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Category Archives: Indigenous affairs
Some ninety-odd years ago this week was born in the bush in the rugged far north-west of Western Australia a child given the Christian name of David.
It may be sheer fantasy, wishful thinking. But in the last week the torpor of politics appeared to lift a little; there were signs that progress might not be stalled forever in the coalition party room in Canberra. Not that … Continue reading
Funeral Homily for Barrie Dexter CBE. Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 26 April 2018. Listen on SoundCloud [commencing at 2:00] In Australia, there have been many children of the manse who have gone on to be great contributors to … Continue reading
Conservatives and militarists want us to cling to a disastrous imperial war. Such a war could never be ‘nation building’ as the apologists for empire suggest. It was quite the reverse.The Anzac myth makers encourage us to focus on how … Continue reading
We should, of course, question these things more. We could ask why – if we were actually genuine about remembering patriots who have died for this country – why would we not first spend $100m on a museum honouring the … Continue reading
On Friday the Director of the Australian War Memorial Brendan Nelson announced plans for a massive redevelopment of the institution which would cost up to $500 million.He hoped to receive the required funding in next year’s budget and he is … Continue reading
The reports and narratives around the strategy to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians are quite well-known, if only because they don’t change much from year to year. With the possible exception of education, not many targets are … Continue reading
Warning signs were emerging many decades before, but by the early part of this century it was obvious that the health of indigenous Australians was much worse than that of other citizens. Indicators such as high infant mortality, widespread malnutrition … Continue reading
Today we mark the tenth anniversary of the National Apology. All of us remember where we were that day when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd read the words of the parliamentary motion moved by him and seconded by Brendan Nelson, the … Continue reading
There were angry rumblings at last week’s meeting of Indigenous leaders and the Prime Minister and in the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee Report. They will get significantly louder with today’s release of the 10th Annual Closing the Gap Report.
Ode to Australia Day (In tribute to the late John Hirst and his masterpieces Freedom on the Fatal Shore) The heroes of famed Waterloo Or great Nelson’s mighty crew, If chance had gone a different way, Might well have peopled … Continue reading
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
Part 1 of this two-part post provided a global and broad Australian perspective on the pandemic of overweight and obesity. This part sets out the position for indigenous Australians and argues that this pandemic is a significant part of the … Continue reading
In part 1 of this two-part post Michael Lambert sets out the broad position on overweight and obesity as both a global development and the Australian situation, the costs involved and the case for national action . The second part … Continue reading
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
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
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
So we have the anomalous situation of a projected citizenship test which large numbers of indigenous people could not pass.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
A groundbreaking collaboration between Walpiri Elders, cultural historians, technologists and a clinical psychologist aims to tackle youth suicide using traditional knowledge and mobile technology.
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
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