Category Archives: Indigenous affairs

HENRY REYNOLDS. ‘Strange situation’: Why Australia must strike a treaty. (SMH 1.6.2019)

In ringing tones the Uluru Statement declares the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign nations of the Australian continent and possessed it under their own laws and customs. Sovereignty has never been ceded or extinguished, and … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

TED EGAN. Semantics.

Any person who can establish genetic link to Australia in 1787 may be acknowledged, honoured and respected, by official recognition as a First Australian.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

ISABELLE REINECKE. How strategic litigation can strengthen our democracy

Australian politics is becoming increasingly polarised. Policy decisions are made for short term political gain against the advice of experts, and democratic checks and balances are being degraded. Strategic litigation is a tool that can be used to cut through … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

LORENA ALLAM AND NICK EVERSHED. The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront.

The truth of Australia’s history has long been hiding in plain sight. The stories of “the killing times” are the ones we have heard in secret, or told in hushed tones. They are not the stories that appear in our history … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 3 Comments

SCOTT BURCHILL. Australian minds have not been decolonised.

Australia has never been properly decolonised, particularly in both the political and psychological senses, as most states which came into existence during the 20th century were. This has had a profound effect, not only on the way aboriginal Australians have … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Closing the gap.

The biggest gap that needs closing is the lack of an acknowledgement of the past by non-indigenous Australia and a determination that not only will the ignorance and denial not be repeated, but there will be genuine collaboration at every … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

SANDRA MORRISON, INGRID HUYGENS. Explainer: the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi (The Conversation).

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s foundation document. On February 6, 1840, the treaty was signed by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs who acted on behalf of their hapū (sub-tribes). Māori are indigenous to New Zealand, … Continue reading

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JOSEPH A. CAMILLERI. Just Peace: A timely roadmap for Australia or impossible dream? – Part 2

If ‘just peace’ requires peacemaking and peacebuilding to be sensitive to the cries of the poor and the cries of the Earth, how relevant is it to Australia’s present circumstances? If what is proposed is a holistic approach to the … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Indigenous affairs, International Affairs | 1 Comment

TED EGAN. Matthew Flinders: Conditor Australis.

Two items  are prominent in the news at the moment:  Matthew Flinders’ remains have been unearthed at Euston Station, London; and there is heated debate in Australia about the most appropriate day to recognise as ‘Australia Day’. 

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

IAN ROBINSON. What has Captain Cook ever done for us?

The Prime Minister is intent on making a big fuss about James Cook. He is even promoting, at great expense, a circumnavigation of the continent by a replica of Cook’s ship Endeavour. This is an insult to Matthew Flinders who … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Australia Day reminds us that we can overcome the fear of foreigners and ‘boats’.

The Australia of today is vastly different to the Australia of my childhood with its widespread racism and sectarianism. It was socially suffocating. For those changes I am very grateful. There is a lot that we can be proud of. … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 5 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Something important happened on treaty.

You could be forgiven for missing it, but something quite important happened in politics last week.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison does not get it.

His thought bubble about inaugurating a public holiday – well, perhaps not a holiday, but something or other – to celebrate indigenous Australia is about to be shoveled into the back drawer. That’s the one where the former Treasurer keeps … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

PAUL DALEY. ‘Wholesale massacre’: Carl Feilberg exposed the ugly truth of the Australian frontier.

The real ‘settler’ and pioneering stories of Feilberg’s Queensland were confronting and frightening. 

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

LYNLEY WALLIS, BRYCE BARKER, HEATHER BURKE. How unearthing Queensland’s ‘native police’ camps gives us a window onto colonial violence.

In 19th century Queensland, the Native Mounted Police were responsible for “dispersing” (a euphemism for systematic killing) Aboriginal people.

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HENRY REYNOLDS. Henry Reynolds: Australia was founded on a hypocrisy that haunts us to this day.

US slave owners wrote and spoke about liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness. Similar hypocrisy, buried in the foundations of settler Australia, has escaped comparable scrutiny.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

TONY BERG. To Close the Gaps, Deal with Alcohol Abuse.

For ten years our political leaders have talked about closing the gap. The harsh reality is that the gap in disadvantage suffered by indigenous Australians fails to close. Worse, there has been little discussion about why the gaps do not … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 3 Comments

KERRY GOULSTON. Why not commemorate the Frontier Wars in the Australian War Memorial?

As an Australian schoolchild I learnt the history of England, including a long list of English Kings, but nothing at all about the Frontier Wars here in Australia or indeed the history of our Indigenous, the oldest people on the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Time to name and call out unconscious racism in the treatment of Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous Australians suffer racism when they seek or require medical treatment. The good news is that the medical profession acknowledges there is a problem. The bad news is that doctors are not doing nearly enough to bust the systemic bias … Continue reading

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CHRISTIANE BARRO. Ninety years on, no justice for Australia’s last Aboriginal massacre.

Last Tuesday marked 90 years since the last recorded massacre of Aboriginal people in Australia.

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Q&A with Michael Dillon: History and Indigenous Policy

In this Q&A, former senior bureaucrat Michael Dillon offers some very thoughtful insights into the last several decades of Indigenous policy-making and the role of historical knowledge in the policy process.

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too

In the full transcript of his speech to the Garma festival, the author says the country can make itself stronger by saying yes to the Uluru statement

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

ROSEMARY O’GRADY. Remembering Stars.

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.  

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Wishful thinking.

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

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Public servant to the First Australians.

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

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JOHN MENADUE Anzacs fought and died at Gallipoli for Britain, not Australia

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

Posted in Indigenous affairs, International Affairs | 8 Comments

RICHARD FLANAGAN. Freedom means Australia facing up to the truth of its past. (Part 2 of 2)

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

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the Frontier Wars?

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

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. Indigenous education: closing – and opening – the gaps.

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

Posted in Education, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL GRACEY. Closing the health gap – ten years on.

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

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