Aboriginal Political Party is born to fight injustice

Gerry Georgatos

The Aboriginal Political Party (APP)
has been born in South Australia and it
has based its first principle on fighting

Leading the way are APP executive
officers, Kaurna Elder, Lynette Crocker and
Dr Dylan Coleman, the 2011 recipient of
the Queensland Premier’s David Unaipon
Indigenous Literary Award.

On February 19, the 176th South Australian
Letters Patent commemoration was held by
the APP.

“As we move towards a referendum on
constitutional recognition we must consider
the 1836 Letters Patent which defined the
boundaries of the then newly created colony
of South Australia,” APP member, Patrick
Byrt said.

February 19 is considered South Australia’s

“A state and a country can only come of
age when there is a true acknowledgment of
the rightful custodians of this country that
honours the original inhabitants through all
aspects of society,” Mrs Crocker said.

“This was the intention in the Letters Patent
but the path of history has ignored this intent.”
“The people of the APP movement base
their actions on the rights instilled in all
the Aboriginal descendants of the original
inhabitants through the Letters Patent,” Mr
Byrt said.

The APP is calling for designated seats for
Indigenous representatives in parliament.
The party is also calling for approaches to
address sovereignty, a Treaty and a Bill of
Rights and it will work towards developing
international Indigenous political alliances.
In December 2011, Mrs Crocker and Dr
Coleman travelled to New Zealand to hold
talks with Maori political leaders.
They met with members of the Iwi
Constitutional Working Party to discuss
Maori political and constitutional processes
and sought to have light shed on potential
approaches for representative voices from the

“There is potential to invoke the Letters
Patent in the same way the Maori people
have and are using the Treaty of Waitangi,”
Mrs Crocker said.

“The only difference is that the Maori
people are using the power of their rights.
“Our policy platform are the seven Rs
- Recognition, Respect, Rights, Reform,
Reciprocity, Responsibility, Reparations
which we invite others to embrace.

“This State will only come of age when the
full force of the Letters Patent is honoured by
South Australia so rights are exercised by all
Aboriginal people in all aspects of our life and


they come and go sadly, hopefully one can kick up and stay around

The Aboriginal Political Party (APP) was first set up in South Australia and established by the late Kaurna Elder Marlene McArthur over 15 years ago as she began collecting memberships before 1998. The APP was first officially registered in South Australia in 2001/2(?) prior to contesting a seat in the Legislative Council making its electoral debut at the 2002 State Election
{2002 South Australian Legislative Council Candidates
http://www.ecsa.sa.gov.au/archive/2002/legislative.phtml - McARTHUR Marlene Edith Aboriginal Political Party }.

With the sudden passing of its founder before the 2006 State Election the APP did not contest that election.

Subsequently the administration of the APP moved over to Kaurna Elder Lynette Crocker who was its caretaker.

In late 2009 the national APP was instituted by Worimi Elder Les Ridgeway who went on to become the first APP federal leader when he commenced to organise for a WA APP branch {first set up in Perth in 2010} to pair the SA APP followed by state branches in both NSW and Qld.

In early 2010 while the national APP organisation was being inaugurated the SA APP branch caretaker, Kaurna Elder Lynette Crocker, stood at the State Election in March 2010 as one of two Aboriginal Independents for the Legislative Council running on the joint SA-Change ticket with another Aboriginal woman candidate, Dylan Coleman, from the Kokatha people.

The initial national conference of the APP was held in SA at the Kaurna Living Cultural Centre, Warriparinga, in August 2010 with delegates from all state branches.

In January 2011 the inaugural national APP Leader, Les Ridgeway, resigned and SA APP Chief Executive Officer,
Kaurna Elder Lynette Crocker, became national APP CEO.

In December 2012 the APP held talks in New Zealand on the Treaty of Waitangi with Maori political leaders.

On 19 February 2012, the APP commemorated the vesting by the 1836 Letters Patent of King William IV of land rights in the original inhabitants of South Australia and all their Aboriginal descendants for always. This constitution of South Australia on the territories of the original inhabitants by these 1836 Letters Patent was established, providing the ongoing occupation and enjoyment of their lands by the original inhabitants and all of their descendants for always was unaffected by the erection of South Australia as a new colony.

It is clear from this that although the State of South Australia today may now have the watch first set over these territories of the original inhabitants by the British Crown in 1836, it is the descendants named in the Letters Patent alone who have been given, and for as long as there are any, the time for South Australia.

The Aboriginal Political Party has the chance to knell its hour whenever those descendants make a common just cause with whatever inhabitants care it ring true too!

Thanks Patrick and Gerry for posting this, it's good to know

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