Category Archives: Indigenous affairs

In Defence of Nomadic “Mere” Hunter-Gatherers

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

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 5 Comments

The Budget: record spending, but very little for First Nations peoples

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

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First Nations people, their health, and this coronavirus

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.

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

Freeing the indigenous flag

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.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

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

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Indian Australians: supporting Black Lives Matter will make us feel we belong

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

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Time for ALL to think about race in Australia

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.

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The missing millions that were meant to close gaps

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.

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Wattle as Nation Brand – Enjoy the glow, love the symbolism

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

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It’s time to stop locking up 10-year olds

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.

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Constitutional recognition, representation and affirmative action in India

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

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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

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics, Top 5 | 7 Comments

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.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments