Category Archives: Indigenous affairs
We increasingly hear people say that traditional Aboriginal societies were “not mere hunter-gatherers”. Unwittingly, this phrase downgrades the mobile foragers who occupied Australia on the eve of colonial occupation of their territory (and for tens of millennia before). The yearning … Continue reading
So unless you’ve been off the grid or in a bunker since January, the 2020 Budget has been offered up by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last night (5 months late) with the historic backdrop being the cold, hard economic reality of … Continue reading
The results of the efforts to suppress the potential damage to Indigenous Australians from the pandemic should be used as an example of how Indigenous people can be more meaningfully involved in their own health programs.
It is a flag that can be admired and cherished, a beacon for reconciliation and beyond. It is, in the truest sense, an Australian institution.
The Uluru Statement: An offer of redemption and reconciliation from the original sin that migrants all carry
May 26 2020 was the third anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It was also the day the news of George Floyd’s murder broke which explains why the Statement had fewer headlines and opinion pieces in the Australian … Continue reading
In The American Bazaar on 20-07-20 Revathi Siva Kumar asks: “Have the people from the land of Mahatma Gandhi done enough for the oppressed African Americans? How many of them stood in solidarity with the protesters against police brutality and … Continue reading
Do Black lives matter in Australia? Race is surely this nation’s primal wound. But the actions of those with most power to lead or inspire this nation are not reassuring.
In 2008 the Rudd government launched the Close the Gap Strategy which, among other things, was meant to bring equity in health and wider wellbeing into the lives of Indigenous Australians.
The recently announced Nation Brand, featuring an Aboriginal-inspired golden wattle blossom, is the latest recognition of our national floral emblem. The Nation Brand initiative is an opportunity for our emblem, with its ancient past, to lead us into a confident … Continue reading
Australia still allows children as young as 10 years old to be arrested by Police, sentenced to prison by Courts, and locked in a cell. On 27th July, Governments around Australia will have the opportunity to change that.
Indigenous Australians have been seriously disadvantaged for far too long. It’s time for a treaty and a radical affirmative action program to close the gap in one or two generations. There are significant lessons to be drawn from India’s pioneering … Continue reading
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.