks: “Why should this money be wasted when it could be spent on subsidising food programmes such as breakfast, lunches and afternoon snacks for the children as they go home from school?”

Citing amendments to the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and Social Security Act 1991, the trained lawyer notes that they also include within them the re-introduction of the Racial Discrimination Act.

“If the amendments to these Acts are not approved by the parliament then the re-introduction of the Racial Discrimination Act will not come into effect. This is a sleazy bit of politics and must be condemned.”

Mr Anderson writes that the amendments will cause some very rude shocks to Australia’s poor. “They will permit the minister to identify any particular location in Australia and impose welfare quarantining there.”

For example, the minister could say that the welfare recipients of Inala, a suburb of Brisbane, or the people of Brewarrina in northwest NSW are to have their welfare quarantined. “There will be nowhere to hide from this minister’s sinister plans.”

Mr Anderson writes that if the minister targets smaller places like his community of Goodooga, it will devastate people. “There are no shops in our little community of 300. There is no petrol station. People here have to travel 150 kilometres round trip to get their food and petrol supplies, and we certainly don’t have a Coles shop anywhere within 5 hours.” None of even more remote communities

have any form of public transport.

Urging to make welfare quarantining a major election issue, Mr Anderson, who rose from youth poverty and racism in Walgett, says: “The way this country treats its underprivileged is disgusting, a disgrace and immoral.”

Mr Anderson’s release in full:

Jenny Macklin’s dictatorship goes on unchallenged inside or outside of parliamentary circles.

The amendments to the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and Social Security Act 1991 also include within them the re-introduction of the Racial Discrimination Act. If the amendments to these Acts are not approved by the parliament then the re-introduction of the Racial Discrimination Act will not come into effect. This is a sleazy bit of politics and must be condemned.

These amendments will cause some very rude shocks to Australia’s poor. Firstly, they will permit the minister to identify any particular location in Australia and impose welfare quarantining there. Let me give you an example.

The minister can say that the welfare recipients of Inala, a suburb of Brisbane, or the people of Brewarrina in northwest NSW are to have their welfare quarantined. There will be nowhere to hide from this minister’s sinister plans.

It must be understood that when this minister targets the smaller places, like my community Goodooga, the people will be devastated. There are no shops in our little community of 300. There is no petrol station. People here have to travel 150 kilometres round trip to get their food and petrol supplies, and we certainly don’t have a Coles shop anywhere within 5 hours.

None of the smaller communities further afield from us, like Weilmoringle and Engonnia, have any form of public transport.

We are also concerned that when these amendments are made they will impact on all of our small businesses that are out this way in the remote areas. Although my community of Goodooga is without any shop, where there are small shops servicing some of these remote communities they will not survive because their income is dependent on the Aboriginal money.

These changes to the welfare will cause a major jump in petty crimes, just as it happened was in England in the 17th and 18th century when people stole to survive.

Is there no politician in the national parliament who has a conscience and is prepared to speak out against this archaic law change? How in the world can the politicians sit there in the parliament and let this minister say and do these things? Are there no possibilities to look at alternatives to this blanket one-shoe-fits-all approach?

It should also be known that based on the $150 million administration costs of the quarantining program across the Northern Territory, covering about 10,000 people, it costs around $15,000 per person to administer. Why should this money be wasted when it could be spent on subsidising food programmes such as breakfast, lunches and afternoon snacks for the children as they go home from school?

The way this country treats its underprivileged is disgusting, a disgrace and immoral. As a person of conscience I know that the people need to know of the effects of these proposed changes. The people need to know what the implications and ramifications will be, especially as it will impact them dramatically as individuals.

Furthermore, I strongly believe that the number of children who will be removed from their families under this regime will escalate to the point where the state will be building and programming the same initiatives that Hitler did when they built the Lebensborn Homes where the state took control of the unwanted children and children who could not be looked after by their families as a consequence of war. We cannot let this happen in this country.

We must also be mindful of how this will impact on the elderly. Life is hard enough on our community elders without them being humiliated by quarantining their money. They are not children, they have made their contribution to this country. There is no justification for what this Labor government is doing.

The poor did not put the world economy into a tailspin in recent years, it was the rich and the professional cons that did it. So why are these people left out there in the public to continue their covert operations with public money? If it was not for the taxpayers’ money they would all be broke and applying for welfare themselves.

Welfare quarantining must become a major election issue and we all must speak out and take to the streets to stop Kevin Rudd’s dictatorship. The poor must stand up and revolt, because if we don’t, trouble and revolution will be the only solution.

Michael Anderson can be contacted at landline 02 68296355, mobile 04272 92 492, fax 02 68296375, ngurampaa@bigpond.com.au.