121215 – “High Court gives Congress chance to argue equality before the law”

* National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
High Court Statement
* Human Rights Law Centre:
High Court to hear landmark case on race discrimination
and “special measures”

* The Wire Audio Interviews:
Amelia Kunoth-Monks following in her grandmother’s footsteps
* ABC Alice Springs Audio Interview: Guestroom – Olga Havnen
* 19th Maurice Blackburn Oration: Professor Clare Martin
* VEOHRC: Human Rights Oration 2012: Ron Merkel, QC
* STICS Forum Videos:
After the NT election… The Struggle Against the NT Intervention:
[Speeches by Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM, Amelia Pangarte Kunoth-Monks,
Jeff McMullen and Paddy Gibson]
* Sydney Book Launch Videos: ‘A Decision to Discriminate’:
[Speeches by Jeff McMullen, Graeme Mundine, Barbara Shaw
and Sekai Holland]
* Background to ‘Stronger Futures’ new NT Intervention laws
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention

* NIRS: Call for treaty to recognise traditional law

* NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AUSTRALIA’S FIRST PEOPLES:
HIGH COURT STATEMENT

– Statement

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
High Court Statement
High Court gives Congress chance to argue equality before the law
http://nationalcongress.com.au/high-court-statement/
11 Dec 12: “Statement by Congress Co-Chairs Jody Broun and
Les Malezer
The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
(Congress) welcomed the High Court’s acceptance of its
application to present submissions in the case of Maloney v
The Queen and the opportunity to clarify the proper use of
special measures for legislation.
“Congress is the national representative voice of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and it is
appropriate that we assist in this important test case.
“Our ability to be self-determining and have a say over
things that impact on our lives is a basic human right.
“Special measures are used across Australia to enact laws
for the ‘advancement’ of First Peoples without any yard
stick for their effectiveness, duration or community
support and acceptance.
“As ‘amicus curiae’ (a friend of the court), our public
submission will assist the Court in considering special
measures in their ruling on the appeal, Maloney v
The Queen.
“The legal principles, rather than the details of this
case, provide the opportunity for a watershed moment in
Australian history. … “”

– Congress submission to the High Court

http://nationalcongress.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/CongressHighCourtSubmission.pdf

See:

Background to National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Last updated: 5 May 2012
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/05/background-to-the-national-congress-of-australia%E2%80%99s-first-peoples

– Related News

SMH: High Court hears landmark Palm Island case
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/high-court-hears-landmark-palm-island-case-20121211-2b7g2.html
11 Dec 12: “A landmark case before the High Court about the
validity of alcohol restrictions for indigenous people on
Palm Island could have broader implications for programs
that target only Aboriginal people. On Tuesday, the High
Court in Canberra began hearing an appeal from indigenous
woman Joan Monica Maloney who was convicted of alcohol
possession on Palm Island in 2010. Ms Maloney is
challenging the Queensland law that restricts alcohol on
Palm Island on the basis that it contravenes the Racial
Discrimination Act and constitution.”

Australian: Alcohol bans ‘are not racially neutral’
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/alcohol-bans-are-not-racially-neutral/story-fn9hm1pm-1226534873521
12 Dec 12: “ALCOHOL restriction laws in Queensland have
been challenged in the High Court, with lawyers for Palm
Island woman Joan Maloney arguing prohibition cannot be
justified on the basis it may be beneficial for a
particular community. Ms Maloney is appealing against her
conviction for possessing contraband spirits in a public
place on Palm Island in 2008, arguing that the alcohol
restrictions in the predominantly Aboriginal community
breach the Racial Discrimination Act.”

* HUMAN RIGHTS LAW CENTRE:
HIGH COURT TO HEAR LANDMARK CASE ON RACE DISCRIMINATION
AND “SPECIAL MEASURES”

– News

Human Rights Law Centre:
High Court to hear landmark case on race discrimination
and “special measures”
http://www.hrlc.org.au/high-court-to-hear-landmark-case-on-race-discrimination-and-special-measures-2
11 Dec 12: “The High Court will today hear a landmark case
on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples rights to
equality, non-discrimination and self-determination. The
Human Rights Law Centre is assisting the National Congress
of Australia’s First Peoples to make an application to be
heard as an “amicus curiae” providing information to
support the High Court in the Maloney v The Queen case.
The HRLC’s Indigenous Rights Director, Ben Schokman, said
it was supporting Congress so all Australians can be
treated equally.”

– Further info about the High Court proceedings

High Court of Australia: Case B57/2012 – Maloney v. The Queen
http://www.hcourt.gov.au/cases/case_b57-2012

See:

Human Rights Law Centre: Focus area – Indigenous rights
http://www.hrlc.org.au/category/focus-areas/focus-areaindigenous-rights
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to
experience significant disadvantage, discrimination and
disempowerment. The United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a framework for the
empowerment of Australia’s First Peoples. The Human Rights
Law Centre works with ATSI organisations to ensure that
the principles in this Declaration – including the
principles of self-determination, land and cultural
rights, and participation in decision-making processes
– are reflected and enshrined in Australian law, policy,
practice and institutions.”

Human Rights Law Centre: What we do
Freedom. Respect. Equality. Dignity. Action.
http://www.hrlc.org.au/about/what-we-do

* THE WIRE AUDIO INTERVIEWS:
AMELIA KUNOTH-MONKS FOLLOWING IN HER GRANDMOTHER’S FOOTSTEPS

– Audio Interviews

The Wire:
Amelia Kunoth-Monks following in her grandmother’s footsteps
Produced by Lisa Burns and Sue Gilbey
http://www.thewire.org.au/storyDetail.aspx?ID=9960
12 Dec 12: “Aboriginal Elder Rosalie Kunoth-Monks is known
to be one of the feistiest warriors against the Northern
Territory Intervention. She was in Adelaide over the
weekend with her granddaughters Amelia and Ruby, to launch
a new book called ‘A Decision to Discriminate’, to
coincide with International Human Rights Day.
Featured in story:
* Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Central Australian Aboriginal Elder
* Amelia Kunoth-Monks, from Utopia in the Northern Territory”

* ABC ALICE SPRINGS AUDIO INTERVIEW: GUESTROOM – OLGA HAVNEN

– Audio Interview

ABC Alice Springs: Guestroom – Olga Havnen
By Kate O’Toole and Miranda Tetlow
http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2012/12/13/3654051.htm?site=alicesprings
13 Dec 12: “Aboriginal advocate and activist Olga Havnen
has been inspired by the stories of her family and forbears
… Olga Havnen is a descendant of the Western Arrernte
people. Her great grandfather was from China, her
grandmother was the first Aboriginal woman to own a house
in Alice Springs and her father was a Norwegian sailor who
jumped ship in Adelaide! … And just two months ago, Olga
found herself at the centre of a political storm, when she
was sacked as the NT’s Coordinator General for Remote
Services after writing a scathing report on Government
spending.”
[Olga talks about her report about 40 minutes into this
interview.]

See:

WGAR News: “Report finds serious flaws in delivery of
gov’t services to NT Aboriginal communities” (30 Sep 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/09/30/wgar-news-report-finds-serious-flaws-in-delivery-of-govt-services-to-nt-aboriginal-commun

WGAR News: “Damning NT report shows income management must go”
STICS (5 Oct 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/10/05/wgar-news-damning-nt-report-shows-income-management-must-go-stics
[STICS: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney]

WGAR News: Anti-Intervention campaigners speak out
over sacking of Olga Havnen: STICS (11 Nov 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/11/11/wgar-news-anti-intervention-campaigners-speak-out-over-sacking-of-olga-havnen-stics
[STICS: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney]

* 19TH MAURICE BLACKBURN ORATION: PROFESSOR CLARE MARTIN

– Speech

Maurice Blackburn Oration: Professor Clare Martin
– An issue of Equity: Is it fair and just that there are
230,000 second class citizens in the Northern Territory?
http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/arts-and-festivals/community-festivals/maurice-blackburn-oration.html
http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/speeches/maurice%20blackburn%20oration.doc
http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/speeches/maurice%20blackburn%20oration.pdf
5 Dec 12: “It’s a great privilege to be invited to give the
Maurice Blackburn Oration and to be the first from the
Northern Territory to do so. … Looking back over the last
34 years, there’s no doubt that we have been challenged and
frustrated by our second-class constitutional status.
There’s no question our political institutions have been
affected by the power of the federal parliament to overturn
our legislation, or impose legislation; no question that
from time to time our political effectiveness
circumscribed; or that Territorian lives have been unfairly
targeted by thoughtless federal policies. Being a state
would have meant I had a different story to tell to you
tonight.” By Professor Clare Martin

* VEOHRC: HUMAN RIGHTS ORATION 2012: RON MERKEL, QC

– Speech

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission:
Human Rights Oration 2012
Audio – Human rights – myths and realities
http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=1530&Itemid=4

11 Dec 12: “The 2012 Human Rights Oration was delivered on
Tuesday 11 December 2012 by Ron Merkel, QC – 2011 Human
Rights Medallist, barrister and former Federal Court Judge.
This year’s Oration was titled ‘Human rights – myths and
realities’. Ron is widely recognised as one of Australia’s
leading human rights practitioners with a particular
interest in civil liberties, the rights of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples, migration law and equal
opportunity. His recent involvement in both the Eatock v Bolt
decision, which considered the Commonwealth racial hatred
protections, and the Occupy Melbourne case, put him at the
leading edge of human rights law in Australia.”

* STICS FORUM VIDEOS:
AFTER THE NT ELECTION… THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE NT INTERVENTION

– Video Speeches

STICS Forum Videos:
After the NT election… The Struggle Against the NT Intervention
http://stoptheintervention.org/past-events/6-dec-2012-the-struggle-against-the-nt-intervention/videos-06122012/
“Videos from the event:
1. Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM
– Alyawarr Elder from Utopia homelands, NT …
2. Amelia Pangarte Kunoth-Monks
– NT youth leader living on the BasicsCard …
3. Jeff McMullen – Chief Executive Officer (Honorary)
of Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for Youth …
4. Paddy Gibson – Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney”

– Compilation

STICS: Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney
6 Dec 2012 The Struggle Against the NT Intervention
Special STICS public forum marking Human Rights Day:
http://stoptheintervention.org/past-events/6-dec-2012-the-struggle-against-the-nt-intervention
“Communities in the Northern Territory continue to resist
the NT Intervention, and the policy framework is in deep
crisis. In June, the Labor government passed “Stronger
Futures” legislation, which will continue key
discriminatory Intervention powers for a further ten years.
But Central Australian communities like Amoonguna,
Ampilatwatja and Daguragu are refusing to sign long term
leases with the government. They have issued ultimatums,
demanding a return of community controlled councils and
the eviction of Intervention managers and Shire Councils
from their land.”

* SYDNEY BOOK LAUNCH VIDEOS: ‘A DECISION TO DISCRIMINATE’:

– Video Speeches

Respect and Listen:
‘A Decision to Discriminate’: Sydney Book Launch
http://www.respectandlisten.org/nt-intervention/concerned-australians/a-decision-to-discriminate.html
“Video clips from the launch:
1. Jeff McMullen …
2. Graeme Mundine …
3. Jeff McMullen – reading the letter from Deni Langman …
4. Barbara Shaw …
5. Sekai Holland”

* BACKGROUND TO ‘STRONGER FUTURES’ NEW NT INTERVENTION LAWS:

Last updated: 13 December 2012

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-stronger-futures-new-nt-intervention-laws

* BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:

Last updated: 4 December 2012

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-northern-territory-nt-intervention

* NIRS: CALL FOR TREATY TO RECOGNISE TRADITIONAL LAW

– News

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Call for treaty to recognise traditional law
http://www.nirs.org.au/news/latest-news/7687-call-for-treaty-to-recognised-traditional-law
12 Dec 12: “A prominent Aboriginal rights campaigner says a
treaty between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
would allow a better legal standing of Indigenous people.
Robbie Thorpe from Melbourne spoke at the Sovereignty and
Land Rights conference in Brisbane recently. Mr. Thorpe
says Indigenous people have fewer rights under Australian
law than they would have under traditional tribal law. He
says a treaty would allow the two separate laws to be
recognised.”

– Related Event

WGAR News: 1st Brisbane Sovereignty & Land Rights Conference:
Sovereign Union & Treaty Republic (5 Dec 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/12/05/wgar-news-1st-brisbane-sovereignty-land-rights-conference-sovereign-union-treaty-republic

Event: 10am Sun 25 November 2012: Qld State Library
1st Brisbane Sovereignty & Land Rights Conference
* BBQ breakfast from 9-9:45am
at Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, Musgrave Park
* Conference begins at 10am Queensland State Library
Speakers include:
* Mark McMurtrie
* Adrian Burragubba
* Robbie Thorpe
* Wayne Wharton
* Marshall Bell
* Norman Johnson
* Kevin Arjin
* Gracelyn Smallwood
* Michael Mansell
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/295153823919301/

– – –

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