Advocacy

“Wedge-tailed Eagle we are all dying!”
I was sitting in a hospital waiting room to see a specialist and there were a number of Yolŋu present, also waiting to see the same doctor. None of these men and women was over mid-30s. As we sat there…
Yolŋu Leaders Speak Up Against Stronger Futures Legislation
Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni (Yolŋu Nations Assembly) Statement on Stronger Futures Legislation  Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni represents the people of 8 nations in the Western, Central and East Arnhem Land areas of the Northern Territory: Miwatj, Laynha, Raminy, Marthakal, Garriny, Gumurr-Rawarraŋ, Gaṯtjirrik…
When Indigenous Advocacy Does Damage
"The poverty experienced by many Aboriginal people is as morally reprehensible as torture and must be eradicated", Amnesty International secretary-general Irene Khan says. Strong words, but is such 'advocacy' helpful. I argue that moralistic bites such as this are in fact dangerous. While advocates feel that such statements point out government failures, they can actually be harmful to the people they are meant to protect. I consider why this is...
Another Indigenous voice from Arnhem Land
Here is another statement from a Yolngu person from North East Arnhem Land. He speaks against the intervention,l but he is also referring to many other recent sudden changes in NT government policy such as the ceasing of funding to Home Land centres (or out-stations) and the closing of Home Land schools. Again the underlining concern is about the approach that came with the intervention that has lead to such broad brush decisions being made without prior consultation. If you are working with Indigenous people do not let ideologies control your decision making, find a way to understand the local people's real experience, knowledge, and situation. Yingiya is a excellent teacher and I think there is plenty to be learnt from his words about the experience and perspectives of the Yolngu people.
An Indigenous voice – How is Yolngu law separate from the Governments Law
Here is a YouTube video that is worth watching because it contains the genuine voice of an Indigenous a significant person from one the remote communities most effected by recent Government polices. She speaks of why she sees her people's Law and the Mainstream Law of Australia of the 'Balanda' (the Europeans/non-indigenous) as separate from each other.