WGAR News: Elders speak out on the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention

Newsletter date: 21 Apr 2011

* Elders speak out on the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Other Northern Territory (NT) Intervention articles
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Tracker: New magazine focusing on Aboriginal rights launched
* Co-Chairs of National Congress of Australia's First Peoples elected
* Background to National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
* More on New Way Sovereignty Summit, at Easter, in Canberra
* Commemorating Indigenous people who died in the Frontier Wars
* Aboriginal Deaths in Custody


- Audio

ABC Radio National Awaye!: Elders on the intervention
16 Apr 11: "A group of elders from communities across the Northern Territory talk about the impact of the intervention. It doesn't matter where you stand, the Northern Territory Emergency Response has had a profound impact on the lives of many thousands of Aboriginal people.
Reverend Djiniyini Dondarra, a senior elder from the Dhurili clan, chairman of the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation and Uniting Church minister
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM, trational owner of Utopia and president of Barkly Shire in central Australia
Miriam-Rose Unungmerr-Baumann, senior elder of the Nauiyu community (Daly River), principal of Francis Xavier School and first Aboriginal teacher in the NT
Dhangal Gurruwiwi, senior elder of the Galpu clan from Yirrkala, artist and advocate of bilingual education
Harry Jakamarra Nelson, former president of Yuendumu Council
George Gaymarani Pascoe, traditional owner of Milingimbi
Djapirri Munungirritj, Yolgnu elder and artist and head of the Yirrkala Womens Council
Presenter: Daniel Browning
Producer: Daniel Browning"

- Video

Frequency: Richard Downs & Harry Nelson Speaking at Melbourne University Ampilatwatja Walkoff & NT Intervention
14-16 Oct 10: "On July 14 2009 we, Elders from the Ampilatwatja community, walked out of our houses and set up camp in the bush. We are fed up with the federal government's Northern Territory Intervention, controls and measures, visions and goals forced onto us from outside. We felt we were outcasts and isolated from all decision making -there has been no meaningful consultation... We therefore have no intention of going back there. We intend to stay here until our demands are met."

WGAR News: A further conversation with Elders - impacts of living under the Intervention (25 Feb 11)


- Analysis / Opinion

SMH: Lockdown and labelling has failed the women and children
20 Apr 11: "I don't think anyone could accuse me of disrespecting Bess Price. I appointed her chairwoman of the Northern Territory Indigenous Policy Committee in 2008. She and I share a degree of irritation with the purist ''step method'' educationalists who have succeeded in promoting their model of early years monolingual education as ''bilingual''. But she and I have always disagreed about the intervention in NT indigenous communities. So I watched with interest the most recent Q&A program, knowing the topic would be raised and that she would be arguing her corner." Marion Scrymgour

See related Video:

ABC Q&A: Indigenous Intervention
[scroll down page] http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3182043.htm
11 Apr 11: "EMMA BEARD asked: A question for Bess Price: as someone who rarely leaves the city, it can be very hard to understand if the intervention was the right thing to do. From your perspective what is the single most important thing that needs to happen in order to improve life in remote communities?"

See related Media Release:

Rollback the Intervention - Media Releases
Town camp leader outraged by Bess Price claims on Q and A
15 Apr 11: "Barbara Shaw, spokesperson for the Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs and resident of Mt Nancy Town camp says that comments by Bess Price on Q and A about the “success” of the Intervention ignore the huge evidence of continuing failure.
IRAG says Mrs Price’s comments have caused distress amongst people living in prescribed areas under the Intervention, whose experiences of deteriorating social conditions continue to be ignored by government and mainstream media. ...
"Marcia Langton wrote in the Australian today that Bess Price 'resides in Yuendumu'. This is untrue and the Australian needs to correct the public record. Bess does not live under the Intervention. She lives a comfortable lifestyle in the eastern suburbs of Alice Springs, not in a prescribed area. She does not have a Basics Card and she does not work for the dole. She doesn’t have her home raided. She doesn’t have her alcohol taken away at the bottle shop," Ms Shaw concluded."

- See related News

Green Left: NT intervention making life worse
18 Apr 11: "Spokesperson for the Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs and resident of Mt Nancy Town camp, Barbara Shaw, has disputed claims by Bess Price on ABC Television's Q&A on April 10 about the "success" of the federal governments’ Northern Territory intervention. "It is outrageous that Bess Price can continue to go on national media and spread false information on the intervention while life in our town camps and communities gets harder and harder," Shaw said on April 15." Kiraz Janicke

- News

Australian: Second NT intervention on table
16 Apr 11: "A SECOND federal intervention into the Northern Territory is being considered by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin. Ms Macklin said significant action was still needed to improve conditions on remote communities. In Adelaide yesterday, Ms Macklin said the Gillard government would not rule out a another federal takeover of key services when the intervention, initiated by the former Howard government in 2007, ends next year."


Creative Spirits:
Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER)—"The Intervention": http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/politics/northern-terr...

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

Jobs with Justice: http://jobswithjustice.wordpress.com/

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney): http://stoptheintervention.org/

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group): http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) - NT intervention: http://www.antar.org.au/issues_and_campaigns/nt_intervention

MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective): http://maicollective.blogspot.com/

'concerned Australians': http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/

Defending Indigenous Rights: http://defendingindigenousrights.wordpress.com/

Intervention walk-off's Blog: http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response’ intervention: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/intervention/index.html

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights): http://wgar.info/


- New Magazine

Green Left: Challenging racism in Australia
18 Apr 11: "A new magazine focused on Aboriginal rights, Tracker, was launched in Sydney by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) on April 4. The monthly publication was co-founded and launched by former National Indigenous Times editor Chris Graham. It will feature analysis and investigation of land rights, Aboriginal issues and expose the challenges of institutional racism and discrimination across Australian society."


- Statements and Media Releases

Australian Human Rights Commission:
New era ahead for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
19 Apr 11: "Appointment of Jody Broun and Les Malezer as the first elected Co-Chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples heralds the start of a new era for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said today.
Commissioner Gooda congratulated Ms Broun and Mr Malezer on their election.
"I congratulate Les and Jody on what is both an honour and an enormous responsibility," Commissioner Gooda said. ...
"I have worked with both Les and Jody over the years and know them to be strong and determined advocates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples," he said."

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation:
ANTaR Welcomes Elected Co-Chairs of National Congress
19 Apr 11: "ANTaR has today congratulated Ms Jody Broun and Mr Les Malezer for their election as co-Chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
"The National Congress of First Peoples was established to provide a representative voice at the national level for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples around the country. The election of the Co-Chairs is significant as it reflects the principle of self-determination in Aboriginal organisations and affairs.""

Rachel Siewert: Greens welcome appointments to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
19 Apr 11: "Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues has welcomed the appointment of Jody Broun and Les Malezer as the first elected Co-Chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
Senator Siewert said today that the Australian Greens look forward to a continued, positive relationship with the National Congress.
"I congratulate Mr Malezer and Ms Broun on their success, and commend the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples these appointments," Senator Siewert said today."

Indigenous Peoples: Australia: Statement By Les Malezer Co-Chair Elect Of National Congress Of Australia's First Peoples
19 Apr 11: "I pay my respects to the Gadigal peoples and the Eora nation on whose land we stand today.
I also pledge my absolute loyalty to the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, whom I will always love and serve without reservation.
They are my life.
I am very deeply honoured to have been elected as the national Co- Chair for the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
I congratulate Jody Broun for her election also as the national Co- Chair and look forward to working with her within a strong partnership in the Congress." Les Malezer

- News

SMH: Push to end intervention
20 Apr 11: "A SHAKE-UP of federal Aboriginal affairs is in the wind after a long-time activist was elected one of two heads of the new national indigenous organisation set up to lobby governments. Les Malezer, who has been elected co-chairman of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, was the firebrand former right-hand man to Geoff Clark, once head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). He instantly declared he would use his position to persuade the federal government to end the Northern Territory intervention."

Australian: New Aboriginal body 'cannot have two chiefs'
20 Apr 11: "THE man elected as one of two people to chair the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, Les Malezer, has controversially declared that the new body must have only one leader and dismantle its structure, which creates top positions for both a man and a woman. The structure was put in place to ensure Aboriginal women's voices were not lost. The congress announced yesterday that Mr Malezer had been elected alongside Jody Broun in a national ballot. About 600 people voted out of a 2000-strong membership."


WGAR News: Proposed national Indigenous body (29 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/290809-un-expert-calls-nt-intervent...

WGAR News: More media responses to proposed national Indigenous body (31 Aug 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/310809-more-media-responses-to-un-e...

WGAR News: Still more media responses to proposed national Indigenous body (3 Sep 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/3-sep-2009-governments-review-of-ab...

WGAR News: Proposed National Indigenous Representative Body (22 Sep 09)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/22-sep-2009-ampilatwatja-anti-inter...

WGAR: New Way Summit delegates unanimously reject government sponsored Rep body (31 Jan 10)

WGAR News: Proposed National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (2 Feb 10)
[scroll down page] http://wgar.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/02022010-national-day-of-action-sat...

WGAR News: New National Congress of Australia's First Peoples (9 May 10)


- Background Statement

Pay the rent will be heard loud and clear across the land
Treaty Republic: http://treatyrepublic.net/content/pay-rent-will-be-heard-loud-and-clear-...
Indigenous Peoples: http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=art...
17 Apr 11: "It is now our time to take this to the next level and onto the International Court of Justice. This colonial Australian government of England will try very hard to fight against our right to be heard in the International Court. ...
I call upon all non-Aborigines who seek to correct history to come and be part of history in the making at this Easter’s Summit, as all people are welcome to come and voice their thoughts and aspirations with us, for together we can overcome and become the great nation that we are and take our rightful place in the international community, rather than a second class colonial nation state whose only recognition is through our signatories to the peace treaty and the United Nations Charter." Michael Anderson

- Event details

Indymedia Australia: New Way Sovereignty Summit, Canberra 22-25 April (Easter Weekend)

[click on link for more event info]

Last updated 17 Apr 11

"Date and Time:

Fri, 22/04/2011 - 9:00am to Mon, 25/04/2011 - 5:00pm
9:00am start each day.


Friday 22 April and Saturday 23 April meetings will be at the Haydon Allen Tank, Building 23, Australian National University, Canberra.
(These two day's proceedings will be live webcast via www.wgar.info for those who can't attend but have internet access.)

Sunday 24 and Monday 25 April will be at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy opposite Old Parliament House.

Contact Name:
Michael Anderson (Summit Convenor)"


- Analysis / Opinion

Eureka Street: Forgotten Aboriginal war heroes
18 Apr 11: "In 1979, distinguished Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey proposed that the Australia War Museum (AWM) commemorate the Frontier Wars. The idea has been raised a number of times since by historians including Henry Reynolds, but the AWM steadfastly refuses to consider the matter. This is a moral issue - it is incumbent on non-Indigenous Australians to own our past and accept that our British antecedents perpetrated wrongs against Australia's Indigenous peoples." Paul W. Newbury, editor and principal author, Aboriginal Heroes of the Resistance: from Pemulwuy to Mabo



WGAR News: Deaths in custody and Aboriginal incarceration rates (14 Apr 11)

WGAR News: Joint National Call to Action to reduce imprisonment of Indigenous people (16 Apr 11)

- Rallies

Green Left: Perth rally to stop Aboriginal deaths in custody

Green Left: Protests call for end to Aboriginal deaths in custody
18 Apr 11: ""Of the 339 recommendations of the royal commission into black deaths in custody handed down in 1991, the first people to receive funding were the police and prisons," Murri community leader Sam Watson told an April 15 rally to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the commission. "The big bucks went to the cops and the jails. Aboriginal legal services and other Indigenous organisations only got the crumbs. Instead of decreasing the rate of incarceration of Aboriginal people, that rate has increased over the past 20 years in Australia," he said. The rally and march attracted about 100 protesters." Jim McIlroy, Brisbane

Socialist Alternative: WA deaths in custody protest
18 Apr 11: "Fortunately, the Aboriginal community in WA will not stand for this. A protest against Aboriginal deaths in custody was held on Friday April 15, marking the 20th anniversary of the release of Royal Commission’s report. Over 200 people hit the streets of Perth. In their hands they carried 269 white crosses to commemorate the number of Aboriginal people the WA state has murdered since 1991." Tom Marcinkowski

- Audio

ABC Radio National - The Law Report: Twenty years on from Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report
19 Apr 11: "It's been 20 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Fewer aboriginal people are dying in lock-ups and prisons, but more are in jail. And the situation for the next generation is dire. In our juvenile detention centres more than half the kids are indigenous. What are the solutions and will the next 20 years be any better?"

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 18-04-2011
18 Apr 11: "Amnesty International says too little had been done in the 20 years since a Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody to improve the plight of the nation’s first people."

ABC PM: 20 years on, Aboriginal incarceration still high
15 Apr 11: "David Weber reports from Perth where a rally's been held to mark today's anniversary. ...
DAVID WEBER: A lot of people listening to this will say, well why don't Indigenous people just stop committing crimes.
JACQUELINE PHILLIPS: Look I think we need to acknowledge that there are a whole lot of systemic factors that are at play in relating to Indigenous incarceration rates; that they're complex factors. It's poverty, it's about housing, it's about alcohol and drug problems, it's about family dysfunction."
[Includes comments by Ted Wilkes, Sandy Billing and Jacqueline Phillips.]

- News

Australia Network News: Former commissioner concerned by Aboriginal lock-ups
18 Apr 11: "A former royal commissioner into aboriginal deaths in custody says he's concerned by an increase in the number of indigenous Australians being locked up. ... Patrick Dodson, has told Radio Australia there's no reason to celebrate. "I'm concerned that the incarceration rates have increased and haven't diminished," he said."

National Indigenous Times: Do more on deaths in custody: McClelland
17 Apr 11: "The Federal Government’s Attorney-General, Robert McClelland has told State and Territory governments they need to do more to keep Indigenous people out of jail. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody delivered its final report 20 years ago this month, warning about the rates of imprisonment among Aborigines. One quarter of Australia’s prison population is Aboriginal. Aboriginal advocacy groups argue far too many Aboriginal people are being locked up and Mr McClelland agrees. ... The Indigenous prison population has doubled in the past 20 years."

People's Daily Online: Australian gov't failed to reduce aboriginal deaths in custody
16 Apr 11: "Aboriginal deaths in custody will continue because the government's law and order policies have failed, the Northern Territory Criminal Lawyers' Association said on Saturday. According to the Northern Territory Criminal Lawyers' Association's president, John Lawrence, the lessons of the report have not been heeded. "The bottom line is that we've gotten nowhere - slowly, backwards, up a hill blindfolded," he told Australia Associated Press."

- Analysis / Opinion

Indymedia Australia: Police will never accept deaths-in-custody recommendations
17 Apr 11: "Why are deaths in custody rising? a very good article from ms. inga ting on the abject and sorry state of the national gaol systems and the horrific number of deaths in custody but especially nsw." ray jackson, president, indigenous social justice association

Workers Bush Telegraph: Two hundred and twenty years but still not free
16 Apr 11: "Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the royal commission into black deaths in custody in 1991. Since that time there have been 397 black deaths in custody. Why? At the beginning of the rally held in Brisbane on the anniversary of the Royal Commission, as I was unloading the PA gear from my car, when an aboriginal woman said that she hoped we did not get arrested today. For her, the possibility of arrest was real. For me it was no longer probable. That got me thinking ... " Ian Curr

- Summary

Creative Spirits: Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody
"A Royal Commission (a major government public inquiry into an issue) into Aboriginal deaths in custody was announced in 1987 after a spate of Aboriginal deaths in prison and police custody and in response to a growing public concern that such deaths were too common and poorly explained. Hearings began in 1988, the final report was submitted in April 1991. ... "

- Media Release

Robert McClelland MP: 20th Anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
15 Apr 11: "Joint Media Release. Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin today acknowledged the 20th anniversary of the release of the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The report of the Royal Commission highlighted the systemic disadvantage faced by Indigenous people, which resulted in their higher rates of incarceration and the subsequent deaths in custody. "This ground-breaking report has influenced Indigenous policies and practices at all levels of government for the last two decades," Mr McClelland said."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
WGAR Website: http://wgar.info/