Australia 'a crime scene' since white invasion

New Way Summit, Melbourne

Australia has been a crime scene since the white invasion and needs a treaty between the colonisers and the Aborigines, a recent Aboriginal summit in Melbourne heard. Robbie Thorpe, committed activist on issues relating to Australian history, Indigenous sovereignty, lack of treaty, land-rights justice, genocide and national denial made the allegation.


Robbie ( is from the Krautungalung people of the Gunnai Nation, the traditional owners of Lake Tyers in Victoria.

He has been active in initiating indigenous solutions and, in particular, has been a strong advocate for 'Pay the Rent', an indigenous initiative which would provide an independent economic resource for Aboriginal peoples.

Robbie has initiated a number of legal actions, where he has argued that crimes of genocide have been committed against Aboriginal peoples throughout the history of the colonisation of Australia.

Here is a recording of one of his speeches to the summit, the third after Canberra and Sydney, of the New Way movement.

Take a quarter hour out-time for some of the most brilliant oratory you’ll ever hear on the Aboriginal condition created by white crime.


Summits praised, help promised to Darwin's Larakia


Gary Foley and Michael Anderson (see below) agreed on the need for local action on the ground to convince Aboriginal communities that international action would also achieve results.

Both named examples of successful local actions.

Gary lauded the New Way summits as an effective means for the mobs to share experiences.

Robert Mills, speaking for the Larakia mob in Darwin, appealed for help from the movement and was promised it.

Listen at It runs for about 19 minutes.


“Australia a franchise like a McDonald’s”


Michael Anderson maintains that Australia is merely a franchise of the English crown and told the summit he’s challenging Australia’s jurisdiction on behalf of his 3,000 Euahlayi, whose lands straddle southwest Queensland and northwest NSW.

“If we’re going to sue, we’re wasting our time trying to challenge the oppressor here, the oppressor state passing these laws. The person who has fiduciary obligations to us is the crown of England.”

Michael cites what are called the “letters patent” which set up Australian rule and which, he argues, prove that this country is still subject to the supreme authority of the crown of England.

Australia does not have the legal standing of an independent state, he suggests, but is still “a franchise state of England – like setting up McDonald’s down the road”.

“If we become a republic they have to rewrite a constitution and develop a whole fiduciary and political disassociation with England.

“It means a whole new development that has to occur. The public of Australia have to agree to it.

“And we stand right in the middle and we can begin to assert ourselves in that position.

“So there’s a lot of complications for them to become a republic without dealing with us.”
Michael said the broader picture is that one mob, one movement, can make a change for a lot.

Hear these arguments (about 13½ minutes) at .

See also


Gary Foley: “Forget the stupid idea of putting Aborigines into parliament”


Gary Foley, activist, academic, writer and actor, blasted trade unions and political parties as useless to blackfellas.

“Forget this stupid idea of putting Aboriginal people into parliaments,” he ranted, bagging a number of Aboriginal politicians, including his sister, a NSW minister.

“There are a lot of blackfellas out there screaming out to be heard,” he said, and the summits were an opportunity: “There has been an opportunity for blackfellas from different parts of the country to maybe share a few ideas and I think that’s the real ultimate value that comes out of this, because people are going to come away from this like I came away from the Canberra one and they are going to be fired up and with a bit of go in them again because that’s what’s really missing.”

He closed by urging the non-Aborigines in the room to “go out and find yourself a racist” among their closest friends and family “at home around the dinner table” and challenge their ideas.

Gary, born 1950, is best known for his role in establishing the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972 and for establishing an Aboriginal legal service in Redfern in the 1970s. He also co-wrote and acted in the first indigenous Australian stage production, "Basically Black".

His speech is at and runs for 13½ minutes.


Michael Anderson: Unions helped start Black Power in Sydney


Responding to Gary Foley’s criticism that trade unions are useless to blackfellas, Michael Anderson, convenor of the New Way movement, cited positive examples of trade union support.

He said the Black Power movement of the 1970s in fact got its start as a result of union action against a Sydney hotel that refused service to Aborigines. Union boycotts ultimately closed the hotel down.

Michael also recalled union help in a cotton worker strike over pittance pay he led in northwest NSW.
“Trade unions have been our friends for a long, long time.”

Michael’s remarks about this are at The take runs for 6 minutes 10 seconds.


Union leader: Aboriginal social organisation key to all our futures


Trade unions must do more to ensure proper implementation of the Mabo High Court decision, said Len Cooper, president of the communications division of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU).
Mabo seems to leave Aboriginal sovereignty up in the air, Len said. Sovereignty would have to be based on Aboriginal advice.

Noting that the Howard government had removed the right to strike on social issues, he said the present government still holds to that ban as well.

“Fundamental to the success of the Aboriginal movement as well as the union movement and the people’s movement generally is obviously unity within the Aboriginal community around an effective programme.

“Based on my experience in the labour movement, disunity leaves you ineffective and unrepresented. The other aspect to unity that’s important for us to go forward is the unity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians to build a movement that will force the change we want.”

Len concluded: “Aboriginal community and social organisation actually holds the key to the future for the peoples of the globe.”

Listen to him for about six minutes at


Maritime unionist: We have to work together for viable jobs and communities


Mining and other resource companies are thieving from Aboriginal land and giving nothing back, said Kevin Bracken, secretary of the Victorian branch of the Maritime Union Australia (MUA).

“We need to work together to create viable jobs. They aren’t going to be done by handouts, they aren’t going to be done by governments, they’ll be done by us working together.”

Kevin said the MUA had always been proud of their involvement and work alongside indigenous peoples and shared many struggles with them. At the moment they were raising money for Northern Territory school learning projects.

The MUA and other unions, in a compact with the Kimberley Land Council, are going straight to the companies looking for Aboriginal jobs and training programmes in the resources boom. The approach would be rolled out in other areas, for example the NT.

“There should be local jobs. This is indigenous land, most of these minerals come off indigenous land. There should be involvement all the way through, not just royalties and stuff like that, but actual jobs – work, housing, all the stuff that goes with it.

“We deal with companies and we see our role as getting these companies to come on board. They have a social responsibility.

“They’re thieving this stuff out of Aboriginal land and giving nothing back.”

You can hear Kevin at . It runs for about 8 minutes.


Geoff Clark: Let's get motivated


The former head of ATSIC, Geoff Clark, called it the “love child” of the Labor Party which it killed when it perceived a treaty as a threat. He recalled that ATSIC put aside a million dollars a year for work on the treaty.

Aborigines need resources, he said, a republic would be a fresh start. An international survey of indigenous people’s health had found the health of Victorian Aborigines the worst worldwide.

He accused mining companies of riding roughshod over everyone, regardless of race. Miners could do what they want in Victoria without having to fear an Aboriginal veto.

Clark saw opportunities in the coming elections and lauded Melbourne as “the change-city”. He called on Aborigines to unite under the Southern Cross “which is an Aboriginal Creation story” now sullied by the Union Jack in the flag.

Here’s his speech, which runs for 13 ½ minutes:


You may use the audio any way you wish. It would be nice but not imperative to ackknowledge me as the recordist.