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Category Archives: Indigenous affairs
Australians have become used to the idea that major reforms demand bi-partisan support. Yet bi-partisanship, as traditionally understood, is increasingly elusive with the result that genuine reforms are either watered down or abandoned on the assumption of failure. This is … Continue reading
In the far north east of Arnhem land, a line has been drawn in the sand. As part of the great Garma festival, two of the most important and revered leaders of Indigenous Australia have made it clear that the … Continue reading
The persisting poor health of Aboriginal people over decades is an embarrassing stain on our national reputation and one that seems obstinately difficult to erase. How can this situation be effectively managed?
JACK WATERFORD. Have Australians the heart for the Uluru statement? Losing the referendum would set back indigenous affairs by decades
There are many good reasons to support the latest plans to find a constitutional referendum question to encapsulate the principles of the Uluru statement from the heart. There’s the fact that it represents a good idea and good ideal – … Continue reading
Addressing the National Press Club during NAIDOC Week, Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians said: ‘I will develop and forward a consensus option for constitutional recognition to put to a referendum during the current parliamentary term. That means working through … Continue reading
The first words addressed by the Hon David Hurley AC as Governor-General were to the Australian First People and their successors, including, specifically, ‘future leaders’.
TONY BROE. What do Aboriginal Australians want from their aged care system? Community connection is number one (The Conversation, 19 June 2019)
The Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is ageing at a much faster rate than the non-Indigenous population. Aboriginal Australians record high mid-life rates of multiple chronic diseases including heart disease and stroke, lung disease, and type 2 diabetes. … Continue reading
In ringing tones the Uluru Statement declares the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign nations of the Australian continent and possessed it under their own laws and customs. Sovereignty has never been ceded or extinguished, and … Continue reading
Any person who can establish genetic link to Australia in 1787 may be acknowledged, honoured and respected, by official recognition as a First Australian.
Australian politics is becoming increasingly polarised. Policy decisions are made for short term political gain against the advice of experts, and democratic checks and balances are being degraded. Strategic litigation is a tool that can be used to cut through … Continue reading
LORENA ALLAM AND NICK EVERSHED. The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront.
The truth of Australia’s history has long been hiding in plain sight. The stories of “the killing times” are the ones we have heard in secret, or told in hushed tones. They are not the stories that appear in our history … Continue reading
Australia has never been properly decolonised, particularly in both the political and psychological senses, as most states which came into existence during the 20th century were. This has had a profound effect, not only on the way aboriginal Australians have … Continue reading
The biggest gap that needs closing is the lack of an acknowledgement of the past by non-indigenous Australia and a determination that not only will the ignorance and denial not be repeated, but there will be genuine collaboration at every … Continue reading
SANDRA MORRISON, INGRID HUYGENS. Explainer: the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi (The Conversation).
The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s foundation document. On February 6, 1840, the treaty was signed by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs who acted on behalf of their hapū (sub-tribes). Māori are indigenous to New Zealand, … Continue reading
If ‘just peace’ requires peacemaking and peacebuilding to be sensitive to the cries of the poor and the cries of the Earth, how relevant is it to Australia’s present circumstances? If what is proposed is a holistic approach to the … Continue reading
Two items are prominent in the news at the moment: Matthew Flinders’ remains have been unearthed at Euston Station, London; and there is heated debate in Australia about the most appropriate day to recognise as ‘Australia Day’.
The Prime Minister is intent on making a big fuss about James Cook. He is even promoting, at great expense, a circumnavigation of the continent by a replica of Cook’s ship Endeavour. This is an insult to Matthew Flinders who … Continue reading
The Australia of today is vastly different to the Australia of my childhood with its widespread racism and sectarianism. It was socially suffocating. For those changes I am very grateful. There is a lot that we can be proud of. … Continue reading
You could be forgiven for missing it, but something quite important happened in politics last week.
His thought bubble about inaugurating a public holiday – well, perhaps not a holiday, but something or other – to celebrate indigenous Australia is about to be shoveled into the back drawer. That’s the one where the former Treasurer keeps … Continue reading
The real ‘settler’ and pioneering stories of Feilberg’s Queensland were confronting and frightening.
LYNLEY WALLIS, BRYCE BARKER, HEATHER BURKE. How unearthing Queensland’s ‘native police’ camps gives us a window onto colonial violence.
In 19th century Queensland, the Native Mounted Police were responsible for “dispersing” (a euphemism for systematic killing) Aboriginal people.
US slave owners wrote and spoke about liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness. Similar hypocrisy, buried in the foundations of settler Australia, has escaped comparable scrutiny.
For ten years our political leaders have talked about closing the gap. The harsh reality is that the gap in disadvantage suffered by indigenous Australians fails to close. Worse, there has been little discussion about why the gaps do not … Continue reading
As an Australian schoolchild I learnt the history of England, including a long list of English Kings, but nothing at all about the Frontier Wars here in Australia or indeed the history of our Indigenous, the oldest people on the … Continue reading
STEPHEN DUCKETT. Time to name and call out unconscious racism in the treatment of Indigenous Australians.
Indigenous Australians suffer racism when they seek or require medical treatment. The good news is that the medical profession acknowledges there is a problem. The bad news is that doctors are not doing nearly enough to bust the systemic bias … Continue reading
Last Tuesday marked 90 years since the last recorded massacre of Aboriginal people in Australia.
In this Q&A, former senior bureaucrat Michael Dillon offers some very thoughtful insights into the last several decades of Indigenous policy-making and the role of historical knowledge in the policy process.
RICHARD FLANAGAN. The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too
In the full transcript of his speech to the Garma festival, the author says the country can make itself stronger by saying yes to the Uluru statement
Some ninety-odd years ago this week was born in the bush in the rugged far north-west of Western Australia a child given the Christian name of David.