21/04/2011 Elders speak out on the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention

* Elders speak out on the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Other Northern Territory (NT) Intervention articles
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Tracker: New magazine focusing on Aboriginal rights launched
* Co-Chairs of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples elected
* Background to National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
* More on New Way Sovereignty Summit, at Easter, in Canberra
* Commemorating Indigenous people who died in the Frontier Wars
* Aboriginal Deaths in Custody


– Audio

ABC Radio National Awaye!: Elders on the intervention
16 Apr 11: “A group of elders from communities across the
Northern Territory talk about the impact of the
intervention. It doesn’t matter where you stand, the
Northern Territory Emergency Response has had a profound
impact on the lives of many thousands of Aboriginal people.
* Reverend Djiniyini Dondarra
a senior elder from the Dhurili clan, chairman of the
Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation and Uniting
Church minister
* Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM
trational owner of Utopia and president of Barkly Shire in
central Australia
* Miriam-Rose Unungmerr-Baumann
senior elder of the Nauiyu community (Daly River),
principal of Francis Xavier School and first Aboriginal
teacher in the NT
* Dhangal Gurruwiwi
senior elder of the Galpu clan from Yirrkala, artist and
advocate of bilingual education
* Harry Jakamarra Nelson
former president of Yuendumu Council
* George Gaymarani Pascoe
traditional owner of Milingimbi
* Djapirri Mununggurritj
Yolgnu elder and artist and head of the Yirrkala Womens
Presenter: Daniel Browning
Producer: Daniel Browning”

– Video

Frequency: Richard Downs & Harry Nelson Speaking at
Melbourne University Ampilatwatja Walkoff & NT Intervention
14-16 Oct 10: “On July 14 2009 we, Elders from the
Ampilatwatja community, walked out of our houses and set up
camp in the bush. We are fed up with the federal
government’s Northern Territory Intervention, controls and
measures, visions and goals forced onto us from outside. We
felt we were outcasts and isolated from all decision making
-there has been no meaningful consultation… We therefore
have no intention of going back there. We intend to stay
here until our demands are met.”

WGAR News: A further conversation with Elders – impacts of living under the Intervention (25 Feb 11)


– Analysis / Opinion

SMH: Lockdown and labelling has failed the women and children
20 Apr 11: “I don’t think anyone could accuse me of
disrespecting Bess Price. I appointed her chairwoman of the
Northern Territory Indigenous Policy Committee in 2008. She
and I share a degree of irritation with the purist “step
method” educationalists who have succeeded in promoting
their model of early years monolingual education as
“bilingual”. But she and I have always disagreed about the
intervention in NT indigenous communities. So I watched
with interest the most recent Q&A program, knowing the
topic would be raised and that she would be arguing her
corner.” Marion Scrymgour

See related Video:

ABC Q&A: Indigenous Intervention
[scroll down page] http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3182043.htm
11 Apr 11: “EMMA BEARD asked: A question for Bess Price: as
someone who rarely leaves the city, it can be very hard to
understand if the intervention was the right thing to do.
From your perspective what is the single most important
thing that needs to happen in order to improve life in
remote communities?”

See related Media Release:

Rollback the Intervention – Media Releases
Town camp leader outraged by Bess Price claims on Q and A
15 Apr 11: “Barbara Shaw, spokesperson for the Intervention
Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs and resident of Mt
Nancy Town camp says that comments by Bess Price on Q and A
about the “success” of the Intervention ignore the huge
evidence of continuing failure.
IRAG says Mrs Price’s comments have caused distress amongst
people living in prescribed areas under the Intervention,
whose experiences of deteriorating social conditions
continue to be ignored by government and mainstream media. …
“Marcia Langton wrote in the Australian today that Bess
Price ‘resides in Yuendumu’. This is untrue and the
Australian needs to correct the public record. Bess does
not live under the Intervention. She lives a comfortable
lifestyle in the eastern suburbs of Alice Springs, not in
a prescribed area. She does not have a Basics Card and she
does not work for the dole. She doesn’t have her home
raided. She doesn’t have her alcohol taken away at the
bottle shop,” Ms Shaw concluded.”

– See related News

Green Left: NT intervention making life worse
18 Apr 11: “Spokesperson for the Intervention Rollback
Action Group in Alice Springs and resident of Mt Nancy Town
camp, Barbara Shaw, has disputed claims by Bess Price on
ABC Television’s Q&A on April 10 about the “success” of the
federal governments’ Northern Territory intervention. “It
is outrageous that Bess Price can continue to go on
national media and spread false information on the
intervention while life in our town camps and communities
gets harder and harder,” Shaw said on April 15.”
Kiraz Janicke

– News

Australian: Second NT intervention on table
16 Apr 11: “A SECOND federal intervention into the Northern
Territory is being considered by Indigenous Affairs
Minister Jenny Macklin. Ms Macklin said significant action
was still needed to improve conditions on remote
communities. In Adelaide yesterday, Ms Macklin said the
Gillard government would not rule out a another federal
takeover of key services when the intervention, initiated
by the former Howard government in 2007, ends next year.”


Creative Spirits: Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER)—”The Intervention”

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response

Jobs with Justice:

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group):

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) – NT intervention:

MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective):

‘concerned Australians’:

Defending Indigenous Rights:

Intervention walk-off’s Blog:

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response’ intervention

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):


– New Magazine

Green Left: Challenging racism in Australia
18 Apr 11: “A new magazine focused on Aboriginal rights,
Tracker, was launched in Sydney by the New South Wales
Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) on April 4. The monthly
publication was co-founded and launched by former National
Indigenous Times editor Chris Graham. It will feature
analysis and investigation of land rights, Aboriginal
issues and expose the challenges of institutional racism
and discrimination across Australian society.”


– Statements and Media Releases

Australian Human Rights Commission:
New era ahead for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
19 Apr 11: “Appointment of Jody Broun and Les Malezer as
the first elected Co-Chairs of the National Congress of
Australia’s First Peoples heralds the start of a new era
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Social
Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said today.
Commissioner Gooda congratulated Ms Broun and Mr Malezer on
their election.
“I congratulate Les and Jody on what is both an honour and
an enormous responsibility,” Commissioner Gooda said. …
“I have worked with both Les and Jody over the years and
know them to be strong and determined advocates for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” he said.”

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation:
ANTaR Welcomes Elected Co-Chairs of National Congress
19 Apr 11: “ANTaR has today congratulated Ms Jody Broun and
Mr Les Malezer for their election as co-Chairs of the
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
“The National Congress of First Peoples was established to
provide a representative voice at the national level for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples around the
country. The election of the Co-Chairs is significant as it
reflects the principle of self-determination in Aboriginal
organisations and affairs.””

Rachel Siewert: Greens welcome appointments to the National
Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
19 Apr 11: “Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens
spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Issues has welcomed the appointment of Jody Broun and Les
Malezer as the first elected Co-Chairs of the National
Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
Senator Siewert said today that the Australian Greens look
forward to a continued, positive relationship with the
National Congress.
“I congratulate Mr Malezer and Ms Broun on their success,
and commend the National Congress of Australia’s First
Peoples these appointments,” Senator Siewert said today.”

Indigenous Peoples: Australia: Statement By Les Malezer
Co-Chair Elect Of National Congress Of Australia’s First Peoples
19 Apr 11: “I pay my respects to the Gadigal peoples and
the Eora nation on whose land we stand today.
I also pledge my absolute loyalty to the Aboriginal
peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait Islander peoples
of Australia, whom I will always love and serve without
reservation. They are my life.
I am very deeply honoured to have been elected as the
national Co- Chair for the National Congress of
Australia’s First Peoples.
I congratulate Jody Broun for her election also as the
national Co- Chair and look forward to working with her
within a strong partnership in the Congress.” Les Malezer

– News

SMH: Push to end intervention
20 Apr 11: “A SHAKE-UP of federal Aboriginal affairs is in
the wind after a long-time activist was elected one of two
heads of the new national indigenous organisation set up to
lobby governments. Les Malezer, who has been elected
co-chairman of the National Congress of Australia’s First
Peoples, was the firebrand former right-hand man to Geoff
Clark, once head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Commission (ATSIC). He instantly declared he would
use his position to persuade the federal government to end
the Northern Territory intervention.”

Australian: New Aboriginal body ‘cannot have two chiefs’
20 Apr 11: “THE man elected as one of two people to chair
the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Les
Malezer, has controversially declared that the new body
must have only one leader and dismantle its structure,
which creates top positions for both a man and a woman.
The structure was put in place to ensure Aboriginal women’s
voices were not lost. The congress announced yesterday that
Mr Malezer had been elected alongside Jody Broun in a
national ballot. About 600 people voted out of a 2000-strong


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)

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/

WGAR News: New National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (9 May 10)


– Background Statement

Pay the rent will be heard loud and clear across the land
Treaty Republic: http://treatyrepublic.net/content/pay-rent-will-be-heard-loud-and-clear-across-land
Indigenous Peoples: http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9920:australia-pay-the-rent-will-be-heard-loud-and-clear-across-the-land&catid=54:australia-indigenous-peoples&Itemid=76
17 Apr 11: “It is now our time to take this to the next
level and onto the International Court of Justice. This
colonial Australian government of England will try very
hard to fight against our right to be heard in the
International Court. …
I call upon all non-Aborigines who seek to correct history
to come and be part of history in the making at this
Easter’s Summit, as all people are welcome to come and
voice their thoughts and aspirations with us, for together
we can overcome and become the great nation that we are and
take our rightful place in the international community,
rather than a second class colonial nation state whose only
recognition is through our signatories to the peace treaty
and the United Nations Charter.” Michael Anderson

– Event details

Indymedia Australia:
New Way Sovereignty Summit,
Canberra 22-25 April (Easter Weekend)

[click on link for more event info]

Last updated 17 Apr 11

“Date and Time:

Fri, 22/04/2011 – 9:00am to Mon, 25/04/2011 – 5:00pm
9:00am start each day.


Friday 22 April and Saturday 23 April meetings
will be at the Haydon Allen Tank, Building 23,
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.

Contact Name:
Michael Anderson (Summit Convenor)”


– Analysis / Opinion

Eureka Street: Forgotten Aboriginal war heroes
18 Apr 11: “In 1979, distinguished Australian historian
Geoffrey Blainey proposed that the Australia War Museum
(AWM) commemorate the Frontier Wars. The idea has been
raised a number of times since by historians including
Henry Reynolds, but the AWM steadfastly refuses to consider
the matter. This is a moral issue – it is incumbent on
non-Indigenous Australians to own our past and accept that
our British antecedents perpetrated wrongs against
Australia’s Indigenous peoples.”
Paul W. Newbury, editor and principal author,
Aboriginal Heroes of the Resistance: from Pemulwuy to Mabo



WGAR News: Deaths in custody and Aboriginal incarceration rates (14 Apr 11)

WGAR News: Joint National Call to Action to reduce imprisonment of Indigenous people (16 Apr 11)

– Rallies

Green Left: Perth rally to stop Aboriginal deaths in custody

Green Left:
Protests call for end to Aboriginal deaths in custody
18 Apr 11: “”Of the 339 recommendations of the royal
commission into black deaths in custody handed down in
1991, the first people to receive funding were the police
and prisons,” Murri community leader Sam Watson told an
April 15 rally to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the
commission. “The big bucks went to the cops and the jails.
Aboriginal legal services and other Indigenous
organisations only got the crumbs. Instead of decreasing
the rate of incarceration of Aboriginal people, that rate
has increased over the past 20 years in Australia,” he
said. The rally and march attracted about 100 protesters.”
Jim McIlroy, Brisbane

Socialist Alternative: WA deaths in custody protest
18 Apr 11: “Fortunately, the Aboriginal community in WA
will not stand for this. A protest against Aboriginal
deaths in custody was held on Friday April 15, marking the
20th anniversary of the release of Royal Commission’s
report. Over 200 people hit the streets of Perth. In their
hands they carried 269 white crosses to commemorate the
number of Aboriginal people the WA state has murdered since
1991.” Tom Marcinkowski

– Audio

ABC Radio National – The Law Report:
Twenty years on from Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report
19 Apr 11: “It’s been 20 years since the Royal Commission
into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Fewer aboriginal people
are dying in lock-ups and prisons, but more are in jail.
And the situation for the next generation is dire. In our
juvenile detention centres more than half the kids are
indigenous. What are the solutions and will the next 20
years be any better?”

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 18-04-2011
18 Apr 11: “Amnesty International says too little had been
done in the 20 years since a Royal Commission into
Aboriginal deaths in custody to improve the plight of the
nation’s first people.”

ABC PM: 20 years on, Aboriginal incarceration still high
15 Apr 11: “David Weber reports from Perth where a rally’s
been held to mark today’s anniversary. …
DAVID WEBER: A lot of people listening to this will say,
well why don’t Indigenous people just stop committing
JACQUELINE PHILLIPS: Look I think we need to acknowledge
that there are a whole lot of systemic factors that are at
play in relating to Indigenous incarceration rates; that
they’re complex factors. It’s poverty, it’s about housing,
it’s about alcohol and drug problems, it’s about family
[Includes comments by Ted Wilkes, Sandy Billing and
Jacqueline Phillips.]

– News

Australia Network News:
Former commissioner concerned by Aboriginal lock-ups
18 Apr 11: “A former royal commissioner into aboriginal
deaths in custody says he’s concerned by an increase in the
number of indigenous Australians being locked up. …
Patrick Dodson, has told Radio Australia there’s no reason
to celebrate. “I’m concerned that the incarceration rates
have increased and haven’t diminished,” he said.”

National Indigenous Times:
Do more on deaths in custody: McClelland
17 Apr 11: “The Federal Government’s Attorney-General,
Robert McClelland has told State and Territory governments
they need to do more to keep Indigenous people out of jail.
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody
delivered its final report 20 years ago this month, warning
about the rates of imprisonment among Aborigines. One
quarter of Australia’s prison population is Aboriginal.
Aboriginal advocacy groups argue far too many Aboriginal
people are being locked up and Mr McClelland agrees. …
The Indigenous prison population has doubled in the past 20

People’s Daily Online:
Australian gov’t failed to reduce aboriginal deaths in custody
16 Apr 11: “Aboriginal deaths in custody will continue
because the government’s law and order policies have
failed, the Northern Territory Criminal Lawyers’
Association said on Saturday. According to the Northern
Territory Criminal Lawyers’ Association’s president, John
Lawrence, the lessons of the report have not been heeded.
“The bottom line is that we’ve gotten nowhere – slowly,
backwards, up a hill blindfolded,” he told Australia
Associated Press.”

– Analysis / Opinion

Indymedia Australia:
Police will never accept deaths-in-custody recommendations
17 Apr 11: “Why are deaths in custody rising? a very good
article from ms. inga ting on the abject and sorry state of
the national gaol systems and the horrific number of deaths
in custody but especially nsw.” ray jackson, president,
indigenous social justice association

Workers Bush Telegraph:
Two hundred and twenty years but still not free
16 Apr 11: “Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the royal
commission into black deaths in custody in 1991. Since that
time there have been 397 black deaths in custody. Why? At
the beginning of the rally held in Brisbane on the
anniversary of the Royal Commission, as I was unloading the
PA gear from my car, when an aboriginal woman said that she
hoped we did not get arrested today. For her, the
possibility of arrest was real. For me it was no longer
probable. That got me thinking … ” Ian Curr

– Summary

Creative Spirits:
Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody
“A Royal Commission (a major government public inquiry into
an issue) into Aboriginal deaths in custody was announced
in 1987 after a spate of Aboriginal deaths in prison and
police custody and in response to a growing public concern
that such deaths were too common and poorly explained.
Hearings began in 1988, the final report was submitted in
April 1991. … “

– Media Release

Robert McClelland MP: 20th Anniversary of the Royal
Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
15 Apr 11: “Joint Media Release. Attorney-General Robert
McClelland and Minister for Families, Housing, Community
Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin today
acknowledged the 20th anniversary of the release of the
report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in
Custody. The report of the Royal Commission highlighted the
systemic disadvantage faced by Indigenous people, which
resulted in their higher rates of incarceration and the
subsequent deaths in custody. “This ground-breaking report
has influenced Indigenous policies and practices at all
levels of government for the last two decades,” Mr
McClelland said.”

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