Archive for February, 2011

25/02/2011 A Further Conversation with Elders – impacts of living under the Intervention

Posted in NEWSLETTER on 25/02/2011 by D

Contents:
* A Further Conversation with Elders
(7 Feb 2011 Forum at Melbourne Uni)
* Other Northern Territory (NT) Intervention articles
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention

A FURTHER CONVERSATION WITH ELDERS
(7 FEB 2011 FORUM AT MELBOURNE UNI)

“A Further Conversation with Elders” Forum was an initiative of
‘concerned Australians’: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/

– Special Compilations:

‘concerned Australians’:
A Further Conversation with Elders held at the
Melbourne University Law School on 7 Feb 2011.
(Bringing you up to date with the impacts of living
under the Intervention)
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/

Stop the Intervention:
Elders Forum 7 Feb 11
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/concerned-australians/elders-forum-7-feb-11

– Event Details:

Melbourne Law School: The University of Melbourne
A Further Conversation with Elders:
Bringing you up to date with the impacts of living
under the Intervention – Mon 07/02/2011
http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=4B1D1CB1-B0D0-AB80-E28E8C05438EC230&DiaryID=5175

– Statements:

Aboriginal Elders statement: To the People of Australia

‘concerned Australians’:
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/Elders-statement-7-2-11.pdf
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission:
http://cjpcbrisbane.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/elders-statement-feb-11009.pdf
National Council of Churches in Australia:
http://www.ncca.org.au/files/Natsiec/elders_statement_feb_11009.pdf
Nillumbik Reconciliation Group: [scroll down page]
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~nrgp/
SNAICC News: http://www.snaicc.asn.au/news/view_article.cfm?id=332&loadref=8
Stop the Intervention:
http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/concerned-Australians/Elders-statement-7-2-11.pdf
Treaty Republic:
http://www.treatyrepublic.net/content/elders-statement-7th-february-2011
Uniting Church of Australia Northern Synod:
http://www.ns.uca.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Elders-Statement-to-the-People-of-Australia.pdf

“To the People of Australia

7 February 2011

We are the people of the land. The land is our mother.
For more than 40,000 years we have been caring for this land.
We are its natural farmers.

Now, after so many years of dispossession, we find once
again we are being thrust towards a new dispossession.
Our pain and our fear are real. Our people are again being
shamed.

Under the Intervention we lost our rights as human beings,
as Australian citizens, as the First People of the Land.
We feel very deeply the threat to our languages, our
culture and our heritage. Through harsh changes we have
had removed from us all control over our communities and
our lives. Our lands have been compulsorily taken from us.
We have been left with nothing.

The legislation under which we now live does not comply
with international law. It is discriminatory. We are no
longer equal to other Australians. We are no longer equal
to you.

As people in our own land, we are shocked by the failure
of democratic processes, of the failure to consult with
us and of the total disregard for us as human beings.
We demand the return of our rights, our freedom to live
our traditional lives, support to develop our economic
enterprises to develop jobs and to work towards a better
future for all our peoples.

So extreme have been the actions against our people that
we must appeal to all people of Australia to walk with
us in true equality. Speak out and help to put an end to
the nightmare that Northern Territory Aboriginal people
are experiencing on a daily basis.

[signed] Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM, Utopia
Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, Galiwin’ku
Harry Nelson, Yuendumu
Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM, Nauiyu
Djapirri Mununggirritj, Yirrkala
Dhanggal Gurruwiwi, Yirrkala
George Gaymarani Pascoe, Milingimbi”

Statement on Aboriginal Rights by leading Australians:

‘concerned Australians’:
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/Statement-by-Eminent-Australians.doc
On Line Opinion: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11639&page=1
Stop the Intervention:
http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/concerned-Australians/Eminent-Australians-statement-7-2-11.pdf

“Australia has faced questioning at the United Nations by
member states and independent experts regarding its
Indigenous policies. The failure to restore the rights of
Aboriginal people is currently being scrutinised under the
Universal Periodic Review process of the UN Human Rights
Council and was criticised in 2010 by both the UN Special
Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and the UN
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Such scrutiny can only reveal just how far Australia is
lagging behind international standards on human rights
policies. Changes are urgently needed.

In such a context, we have become increasingly concerned
by the failure of the Federal Government, with the tacit
support of the Opposition, to properly address problems
facing Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. In
particular, the Northern Territory Emergency Response
(the Intervention) has been progressed without credible
consultation with, or the approval of, Aboriginal people.

… [the statement continues, click on one of the links
to continue reading it] …

Signed:
Professor Jon Altman
Diana Batzias
Professor Larissa Behrendt
Rev Shayne Blackman
The Hon Sally Brown AM
Julian Burnside QC
Fred Chaney AO
Patrick Dodson
Hon Elizabeth Evatt AC
Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL PC
The Most Reverend Philip Freier
Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
Hon Paul Guest QC
Phil Lynch
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM
Professor Tim McCormack
Assoc Professor Sarah Maddison
Peter Norden AO
Rev Alistair Macrae
Hon Colleen Moore
Hon Ron Merkel QC
Graeme Mundine
George Newhouse
Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC
Dr Sarah Prichard
Professor Cheryl Saunders AO
Brother Paul Smith AM
Professor Fiona Stanley AC
Rev Ken Sumner
Assoc Professor John Tobin
Bret Walker SC
Brian Walters SC
Hon Ian Viner AO QC “

– Audio:

A Further Conversation with Elders:
Lectopia Caster: [recording of actual event]
http://harangue.lecture.unimelb.edu.au/lectopia/casterframe.lasso?fid=211432&cnt=true&usr=not-indicated&name=not-indicated
‘concerned Australians’: [recording of actual event]
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/A_Further_Conversation_with_Elders.mp3
7 Feb 11

ABC The World Today: Plea for intervention into Intervention
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3133034.htm
8 Feb 11: “The Federal Intervention in the Northern
Territory is under renewed attack today. The former chief
justice of the Family Court in Australia, Alastair
Nicholson, and the former prime minister, Malcolm Fraser,
are just two people on a list of prominent Australians who
are pleading for urgent changes. In their Statement on
Aboriginal Rights, they say there hasn’t been adequate
consultation, the Intervention remains discriminatory and
it is failing to fix housing, health and education
problems in Aboriginal communities.”
[includes comments by Rosalie Kunoth-Monks,
Djiniyini Gondarra, Alastair Nicholson, Malcolm Fraser
and Jenny Macklin.]

ABC Sunday Nights: Indigenous Australia: The Future
[Continuation of the Conversation with Elders]
ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s3138353.htm
Stop the Intervention: [download document]
http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/concerned-Australians/JohnCleary-ABC-SundayNight-13-2-11.doc
13 Feb 11: “A Conversation with the Elders, brought
together from both European and Indigenous Australia, to
hear Elders from the Northern Territory and Central
Australia, reflect on how government policies, particularly
the intervention are affecting their communities. Tonight
we pick up the threads of that conversation to share it
with you and perhaps get some of your observations. In a
few moments we will be hearing from both aboriginal and
European Australian elders, including Rev Djiniyini
Gondarra, Malcolm Fraser and Sir Alastair Nicholson.”

– News:

Green Left: Aboriginal health: Gillard tries to shift the blame
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46750
20 Feb 11: “Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered the
federal government’s third “closing the gap” report on
February 9. The report is an annual review of national
efforts to address the mortality gap between Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal Australians. In an outrageous denial of
the government’s failure, Gillard called for Aboriginal
people to accept the blame for critical crises in health,
education, employment and housing and chronic community
breakdown. In the same week, Aboriginal elders, human
rights organisations and prominent Australian individuals
joined a fresh round of calls condemning the federal
government’s intervention into Northern Territory
Aboriginal communities, now midway through its third year.
Two statements were made at a public meeting in Melbourne
on February 8. Elders from several NT communities released
an open letter “to the people of Australia”.” Jay Fletcher

National Indigenous Times:
Intervention a sham
– Territory Elders tell of community destruction
NIT: http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21185
‘concerned Australians’:
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/NIT_Intervention_coverage_17-02-11.pdf
17 Feb 11: “Some of Australia’s most prominent leaders and
Elders from the Northern Territory have condemned the
Federal Government for continuing with the Intervention
(Northern Territory Emergency Response) program labelling
it a sham and a failure. Seven prominent Northern Territory
Elders have also released a heartfelt and powerful message
to the people of Australia in which they say they “have
lost our rights as human beings, as Australian citizens
and as the First People of the Land” under the Intervention
process. The seven Elders who signed the message were
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks from Utopia, the Reverend Dr Djiniyini
Gondarra, from Galiwin’ku, Harry Nelson from Yuendumu,
Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann from Nauiyu, Djapirri
Mununggirritj, from Yirrkala, Dhanggal Gurruwiwi from
Yirrkala and George Gaymarani Pascoe from Milingimbi.”

National Indigenous Times:
Save our land, save us from this debacle
NIT: http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21180
‘concerned Australians’: [scroll down page]
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/NIT_Intervention_coverage_17-02-11.pdf
17 Feb 11: “On Wednesday February 7, Australia’s Prime
Minister Julia Gillard delivered a speech to the Federal
Parliament. It was the third annual Prime Ministerial
statement to the House of Representatives to report on
progress in Closing the Gap for Indigenous Australians. But
for the Elders of traditional lands in the Northern
Territory, the Prime Minister’s speech was simply the third
annual admission by the government they are not listening
to Aboriginal Australians. Two days earlier, a group of
seven Aboriginal community representatives met with a group
of more than 30 other prominent Australians including
former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser and former Chief
Justice of the Family Court of Australia, Alastair
Nicholson.”

National Indigenous Times:
Stop destroying communities, say supporters
NIT: http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21184
‘concerned Australians’: [scroll down page]
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/NIT_Intervention_coverage_17-02-11.pdf
17 Feb 11: “Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has
attacked the Northern Territory Intervention decision and
demanded the Federal Labor Government close it down
immediately.
Mr Fraser was speaking at a meeting of Northern Territory
Indigenous leaders in Melbourne where he said. the
Intervention was paternalistic and demeaning to Aboriginal
people.
Mr Fraser was one of several prominent Australians to
speak at the meeting. He urged the Federal Government to
end the Emergency Response, also known as the Intervention,
particularly the policy of withholding half of a person’s
welfare payments for food and essential items. “There is an
absence of equality and respect, which is especially
demonstrated by the continuing policies of income
management,” Mr Fraser said.”

National Indigenous Times:
Minister rejects Intervention claims
NIT: http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21179
‘concerned Australians’: [scroll down page]
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/NIT_Intervention_coverage_17-02-11.pdf
17 Feb 11: “The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs,
Jenny Macklin has rejected claims by Territory Elders and
prominent Australians that the Intervention was not
working. Ms Macklin said the Federal Government had
substantially redesigned the Northern Territory Emergency
Response after extensive consultations with Indigenous
Australians. “We have consulted widely and this includes
conducting more than 100 whole-of-community meetings
covering all communities which are affected by the
Emergency Response (the Intervention),” Ms Macklin said.
“We have conducted 11 workshops with regional leaders and
key stakeholder organisations and numerous face-to-face
discussions between Government business managers and
individuals and small groups in communities.””

Green Left: NT elders condemn intervention
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46677
13 Feb 11: “More than 400 people attended a February 7
forum that condemned the federal government’s intervention
into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. The
forum was organised by Concerned Australians. It coincided
with the launch of a public statement addressed “to the
people of Australia” by seven Indigenous elders. The
statement asked for support to “help to put an end to the
nightmare that Northern Territory people are experiencing
on a daily basis”. The authors of the statement —
Dr Djiniyini Gondarra from Galiwin’ku; Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
from Utopia; Harry Nelson, from Yuendumu; Miriam Rose
Ungunmerr-Baumann from Nauiyu; Djapirri Mununggirritj from
Yirrkala; Dhanggal Gurruwiwi, from Yirrkala and George
Gaymarani Pascoe from Milingimbi — all addressed the forum.”

Eureka Street: Ending the Intervention
http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=24956
8 Feb 11: “On 7 February 2011, a non-partisan group of
‘concerned Australians’ — including former prime minister
Malcolm Fraser, Professor Larissa Behrendt, Reverend Dr
Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, the Hon. Alastair Nicholson,
Reverend Alistair Macrae, The Hon. Elizabeth Evatt AC,
Professor Fiona Stanley, Julian Burnside QC and Anglican
Archbishop of Melbourne Phillip Freiere — released a
statement expressing their concerns about ‘the failure of
the Federal Government, with the tacit support of the
Opposition, to properly address problems facing Aboriginal
people in the Northern Territory’. These signatories note
that the Intervention ‘has been progressed without credible
consultation with, or the approval of, Aboriginal people’.”
Sarah Burnside

ABC: Intervention ‘paternalistic and demeaning’
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/08/3132758.htm
8 Feb 11: “Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser says the
Northern Territory Emergency Response is paternalistic and
demeaning to Aboriginal people. Mr Fraser was one of
several prominent Australians to speak at a meeting of
Northern Territory Indigenous elders in Melbourne last
night. He urged the Federal Government to end the Emergency
Response, also known as the Intervention, particularly the
policy of witholding half of a person’s welfare payments
for food and essential items.” Eric Tlozek

– Report Back

NATSIEC – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Ecumenical Commission:
A Further Conversation with Elders
http://www.ncca.org.au/files/Natsiec/Report_on_conversation_with_Elders.pdf
7 Feb 11: “Rarely though do we have the
opportunity to hear directly, without
interpretation, from Aboriginal people
themselves. This happened on Monday night when,
thanks to the efforts of ‘concerned Australians’,
a large audience in Melbourne had the opportunity
to listen directly to Elders from the NT. Also,
two important statements were released. One was
from the Elders themselves, and highlighted the
pain they and their communities are experiencing
as a direct result of the Intervention. In this
statement they appeal to all Australians to “walk
with us in true equality” and help put an end to
the “nightmare that Northern Territory Aboriginal
People are experiencing on a daily basis”.”
Gabrielle Russell-Mundine, NATSIEC

Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia – Our Focus:
Indigenous Concerns – We appeal to the people of Australia
http://www.mercy.org.au/ourfocus/list_postcomments.cfm?post_id=260&loadref=4
10 Feb 11: “Rosalie, Djiniyini and four other important
elders and leaders from across the Territory – Miriam Rose
Ungunmerr-Baumann from Daly River, Yananymul Mununggurr
from Yirrkala, Harry Jackamarra Nelson from Yuendumu and
George Gaymarani Pascoe – also shared the painful reality
of the impact of the Northern Territory Intervention. The
Further Conversation with Elders was facilitated by Jeff
McMullen AM and short responses were given by Professor
the Hon Alastair Nicholson AO and Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser
AC. Alastair Nicholson presented a Statement of Aboriginal
Rights by leading Australians. The deep respect for the
elders was evident at the close of the conversation when
all of us who had gathered thanked them with resounding
applause. And as we left, many conversations commenced as
we pondered what we had heard.”

Genazzano Newsletter – Genazzano FCJ College:
‘A Conversation with the Elders’
[scroll down to page 4]
http://www.genazzano.vic.edu.au/news/pdf/Newsletter%202%20%2818Feb11%29%20WEB.pdf
18 Feb 11: “From Elders perspective, the
government’s failure to listen and acknowledge
the consequences of this policy has, as one Elder
described it, led her people to becoming, “a
special class of beggars”. The Elders expressed
their desire to maintain and strengthen their
culture as well as seek the return of their
dignity and Human rights. Many Elders spoke about
the lack of connectedness amongst their
communities and the dispossession from their
land.” Deputy Principal

Aqinas College: The Lighthouse
[scroll down to page 7]
http://www.aquinas.vic.edu.au/web/documents/lighthouse/lh.pdf
18 Feb 11: “The evening at Melbourne University
really opened our eyes to the suffering of
indigenous Australians’ under the laws of the
intervention. The elders explained that all they
wanted was to be treated equally; to be given
the full control of their lives that they
deserve. As the elders shared their painful
reality with us, we discovered that when the
intervention was brought out in 2007, no
aboriginals were consulted, and most of their
opinions were totally disregarded. … “
Caitlin Walsh

OTHER NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION ARTICLES:

– Statements

Green Left: We must ‘re-empower’ Indigenous Australia
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46759
20 Feb 11: “The statement below was released by Tangentyere
Council on February 11 in response to Prime Minister Julia
Gillard’s Closing the Gap 2011 address. ***
The intervention in the Northern Territory has created a
number of alarming issues. To a large extent the Aboriginal
population in the Central Australian Region has become
disengaged from any development process with growing signs
of increasing despair and family breakdowns. Walter Shaw,
the CEO of Tangentyere Council said: “The intervention was
another attempt by the Canberra political and
administrative process to ‘fix the Aboriginal problem’
with a new mantra of ‘normalisation’.” Despite calls by
many to engage with Aboriginal leadership, a new era of
heavy-handed “tough love” was imposed.”

Australian Greens:
Greens question focus of Government’s approach to Closing the Gap
http://greens.org.au/content/greens-question-focus-governments-approach-closing-gap
9 Feb 11: “Speaking about today’s Closing The Gap address,
Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues welcomed the
Prime Minister’s continuing investment in Aboriginal health
outcomes, but questioned the focus of its measures and
approach. “It seems inappropriate for the Prime Minister
to be calling for Aboriginal people to take up greater
responsibility for overcoming disadvantage, while
continuing to pursue policies that further diminish their
control of their finances and their everyday lives,”
Senator Siewert said today. “The Government has continued
and expanded income quarantining and the bulk of the
investment from her government in closing the gap in health
disadvantage continues to be made through mainstream
services that don’t reach those in need.”

– Speeches

Stop the Intervention: Irene Doutney: The Block to Yabun Speech
Speech: http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/speeches/irene-doutney/26-1-11
About the march to Yabun:
http://stoptheintervention.org/past-events/26-jan-2011-march-to-yabun-survival-day-festival
26 Jan 11: “We must acknowledge and promote true land
rights and end the terrible practice that is going on in
Central Australia and the Northern Territory of forcing
communities to sign leases on their land in exchange for
substandard and non existent housing. We must end the NT
Intervention and return self determination to all
Aboriginal people with the funding and education to run
their own services and make their own decisions about
what happens with Aboriginal land.” Irene Doutney

Stop the Intervention:
Irene Doutney: Redcoats, Colonisation and the NT Intervention
http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/speeches/irene-doutney/22-1-11
22 Jan 11: “The Intervention is the last straw in this
history of oppression and discrimination and is a final
attempt to destroy one of the oldest cultures in the world.
The attack on remote communities, the leasing of Aboriginal
land by the government in exchange for housing, the
introduction of BasicsCards, the closing of community run
services, the attack on language and the attempts to force
nomadic people into town centres are all part of this slow
genocide.” Irene Doutney

– Audio

ABC PM: Governments urged to consult Aboriginal people
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2011/s3134474.htm
9 Feb 11: “The centre of efforts to ‘close the gap’ is the
Federal Intervention in remote communities in the Northern
Territory. Progress has been slow but the Federal and
Territory Governments say there have been significant
improvements. Prominent Aboriginal leaders are continuing
to urge officials to work harder to consult people living
in the communities.”
[Includes comments by Jarparta Ryan and Paul Henderson.]

– Opinion

ABC Drum Unleashed: A national disaster we choose to ignore
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/43884.html
“And Aboriginal people will take jobs when there are jobs
to take. Prime Minister Gillard might like to explain to
the nation how her party destroyed the economies of many
communities when they pulled apart CDEP. These barriers
– and more – are wholly government-constructed. A key
example of this is the blanket coverage of income
management on Aboriginal residents living in prescribed
areas under the Northern Territory intervention. There is
scant evidence that this compulsory form of welfare
quarantining is working.”
Bev Manton, chairwoman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council

– News

CathNews: Change the NT intervention, says priest and advocate
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=25109
18 Feb 11: “Three years after the Australian Government’s
historic apology to the Stolen Generations, Jesuit Father
Frank Brennan says Indigenous people are still being
singled out by policies which deny them the opportunity to
speak for themselves, reports Province Express. The
prominent human rights advocate said in an article on
Eureka Street that special measures introduced as part of
the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) are yet
to be repealed, despite calls to do so.”

National Indigenous Times:
Endemic array of issues now beset us, says Council boss
NIT: http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21182
‘concerned Australians’: [scroll down page]
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/NIT_Intervention_coverage_17-02-11.pdf
17 Feb 11: “The Intervention in the Northern Territory had
created a number of alarming issues and to a large extent
the Aboriginal population in the Central Australian Region
had become disengaged from any development process with
growing signs of increasing despair and family breakdowns,
the Chief Executive of Tangentyere Council, Mr Walter Shaw
said.
Mr Shaw said the Intervention was another attempt by the
Canberra political and administrative process to “fix the
Aboriginal problem” with a new mantra of “normalisation”
and despite the calls by many to engage with Aboriginal
leadership, a new era of heavy handed “tough love” had
been imposed.”

National Indigenous Times:
Gooda claims it’s discriminatory
NIT: http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=21181
‘concerned Australians’: [scroll down page]
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/NIT_Intervention_coverage_17-02-11.pdf
17 Feb 11: “Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda has
attacked the Federal Labor Government over its redesign of
the Northern Territory intervention, arguing key elements
remain racially discriminatory. In his first social justice
and native title reports last week, Mr Gooda criticised in
particular the Commonwealth’s compulsory acquisition of
leases over Aboriginal land in 64 communities.
“To be consistent with the Racial Discrimination Act
measures relating to the management of land must be taken
with the consent of the landowners,” Mr Gooda said.
“Therefore, the redesigned provisions regarding the
five-year leases remain inconsistent with the Act in this
respect.””

Koori Mail: Gooda slams govt over NT intervention
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 Feb 11: “ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander Social
Justice commissioner Mick Gooda has attacked Federal Labor
over its redesign of the Northern Territory intervention,
arguing key elements remain racially discriminatory. In his
first social justice and native title reports, released on
Thursday, Mr Gooda criticises in particular the
commonwealth’s compulsory acquisition of leases over
Aboriginal land in 64 communities.”

BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:

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

‘concerned Australians’:
http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/

Defending Indigenous Rights:
http://defendingindigenousrights.wordpress.com/

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

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

Jobs with Justice:
http://jobswithjustice.wordpress.com/

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

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


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NEW WAY SOVEREIGNTY SUMMIT CANBERRA

Posted in EVENTS on 20/02/2011 by D


22-25 April 2011 (Easter Weekend)

Friday 22 April and Saturday 23 April meetings will be at the Haydon Allen Tank, Australian National University, Canberra.

These two day’s proceedings will be live webcast via www.wgar.info for those who can’t attend but have internet access.

Sunday 24 and Monday 25 April will be at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy opposite Old Parliament House.

>>>>>

Some background:

Scholar’s paper points to Aboriginal mineral rights

Goodooga, northwest NSW, Sunday, 13 February 2011 – – When Aboriginal activists meet in Canberra at Easter they will have in front of them a paper that suggested to the Howard government that Aboriginal people are likely to test the crown ownership of minerals.

Michael Anderson, convener of the New Way Sovereignty Summits, quotes from an essay by Dr Stephen Davis to a conference of theSamuel Griffith Society (http://samuelgriffith.org.au/) stating that, “If Crown ownership of minerals is affirmed…..there may well be a case for compensation mounted by indigenous groups.”

Michael (Euahlayi name Ghillar) writes in a media release that the brief about mineral and land rights claims was circulated amongst racist protagonists when the then Prime Minister, John Howard, was proposing his government 10-point-plan to parliament in 1998.

Ghillar quotes from the Davis paper (http://www.samuelgriffith.org.au/papers/html/volume9/v9chap11.htm) : “A case is likely to be constructed by Aboriginal people, on the basis of sovereignty, to test the crown ownership of minerals. If a case for sovereignty is successful, then there may be latitude for a claim for compensation in respect of at least the royal minerals, or a royalty payable to indigenous groups for the royal minerals extracted, both past, present and future. If Crown ownership of minerals is affirmed in the amendments then there may well be a case for compensation mounted by indigenous groups. The States are wary of this possibility and have subsequently encouraged the Federal Government to avoid any affirmation of Crown Ownership.”

“That frightens them to this day,” Ghillar writes.

Leader of the Euahlayi Nation and sole survivor of the four young Black Power activists who set up the Aboriginal embassy in 1972, Ghillar writes that Aborigines across this country “must get back the fire that was in our bellies in our 1960’s-70’s generation”.

“Maybe it was because we were teenagers who had the courage of our convictions. A conviction that was instilled into us because we lived through open and racist oppression when we were prisoners of the state, locked away on government and church mission stations because we were wards of the state, not free people.”

Ghillar says he receives calls from all over Australia saying that the police are out of control “and are hammering our people just for walking in groups down a street”.

“It appears from the various reports that state police are out to deliberately provoke our people. The daily local court appearances and the records demonstrate this very clearly.

“We must ask, is this a deliberate ploy by the state to engage the minds of the white populace by making it appear as if Aborigines are not to be trusted and are criminals by nature?”

Get the fire back in the bellies

Ghillar’s statement in full:

Our people across this country must get back the fire that was in our bellies which prevailed in our 1960’s-70’s generation.

Maybe it was because we were teenagers who had the courage of our convictions. A conviction that was instilled into us because we lived through open and racist oppression when we were prisoners of the state, locked away on government and church mission stations because we were wards of the state. Not free people.

This was a time when our people were criminalized because they drank alcohol. Now we are criminalized just because we are Aborigines. Just look at the prison statistics.

I receive calls from all over Australia saying that the police are out of control and are hammering our people just for walking in groups down a street. It appears from the various reports that state police are out to deliberately provoke our people. The daily local court appearances and the records demonstrate this very clearly.

The question that we must ask, “is this a deliberate ploy by the state to engage the minds of the white populace by making it appear as if Aborigines are not to be trusted and are criminals by nature, and that law and order is the order of the day?” This practice works to deny basic human rights and the freedoms that come with a free and just society. When put to the test on this, the states’ spin doctors argue that if you are obeying the law, then you will not be targeted by the police. Tell this to our kids and youth who are the targets of this police harassment for just being there.

Or does this state act represent a hidden factor designed to have the minds of the white population focused on personal security issues, thereby hiding the real motivation that drives the state and their police force?

We know that the greater majority of Aboriginal people is totally welfare dependent, prisoners to their own survival needs and as a consequence cannot see how being politically active will put food on their tables and pay the rent. But there is a real need to now take a stand.

The New Way Sovereignty Summit participants have been provided with a copy of a brief that was circulated amongst our racist protagonists when the then Prime Minister John Howard was proposing his government 10-point-plan to parliament in 1998.

The brief expressed anger because the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs at the time could only guarantee that the amendments could only go as far as restricting Aboriginal claims to 70% of the land mass as opposed to the racist campaigners of going back to the pre-WIK period of only 38% of the land mass available for claim.

But there was another factor that frightens them and still does to this day. In the same brief Dr. Stephen Davis of the Samuel Griffith Society said, “A case is likely to be constructed by Aboriginal people, on the basis of sovereignty, to test the crown ownership of minerals. If a case for sovereignty is successful, then there may be latitude for a claim for compensation in respect of at least the royal minerals, or a royalty payable to indigenous groups for the royal minerals extracted, both past present and future. If Crown ownership of minerals is affirmed in the amendments then there may well be a case for compensation mounted by indigenous groups. The States are wary of this possibility and have subsequently encouraged the Federal Government to avoid any affirmation of Crown Ownership.”

This advice also pointed out how fragile the states’ claims to minerals are when in the same brief it was pointed out that “NSW relies on the Royal prerogative to underpin its ownership of the Royal Minerals (Gold and Silver)”. I wonder was this and the question of Aboriginal sovereignty the main discussion points between the Queen, Lowitja O’Donahue, Pat Dodson, Peter Yu and others in 1999 at Buckingham Palace. Did they agree to stifle debate, run interference in Aboriginal politics and work with the Australian Government to deny us our rights?

Our Aboriginal collaborators do not say a thing about the Wild Rivers Act in Queensland that provides a greater bucket load of extinguishment than John Howard’s 10-point-plan. Then there are the NSW Cultural Heritage changes that create greater divides between us and our cultural heritage.

The greatest fear of the government is our claims to sovereignty and our right to self-determination. It is no wonder former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser chose to change Aboriginal affairs policy from Whitlam’s right of self determination to self-management, with the support of the same Aboriginal collaborator.

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


We are still shackled captives of government

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 19/02/2011 by D

Goodooga, northwest NSW, 4 February 11 – – “We have not had the shackles of control removed from our feet. We continue to be captives at the will of the government and their collaborators. We do not have liberators who work to free our people,” says Aboriginal political activist, Michael Anderson, announcing the next New Way Sovereignty Summit.

It will take place over the Easter long weekend at the Aboriginal Embassy [&ANU] in Canberra, commencing Good Friday through to Sunday, with a protest march planned for Monday from the front of the Australian National University to Parliament House.

Michael (Euahlayi name Ghillar) is the sole survivor of the four young Black Power activists who set up the embassy in 1972. He is the leader of the Euahlayi tribe whose lands straddle northwest NSW and southwest Queensland. He launched the New Way movement which has had four gatherings so far.

“We have no money to get anyone to Canberra, but it is up to you if you want to stop the Uncle Tom’s and Aunt Mary’s from saying they talk for us.”

His statement in full:

“The Easter gathering will focus on the need to make our voices heard loud and clear. We are too silent on the issues that we all speak of inside our homes; the time has come to get out there and let the government know that we are Aboriginal people whose nations are continuing to be torn apart as the whites continue to clear the lands of our people.

“Our rights – what rights? We have NO rights. Government owns and controls our culture through various legislative regimes. Government agents determine who gets funding to language programs. This is not a right for all.

“If you are political and have a history of political activity, your name will show up on the warning list that they have in the government computers.

“No black fulla or woman will get assistance for their mob if their names show up in their government no-go field of operations.

“People, I implore you to understand that all our names are in the government control system and any community programs that you want to start in your community must not include the older people who have been politically active and condemn the government collaborators who assist the government to maintain control over their own people.

“We have not had the shackles of control removed from our feet. We continue to be captives at the will of the government and their collaborators. We do not have liberators who work to free our people.

“One of the reasons why this is so is that too many of our people think the whites and the government are wanting to help us and build us up to be like them. Billions of dollars have been spent by government bureaucrats on supposedly improving our plight but what have we got? Tighter government controls, self-determination is nowhere to be seen. Our right to be who are does not exist.

“Other countries watching Australia cannot understand why we are so passive, considering what the government is doing to us.

“Look at what the police are doing to us and no one gets punished, because it is all within their terms of reference to criminalize all our youth. If they resist and ask questions, bash them or kill them if they want to be ‘smart Black Bastards’, which appears to be the rhetoric of the authorities.

“All being done in the course of the authorities carrying out their responsibilities. Aborigines are dispensable and we just made another statistic to be put on their charts and records, not someone whose life was worth anything, otherwise someone would have been prosecuted by now.

“If the white authorities want to kill our people then we need to stand up and fight back – at least being killed to liberate ourselves would be better than frying in the back of a police van or having your neck broken when they throw you into one head first, or when they bash you to death in a cell or while arresting you.

“What do we have that is ours? Think about it people. All the assets we acquired during the 70s liberation period are gone. All the services we controlled are shut down. Sure, people made mistakes; governments keep doing it all the time.

“There is a version of a saying used by Abraham Lincoln that we must all adopt if we are to commence a new liberation movement. ‘A house divided within, will surely fall.’

“In the 1920s the tribes of South Africa united despite their political and cultural differences to fight a common enemy and they ultimately defeated the South African racist machines. Australia is the other South Africa that NO ONE wants to talk about.

“No one will help us, people. If we want the governments to stop rolling over us then we must take steps ourselves.

“Take notice of what other youth of the world have done; we did it when we were 17-18 years in the 1970s, you can do it now.

“We have no money to get anyone to Canberra, but it is up to you if you want to stop the Uncle Tom’s and Aunt Mary’s from saying they talk for us.”

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


Bear a Light for Peace

Posted in EVENTS on 19/02/2011 by D