Current affairs & Advocacy

Effective communication – not intervention, the key to Closing the Gap
Media Release:   Tuesday  28/06/11 The Only Intervention Needed “The only intervention needed in the Northern Territory is an intervention in communication” Richard Trudgen, author of Why Warriors Lie Down and Die, responds to the news that the Gillard Government…
Galiwin’ku Women Speak Up to the UN for Recognition of Yolŋu Law
Earlier this year, Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights came to Australia on her first official visit to discuss rights issues with the Government, the Australian Human Rights Commission, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities…
Dhurili Nation Challenges Mining Lease Agreement in Court
Dhurili Nation considers court action as Prime Minister celebrates historic agreement in Gove Peninsula, NT. The Dhurili Nation, comprising the Datiwuy, Golumala, Marrakulu and Marrangu clans have previously confirmed to the Northern Land Council and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs…
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 on current Government policy
This is the second of a series of videos produced by a knowledgeable Aboriginal Lady from North East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. I post this here so people can see that Indigenous people from the remote areas really are angry about disempowering approaches.
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.
Four hours in English – The NT Government’s Indigenous ed. plan built on misinformation.
The NT Minister for education argues that Indigenous languages have no place in teaching literacy and numeracy in remote indigenous schools and has announced that the first 4 hour of every school day must be in English. Support for the Government's position seems to be based on a few misunderstanding about way learning actually operates on remote indigenous communities. Let's briefly explore the reality in the bilingual community schools this will effect.
Are we closing the gap? – Discussion paper
Has the Governement's approach over the last 2 years had any positive effect on Aborignal and Torrse Strait Islander communities? The present Labour Federal Government along with the Northern Territory Government have a policy approach called "Closing the Gap." But is their approach working? Richard Trudgen the author of "Why Warriors Lie down and Die" has written a discussion paper on this topic called "Are We heading in the right direction? 'Closing the Gap' or making it bigger?"
Loss of Indigenous Languages – symptom or underlying cause?
Language is mastery, who ever controls language controls information and those who lack information are marginalised. When we talk of equal rights for indigenous peoples, the right to hear and be heard using their native languages should be at the top of the list, because it give people mastery over their own lives.