09/05/2010: NEW NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AUSTRALIA’S FIRST PEOPLES

Contents:
New National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
Film Screening: The Ampilatwatja Walkoff vs. The Intervention
Rally against Racism: Stop racial discrimination in the N.T.
Other NT Intervention Articles

NEW NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AUSTRALIA’S FIRST PEOPLES:

– Radio

The Wire: Launch of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
http://www.thewire.org.au/daydetail.aspx?SearchDay=2010-05-07
7 May 10: “The National Congress of Australia’s First
Peoples has been hailed by human rights groups as a
positive step forward for Australia’s indigenous people.
However indigenous community workers and experts believe
the organisation has failed to address major concerns.
Tygar Taylor spoke with Indigenous representatives about
what they really think about the National Congress of
Australia’s First Peoples.”

ABC PM: Doubts over impact of new peak Indigenous body
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s2889151.htm?site=widebay
3 May 10: “There’s a new organisation to represent the
interests of Aboriginal Australians but just a day into its
existence questions are being raised about just what it’ll
do. Human rights groups have hailed the new National
Congress of Australia’s First Peoples as a turning point in
Australia’s reconciliation process. But sceptics say the
body has limited financial and political power and may
follow the same fate as other peak Indigenous bodies.”

– Media Releases

Indymedia Australia:
Aboriginal activist slams new body as “joke of the new millennium”
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/05/05/aboriginal-activist-slams-new-body-as-%E2%80%9Cjoke-of-the-new-millennium%E2%80%9D
5 May 10: “Aboriginal political activist, Michael Anderson,
says the Rudd government’s attempt to pacify the Aboriginal
people by establishing the Aboriginal Congress of First
Nations is an absolute joke and a waste of $30 million of
public funds. … “Do the Prime Minister and his Minister
for Aboriginal Affairs, Jenny Macklin, truly think that we
Aborigines are childlike and cannot see the insult being
waged against us with the establishment of such an
irrelevant organization, and then to say that they represent
Aborigines when NO public elections are being held for its
membership?””

Northern Land Council:
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
http://www.nlc.org.au/html/files/National%20Congress%20of%20Australia%27s%20First%20Peoples.pdf
4 May 10: “Northern Land Council (NLC) Chief Executive Mr
Kim Hill says the re-creation of a national Indigenous
representative body is an important step in improving the
lives of Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Territory.
Members of the national exectutive and ethics council of
the new National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples were
announced yesterday, giving Australia’s Indigenous peoples
a united voice for the first time since the Aboritinal and
Torres Strait Islander Commission was disbanded by the
former Howard government in 2005.”

Australian Human Rights Commission:
First National Executive is a milestone moment for Indigenous Australians
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2010/40_10.html
2 May 10: “Today’s announcement that the National Congress
of Australia’s First Peoples is ready to begin operations
marks a new beginning for effective national representation
of Australia’s First Peoples, Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said today.
Mr Gooda congratulated the Congress on being incorporated
as a company limited by guarantee, meaning that it can now
begin to operate officially.”

– Membership of the National Executive and the Ethics Council

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources:
New Congress To Represent Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islanders:
National Congress Of Australia’s First People
http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5068:new-congress-to-represent-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islanders-national-congress-of-australias-first-people&catid=54:australia-indigenous-peoples&Itemid=76
5 May 10: “The National Executive are charged with
overseeing the set up phase and along with a secretariat is
tasked to convene the first meeting of the Congress and its
120 delegates. … A special body of expert peers has also
been established as an Ethics Council and will provide
independent advice on standards and guidelines for the
Congress. As an oversight and advice body the Council will
assist with legal and reporting requirements but also as an
external body that can investigate breaches or complaints.”

– News

The Standard: A non-event
http://www.standard.net.au/news/local/news/general/a-nonevent/1821980.aspx
6 May 10: “GEOFF Clark has slammed the launch of the new
national indigenous representative body, declaring it a
“non-event.” The outspoken Aboriginal activist said the new
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples was
undemocratic and subservient to the federal government. The
executive board of the newly-established congress was
announced in Sydney this week and the organisation will be
fully functioning next year.”

Koori Mail: New body ‘window-dressing’, says campaigner
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
6 May 10: “SYDNEY-based social justice campaigner Ray
Jackson has expressed doubts about the longevity of the new
National Congress of Australia’s First People, given its at
least initial reliance on government funding and support
from philanthropic and corporate sources. Ray Jackson
described the new organisation as ‘a powerless
assimilationist government-controlled window dressing
exercise’, whose advice the Federal Government could listen
politely to and then ignore”

Koori Mail: Tent Embassy founder brands Congress ‘a joke’
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
6 May 10: “ONE of the founders of the Aboriginal Tent
Embassy in Canberra has described the new National Congress
of Australia’s First People (NCAFP) as ‘a joke’, and a
waste of public funds. Michael Anderson says the
Government’s failure to ensure public elections for
membership of the $30 million National Congress is an
insult, and he hopes Indigenous Australians will have
nothing to do with what he says will be an ‘irrelevant
organisation’.”

Koori Mail: National Congress ‘a turning point’
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
5 May 10: “THE announcement that the National Congress of
Australia’s First Peoples (NCAFP) was ready to begin
operations will go down in history as a turning point in
Australia’s reconciliation process, according to Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick
Gooda. Mr Gooda said the NCAFP’s evolution from a process
driven by Indigenous peoples and equal representation of
women and men was ground-breaking.”

Koori Mail: Land council backs NCAFP
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
5 May 10: “THE Northern Land Council (NLC) has described
the re-creation of a national Indigenous representative
body as an important step in improving the lives of
Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Territory. The land
council’s chief executive Mr Kim Hill said Indigenous
people needed a united voice in order to negotiate
successful outcomes with government.”

Koori Mail: Govt welcomes new rep body
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
5 May 10: “THE Australian Government says it looking
forward to working with the inaugural national executive of
the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples to close
the gap in Indigenous life outcomes and opportunities.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says the new body
offered an ‘informed and strong national voice’ for the
goals, aspirations, interests and values of Indigenous
peoples.”

Koori Mail: A new voice
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
5 May 10: “FIVE years after the aboliton of the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), Indigenous
Australians have a new national voice. An eight-member
national executive co-chaired by Sam Jeffries, from western
NSW, and Canberra-based health researcher Dr Kerry Arabena
will lead the National Congress of Australia’s First
Peoples (NCAFP) during its establishment phase.”

ABC: Aboriginal congress attacked as lesser ATSIC
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/03/2889261.htm
3 May 10: “There is a new organisation to represent the
interests of Aboriginal Australians, but just a day into
its existence, questions are being raised about just what
it will do. … Dr Thalia Anthony, who has published widely
in the area of Indigenous people and the law and is based
at Sydney’s University of Technology, is concerned about
the structure of the congress.”

Age: New indigenous ‘company’ structured to keep
politicians at arm’s length
http://www.theage.com.au/national/new-indigenous-company-structured-to-keep-politicians-at-arms-length-20100502-u1hx.html
3 May 10: “A NEW national representative body to give
indigenous people a voice has been set up as a private
company so that the federal government will not be able to
sack the leaders, its architects say.”

National Indigenous Times:
Indigenous rep body “a new beginning”: Gooda
http://www.nit.com.au/breakingnews/story.aspx?id=19764
3 May 10: “Indigenous Australia’s new nationally elected
representative body was incorporated as a company over the
weekend, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social
Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda welcoming it as a “new
beginning”. The National Congress of Australia’s First
Peoples was proposed by Mr Gooda’s predecessor Tom Calma
last year, following a series of consultations around the
country. …
For more information on the National Congress of Australia’s
First Peoples see the next print edition of NIT.”

SMH: Generation next: quiet achievers rise to forefront of
Aboriginal affairs
http://www.smh.com.au/national/generation-next-quiet-achievers-rise-to-forefront-of-aboriginal-affairs-20100502-u1j0.html
3 May 10: “The chairwoman of the latest national indigenous
peak body is a descendant of the Meriam people of the
Torres Strait, with a dash of German and Spanish heritage
and a string of health administration jobs across northern
Australia.”

Australian: Changing of the guard for Australia’s First Peoples
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/aboriginal-australia/changing-of-the-guard-for-australias-first-peoples/story-e6frgd9f-1225861308006
3 May 10: “Sam Jeffries, 46, and Kerry Arabena, 42, were
yesterday announced as co-chairs of the executive board of
the newly established National Congress of Australia’s
First Peoples. The announcement was made at The Australian
Hall in Sydney — scene of the milestone Aboriginal Day of
Mourning and protest in 1938 — and attendees smiled and
hugged each other on what they called another “landmark
day”.”

– Opinion/Analysis

SMH: It’s power and the passion
http://www.smh.com.au/national/its-power-and-the-passion-20100507-ujoa.html?skin=text-only
8 May 10: “The Aboriginal congress shuns the ATSIC example
and combines zeal with probity, writes Yuko Narushima.”

Australian Human Rights Commission:
New National Congress has every chance of being an
organisation of which we can be proud
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/op_ed/20100430_national_congress.html
5 May 10: “This week’s announcement of the National
Executive for the National Congress of Australia’s First
Peoples should be greeted with resounding applause:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples now have a
national voice again nearly five years after the formal
abolition of ATSIC at the stroke of midnight on 28 May
2005.” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice
Commissioner Mick Gooda

Indymedia Australia: “Charity at best, shameful fraud at worst”
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/05/05/charity-at-best-shameful-fraud-at-worst
5 May 10: “i have given my views on the new National
Congress of Australia’s First Peoples before but i believe
a few more thoughts are required. to begin with i, like
many others, are insulted by the new identification of
being described as ‘first nations.’ that is an canadian/
american indian term and i do not see how its use can refer
to us here in australia. … tom continues to state that
there has been wide consultation but there are many voices
raised that belies that statement.” ray jackson, president,
indigenous social justice association

Australian: Set-up dooms new body to token status
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/set-up-dooms-new-body-to-token-status/story-e6frg6nf-1225861303160
3 May 10: “GRANDIOSE in name, modest in function, bizarre
in its bureaucratic architecture, the National Congress of
Australia’s First Peoples raises more questions than it
answers about the indigenous future. … The proof of the
new body will be in the functioning, but the congress, as
initially set up, is doomed to token status.” Nicolas
Rothwell

ANTaR: ANTaR welcomes new Indigenous body
http://www.antar.org.au/antar_welcomes_new_indigenous_body
3 May 10: “ANTaR has today welcomed the establishment of
the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples as a
significant development. The National Congress is expected
to provide an independent, national Indigenous voice on key
policy issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples.”

– Background

WGAR News: … Proposed national Indigenous body (29 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] https://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/290809-un-expert-calls-nt-intervention-discriminatory/

WGAR News: … More media responses to proposed national Indigenous body (31 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] https://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/310809-more-media-responses-to-un-expert-james-anaya/

WGAR News: … Still more media responses to proposed national Indigenous body (3 Sep 09)
[scroll down page] https://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/3-sep-2009-governments-review-of-aboriginal-housing-scheme-in-the-nt/

WGAR News: … Proposed National Indigenous Representative Body (22 Sep 09)
[scroll down page] https://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/22-sep-2009-ampilatwatja-anti-intervention-walk-off-speaking-tour/

WGAR: New Way Summit delegates unanimously reject government sponsored Rep body (31 Jan 10)
https://wgar.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/new-way-summit-delegates-unanimously-reject-government-sponsored-rep-body/

WGAR News: … Proposed National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (2 Feb 10)
[scroll down page] https://wgar.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/02022010-national-day-of-action-saturday-13-february-2010-2/

FILM SCREENING: THE AMPILATWATJA WALKOFF VS. THE INTERVENTION:

Workers Bush Telegraph:
Fri May 14- Aboriginal Rights Film Premiere Screening:
The Ampilatwatja Walkoff vs. The Intervention
http://workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2010/05/05/fri-may-14-aboriginal-rights-film-premiere-screening-the-ampilatwatja-walkoff-vs-the-intervention/
“A film by Actively Radical TV … Friday May 14th
TLC Building 16 Peel St, South Brisbane Doors open 6pm …
ABOUT THE FILM: In July 2009, the Alyawarr people from
Ampilatwatja, three hours’ north-west of Alice Springs,
walked off their community and set up a protest camp on
their traditional homelands. They have remained there ever
since, protesting against the racist measures of the
Northern Territory Intervention … ”

RALLY AGAINST RACISM: STOP RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE N.T.:

Stop the Intervention:
Friday 28 May 2010, 5.30 PM, Townhall, Sydney
Rally against Racism – Stop racial discrimination in the N.T.
[scroll down page] http://stoptheintervention.org/
“Speakers include:
* Monica Morgan – Demand Dignity
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights programs manager
Amnesty International Australia
* Rebel Hanlon – Organiser CFMEU NSW”

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

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

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

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

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

– News

Green Left: Migrants fear welfare quarantine expansion
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/43916
2 May 10: “Clients at the Fairfield Migrant Resource Centre
heard on April 29 that people in disadvantaged areas, such
as Fairfield, could have their welfare benefits
“quarantined” as early as next year. The public meeting at
the centre featured Peter Davidson from the Australian
Council of Social Services and Richard Downs, spokesperson
for the Alyawarr people’s walk-off in the Northern
Territory.”

Green Left: Launch of Aboriginal rights convergence
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/43899
1 May 10: “[Paul] McAleer described the intrusive control,
bureaucratic mismanagement and overriding of community
wishes under the Northern Territory intervention. …
[Richard] Downs said he wanted to spread two key demands:
to abolish the intervention and reinstate the Racial
Discrimination Act.”

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