05/10/2010: WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES VISIT TO NT ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES 05/10/2010: WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES VISIT TO NT ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES 05/10/2010: WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES VISIT TO NT ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES

National Council of Churches in Australia:
NATSIEC – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
WCC Living Letters: Visit concludes with release of statement
http://www.ncca.org.au/departments/natsiec/559-wcc-living-letters-
Sep 10: “The World Council of Churches’ Living Letters Team
has now concluded its visit to the Northern Territory and
released a statement. The statement will be followed by a
more detailed report in coming weeks. The team visited
several communities and spoke to people who came from other
places. Many of the team members expressed shock at what
they heard as they did not realise that these things still
happened in Australia.”

– Statement

World Council of Churches Living Letters Statement
http://www.ncca.org.au/files/Natsiec/WCC_Living_Letters_statement_NATSIEC.pdf
Sep 10: “We have heard about the Northern Territory
Emergency Response, also known as the Intervention which
was initiated by the Howard Government ostensibly to
address child abuse. We have heard the Intervention has
taken control of the lives of Aboriginal Peoples through
such measures as compulsory income management and
compulsory acquisition of leases over Aboriginal land. We
have heard that it was necessary to suspend aspects of the
Racial Discrimination Act in order to implement these
measures. We have heard of the people’s confusion and
despair at these extreme measures and their hope for
change with the change of Government in 2007. Despite this
hope, the Labor government has continued the Intervention
which remains a blight on Australia’s reputation.”

– Media Release

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical
Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia
World Council of Churches Living Letters Visit
http://www.ncca.org.au/home/media-releases/570-world-council-of-churches-living-letters-visit
20 Sep 10: “The team spent the past week visiting
communities at Galiwink’u, Mapuru, Wadeye, Hermannsburg,
Amoonguna and Mount Nancy Town Camps. … The visit has
been a profound experience for all team members. Some
expressed shock at what they saw and heard saying, “we did
not realise this was still happening in Australia”.
Particular concern was expressed about the discrimination,
oppression and racism observed during the visit. As
Indigenous and marginalised peoples themselves, the team
were able to connect the stories and experiences they
heard about on-going colonisation and systemic racism in
Australia with their own experiences.”

– Further Resources

World Council of Churches:
Living Letters solidarity visit to Australia – 12-17 Sep 2010
http://www.overcomingviolence.org/en/peace-convocation/preparatory-process/living-letters-visits/australia.html

Stop the Intervention:
World Council of Churches Living Letters Visit
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/press-releases/world-council-of-churches-living-letters-visit-20-9-10

World Council of Churches listen in Mapuru
Community update 14th September 2010
http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/Homelands/WCC-visit-to-Mapuru-rept-final-2010.pdf

– Audio

ABC Sunday Nights:
World Council of Churches scrutinises the NT intervention:
The N.T. Intervention under scrutiny
http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s3015949.htm
19 Sep 10: “Studio guests include
Ms Maria Chavez Quispe (World Council of Churches),
Graeme Mundine (co-ordinator of the visit) and the
Rev. Sealin Garlett of the Uniting Church.”

– News

Catholic Leader: Territory shame
http://www.catholicleader.com.au/news.php/top-stories/territory-shame_68331
26 Sep 10: “Mr Mundine [NATSIEC executive director] said
the international observers had been shocked by Australia’s
hypocrisy on the treatment of its indigenous people. “These
visitors noted Australia was very strong on criticising
other parts of the world on breaches of human rights,” he
said. “However, the Living Letters team witnessed
astronomical abuses – discrimination, oppression and racism
– occurring in our own backyard.””

Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney:
Action Not Words Needed Says Indigenous Leader
http://www.sydney.catholic.org.au/news/latest_news/2010/2010913_653.shtml
13 Sep 10: “Government efforts with regard to Aboriginals
and Torres Strait Islanders in the past two years have
included such historic events as Kevin Rudd’s apology to
the Stolen Generation in 2008, together with moves to have
Indigenous People recognised as the first Australians in
the Constitution, and the recent agreement by PM Gillard
for a Welcome to Country to become part of the opening of
Parliament. But as Graeme Mundine [co-ordinator for the
investigation by the WCC team] points out: “These events
are merely words, not actions.””


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