Archive for the MEDIA RELEASES Category

121210 – WGAR Human Rights Day open letter to PM Julia Gillard [Media release]

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 11/12/2012 by D

MEDIA RELEASE
10 DECEMBER 2012
Working Group for Aboriginal Rights Human Rights Day open letter to PM Julia Gillard:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Parliament House
Parkes ACT 2600

Prime Minister,
The Working Group for Aboriginal Rights is calling on you and your government to change direction in your policies on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
We recommend you focus your strategies on the Theo van Boven principles of Reparation for Peoples who have suffered gross violations of Human Rights. His extensive work clarifies the remedial steps needed for people to recover from Human Rights abuses [UN ECOSOC Resolution 2005/30]. Apology is only the first step and the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is dependent, in our opinion, on all seven steps of the Theo van Boven principles being implemented: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition and prevention.
The evidence is clear that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are still suffering gross violations of Human Rights and have done so since 1788 and it is now encumbent upon your government to finally change tack and begin to deal with the reality of Aboriginal Peoples’ continuing survival against all odds.
We are now at the stage where Aboriginal people understand the trickery within colonial history and the ingenious subtlety employed to conceal Australia’s lack of legitimate sovereignty. Consequently, many are now able to see through the deception of Minister Macklin’s Act of Recognition, just as many found PM Rudd’s apology very welcome, but somewhat hypocritical as the army was still moving into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory as he made the landmark apology to the Stolen Generations. Many ask: Where is the apology to the communities who lost their children; land; language and ancient way of life, which has stood the test of time?
The fact that Aboriginal communities have among the highest suicide rate in the world is indicative of the distress caused by governments’ policy. The fact that no Australian government has fully implemented the 1949 Convention for the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide shows there is something to hide.
We would like you to answer in writing the following questions:
1. When will you amend Section 268.121 – 268.122 of the International Criminal Court Consequential Amendments Act 2002, so that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is fully incorporated into Australian domestic law.
2. When will you repeal the Act of Recognition and commence meaningful negotiations with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations and Peoples’ continuing sovereignty and seek just solutions?
3. Will you ensure that the Theo van Boven principles for Remedy and Restitution will be enacted for the well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations and Peoples?
4. When will your government ensure self-determination for Northern Territory communities and withdraw the Intervention, now known as Stronger Futures?
We would appreciate your prompt reply to these issues, which affect not only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but also all Australians.
Yours faithfully,

Ffionnan Brooke-Watson
ffionnan@gmail.com
contactwgar@gmail.com
Convenor
Working Group for Aboriginal Rights

10 December 2012

120622 – Working Group for Aboriginal Rights considers Stronger Futures legislation should face Human Rights scrutiny

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 23/06/2012 by D

Media Release of WGAR:
Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
22 June 2012

Working Group for Aboriginal Rights considers Stronger Futures
legislation should face Human Rights scrutiny

The Working Group for Aboriginal Rights condemns the
Northern Territory (NT) Intervention and its proposed
extension for ten years and expansion into other parts of
Australia, through the proposed ‘Stronger Futures’
legislation.

The Working Group for Aboriginal Rights urges the
Australian government to fully accept and respect the
sovereign rights of Aboriginal Nations and Peoples and to
cease their paternalistic actions towards Aboriginal
people, who have successfully survived climatic and social
change over millennia. Aboriginal people are capable of
running their own lives and communities, but it is the
lack of self-determination and the governments’ ruthless
attempts to assimilate Aboriginal Peoples into ‘one
Australia’, which is really the cause of the perceived
‘problem’.

It is many Australians’ inability to accept and celebrate
difference and otherness that accounts for much of the
social dysfunction within Aboriginal society.

The government’s agenda to move people off homelands into
growth hub towns exacerbates the distress communities are
subjected to. Our perception is that this is to open up the
land for development, mining and agriculture.

We urge that there is scrutiny of the Stronger Futures
bills in order to bring them in line with the international
Human Rights covenants and the UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples.

In the longer term we urge the Australian Government to
enter into negotiations with sovereign Aboriginal Nations
in order to create a new Constitution, through which
Aboriginal Peoples can take their rightful place in this
continent. The current proposed ‘Constitutional
recognition’ is merely tinkering at the edges of a
profoundly racist constitution, which still belongs to
the British Parliament.

Contact:

Ffionnan Brooke-Watson
Convenor, Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR email: contactwgar@gmail.com

WGAR website: https://wgar.wordpress.com/

120611 – “To make Native Title meaningful government must …Drop proof of ownership” NIT

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 11/06/2012 by D

Contents:
* NIT: To make Native Title meaningful government must
…Drop proof of ownership
* Michael Anderson:
Mabo Judges Perverted The Course Of Justice
* Congress:
Keep door open for more substantial Native Title reform
* Mick Gooda:
Native title reform could go closer to fulfilling Mabo’s legacy
* Greens Rachel Siewert:
Onus of proof omission a native title letdown
* The Wire: Native Title reform fails to make key change to law
* Mabo and Native Title News
* ECNT / ALEC / BNI: Nuclear waste dump plan should be taken
off the table before it goes off the rails
* Respect and Listen: Muckaty nuclear waste dump update
* Background to the proposed Muckaty nuclear waste dump
* Background to expansion of Olympic Dam mine challenge
* Other articles

* NIT:
TO MAKE NATIVE TITLE MEANINGFUL GOVERNMENT MUST
…DROP PROOF OF OWNERSHIP

– News

National Indigenous Times:
To make Native Title meaningful government must
…Drop proof of ownership
http://www.nit.com.au/your-say.html
http://www.nit.com.au/news/1219-drop-proof-of-ownership.html
7 Jun 12: “Proof of ownership would no longer be required
by Traditional Owners in Native Title claims if the Federal
Labor Government would agree to join with the Federal
Parliament’s independent, Rob Oakeshott and the Australian
Greens to pass the legislation. The issue of ownership has
been a major issue for Traditional Owners lodging Native
Title claims because the current legislation requires them
to prove their connection with the land. However, the
independent Mr Oakeshott said he would support legislation
currently being proposed by the Australian Greens … ”

* MICHAEL ANDERSON:
MABO JUDGES PERVERTED THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

– Media Statement

Sovereign Union: Mabo Judges Perverted The Course Of Justice
http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/mabo-judges-perverted-course-justice
6 Jun 12: “While the 1992 Mabo judgement was a major
milestone in Aboriginal history, we must remember that the
judges in this case presented the same cowardice as Justice
Blackburn in the Millirrpum Gove case in the 1970s.
In the Gove case, the court gave much weight to the
evidence presented by anthropologist Ronald Berndt who
coined the phrase, “the Aborigines don’t own the land, the
land owns them” or words to that effect, thus resigning our
people to forever being part of the natural flora and fauna
of this country. It must also be stated that the Gove
matter was not presented with the 1872 Pacific islanders
Protection Act as amended in 1875. … ”
By Michael Anderson, National Coordinator of the
National Unity Government of the ‘Sovereign Union’

* CONGRESS:
KEEP DOOR OPEN FOR MORE SUBSTANTIAL NATIVE TITLE REFORM

– Media Release

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Keep door open for more substantial Native Title reform
http://nationalcongress.com.au/congress-says-keep-door-open-for-more-substantial-native-title-reform/
6 Jun 12: “Congress will continue to advocate for more
substantive changes to the Native Title Act, including
reversing the onus of proof for claimants, following the
Government’s announcement of a raft of reforms today.
Congress Co-Chairs Les Malezer and Jody Broun welcomed the
positive reforms as the first stage in the Government’s
incremental approach to making the Native Title Act
stronger and more workable.
The reforms cover taxation, good faith negotiations,
agreements for historical extinguishment, and a new easier
way to vary land use agreements.
Co-Chair Malezer said these are positive changes but do not
go far enough for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples.”

See:

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane:
Les Malezer & Jimi Bani
http://www.989fm.com.au/category/podcasts/
8 Jun 12: “National Congress co-chair Les Malezer and
Actor Jimi Bani, playing Eddie Mabo in upcoming production.”
Listen to this interview on-line:
http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasts/lets-talk/les-malezer-jimi-bani/
[Includes discussion of Native Title.]

WGAR News: Congress: Congress tells PM:
Native Title is not real land rights (5 Jun 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/06/05/wgar-news-audio-from-the-litigating-the-boundaries-of-sovereignty-symposium

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

* MICK GOODA:
NATIVE TITLE REFORM COULD GO CLOSER TO FULFILLING MABO’S LEGACY

– Analysis / Opinion

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Native title reform could go closer to fulfilling Mabo’s legacy
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald, Page 9 (Mon 4 Jun 2012)
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/op_ed/20120604_mabo.html
“I was working in the Torres Strait in the late 1980s and I
remember the buzz that went around Thursday Island when
Koiki (Eddie Mabo) was back in town. … Currently, native
title claimants have to provide all the information that’s
required to demonstrate their continuous connection to
country. As these reforms sit before the federal
Parliament, I find myself wondering what Eddie Mabo would
think now? I’d like to think he’d still hold out hope that
the promise Mabo represented really will be fulfilled.”
By Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Social Justice Commissioner

See:

WGAR News:
AHRC: The promise of Mabo is yet to be realised (5 Jun 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/06/05/wgar-news-audio-from-the-litigating-the-boundaries-of-sovereignty-symposium

* GREENS RACHEL SIEWERT:
ONUS OF PROOF OMISSION A NATIVE TITLE LETDOWN

– Media Releases

Rachel Siewert: Onus of proof omission a native title letdown
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/onus-proof-omission-native-title-letdown
6 Jun 12: “The Australian Greens say a key element of
native title reform has been overlooked by the government,
undermining the effectiveness of their reforms.
“Reversing the onus of proof is the key amendment that is
needed to make ensure the native title system is more
effective,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens
spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Issues said today.
“The extremely high hurdle for Aboriginal people to prove
their ongoing connection to the land means that native
title claimants are dying before seeing their claims
settled.
“It is a requirement that inherently disadvantages those who
have experienced higher levels of dispossession and
disconnection over the course of the last two centuries.
… ” [Senator Siewert said] ”

Rachel Siewert:
Native title amendments necessary to improve outcomes
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/native-title-amendments-necessary-improve-outcomes
5 Jun 12: “Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert,
spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
issues said today she was ‘waiting with interest’ for the
announcement of the Government’s proposed amendments to the
Native Title Act.
“The Native Title Act is in urgent need of amendment in
order for it to truly deliver on its promise,” Senator
Siewert said today.
“For years there have been calls individuals and
organisations to simplify the system and make some measured
changes to the legislation to improve outcomes for native
title holders.
“Any Government amendments must include reversing the onus
of proof placed on establishing connections to the land. The
current burden of proof disadvantages those people who have
experienced higher levels of displacement over the past two
centuries. The amendments should also improve the ‘good
faith’ negotiations provisions in the Act. … ”
[Senator Siewert said] ”

* THE WIRE: NATIVE TITLE REFORM FAILS TO MAKE KEY CHANGE TO LAW

– Audio

The Wire: Native Title reform fails to make key change to law
Produced by Marty McCarthy
http://www.thewire.org.au/storyDetail.aspx?ID=9213
6 Jun 12: “The Government announced changes to Australia’s
Native Title legislation in Townsville today, but some
Indigenous groups still aren’t happy. Traditional owners
will still have to prove they have maintained an unbroken
connection to the land before being granted Native Title,
but this can be very difficult to do.
Featured in story:
* Brian Wyatt, CEO of the National Native Title Council
* Vincent Coultard, Adnyamathanha Community Leader
* Stephen Kenny, Native Title lawyer”

* MABO AND NATIVE TITLE NEWS:

– Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio Online News 7.06.12
http://caama.com.au/caama-radio-online-news-7-06-12
7 Jun 12: “* The Federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon has
announced significant changes to Native Title Law at the
annual Native Title Conference in Townsville.
* The peak representative for Aboriginal people in
Australia says it will continue to push for more
substantial native title reform.”

– News

Townsville Bulletin:
Sovereignty protest at Native Title Conference
http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2012/06/06/336121_news.html
8 Jun 12: “PROTESTS broke out at the Annual National Native
Title conference yesterday, with a small band of activists
claiming legislation doesn’t do enough to recognise
Aboriginal sovereignty. Hundreds of indigenous
representatives and lawyers from across Australia attended
the first day of the conference, held at the Townsville
Entertainment and Convention Centre, to learn about policy
and legal issues for native title applications. …
Townsville-based indigenous leader Dr Gracelyn Smallwood
led the protest in an attempt to highlight flaws with
native title legislation.”

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Proving connection “extremely difficult”: Native Title expert
http://www.nirs.org.au/news/latest-news/7295-proving-connection-qextremely-difficultq-native-title-expert
8 Jun 12: “An expert in Native Title says it’s extremely
difficult for Indigenous people to prove they have an
unbroken connection to land claimed under Native Title. The
Federal Government this week announced intended changes to
the Native Title Act, but it won’t move to remove the onus
on Indigenous people to prove connection to land. Griffith
University’s Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh says a lack
of written records at the time of white settlement can make
it impossible to establish connection.”

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Onus of proof change not ‘radical’, says a Native Title head
http://www.nirs.org.au/news/latest-news/7291-onus-of-proof-change-not-radical-says-a-native-title-head
8 Jun 12: “The head of Queensland South Native Title
Services has slammed Attorney-General Nicola Roxon for
describing desired changes to the Native Title Act as
“radical”. Ms. Roxon on Wednesday used the term when
referring to changes proposed by a number of Indigenous
rights advocates to reverse the onus on traditional owners
of proving connection to land. Instead, the Federal
Government announced other changes such as creating
criteria for ‘good faith’ in negotiations.”

newsTracker:
Chicken Little George says native title is all sweet
http://tracker.org.au/2012/06/chicken-little-brandis-and-a-gutless-gillard-duck-native-title-reform/
8 Jun 12: “NATIONAL: When it comes to native title, a
Liberal politician is like a kid in a candy store. He just
can’t help himself. First there was then opposition leader
John Howard, who, in 1995, stood in front of a map of
Australia and predicted that more than 70% of the landmass
was under threat. Then deputy prime minister Tim Fisher; in
1998 he promised “bucketloads of extinguishment” of
Aboriginal native title rights through amendments to the
Native Title Act. … ”
By Chris Graham, managing editor of Tracker magazine

Townsville Bulletin: Native title amendments not sufficient
http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2012/06/07/336431_news.html
7 Jun 12: “INDIGENOUS leaders say proposed changes to the
native title system are not sufficient, claiming it will
still take traditional owners at least 40 years to see
their claims settled. Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon
announced the intended changes at the Native Title
Conference in Townsville yesterday morning. The conference
has marked the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision. Under
the changes, indigenous land use agreements will become
more flexible and less technical, and lands covered by
native title will no longer be subject to income tax and
capital gains tax.”

National Indigenous Radio Service:
Gooda: We’re on the sidelines of Native Title determinations
http://www.nirs.org.au/news/latest-news/7289-gooda-indigenous-people-on-sidelines-of-native-title-determinations
7 Jun 12: “The Indigenous Social Justice Commissioner says
the Federal Government has missed an opportunity to speed
up the Native Title process. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon
on Wednesday announced proposed changes to the Native Title
Act, but it stopped short of reversing the onus on
Indigenous people to prove their connection to the land.
Mick Gooda says proving connection is a slow process and
he’s been told by Native Title bodies that it costs up to a
million dollars to do so with each Native Title claim.”

newsTracker:
Gillard weighs into Libs’ fear-mongering on native title
http://tracker.org.au/2012/06/gillard-weighs-into-libs-fear-mongering-on-native-title/
7 Jun 12: “NATIONAL: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has
accused the Opposition of trying to “whip up fear” over
plans for “modest” reform to native title laws. Under the
changes announced on Wednesday, native title grants will no
longer be subject to income and capital gains taxes. Terms
of “good-faith negotiation” currently required will be
written into the Native Title Act, while negotiating parties
will be able to ignore historical extinguishment of rights.”

newsTracker: Libs scaremongering on native title: Roxon
http://tracker.org.au/2012/06/libs-scaremongering-on-native-title-roxon/
7 Jun 12: “NATIONAL: Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says
claims from the Opposition that native title reform will
affect property prices are just “scaremongering”. Under the
changes announced by Ms Roxon on Wednesday, native title
grants will no longer be subject to income and capital
gains taxes. Terms of “good-faith negotiation” currently
required will be written into the Native Title Act, while
negotiating parties will be able to ignore historical
extinguishment of rights.”

Koori Mail: PM defends native title reforms
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
7 Jun 12: “PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has accused the
Opposition of scaremongering over proposed reforms of the
native title system. Opposition attorney-general George
Brandis has raised concerns about the changes affecting
property prices. But Ms Gillard said this was
scaremongering similar to that which occurred during the
Keating Labor government reforms and described the changes
as modest.”

Australian: Libs say native title reform will spark confusion
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/libs-say-native-title-reform-will-spark-confusion/story-fn9hm1pm-1226386772088
7 Jun 12: “THE opposition has signalled it may not support
the Gillard government’s landmark reforms to native title
laws, arguing they will spark “complete confusion” and
drive down the value of farmland.”

newsTracker:
Roxon ignores calls to reverse onus of proof on native title
http://tracker.org.au/2012/06/roxon-ignores-calls-to-reverse-onus-of-proof-on-native-title/
6 Jun 12: “NATIONAL: Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon
believes parliament is unlikely to support reversing the
onus of proof in native title claims. That’s why the
government is pursuing incremental changes to existing
laws. Ms Roxon will flag changes to the Native Title Act
that aim to make indigenous land use agreements more
flexible and less technical when she addresses the National
Native Title Conference in Townsville on Wednesday.”

newsTracker: Native title body pans law ‘tinkering’
http://tracker.org.au/2012/06/native-title-body-pans-law-tinkering/
6 Jun 12: “NATIONAL: Aboriginal groups have described
flagged changes to native title laws as tinkering at the
edges, warning their elders will continue to die before
some claims are settled. Federal Attorney-General Nicola
Roxon unveiled the changes at a conference in Townsville
today. Under the changes, Indigenous Land Use Agreements
(ILUAs) will become more flexible and less technical, and
lands covered by native title will no longer be subject to
income tax and capital gains tax.”

Koori Mail: Changes not enough: NNTC
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
6 Jun 12: “NATIONAL Native Title Council chief executive
Brian Wyatt has accused the Federal Government of
‘tinkering around the edges’ of Native Title laws. Mr Wyatt
said the current system placed an unjust burden on native
title applicants, and he called again for the ‘onus of
proof’ requirement to be reversed.”

Koori Mail: Native Title changes outlined
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
6 Jun 12: “FEDERAL Attorney General Nicola Roxon has
outlined changes to native title laws but has refused to
reverse the onus of proof in native title claims. Under the
changes, lands covered by native title will no longer be
subject to income tax and capital gains tax, Indigenous
land use agreements would be simplified, and the Government
would legislate the terms of ‘good faith negotiations’ now
required under the Act.”

SMH: Gradual changes to native title law
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/gradual-changes-to-native-title-law-20120606-1zuqk.html
6 Jun 12: “NEW laws to make it easier, cheaper and swifter
for Aboriginal groups to make and benefit from native title
agreements with farmers and miners will soon be introduced
to Parliament, Nicola Roxon promised today. Rejecting calls
for more radical change, the Attorney-General argued that
“incremental” change is more likely to deliver lasting
benefits to indigenous Australia and the wider community.
Speaking at a native title conference in Townsville,
Ms Roxon announced reforms in four areas.”

* ECNT / ALEC / BNI:
NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP PLAN SHOULD BE TAKEN OFF THE TABLE
BEFORE IT GOES OFF THE RAILS

– Media Release

Nuclear waste dump plan should be taken off the table
before it goes off the rails.
By ALEC / BNI / ECNT
Nuclear Territory News: http://ntne.ws/articles/article.php?id=4723
8 Jun 12: “National and Northern Territory environment
groups have called for an end to controversial plans to
transport radioactive waste through the NT following
another freight train derailment yesterday north of Tennant
Creek. The Environment Centre NT, Arid Lands Environment
Centre and Beyond Nuclear Initiative have said the latest
accident highlights the risks and the lack of emergency
response capacity associated with radioactive transport. …
“The Territory is staring down the barrel of some major
toxic transport projects including the proposed radioactive
waste dump at Muckaty and the transport of copper
concentrate and yellowcake from BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam
mine in South Australia, along with possible uranium
shipments from future mine sites in WA”, said the NT
Environment Centre’s Cat Beaton. …
“The transport of radioactive material is a weak link in the
government’s dump plan and is emerging as a real and serious
threat to the Territory’s environment and people,” said
Natalie Wasley from the Beyond Nuclear Initiative. “It is
time for the federal government to listen to Traditional
Owners and the NT community and stop pushing ahead with the
Muckaty dump plan”.”

– Related News

ABC Alice Springs: Train derailment fuels Muckaty fears
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/06/08/3521295.htm
8 Jun 12: “A Muckaty traditional owner says yesterday’s
train derailment illustrates why the proposed nuclear waste
dump should not go ahead. A freight train derailment, north
of Tennant Creek is stirring up sentiment amongst
Aboriginal people against a proposed nuclear waste dump at
Muckaty Station. Muckaty traditional owner, Penelope
Phillips from the Wirntiku group says the freight train
derailment, north of Tennant Creek, raises concerns about
the safety of transporting radioactive material. …
[Photo] Protestors march up the main street in Tennant
Creek”

See:

Environment Centre NT
http://www.ecnt.org/
“The Environment Centre NT is the peak community sector
environment organisation in the Northern Territory,
Australia. The Environment Centre NT has been working to
protect the environment since 1983.”

Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC)
http://alec.org.au/
“The Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) is a
community-based environment organisation located in Alice
Springs, Northern Territory. For more than 30 years, ALEC
has advocated for the arid lands, plants, animals and
people of Central Australia.”

Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI)
http://beyondnuclearinitiative.com/
“The Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) aims to highlight the
adverse impact of the uranium and wider nuclear industry
in Australia and promote a nuclear-free future.”

* RESPECT AND LISTEN: MUCKATY NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP UPDATE

– News

Respect and Listen: Muckaty nuclear waste dump update
http://www.respectandlisten.org/muckaty.html
June 2012: “There is a lot of energy and momentum in the
campaign at the moment thanks to all of the support
activities people have been undertaking around the country.
1- Australian Council of Trade Unions votes to support
Muckaty campaign …
2- Rally in Tennant Creek/Alice Springs and Darwin public
meeting …
3- Update on Government process …
4- Federal Court … ”
Source: Nat Wasley
“ACTU Congress 2012
– Self Determination, Consultation and Land Use”

* BACKGROUND TO THE PROPOSED MUCKATY NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP:

Last updated: 5 June 2012

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/background-to-the-proposed-muckaty-nuclear-waste-dump-in-nt-australia

* BACKGROUND TO EXPANSION OF OLYMPIC DAM MINE CHALLENGE:

Last updated: 5 June 2012

http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/13/background-to-expansion-of-olympic-dam-mine-challenge-south-australia

* OTHER ARTICLES:

– News

newsTracker: Kimberley campaign the new Franklin fight
http://tracker.org.au/2012/06/kimberley-campaign-the-new-franklin-fight/
8 Jun 12: “NATIONAL: Former Greens leader and outgoing
senator Bob Brown has compared the fight over a proposed
$30 billion Kimberley gas hub with his successful Franklin
River dam campaign. Talking to AAP from the far-north West
Australian town of Broome on Thursday, Senator Brown said
environmental protests over the James Price Point site –
where Woodside Petroleum wants to build a major liquid
natural gas (LNG) processing plant – were “rapidly becoming
a national campaign”.”

National Indigenous Times: Gas hub battle gets ugly
http://www.nit.com.au/news/1213-gas-hub-battle-gets-ugly.html
7 Jun 12: “Woodside’s plan to drill on sacred sites draws
angry response. By National Indigenous Times West
Australian reporter Gerry Georgatos. Walmandan Tent Embassy
has held strong for near a year at James Price Point
however after it was recently uncovered that Woodside
Petroleum had applied for clearances to drill on Aboriginal
sacred sites it has become clear tensions between
Traditional Owners and the… ”

National Indigenous Times: Swan Valley residents evicted
http://www.nit.com.au/news/1212-swan-valley-residents-evicted.html
7 Jun 12: “”Welcome to a sample of Sorry Day recognition
West Australian style” By National Indigenous Times West
Australian reporter Gerry Georgatos. Sorry Day 2012 didn’t
mean anything as far as the West Australian Government and
police were concerned. In what could only be described as
crassness and a lack of respect police swooped on the Swan
Valley Nyungah peoples at Lockridge on Sorry Day to evict
them from… ”

National Indigenous Times:
No charges on Australia Day Embassy protest
http://www.nit.com.au/news/1210-no-charges-on-australia-day-embassy-protest.html
7 Jun 12: “No charges will be laid over a disturbance on
Australia Day involving Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Ms
Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott were rushed from
a Canberra restaurant by police when angry protesters, many
of whom had been attending 40th anniversary celebrations at
the nearby Aboriginal Tent Embassy, surrounded the
building. ACT Policing said it had finalised its
investigation… ”

National Indigenous Times: A New Generation of Freedom Riders
http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/1185-a-new-generation-of-freedom-riders.html
7 Jun 12: “Story and image supplied by Johanna Kerin.
Charles Perkins’ historic Freedom Ride of 1965 has been
recreated by a group of youths from New South Wales Central
Coast. Their journey was captured in a 60 minute film,
which held its world premiere on Wednesday night, to an
audience of Freedom Ride participants, community members,
family and… ”

Roxby Downs Sun: Protestors working with elders
http://www.roxbydownssun.com.au/news/local/news/general/protestors-working-with-elders/2583271.aspx
7 Jun 12: “The organisers of the “Lizard’s Revenge” event
scheduled for next month on Arabana country have said they
have been working with Aboriginal elders throughout their
preparations. One of the organisers Izzy Brown said the
organisers have consulted with aboriginal groups on several
levels. “We have been in contact with both Kokatha and
Arabunna elders, the Coober Pedy Kunga Juta, and Uncle
Kevin Buzzacott,” she said.”

Moree Champion: To stop paying rent would be silly: Munro
http://www.moreechampion.com.au/news/local/news/general/to-stop-paying-rent-would-be-silly-munro/2583114.aspx
7 Jun 12: “GOMEROI tribal people in the Moree area have
been advised by their clans to stop paying rent for houses
in the “top camp” and “old mission” areas as part of an
assertion of sovereignty. Aboriginal spokesperson Michael
Anderson said the Moree Gomeroi people were unhappy with
the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSW ALC) for transferring
administration of all NSW Aboriginal Land Council houses to
foreign rental agencies. … However he [Moree Aboriginal
Land Council chair Lloyd Munro Snr] said it would be
“really silly” to stop paying rent for housing.”

120601-MEDIA STATEMENT – WGAR supports the Yolngu statement opposing the Stronger Futures laws

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 01/06/2012 by D

MEDIA STATEMENT 1 June 2012

WGAR supports the Yolngu statement opposing the Stronger Futures laws

The Working Group for Aboriginal Rights stands in solidarity with the Yolngu Nations Assembly and strongly supports the Yolngu’s right to be independent and free nations living under their own Law.

WGAR understands that the Stronger Futures legislation, as an extension of Australian Government’s Northern Territory Intervention into Aboriginal communities, is a colonial imposition on the owners of Country, who have never ceded their sovereignty and have maintained their own Law and customs for millennia.

When the NT delegation to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial discrimination (CERD) presented their opposition to the NT Intervention in August 2011, the CERD recommended that the Australian Government enter into Treaty negotiations with the owners of Country:

‘ … the Committee recommends that the State party consider the negotiation of a treaty agreement to build a constructive and sustained relationship with Indigenous peoples.’

[CERD/C/AUS/CO/15-17 27 August 2011]

We recommend that it is high time that all political parties cease the denial of the true sovereign rights of First Nations Peoples and commence serious negotiations for a meaningful future, in which First Nations Peoples take their proper place in this land, once again.

In solidarity,

Winata Puru and Ffionnan Brooke-Watson

on behalf of Working Group for Aboriginal Rights, Australia

contactwgar@gmail.com and https://wgar.wordpress.com/

– – –

See:

WGAR News: Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement concerning ‘Stronger Futures’ laws and NT policies (4 May 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/04/wgar-news-yolngu-nations-assembly-statement-concerning-stronger-futures-laws-and-nt-polic

WGAR News: Several organisations express support for the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement (10 May 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/10/wgar-news-several-organisations-express-support-for-the-yolngu-nations-assembly-statement

WGAR News: More organisations state support for the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement (11 May 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/11/wgar-news-more-organisations-state-support-for-the-yolngu-nations-assembly-statement

WGAR News: Ampilatwatja Community Leaders give their full support to Yolngu Nations Assembly (30 May 12)
http://indymedia.org.au/2012/05/30/wgar-news-ampilatwatja-community-leaders-give-their-full-support-to-yolngu-nations-assemb

Respect and Listen compilation:
http://www.respectandlisten.org/nt-intervention/stronger-futures.html
“Statements and Media Releases … calling to abandon the Stronger Futures Legislation and supporting the Yolŋu Nations Assembly Statement”

‘concerned Australians’ compilation:
Churches, Religious, Organisations and Reconciliation Groups
http://concernedaustralians.com.au/Stronger_Futures_Yolngu_supporters.html
“Calls to Abandon the Stronger Futures Legislation, and Calls to Support the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement”

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


MEDIA RELEASE – ‘concerned Australians’ ​28 August 2010

Posted in media release on 29/08/2010 by D

AUSTRALIA’S ENTRENCHED RACISM

‘concerned Australians’ welcomes the report from the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The report calls for numerous changes to the way Australia deals with ‘entrenched discrimination’. One Committee Member, Patrick Thornberry, referred to, “structurally embedded discrimination in the way the Aboriginal intervention was being handled in the Northern Territory.”

The report calls for the full reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in the Northern Territory in a manner which ensures that the Act will “prevail over all other legislation which may be discriminatory on the grounds set out in the Convention”.

More specifically, the report states, “The Committee expresses its concern that the package of legislation under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) continues to discriminate on the basis of race as well as the use of so called “special measures”. To comply with our international obligations considerable amendment will be required to the legislation of June 2010, Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination) Act 2010.

Professor the Hon Alastair Nicholson, a co-author of the report “Loss of Rights” says, “The legislation of June 2010, restoring the Racial Discrimination Act reeks of hypocrisy in that at the same time as it does so it gives legislative force to aspects of the Northern Territory Emergency Response under the guise of them being ‘special measures’. The hypocrisy and double dealing involved is particularly apparent in relation to the income protection measures, which are now being ostensibly extended to the white population in a desperate attempt to avoid them being classed as discriminatory. Meanwhile the Government has acted in a questionable fashion to pressure Aboriginal communities to grant leases to it and thereby divest themselves of their lands. Fortunately the Committee has recognised what has been going on and has rightly criticised successive Australian Governments over this behaviour”

Elder, Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM from Galiwin’ku says, “The Australian Government has supported the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and must remove NTER measures from the legislation.”

The Committee recommends amendment to the Australian Constitution to include the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as First Nation Peoples, as well as giving consideration to the negotiation of a treaty agreement to build a constructive and sustained relationship with Indigenous people.

The report continues, “The Committee regrets the discriminatory impact this intervention has had on affected communities including restrictions on Aboriginal rights to land, property, social security, adequate standards of living, cultural development, work and remedies.”

Michele Harris OAM , spokesperson for ‘concerned Australians’ says, “the last two governments have invested huge sums of money aimed at taking control from Aboriginal people in the Territory over every aspect of life– compulsory control over Aboriginal land and leases, control over townships and community services, control over work, control over money, control over where money is spent, control over the language in which children are taught, and the list goes on.”

“ Many in Australia are unaware of the extreme changes that have been inflicted on Aboriginal people in the Territory. The recent trend in Australia has been for communication through statistics. We no longer engage with the feelings of grief and despair as is being experienced by our Aboriginal brothers and sisters in the Northern Territory.”

“Most of us, who do not live in the Territory, have no understanding of the pain that is being inflicted by the current policies. This is poignantly stated by elder Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM, “ It is disgusting to think that a government can inflict so much pain and so much hurt on the faces of colour and for reasons that we do not even know of.”

After the Apology most Australians expected an end to the discriminatory practices of Government. Within the next short while this should be a priority of whichever political group comes to power. Australians want change – they are disgraced by the racist tag by which our nation is becoming known. We must act on the recommendations contained in this report – Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

CONTACTS

The Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC ​0418 533 411

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM ​08 8956 9850

Rev. Dr. Djinyini Gondarra OAM 0427 140 232

Michele Harris OAM ​03 9415 7164

Georgina Gartland​03 98747595

Submission to CERD “Loss of Rights” by ‘concerned Australians’

Click to access Loss-of-Rights-Rept-2010.pdf

Report by Rev.Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and Rosalie Kunoth Monks OAM at:

http://natsiec.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/report-written-by-rev-dr-djiniyini-gondarra-oam-on-visit-to-cerd/

Media Release by ‘concerned Australians’

http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/icerd

Graeme Innes AM
Race Discrimination Commissioner
Australian Human Rights Commission speaking before CERD 11 Aug

http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about/media/speeches/race/2010/20100811_CERD.html

UN says discrimination embedded in Australia

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/28/2996007.htm?section=justin

CERD/C/AUS/CO/15-17

ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION
27 August 2010

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Seventy-seventh session
2 –27 August 2010

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 9 of the convention

Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Australia

1. The Committee considered the fifteenth to seventeenth periodic report of Australia (CERD/C/AUS/15-17), submitted in one document, at its 2024th and 2025th meetings (CERD/C/SR.2024 and CERD/C/SR.2025), held on 10 and 11 August 2010. At its 2043rd meeting (CERD/C/SR.2043), held on 24 August 2010, it adopted the following concluding observations.

A. Introduction

2. While welcoming the submission of the combined fifteenth to seventeenth periodic report by the State party the Committee notes that the report was not in complete conformity with its reporting guidelines. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for the presentations made by the delegation, both orally and in writing, which provided further insights into the implementation of the Convention.

B. Positive aspects

3. The Committee welcomes the State party’s expression of support, in April 2009, to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as a first step in building a sustained and constructive partnership with Indigenous peoples.

4. The Committee notes with satisfaction the National Apology for past negative Government policies issued by the State party on 13 February 2008 to Indigenous peoples and in particular the Stolen Generations, as a first step towards genuine reconciliation and reparations to be made in recognition of the history of gross violations of human rights.

5. The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the related Optional Protocol, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the standing invitation extended to all thematic special procedures, noting, in particular, the visits of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous peoples as well as the Special Rapporteur on the right to health in 2009.

6. The Committee welcomes the Government’s commitment to address Indigenous disadvantage as set out in the six “Closing the Gap” targets.

7. The Committee notes with interest the extensive National Human Rights Consultation between December 2008 and September 2009 showing an overwhelming support for the protection of human rights.

8. The Committee welcomes the contributions of the Australian Human Rights Commission to the Committee’s work, as well as the active engagement and contributions from non-governmental organizations.

C. Concerns and recommendations

9. The Committee regrets that insufficient information regarding the concrete measures for the implementation of its previous concluding observations (CERD/C/AUS/CO/14 (2005), CERD/C/304/ADD.101 (2000)) was provided by the State Party. It also regrets that many of the concerns previously addressed to it by the Committee persist and have not resulted in structural change.

The State Party is encouraged to comply with all recommendations and decisions addressed to it by the Committee and to take all necessary steps to ensure that national legal provisions further the effective implementation of the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the State party consider the establishment of a domestic implementation mechanism for the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination across the federal system.

10. The Committee is concerned by the absence of any entrenched protection against racial discrimination in the federal Constitution and that sections 25 and 51 (xxvi) of the Constitution in themselves raise issues of racial discrimination. It notes with interest the recommendations from the National Human Rights Consultation Report and findings of a significant degree of community support for a federal Human Rights Act to thoroughly address the gaps in the existing model of human rights protection. The Committee also notes information provided on the State party’s plans to review all federal anti-discrimination laws, with the intention of their harmonization under the Human Rights Framework. (arts. 1 and 2)

The Committee urges the State party to ensure that the review of all federal anti-discrimination laws considers the gaps in legal and constitutional protections against discrimination and that consequent harmonization does not weaken the Racial Discrimination Act. It recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that the Racial Discrimination Act prevails over all other legislation which may be discriminatory on the grounds set out in the Convention. The Committee also recommends that the State party draft and adopt comprehensive legislation providing entrenched protection against racial discrimination.

11. While taking account of the State party’s commitment to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the Committee regrets the absence of a full-time Race Discrimination Commissioner since 1999 and notes with concern the challenges the Human Rights Commission faces regarding limited powers, capacity, and funding (art. 2).

The Committee urges the State party to support the proper performance of the AHRC, through adequate financing and staffing, including through the appointment of a full-time Race Discrimination Commissioner. It also recommends that the State party consider expanding the powers, functions and funding of the AHRC.

12. The Committee is concerned that the collection of biometric data for Australian visa applications in ten countries, as part of national security measures, may constitute racial profiling and may contribute to increased stigmatization of certain groups (art. 2).

While acknowledging the State party’s national security concerns, the Committee underlines the obligation of the State party to ensure that measures taken in the struggle against terrorism do not discriminate in purpose or effect on grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin. The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its Statement on Racial Discrimination and Measures to Combat Terrorism (8 March 20002) and recommends that it undertake sensitisation campaigns against stereotypes associating certain groups with terrorism.

13. The Committee notes with concern the absence of a legal framework regulating the obligation of Australian corporations at home and overseas whose activities, notably in the extractive sector, when carried out on the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples, have had a negative impact on Indigenous peoples’ rights to land, health, living environment and livelihoods (arts. 2, 4, 5).

In light of the Committee’s general recommendation 23 (1997) on the rights of indigenous peoples, the Committee encourages the State party to take appropriate legislative or administrative measures to prevent acts of Australian corporations which negatively impact on the enjoyment of rights of indigenous peoples domestically and overseas and to regulate the extra-territorial activities of Australian corporations abroad. The Committee also encourages the State party to fulfil its commitments under the different international initiatives it supports to advance responsible corporate citizenship.

14. Noting with interest the changing demographics of the State party in recent decades, the Committee regrets that its multicultural policy (Multicultural Australia United in Diversity (2003-2006)) expired in 2006. It notes with concern reports highlighting ongoing issues of discrimination and inequity in access to and delivery of services experienced by members of certain minority communities including African communities, people of Asian, Middle Eastern and Muslim background, and in particular Muslim women (arts. 1, 2, 5).

The Committee encourages the State party to develop and implement an updated comprehensive multicultural policy that reflects its increasingly ethnically and culturally diverse society. The Committee requests the State party to include in its next periodic report information on its approach to multiculturalism and diversity in national policy. It recommends that the State party strengthen the race and cultural dimensions of its Social Inclusion Agenda, in particular by ensuring adequate resources for the development of strategies that respond to the specific needs of the diverse communities of the State party.

15. The Committee notes with appreciation the acknowledgement by the State party that Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders occupy a special place in its society as the first peoples of Australia and also welcomes the establishment of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples but is concerned this is only an advisory body representing member organizations and individuals and may not be fully representative of Australia’s First Peoples. The Committee regrets the limited progress towards Constitutional acknowledgement of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, and slow implementation of the principle of Indigenous peoples’ exercising meaningful control over their affairs (arts. 1, 2, 5, 6).

Drawing the attention of the State party to the Committee’s general recommendation 23 (1997) on the rights of indigenous peoples, the Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party increase efforts to ensure a meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and that any measures to amend the Australian Constitution include the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as First Nations Peoples. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the State party consider the negotiation of a treaty agreement to build a constructive and sustained relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Committee also recommends that the State party provide the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples with the adequate resources to become fully operational by January 2011 and support its development.

16. The Committee expresses its concern that the package of legislation under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) continues to discriminate on the basis of race as well as the use of so called “special measures” by the State party. The Committee regrets the discriminatory impact this intervention has had on affected communities including restrictions on Aboriginal rights to land, property, social security, adequate standards of living, cultural development, work, and remedies (arts. 1, 2, and 5).

The Committee urges the State party to fully reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act, including the use of the Act to challenge and provide remedies for racially discriminatory NTER measures. It also urges the State party to guarantee that all special measures in Australian law, in particular those regarding the NTER, are in accordance with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 32 on Special Measures (2009). It encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts to implement the NTER Review Board recommendations, namely that: it continue to address the unacceptably high level of disadvantage and social dislocation being experienced by Aboriginal Australians living in remote communities throughout the Northern Territory; that it reset the relationship with Aboriginal people based on genuine consultation, engagement and partnership; and that Government actions affecting the Aboriginal communities respect Australia’s human rights obligations and conform with the Racial Discrimination Act.

17. The Committee reiterates its concern about the State party’s reservations to article 4 (a) of the Convention. It notes that acts of racial hatred are not criminalized throughout the State party, pursuant to article 4 of the Convention, and also that the Northern Territory still has not enacted legislation prohibiting incitement to racial hatred (art. 4).

In light of the Committee’s general recommendations No. 7 (1985) and No. 15 (1993), according to which article 4 is of mandatory nature, the Committee recommends the State party to remedy the absence of legislation to give full effect to the provisions against racial discrimination under article 4 and withdraw its reservation to article 4 (a) relating to criminalizing the dissemination of racist ideas, incitement to racial hatred or discrimination, and the provision of any assistance to racist activities. The Committee reiterates its request for information on complaints, prosecutions and sentences regarding acts of racial hatred or incitement to racial hatred in States and Territories with legislation specifying such offenses.

18. Reiterating in full its concern about the Native Title Act 1993 and its amendments, the Committee regrets the persisting high standards of proof required for recognition of the relationship between Indigenous peoples and their traditional lands, and the fact that in spite of large investment of time and resources by Indigenous peoples, many are unable to obtain recognition of their relationship to land (art. 5).

The Committee urges the State party to provide more information on this issue, and take the necessary measures to review the requirement of such a high standard of proof. The Committee is interested in receiving data on the extent to which the legislative reforms to the Native Title Act in 2009 will achieve “better native title claim settlements in a timely manner”. It also recommends that the State party enhance adequate mechanisms for effective consultation with Indigenous peoples around all policies affecting their lives and resources.

19. While welcoming recent initiatives taken by the State party in order to increase access to justice by Indigenous Australians, the Committee is concerned that the recent funding increase for Aboriginal legal aid may be inadequate to address the continued limited access by Indigenous peoples to legal specialist and interpretation services in a sustainable manner (art. 5, 6).

The Committee encourages the State party to increase funding for Aboriginal legal aid in real terms, as a reflection of its recognition of the essential role that professional and culturally appropriate Indigenous legal and interpretive services play within the criminal justice system. Moreover, it recommends that the State party strengthen training for law enforcement personnel and the legal profession in this regard.

20. While welcoming the endorsement of National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework by all Australian Governments, the Committee reiterates its concern about the disproportionate incarceration rates and the persisting problems leading to deaths in custody of a considerable number of Indigenous Australians over the years. The Committee expresses concern in particular about the growing imprisonment rates of Indigenous women as well as the substandard conditions in many prisons (art. 5, 6).

Taking into account the Committee’s general recommendation 31 (2006) on the prevention of racial discrimination in the administration and functioning of the criminal justice system, the Committee recommends that the State party dedicate sufficient resources to address the social and economic factors underpinning Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system. It encourages the State party to adopt a justice reinvestment strategy, continuing and increasing the use of Indigenous courts and conciliation mechanisms, diversionary and prevention programs and restorative justice strategies. and that, in consultation with Indigenous communities, it take immediate steps to review the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, identifying those which remain relevant with a view to their implementation. The Committee also recommends that the State party implement the measures outlined in the National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework. The Committee encourages the State party to ensure the provision of adequate health care to prisoners.

21. The Committee welcomes the new national approach to preserve Indigenous languages but is concerned that no additional financial resources have been committed by the State party nor received by the Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records program for this new approach. The Committee is also highly concerned by the recent abolition of bilingual education funding by the Northern Territory Government in light of the precarious condition of many Indigenous languages, and the lack of adequate opportunities for children to receive instruction in or of their language (art. 2, 5).

The Committee encourages the State party to allocate adequate resources for the new national approach to preserve Indigenous languages. It recommends that the State party, in consultation with Indigenous communities, hold a national inquiry into the issue of bilingual education for Indigenous peoples. The Committee also recommends that the State party adopt all necessary measures to preserve native languages and develop and carry out programmes to revitalize indigenous languages and bilingual and intercultural education for Indigenous peoples respecting cultural identity and history. In line with the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, to which Australia is a party, the Committee encourages the State party to consider providing adequate opportunities for national minorities to the use and teaching of their own language.

22. While recognizing the steps taken by the State party to address socio-economic disadvantages of Indigenous people, the Committee reiterates its serious concern about the continued discrimination faced by Indigenous Australians in the enjoyment of their economic, social and cultural rights (art. 5).

The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party ensure that resources allocated to eradicate socio-economic disparities are sufficient and sustainable. It recommends that all initiatives and programmes in this regard ensure the cultural appropriateness of public service delivery and that they seek to reduce Indigenous socio-economic disadvantage while advancing Indigenous self-empowerment.

23. The Committee is concerned by information related to the personal security of international students, and in particular, the series of racially motivated assaults and killings of Indian students in the state of Victoria. It regrets the failure by the Government and police (both at a state and federal level) to acknowledge the racial motivation of these acts, as well as the lack of available national data on the prevalence of migrants as victims of crime (arts. 2, 4, and 5).

The Committee recommends that the State party further intensify its efforts to combat racially motivated violence, including by requiring law enforcement authorities to collect data on the nationality and ethnicity of victims of such crimes and ensuring that judges, prosecutors and the police apply, in practice, existing legal provisions which consider the motive of ethnic, racial or religious hatred or enmity an aggravating circumstance. It recommends that the State party provide updated statistical data on the number and nature of reported hate crimes, prosecutions, convictions and sentences imposed on perpetrators, disaggregated by age, gender and national or ethnic origin of victims.

24. The Committee is concerned that “Excised Offshore Places” such as the immigration detention facilities on Christmas Island are removed from the operation of Australia’s migration legislation and that asylum seekers arriving by boat or intercepted before reaching the mainland without a valid visa are subject to improper processing arrangements and denied the full protections of the application and review procedures available on the mainland. The Committee is also concerned by the continued suspension of the processing of refugee status assessment procedures for applicants from certain countries, notably for Afghan asylum seekers, which lacks a legislative basis and is inconsistent with article 5 of the Convention. It regrets that the Australian High Court has found that it is lawful for a stateless person to be detained indefinitely. Finally, the Committee is concerned that children are still kept in detention-like conditions in various remote areas and at times, separate from their parents (art. 1, 2, 5).

Recalling its general recommendation No. 30 (2004) on discrimination against non-citizens, the Committee reiterates its view that States parties ensure that immigration policies do not have the effect of discriminating against persons on the basis of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin. It recommends that the State party:

(a) review its mandatory detention regime of asylum seekers with a view to finding an alternative to detention, ensuring that the detention of asylum seekers is always a measure of last resort and is limited by statute to the shortest time reasonably necessary, and that all forms of arbitrary detention be avoided;

(b) expedite the removal of the suspension on processing visa applications from asylum seekers from Afghanistan and that it take the necessary measures to ensure standardized asylum assessment and review procedures and equal entitlement to public services by all asylum seekers, regardless of country of origin or mode of entry;

(c) develop appropriate reception arrangements, in particular for children;

(d) ensure in its domestic law, in accordance with article 5 (b), that the principle of non-refoulement is respected when proceeding with return of asylum-seekers to countries;

(e) accompany any changes in the processing of asylum claims with adequate protection standards for those asylum seekers whose protection is suspended.

(f) continue its cooperation with UNHCR in regard to the above.

25. The Committee regrets that no steps have been taken by the State party with regard to the Committee’s previous recommendation that the State party envisage reversing the burden of proof in civil proceedings involving racial discrimination to alleviate the difficulties faced by complainants in establishing the burden of proof (arts. 4 and 5).

The Committee recommends that as part of its harmonisation of federal anti-discrimination laws, the Racial Discrimination Act be amended, as far as civil proceedings are concerned, to require the complainant to prove prima facie discrimination, at which point the burden shifts to the respondent to prove no discrimination existed.

26. While noting with interest the range of compensation payment schemes that have been implemented or recommended for implementation in the State party, the Committee regrets the absence of appropriate compensation payment schemes for Stolen Generations and Stolen Wages, which is inconsistent with article 6 of the Convention (art. 6).

The Committee reiterates its recommendation to the State party to address appropriately and through a national mechanism past racially discriminatory practices including through the provision of adequate compensation to all involved.

27. The Committee reiterates that education plays a crucial role in promoting human rights and combating racism and notes with interest the national curriculum initiative for schools. However, it is concerned that the historical position, importance and contributions to Australian society of Indigenous peoples and those of other groups protected under the Convention may not be properly reflected in the proposed curriculum (art. 5, 7).

The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to ensure that the national curriculum conveys an accurate message regarding the contribution of all groups protected under the Convention to Australian society and reflects the principle of full participation and equality. In light of article 7 of the Convention, it also recommends that the State party include human rights education in the national curriculum. The Committee also encourages the State party to ensure that an anti-racism strategy be established under the new Human Rights Framework and that an education program for all Australians, as per the recommendations of the Human Rights Consultation Report, with particular reference to combating discrimination, prejudice and racism be adopted.

28. Bearing in mind the indivisibility of all human rights, the Committee encourages the State party to consider ratifying those international human rights treaties which it has not yet ratified, in particular treaties the provisions of which have a direct bearing on the subject of racial discrimination, such as the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990), the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment; and ILO Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries.

29. In light of its general recommendation No. 33 (2009) on follow-up to the Durban Review Conference, the Committee recommends that the State party give effect to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in September 2001 by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, taking into account the Outcome Document of the Durban Review Conference, held in Geneva in April 2009, when implementing the Convention in its domestic legal order. The Committee requests that the State party include in its next periodic report specific information on action plans and other measures taken to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the national level.

30. The Committee recommends that the State party continue consulting and expanding its dialogue with organizations of civil society working in the area of human rights protection, in particular in combating racial discrimination, in connection with the preparation of the next periodic report.

31. The Committee recommends that the State party’s reports be made readily available and accessible to the public at the time of their submission, and that the observations of the Committee with respect to these reports be similarly publicized in the official and other commonly used languages, as appropriate.

32. In accordance with article 9, paragraph 1, of the Convention and rule 65 of its amended rules of procedure, the Committee requests the State party to provide information, within one year of the adoption of the present conclusions, on its follow-up to the recommendations contained in paragraphs 11, 16, 23 above.

33. The Committee also wishes to draw the attention of the State party to the particular importance of recommendations 18, 22 and 26 and request the State party to provide detailed information in its next periodic report on concrete measures taken to implement these recommendations.

34. The Committee recommends that the State party submit its 18th and 19th periodic reports in a single document, due on 30 October 2012 taking into account the guidelines for the CERD-specific document adopted by the Committee during its seventy-first session (CERD/C/2007/1), and that it address all points raised in the present concluding observations. The Committee also urges the State party to observe the page limit of 40 pages for treaty-specific reports and 60-80 pages for the common core document (see harmonized guidelines for reporting contained in document HRI/GEN.2/Rev.6, para. 19).

Download the Report

MEDIA RELEASE ‘concerned Australians’

Posted in media release on 29/08/2010 by D

– 15 August

NT Aboriginal Elders Take their Message to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in Geneva

Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks are on their way home from Geneva where they had been attending the 77th Session of the Committee for Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. According to Dr. Djiniyini this was an important meeting for both of them. He said, “We were able to present evidence first hand. We were able to close the information gap”.

He continued, “We were able to speak from the soul. The environment in which we were speaking was one focused solely on human rights; it was not intruded upon by politics. We were able to reach the heights in dialogue and understanding that we hadn’t expected.”

Rosalie spoke of the importance of the visit to the UN. “It is the land that holds us together and following the second invasion of the 2007 Intervention, we are hurting, we are suffering. I went to the UN to relieve my pain by being able to present the true facts of what is happening in the remote parts of our country. I had to find a platform where it could be told.”

The meeting was attended by the Australian Government delegation led by HE Ambassador Peter Woolcott and representatives from a number of different government departments. (FAHCSIA, DEEWR, DOHA, DIAC, AGD)

The NGO Meeting with the Members of the CERD Committee commenced with a traditional welcome ceremony by Dr. Djiniyini. The NGO team included the Australian Racial Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, Les Malezer from FAIRA and representatives from the National Association of Community Legal Services, Australia International and the National Native Title Council. Members of the Committee were generous in their welcome to Rosalie and Djiniyini.

On 9th August Rosalie and Djiniyini joined with Rodney Dillon from Amnesty International and Brian Wyatt from the National Native Title Council. They each spoke at a presentation for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Leaders .

The Race Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, in his presentation said, “Rosie and Djiniyini, you are descendants of ancient peoples, the world’s oldest continuing culture, and you do not need me, or the Australian Government, to speak for you. But may I repeat your messages:
You did not consent to the Northern Territory Intervention.
You said that the Intervention is not a special measure.
You said that it is not a positive or concrete measure to strengthen your communities, culture customary practice. It has had the opposite effect. It has removed people from their lands, and their own distinct practices and world values. And you said that without land and community at your spiritual centre, every Aboriginal person in Australia will be lost.

Thank you for coming, and giving those messages”.

Quakers United Nations Office generously assisted in arranging a number of important meetings for Rosalie and Djiniyini outside the scheduled events. These included meetings with the Head of the UPR unit, Head of the OHCHR Minorities and Indigenous Peoples unit and Committee Member and Rapporteur, Jose Cali Tzay.

Djiniyini and Rosalie carried with them to the UN the report “Loss of Rights” prepared by, ‘concerned Australians’.

Click to access CERD%20report%20%28final%29%20internet%20version%2010072010%20Copy.pdf

Links to reports that were presented at the UN are:

Australian Human Rights Commission: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/ngos/AHRC_Australia77.pdf

National Association of Community Legal Services: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/ngos/NACLCHRLRC_Australia77.pdf

Intervention Rollback Action Group: http://www.rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com

Amnesty International:​http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/ngos/AI_Australia77.pdf

National Native Title Council: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/ngos/NNC_Australia77.doc

Australian Government’s submission: http://www.dfat.gov.au

Djiniyini and Rosalie at the podium at the UN at the Podium (top) With Graeme Innes, Race Discrimination Commissioner (bottom)​

CONTACTS:​​Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM​0427 140 232

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM​0419 868 947

Michele Harris OAM​03 9415 7164

NEW WAY SUMMIT: ABORIGINALS TO RETAKE LANDSMEDIA RELEASE

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 06/07/2010 by D

Melbourne 5 July 2010 —Aboriginal people have been encouraged to take possession of unoccupied and Crown lands including abandoned buildings to assert their ownership and original title.This proposal comes out of an Aboriginal conference held in Melbourne from 1-4 July. The third meeting of the New Way Summit movement, initiated by Michael Anderson, heard that the Mabo judgment on Native Title was legal trickery, because hunting, gathering, walking on land, ceremonies on Country do not constitute a claim to legal title and ownership, whereas erecting fences, buildings and clearing of land does as an act of ‘adverse possession’.Adverse possession is the means by which the colonizers asserts title to alleged ‘wild country’.Anderson, legally trained in Western and Aboriginal law, advised the conference that the Crown and ‘squatter rights ‘ are totally underpinned by a ‘Doctrine of Discovery’, which has its origin in the Papal Bulls (bull = seal) issued in 1453 and thereafter.“The Papal Bulls defined Aboriginal Peoples and all non-Christians as animals and brutes to be the legitimate prey of Christian monarchs, who were then carving up the world between them,” Anderson said. The conference participants were advised that before taking this assertive action they need to challenge the colonizers’ jurisdiction over their sovereign lands.Anderson suggested they follow the action of his Euahlayi people by writing to the Queen, the Governor-General, their state Premiers and the Prime Minister demanding they prove they have jurisdiction over Australia. The Euahlayi demand that the authorities produce certified copies of documentation where the people allegedly ceded and acquiesced their sovereignty and title to their lands by way of signed surrender documents.“Obviously no such documents exist, this admission by the authorities will establish and confirm Aboriginal ownership. Any action of reclamation by Aboriginal people cannot be considered an act of theft or trespass. These admissions are a shield against colonial coppers.”Gary Foley, like Anderson, an original member of the 1970s Black Power movement said, “We must activate the grassroots people so that they become actively involved in controlling their own affairs. Talk of international operations and grandiose challenges without grassroots action means nothing.”The conference resolved that international legal and political challenges are now pending and will be mounted within the coming months.The Victorian convenor of the third New Way Summit, Sharon Firebrace, told the meeting that in the last 30 years Aboriginal affairs has become corrupt to the core through politicians and government bureaucrats and their Aboriginal collaborators, which gave the government the pretext to shut down our self-determination.Anderson says, “The lure of mining royalties is the new colonial method to make our people sign away their rights to land.”The summit resolved to set up a system to name and shame treasonous activities by Aboriginal collaborators.The next New Way Summits are planned for Darwin at the end of July and Townsville in early August.Contact: Michael Anderson 0427 292 492, 02 68296355 ngurampaa@bigpond.com
MEDIA RELEASE
Melbourne 5 July 2010 —

Aboriginal people have been encouraged to take possession of unoccupied and Crown lands including abandoned buildings to assert their ownership and original title.
This proposal comes out of an Aboriginal conference held in Melbourne from 1-4 July.
The third meeting of the New Way Summit movement, initiated by Michael Anderson, heard that the Mabo judgment on Native Title was legal trickery, because hunting, gathering, walking on land, ceremonies on Country do not constitute a claim to legal title and ownership, whereas erecting fences, buildings and clearing of land does as an act of ‘adverse possession’.
Adverse possession is the means by which the colonizers asserts title to alleged ‘wild country’.
Anderson, legally trained in Western and Aboriginal law, advised the conference that the Crown and ‘squatter rights ‘ are totally underpinned by a ‘Doctrine of Discovery’, which has its origin in the Papal Bulls (bull = seal) issued in 1453 and thereafter.
“The Papal Bulls defined Aboriginal Peoples and all non-Christians as animals and brutes to be the legitimate prey of Christian monarchs, who were then carving up the world between them,” Anderson said.

The conference participants were advised that before taking this assertive action they need to challenge the colonizers’ jurisdiction over their sovereign lands.
Anderson suggested they follow the action of his Euahlayi people by writing to the Queen, the Governor-General, their state Premiers and the Prime Minister demanding they prove they have jurisdiction over Australia.
The Euahlayi demand that the authorities produce certified copies of documentation where the people allegedly ceded and acquiesced their sovereignty and title to their lands by way of signed surrender documents.
“Obviously no such documents exist, this admission by the authorities will establish and confirm Aboriginal ownership. Any action of reclamation by Aboriginal people cannot be considered an act of theft or trespass. These admissions are a shield against colonial coppers.”
Gary Foley, like Anderson, an original member of the 1970s Black Power movement said, “We must activate the grassroots people so that they become actively involved in controlling their own affairs. Talk of international operations and grandiose challenges without grassroots action means nothing.”
The conference resolved that international legal and political challenges are now pending and will be mounted within the coming months.
The Victorian convenor of the third New Way Summit, Sharon Firebrace, told the meeting that in the last 30 years Aboriginal affairs has become corrupt to the core through politicians and government bureaucrats and their Aboriginal collaborators, which gave the government the pretext to shut down our self-determination.
Anderson says, “The lure of mining royalties is the new colonial method to make our people sign away their rights to land.”
The summit resolved to set up a system to name and shame treasonous activities by Aboriginal collaborators.
The next New Way Summits are planned for Darwin at the end of July and Townsville in early August.
Contact: Michael Anderson 0427 292 492, 02 68296355 ngurampaa@bigpond.com


Aboriginal sovereignty to go to the Senate

Posted in media release on 01/02/2010 by D


Canberra, 1 February 2010 – The Aboriginal assertion of sovereignty is to be put to the Federal Parliament by the Greens Senator Rachel Siewert at the request of the New Way Summit convened here.

Senator Siewert made the pledge to about 120 Aboriginal delegates from across the continent.

Sovereignty was the main issue at the gathering, convened in the Australian National University by Michael Anderson.

The summit elected a task force to examine options like international and domestic sovereignty.

Paul Coe, former barrister, and an expert who has studied the issue for decades said a lot of explaining has to be done in the communities on what sovereignty could mean.

Representatives of the Gidthabal nation of northern NSW and southern Queensland won a lot of attention with sovereignty plans that have attracted international support.

Relying on research of British documents the Gidthabal affirm their sovereignty by complete rejection of British law in Australia. “Queen Elizabeth has no writ over our country,” said Mark McMurtrie.

Barbara Shaw, a member of the taskforce and campaigner for her people in Alice Springs town camps, told the summit that their conditions have worsened since Kevin Rudd’s apology. Barbara said, “Nothing is being done. All they want is the land for mining.”

She also expressed deep concern about more uranium mining and the future dumping of nuclear waste on a known fault line in her country.

Marianne Mackay, also a taskforce member who spoke on WA Deaths in Custody, said that her people argue that nothing has changed in the state since the death of a respected Elder from Laverton. Marianne also expressed grave concerns for the over representation of Aboriginal people in custody – 83%. She said that was totally unfair and change has to occur immediately.

The summit demanded the resignation Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and for her to be replaced by an Aboriginal person selected by Aboriginal Peoples. Advice from Les Malezer, UN advocate, confirmed that this is possible and he added that the person selected needs to find a parliamentary seat within 45 days.

“Sovereignty will be the major issue of the second New Way Summit to be held in Sydney over the Easter weekend,” Michael Anderson said.

The Canberra summit has set a preliminary agenda for the taskforce to deal with:

– Deaths in Custody

– Over-policing of children and youth

– Institutional racism

– Review of child protection laws in consultation with the Aboriginal nations

– Sustainable Aboriginal economic development

– Respect for Aboriginal religion and spirituality

– Cultural tourism

– Ownership of all Aboriginal programming

Where requested the taskforce is to assist in convening state and regional meetings across the continent.

It is to publish the ‘New Way’ agenda through all media forms including the internet.

The taskforce is to develop an Aboriginal Charter of Rights and establish protocols for inter-nation relations.

It is also to establish joint working plans and relationships with external organisations, such as ANTaR, Oxfam and Amnesty International.

An issue that received a lot of attention was possible need for people to be enrolled as members of their nations.

Criticism of black people in important positions who block grassroots aspirations highlighted a need to establish who owns and controls the institutions that deliver Aboriginal services.

Contact: Michael Anderson 0427 292 492 ngurampaa@bigpond.com


Aboriginal Nations should make inter-nation treaties in sovereignty quest

Posted in MEDIA RELEASES on 30/01/2010 by D

Canberra, 30 January 2010 – – The hundreds of Aboriginal nations in Australia should start making treaties with each other in a process leading ultimately to full sovereignty, former barrister Paul Coe told a meeting here of Aboriginal Elders and young people.
Mr Coe advice to the summit was that Aboriginal people need to learn what sovereignty is.
He noted there are two forms of sovereignty that Aboriginal people must examine. The first is whether they want to be domestic sovereign nations, that is a state within the Australian Commonwealth or, secondly, to become a confederacy of Aboriginal nations recognised in international law.
The summit of about one hundred people from across the continent heard a lot of raw pain and anger on various issues, from continuing deaths in custody to the Northern Territory intervention.
The conference was told by the convenor, Michael Anderson, that we need to become proactive and not just talk about government controls but wrest control away from the government.
The summit heard people say that Aboriginal independence has been usurped by state controlled welfare slavery. The summit acknowledged that drug and alcohol dependency is symptomatic of oppressed Peoples.
The conference also heard that we must address the high incarceration rate that Aboriginal adults and youth suffer across this country. Human rights defenders reported how Aboriginal Legal Services are being starved of funding and are being referred to as Aboriginal Lock-up Services.
The Ambassador of revolutionary Venezuela, Mr Nelson Davila-Lameda, spoke of the strong rights given his country’s Indigenous Peoples since President Hugo Chavez came to power, for example, they have secure representation in the national parliament. He pledged Venezuelan support for the Aboriginal sovereignty pursued in international forums.
The New Way Summit continues on Sunday 31st and Monday 1st. It will set an agenda for the way forward. “One key suggestion is to send an Aboriginal delegation to Britain to claim restitution and reparations for the violations since British colonial occupation,” summit convenor Michael Anderson said.
Proceedings at the summit can be followed live on the internet at http://www.wgar.info.
Contact: Michael Anderson 0427 292 492 ngurampaa@bigpond.com Ph 02 62896355