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Category Archives: Indigenous affairs
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
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”.
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.
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).
New statues commemorating heroes like Pemulwuy and other great leaders of the indigenous resistance must be accorded pride of place in a reconciled nation.
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
“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.
* 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
It is commonly said that there are about 800,000 ‘indigenous’ Australians. In fact, the number of Aboriginal Australians may be substantially fewer.
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!
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
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).
One of the rare pleasures of working to salvage documentation of a vandalized archive is that, sometimes, a damaged jewel surfaces amidst the rubble.
How many sound reasons does one need before concluding that something in indeed a bad idea? Perhaps even just nonsense.
The annual February Closing the Gap statement by the prime minister of the day is becoming one of the major Caucasian political festivals.
We know Scott Morrison seldom takes much notice of those who disagree with him.
Australia Day divides rather than unites the community which we presume is the key reason for having a national day in the first place.
Co-host of ABC Minefield, Scott Stevens astutely, impeccably summed up the generosity inherent in The Uluru Statement of the Heart.
Australia is an unresolved crime scene
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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