Category Archives: Indigenous affairs

Comparing land use in Australia

If we attempt to compare Aboriginal land use with those of the early settlers, we should broaden the meaning of ‘land use’. We must move away from the narrow European notion of agriculture and horticulture, to one which includes religious … Continue reading

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Australian history and the empire of the mind

Black Lives Matter has shone the spotlight on colonial-era crimes across the world. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reignited the history wars with his spurious claim that “there was no slavery in Australia”.

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An Indigenous inspired paradigm for the War Memorial

The debate over the purpose of the Australian War Memorial needs to be revisited with a view to recognising the Indigenous people who mounted heroic resistance to a ruthless invader from 1788.

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Aboriginal issues and New Zealand’s indigenous experience

New Zealand is often held out as an example of multi-culturalism and race relations that Australia might emulate. This has been so particularly since publication of the Uluru Statement (2017).

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What to do with monuments!

New statues commemorating heroes like Pemulwuy and other great leaders of the indigenous resistance must be accorded pride of place in a reconciled nation.

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David Solomon. Black Lives Matter here, too.

I hate the way we so often slavishly follow whatever fashion is currently gripping the American people. But I make an exception for the protest movement that has taken to the streets prompted by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in … Continue reading

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Less Aboriginals in Gaol ? How can we do it ?

“Circle Sentencing” was a great idea: Get the Aboriginal Community involved in the the administration of justice to the First Nations people. But why wait until the horse has bolted, when guilt is assumed and penalty is the question.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

Remove place names dedicated to racists. *

* This article uses the names of some deceased persons. The removal of the visual reminders of perpetrators of racism is a good move towards helping Indigenous peoples feel as though they belong in their own land.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

Unlearning racism starts with deep listening

The George Floyd case has given witness to social systems in the US that privilege whiteness. However across the world, there is institutional police brutality that is an expression of existing tensions and hierarchies.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

BRUCE CAMERON. Australia’s First Defenders

Surely, the first defenders of Australia who tried to protect their family with spears when confronted by muskets and canon, deserve our admiration and respect.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 7 Comments

Poor prospects for Indigenous justice.

Those of us who would like to live in a more just Australia have little reason for optimism. We endure the shame of continually failing to address the social disadvantage affecting Indigenous peoples. Demands for change will continue.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. The patience of our first nation, while remarkable, is not inexhaustible.

Whether we like it or not, it doesn’t take much for racism to come out of the underbelly of this country. We only have to think back to Cronulla in 2005. And of course the Adam Goodes story just last … Continue reading

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IAN BOWIE. How many Aboriginal Australians are there?

It is commonly said that there are about 800,000 ‘indigenous’ Australians. In fact, the number of Aboriginal Australians may be substantially fewer.

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THALIA ANTHONY. ‘I can’t breathe!’ Australia must look in the mirror to see our own deaths in custody (THE CONVERSATION 2.6.20)

I can’t breathe, please! Let me up, please! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

MICHAEL GRACEY. Protecting remote Indigenous people from the COVID-19 pandemic

The current pandemic caused by the virus COVID – 19 is affecting many countries; it is highly infectious and potentially fatal, especially for vulnerable people. Indigenous Australians are especially at risk to this infection and will need special arrangements to … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

TONY BROE & ELLEN FINLAY. Aboriginal History, Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe and the Culture Wars

Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu (2018) has given a recent jolt to the declining History Wars and has invigorated some conservative commentators and writers to disagree with his conclusions (Marks 2020; Morton 2019).

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

ROSEMARY O’GRADY. Anthropology and Perspective

One of the rare pleasures of working to salvage documentation of a vandalized archive is that, sometimes, a damaged jewel surfaces amidst the rubble.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN R. SABINE. A Separate Voice to Government: not the brightest of ideas

How many sound reasons does one need before concluding that something in indeed a bad idea? Perhaps even just nonsense.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 10 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Morrison closes the books on black disadvantage gap

The annual February Closing the Gap statement by the prime minister of the day is becoming one of the major Caucasian political festivals.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. The Gap report.Hopes dashed within minutes.

We know Scott Morrison seldom takes much notice of those who disagree with him.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 4 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. Australia Day or dying in a ditch for January 26.

Australia Day divides rather than unites the community which we presume is the key reason for having a national day in the first place.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

VACY VLAZNA. On Becoming Australian: A Migrant Story, Part 2

Co-host of ABC Minefield, Scott Stevens astutely, impeccably summed up the generosity inherent in The Uluru Statement of the Heart.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

VACY VLAZNA. On Becoming Australian: A Migrant Story, Part 1

 Australia is an unresolved crime scene

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 9 Comments

DAVID MARR. Blood, brains and foul murder: evidence of Australia’s massacres is in its newspapers (The Guardian, 17 November 2019)

We’re only human. We hang on to lies that comfort us. A big consoling lie that still hangs around this history of slaughter and dispossession is that we can’t apply the outlook of the 21st century to killings on the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 8 Comments

LINDA BURNEY. The Way Forward on Uluru – 2019 Frank Walker Memorial Lecture

I think there are three things we can learn from Frank Walker’s life and legacy. First, his willingness to make personal sacrifices for fairness and justice. Second, his pragmatism – to know the best possible outcome when you see it, … Continue reading

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MARION BENNETT. Working together to end homelessness in Cairns

A new Mission Australia evaluation has highlighted that when people experiencing homelessness in Cairns have the support of strong, caring relationships and when services work collaboratively and seamlessly together, their standards of living and personal relationships improve, they feel safer … Continue reading

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DOMINIC O’SULLIVAN. Indigenous people no longer have the legal right to say no to the Adani mine – here’s what it means for equality (The Conversation, 5 Sep 2019)

Last week, the Queensland government extinguished native title over tracts of land in the Galilee Basin so the Adani coal mine could proceed.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 4 Comments

BOB DEBUS. Must Prisoner Numbers Grow Forever? (an edited version of a lecture given to the Law Society of New South Wales, 22 August)

We can all accept imprisonment as the appropriate response for serious and violent crimes. Nevertheless there is a plethora of studies confirming the common sense conclusion that prison is damaging for individuals at a psychological level, especially in the absence … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Infrastructure | 2 Comments

DONNA AH CHEE. Given this history of strength and success, why do Aboriginal health dollars keep going to NINGOs? (Croakey 14-8-19)

Aboriginal community controlled health services have many advantages, including their power to advocate and shame governments into action, according to Donna Ah Chee, CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.

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ERIC SIDOTI. Re-Imagining Bi-Partisanship

Australians have become used to the idea that major reforms demand bi-partisan support. Yet bi-partisanship, as traditionally understood, is increasingly elusive with the result that genuine reforms are either watered down or abandoned on the assumption of failure. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 3 Comments