Category Archives: Indigenous affairs

SPENCER ZIFCAK. Australia elected to UN Human Rights Council – despite international condemnation.

Two weeks ago, Australia was chosen as one of two new member nations on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Before one gets too excited about this achievement it is worth noting that our country’s election was uncontested. There were three … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JIM COOMBS. Doing right by our First Peoples needs a little understanding but a LOT MORE RESPECT.

As my Dad, “Nugget” Coombs, said in his Boyer Lectures years ago, though still ringing true, we are all demeaned by our treatment of our aboriginal people. Even back then, he implored our leaders to consult with, listen to and … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. Thinking about memory and monuments.

The controversy about confederate monuments in the southern states erupted in May this year while I was in the United States. I was impressed by the extent and the vigour of the debate. In the back of my mind I … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 3 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. Citizenship and English proficiency and indigenous people.

So we have the anomalous situation of a projected citizenship test which large numbers of indigenous people could not pass.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Captain Cook.

For months we have had to endure war on all fronts – the class war, the gender war, the religion war, the equality war, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war against political correctness, the war on … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

FREYA HIGGINS DESBIOLLES. The politics of public monuments: It’s time Australians looked at what, and whom, we commemorate

Recent events in the US have seen Confederate Civil War monuments pulled down and painful histories revisited. Comparing these acts to those of the Islamic State terror group, Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill evocatively called this an “Orwellian war on history” … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. That day again

Controversy about Australia Day intensifies. The ABC’s Triple J is consulting its listeners about moving the popular Hottest 100 Countdown from January 26th. Debate is taking place in council chambers across the country. Melbourne’s Yarra Council was savaged by Prime … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 5 Comments

TONY SMITH. After the high hopes of Garma, disappointment sets in.

Last weekend, Indigenous leaders gathered at the Garma festival in north east Arnhem Land. The coverage on NITV showed a distinct slide from initial politeness and hope to disappointment and anger.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

HENRY REYNOLDS. January 26?

When we examine the violations of law when the British took possession of eastern Australia in 1788, it’s little wonder that a growing number of people are seeking a date other than January 26 to celebrate Australia Day.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

HENRY REYNOLDS. Memories and Massacres

The release by Newcastle University’s Centre for 21st Century Humanities of a map of colonial frontier massacres has attracted a burst of media attention. It draws national interest back to those questions that were highlighted during the history wars of … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 4 Comments

DAVID STEPHENS. Hidden in plain sight: Aboriginal massacre map should be no surprise

Lyndall Ryan’s work on mapping the massacres of Aboriginal Australians builds on earlier work which has been ignored or glossed over by settler Australians. Perhaps this time, finally, we can make the link between Indigenous dispossession and the position of … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Will the forgotten people be heard at last?

The crusaders of the far right have already delivered their sentence: the Uluru statement is to be dead, buried and cremated before it can infect the fairness and decency of the ignorant masses.  

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Uluru Statement.

It is fitting that the Uluru Statement from the Heart celebrated the triumphant referendum of 1967: “In 1967 we were counted; in 2017 we seek to be heard,” the statement declared.  

Posted in Indigenous affairs | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN SJ. Uluru: Take Time to Get This Right

Fifty years on from the successful 1967 referendum, we have all heard the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Aboriginal and Torres Strait representatives have told us that ‘in 1967 we were counted, in 2007 we seek to be heard’. Australians … Continue reading

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JUDITH CRISPIN. Indigenous Elders to Tackle Youth Suicide Using Mobile Technology

A groundbreaking collaboration between Walpiri Elders, cultural historians, technologists and a clinical psychologist aims to tackle youth suicide using traditional knowledge and mobile technology.  

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STEVE GEORGAKIS. Gilchrist and Australia’s national sport, Cricket?

Until recently cricket is a sport that has rarely engaged other minority cultures, such as Indigenous Australians or newly arrived migrants. In fact, unlike other sports such as Australian Rules football, cricket has been resistant to broaden its base. … The … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Refugees, Immigration, Sport | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 2 of 2.

Human rights work has a cost, and we need to remember the cost and the toll that it takes on the people who are doing it. Those who are paying the price need the support of those who are not … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS. “CIRCLE” Bail Hostels

  One of the common reasons for incarceration of Aboriginal children is failure to appear at court and breach of bail conditions (often a residence condition). One way to overcome this is to establish “bail hostels” like those in the … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. ‘Aunty, with our prospects in life – what is the point of being healthy?’

  The ABC Boyer Lecture series this year is being delivered by Sir Michael Marmot, the World Medical Association President and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London .The main thrust of his lecture series has been … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull and indigenous affairs.

  If Malcolm Turnbull did not know it before, he certainly should now: before you stomp your way into Aboriginal politics, it is wise to first don the emu-feather sandals of a trained Kadaitcha man. The area is fraught with … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS. “Circle” Incarceration

  After the revelations this week, it is trite to say that the criminal justice system is failing the Aboriginal people of Australia. One significant reason for this is the exclusion of the Aboriginal community from the process. One “reform” … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. A treaty with indigenous Australians.

  The idea of a country negotiating a treaty with its indigenous inhabitants is hardly novel. Three of our closest friends and allies (New Zealand, Canada and the United States) have all done so successfully, and none of their nations … Continue reading

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MICHAEL GRACEY. The simmering shame of aboriginal ill-health.

Indigenous people have experienced miserable health outcomes compared with other Australians for decades. Efforts going back to the 1960s brought some improvements but these were not enough to remove the inequalities. The federal government was prompted to try to resolve … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

BRAD CHILCOTT. The war on generosity – rewards for meanness!

An interesting aspect of the Coalition’s suggestion that the ALP had committed to restoring $19 billion to the Australian Aid budget is that pro-Aid campaigners themselves had previously only mentioned $11 billion of cuts. That is, they intentionally inflate the … Continue reading

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JULIE COLLINS. How can we achieve reconciliation? Myall Creek offers valuable answers.

This weekend, hundreds of people will make the pilgrimage to the small town of Bingara on the NSW North West slopes and plains, for the annual commemoration of the Myall Creek Massacre. The memorial site, just out on the Delungra … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Best we forget. We commemorate Australians who died in foreign wars in foreign lands, but not Australian aborigines who died in defence of their own country.

Yesterday, in a moving ceremony, the remains of 33 Australians who were buried in military cemeteries in Malaysia and Singapore were returned to Australia. Our Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark … Continue reading

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Ian Webster. Is community medicine dead?

John Menadue said in the NSW Health Council Report of 2000, “Services should be based where patients and consumers live. The autonomy and dignity of each patient is best serviced by providing services wherever possible outside hospital. So a shift … Continue reading

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Bryce Barker. Of course Australia was invaded – massacres happened here less than 90 years ago.

Much has been made in the last few days of the University of New South Wales’ “diversity toolkit” offering teachers guidelines on Indigenous terminology. The most controversial directive was a line about using the term “invasion” to describe Captain Cook’s … Continue reading

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David Stephens. Invading our smugness: thoughts on a diversity toolkit

Wednesday, 30 March, must have been a slow news day at the Daily Telegraph. It is difficult to find any other reasonable explanation for the fuss the Telegraph made about the ‘diversity toolkit’ it discovered on the website of the … Continue reading

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Bob Debus. The things that must be done…

Some Genuine Decision-Making Power: Dealing with the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the prison system This is an extract from the 2016 Frank Walker Memorial Lecture delivered by the Hon. Bob Debus AM on 16 February 2016. The Hon. Frank … Continue reading

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