WGAR News: Land rights are empty, Yolngu elder tells Rudd on bark petition anniversary: Guardian UK

Newsletter date: 14 July 2013 NAIDOC Week


* National NAIDOC Week 2013 theme: We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963
* Richard Trudgen, The Stringer: What Happened to the Second Bark Petition?
* Oliver Laughland, The Guardian UK: Land rights are empty, Yolngu elder tells Rudd on bark petition anniversary [Featuring Galarrwuy Yunupingu]
* The Stringer: Monica Morgan says much more needs to be done [Featuring Amnesty International's Indigenous Rights campaigner]


- Background

NAIDOC: 2013 National NAIDOC Week Theme
"The theme for NAIDOC Week 2013 is We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963. This year’s theme proudly celebrates the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to the Federal Parliament. In August 1963, the Yolngu people of Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land sent two bark petitions - framed by traditional ochre paintings of clan designs - to the Australian House of Representatives. ... Asserting title to Yolngu country under Yolngu law, the petitions were the first traditional documents recognised by the Commonwealth Parliament and
helped to shape the nation’s acknowledgment of Aboriginal people and their land rights."

- Current Event

Event: 7 to 14 July 2013: various locations in Australia
2013 National NAIDOC Week
The theme for NAIDOC Week 2013 is:
We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963
"We value the foresight, strength and determination of the
Yolngu people whose Bark Petitions set into motion a
long process of legislative and constitutional reforms
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."
The focus city for National NAIDOC celebrations is Perth
Event details: http://www.naidoc.org.au/
Event details: http://www.naidoc.org.au/celebrating-naidoc-week/2013-national-naidoc-we...
Event details: Local NAIDOC Events Calendar: http://www.naidoc.org.au/naidoc-events/calendar/
'concerned Australians' NAIDOC Week Media Release: http://www.respectandlisten.org/uploads/downloads/ca/cA-NAIDOC-MR-7-7-13...

- Upcoming Event

Event: 14 August 2013:
Yolngu Bark Petition 50th Anniversary
Event details: http://foundingdocs.gov.au/item-did-104.html

- NAIDOC Events

WGAR events postings for each State and Territory:


WGAR News: NAIDOC Week: Still Supporting Yolngu in Their Fight for Rights: 'concerned Australians' (8 Jul 13)


- Analysis / Opinion

The Stringer: What Happened to the Second Bark Petition?
11 Jul 13: "This week is NAIDOC Week and this year’s theme is focused on the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petition. It is a good time to remember the bark petitions that continue to be ignored. ... What happened to the 1998 Bark Petition? Sadly it seems that the dominant Australian culture cannot take the original Australian Law of this land seriously; that is Aboriginal Law where it is still practiced. The dominant mainstream Australian culture sees all of Aboriginal society as 'culture' and this 'culture' is great as arts and craft or dance but not as Law." By Richard Trudgen

- Related Audio

ABC Darwin: Forgotten petitions highlight ignorance of Yolngu law
By Clare Rawlinson
12 Jul 13: "The 1963 Yirrkala bark petitions that sparked the Australian land rights movement have been the focus for this year's NAIDOC week celebrations. But what haven't been talked about so much this week are the petitions that followed in Yirrkala, and what became of them. ... Several more petitions were made by the Yolngu people in Yirrkala, with further requests for recognition of Indigenous people's rights. ... But perhaps the most ignored of all was in 1998, when elders presented a bark petition to then-Prime Minister John Howard, requesting diplomacy and recognition of traditional Yolngu law." By Clare Rawlinson, received the 2012 ABC Local Radio Award for Best Program of the Year, and also picked up the NT Media Award for 2012 Best Online Coverage

- Related Petition

Australian Government: Yirrkala Petition (Elcho Island Petition) presented to Prime Minister John Howard in 1998
"Letter to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia on traditional Yolngu Law
We, the undersigned, are dalkarra and djirrikay (the political representatives and leaders) of our sovereign clan/nations comprising all the Yolngu (Aboriginal people) within this Miwatj region of North-East Arnhem Land.
We bring to you our diplomatic request
from: the Njarra' /traditional Parliaments of our clan/nation estates
to: the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... "

- Related Analysis / Opinion

Crikey: The Northern Myth - Bob Gosford in the NT: The Yirrkala Church Panels, the title deeds for Yolngu clan estates
11 Jul 13: "In 2013 NAIDOC week celebrates the 50th anniversary of the presentation of two bark petitions to the Australian Parliament in August 1963. Earlier that year the Methodist Church at the small north-east Arnhem Land town of Yirrkala hung two large paintings, one each from the moieties that provide the central structures to Yolngu society, in recognition of the importance and centrality of Yolngu religion and law. Those paintings are now seen as the title deeds for the local clan estates." By Bob Gosford


- News

The Guardian UK: Land rights are empty, Yolngu elder tells Rudd on bark petition anniversary
10 Jul 13: "Galarrwuy Yunupingu throws down gauntlet to PM over 'economic side of land rights' at Yirrkala commemoration. ... Fifty years ago the Yolngu people of Yirrkala in remote east Arnhem Land changed history, but to this day respected leaders of the community say not enough is being done for Indigenous land rights. ... the respected Yolngu elder Galarrwuy Yunupingu frankly threw down a gauntlet to the prime minister. Addressing Rudd directly, he said: "This land right is empty. It's full of everything, but it's full of nothing ... when you have a look at it, closely, there's nothing that gives to individuals."" Oliver Laughland, a journalist for Guardian Australia

- Related Video

SBS World News: Indigenous Aussie 'need to share economic prosperity'
Source: NITV News
10 Jul 13: "As hundreds gathered in Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land to celebrate NAIDOC Week, Yolngu Elder Galarrwuy Yunupingu said despite gains in land rights, Indigenous people needed to share economic prosperity. Hundreds gathered in Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land to celebrate NAIDOC and the legacy of the Yolngu Bark Petitions presented to the Australian parliament fifty years ago. But Yolngu Elder Galarrwuy Yunupingu highlighted that despite some massive gains in land rights Indigenous people still needed to share economic prosperity."

- Related Audio

National Indigenous Radio Service: Land right movement unfulfilled: Galarrwuy Yunupingu
11 Jul 13: "To the Northern Territory, where an Arnhem Land man has told the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that the land rights movement hasn't been fulfilled."

The Wire: Bark petition anniversary challenges Rudd to act
Produced by Jeremy Tomamak
10 Jul 13: "As celebrations were taking place on the 50th anniversary of the "Yirrkala Bark Petitions", Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been challenged by Indigenous community leaders to back up his rhetoric with actions to protect the sovereignty of the traditional lands from mining and other outside interests. ...
Featured in story:
* Rosealee Pearson - NAIDOC Event Co-ordinator
* Kevin Rudd - Australian Prime Minister
* Galarrwuy Yunupingu - Indigenous community leader
* Stuart Blanch - Director of the Environment Centre Northern Territory"

- Related News

SMH: Yirrkala remembers bark petitions
11 Jul 13: "''These bark petitions are the Magna Carta for the indigenous peoples of this land,'' Mr Rudd said. Earlier, indigenous leader Gallarrwuy Yunupingu appealed to Mr Rudd to ''meaningfully dig into the hearts of your government'' and help Aboriginal people claim ''the economic side of the land rights.'' ''We want to develop our country, and we want to get money out of our own soil,'' Mr Yunupingu said. Later, departing from his prepared speech, Mr Rudd said he wanted to engage with elders on the issue." Dan Harrison, Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent for Fairfax Media

The Australian: Elder Galarrwuy Yunupingu wants bark to have more bite
11 Jul 13: "GALARRWUY Yunupingu has called for a new pact giving Aboriginal people the right to control economic development, 50 years after the signing of the Yirrkala Bark Petition began the land rights movement in which he made his name. The Gumatj clan leader and veteran land rights activist yesterday described existing legislation as "empty", and asked what it gave Aboriginal people to look forward to in the future." Amos Aikman, Northern correspondent


- Analysis / Opinion

The Stringer: Monica Morgan says much more needs to be done
10 Jul 13: "NAIDOC Week has been a time for reflection for Amnesty International’s Indigenous Rights campaigner, Monica Morgan, who said much more "needs to be done for my people." Ms Morgan said despite the popularity of NAIDOC Day, July 12, it is not on the Australian landscape and it is about time it was. Ms Morgan’s call for NAIDOC Day to be properly recognised by all Australians follows Gail Mabo’s call for her father’s lifelong struggle to rid Australia of "Terra Nullius" to be acknowledged with "Eddie Mabo Day" as a public holiday for all Australians."

SMH: More must be done for the rights of first peoples
8 Jul 13: "This NAIDOC week we must value the vision of past indigenous leaders and vow to continue the struggle for justice and reconciliation. On July 12 my people will be observing National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Day, part of NAIDOC, an annual ritual celebrated through a series of week-long events by indigenous peoples in Australia. The irony of this is that despite its popularity it is not an official day in Australia's calendar. NAIDOC grew out of an Aboriginal protest and national meeting held in Sydney on Australia Day in 1938 ... " Monica Morgan, the indigenous rights campaign manager with Amnesty International

- Related Audio

The Wire: NAIDOC theme explained: why the Bark Petitions remain relevant today
Produced by Tim Roxburgh
8 Jul 13: "It's NAIDOC week, and the theme this year celebrates the vision of the Bark Petitions. The petition presented to politicians in 1963 is a fascinating document that combines a bark painting with a message typed on a typewriter. It's a remarkable plea for recognition that attempts to communicate across two languages, two cultures and two legal systems.
Featured in story:
* Monica Morgan - National Manager of Indigenous Peoples Rights with Amnesty International
* Sarah Maddison - Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of New South Wales"

3CR Community Radio: Stick Together 10.07.2013
10 Jul 13: "We mark NAIDOC week with Jon Altman from the Australian National University, speaking about livelihood and employment in remote Indigenous community. ... "

- Related Video

SBS World News: NAIDOC Week: 'Still a long way to go' for Indigenous rights
Source: Brooke Boney, NITV News
9 Jul 13: "One of the early supporters of Canberra's Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Cheryl Buchanan, has revisited the site for the NAIDOC Week celebrations, saying there's a lot more work to do for Indigenous rights. Cheryl Buchanan was part of this sovereignty movement in the 1970s. Later this week Cheryl Buchanan will be speaking at Inside Out, a conference looking at how Indigenous activism has changed since the early days. Ms Buchanan says Australia could learn from the experience of other countries that have a similar past."

- Related Analysis / Opinion

ABC Radio National: Late Night Live: How loud will the Aboriginal voice be as activism looks to the future?
10 Jul 13: "The Aboriginal 'voice' seems quieter than in previous decades. But as Ann Arnold discovered this NAIDOC week, the lack of a strong national representative body, and the dispersal of Aboriginal policy across government departments, hasn't made life easy for activists. ... A decade or two ago, Aboriginal leaders like Mick Dodson, Pat Dodson and Lowitja O’Donoghue were household names. Firebrands like Michael Mansell and Gary Foley regularly caught our attention. And the ALP was seen as the party more naturally aligned with Indigenous causes. ... " Ann Arnold

Magnet: NAIDOC: Celebrate, but…
13 Jul 13: "During the celebrations this week, don’t forget that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still a marginalised group in today’s society, often living in disadvantaged conditions. I have read two damning reports on homelessness and the strain on community services this week. Both of the reports found that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people were over-represented in many categories, which included; homelessness, youth homelessness and mental health issues." Father Chris Riley, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Off The Streets Ltd

- Related News

ABC Darwin: Hasluck's hissy fit - politics behind the Petition
12 Jul 13: "The Yirrkala Bark Petition caused much consternation in some quarters of Parliament... Kitty [PhD candidate and researcher Kitty Eggerking] says the petitions were unprecedented. "I think people were fairly blown away by them, and they certainly were the very first bark petitions to be presented to the Parliament. It was the first time that a petition in any Aboriginal language had been presented to the Federal Parliament." But there was more politics to come, especially after Jock Nelson, Member for the Northern Territory, introduced the petitions on 14 August 1963." By Miranda Tetlow

ABC News: 50 years on, Yirrkala celebrates bark petitions that sparked Indigenous land rights movement
10 Jul 13: "The remote community of Yirrkala in East Arnhem Land is celebrating 50 years since the signing of the historic bark petitions that paved the way for the Indigenous land rights movement. The petitions were created in 1963 to protest against the Federal Government's removal of 300 square kilometres of land from the Arnhem Land reserve so that bauxite found there could be mined. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was among those attending the ceremony in Yirrkala." By Lauren Day

ABC News: Yirrkala bark petitions: A turning point in recognition of Indigenous rights
10 Jul 13: "Celebrations are being held around the nation as part of NAIDOC Week to recognise the historic 1963 Yirrkala bark petitions that triggered the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ... Will Stubbs, co-ordinator of the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, said there was a great sense of excitement in the community and also one of reflection as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people remember their elders who participated in the historic petition signing." By Heather Stewart and Clare Rawlinson

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