Australian Aborigines to meet at a SUMMIT FOR FREEDOM in Alice Springs

Australian Aboriginal summit

On Thursday and Friday 27th & 28th November 2014, Traditional Owners, leaders, elders and community members from across Australia will gather in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) to reclaim their lives after more than 240 years of colonial oppression and genocide. From the crowd, the strongest advocates for our people will step forward to represent our communities and come together as one to take our united voice to Canberra. There, as the true and legitimate leaders of Australia’s First Nations Peoples, we will stand to face the government and tell those in Parliament that we are the true representatives of Aboriginal people, not the government appointed indigenous board of advisers.


As first Nations Peoples we desire to be productive, healthy, employed, creative, educated, self-determining and strong again, but there are many things that stand in the way. You will know of some of the most burning issues among our people; the crises of poverty that far surpasses those of third world countries, marginalisation, racism, forced dependency on a welfare system that controls us through paternalistic measures, the highest suicide rates per capita, the highest incarceration rates per capita, the lowest life expectancy of any Indigenous people in the world – to name but a few; and now the Federal budget has cut even more access to health care and education. In a final blow a review of 26 recommendations will lead to the extinction of Australia’s First Nations Peoples once and for all.

The Summit for Freedom will enable us to rebuild, organise and mobilise across the nation and stand tall with pride as we reclaim our cultural ancestry, looking to the future as we acknowledge that the world has changed, but never foregoing our connection to country and to our people. This is who we are, and this is who we will always be.

We need your help to achieve our goals at the Summit.

To this end we are writing to ask for your financial support.

Your donation will contribute to the positive outcomes of our assembly in Alice Springs. This will be the largest ever gathering of our people’s representatives – the most diverse gathering for our people, and historically the most significant - in recent times.

We have had confirmations of attendance at the Summit from throughout the Kimberley, the Pilbara, the Western Desert, from the vast south west of Western Australia, right throughout South Australia, throughout the Arnhem, the Tiwi Islands, from the Central Desert, throughout NSW and Victoria and Tasmania, from southern, central and far northern Queensland. By the bus load, Aboriginal communities will make their way come hail or come shine to be part of this momentous occasion.

At their own expense - which many cannot afford, they will travel by any vehicle and sleep under any tree to be together as One People with a common voice. Those coming will provide their own transport and travel costs. 

However, we will need to provide food, water, shelter, marquees, tables and chairs, some accommodation, medical assistance on hand for those attending, permit costs, a stage and technology to support speakers and relay the event back to remote and urban areas to enable those who could not travel to still be included over the two days of the summit.

Your donation will help the First Nations Peoples of this country to rebuild and stand strong with self determination and pride.

This summit is an opportunity to focus on the big issues affecting Indigenous Australians across the country, raise awareness, share common struggles, embrace each other and put past differences aside in the spirit of unity. This will be the first great gathering of nations from every corner of this country in recent times but it IS happening.

We seek your support to ensure that it is a success and thank you for any donation, large or small, that you can make. We hope to raise $40,000. Any donation large or small will be an enormous contribution.

Many thanks in advance for your support! For any queries please contact Nadine: 0414 400 461 or email me at


Tauondi Aboriginal College have kindly agreed to auspice the funds for the Summit For Freedom. All donations may be deposited to:

Tauondi Incorporated

BSB:  105-018 

Account Number:  097633240

Please ensure that an email confirming the deposit amount is emailed to:

Tax Invoices will be issued upon request to the email above.

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert

this summit will surpass any thing that has come before, except for 1988.

the noise out there is getting louder and louder. the rush to get to alice is huge and growing everyday.
but it will come as no great shock that we desperately need financial help or in-kind help such as offers of buses or other transport to get us there.

another non-great surprise is that no government, or opposition for that matter, will offer us not one cent towards an event that is meant to empower our true leaders and our mobs as a whole.

please do not view this post as a personal appeal for funds for myself, it us most definitely not. my costs have been offered and accepted.

should you wish to donate to the freedom summit event then please do so as detailed in the attachment.

we are a many varied people but we must cast aside the many petty squabbles and unite.

we must, all of us, finally speak with the one voice and, if required, strike with one fist. not in a violent way but in a fist of solidarity to our freedom from colonial laws and to grasp and raise high the banner for self determination.

sovereignty, treaties, social justice!

we do not have the right to ignore or throw away what our ancestors have always fought for.
it is really up to us so lets just do it!


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association
prix des droits de l'homme de la republique fraincaise 2013
(french human rights medal 2013)
1303/200 pitt street, waterloo. 2017
61 2 9318 0947
0450 651 063
we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people

New Matilda, 7 Nov 2014

Barnett's Petty Law And Order Policy Encourages Deaths In Custody

By Amanda Porter

It should be no surprise that Aboriginal deaths in custody continue to occur in a state that jails citizens for unpaid fines. It's time to stop putting lives at risk and wasting taxpayer dollars, writes Amanda Porter.

On the same day that people around the country marched to protest the death in custody of a twenty-two year old Yamatji woman, news broke that a thirty-one year old Noongar man, known for cultural reasons as Mr Wallam, had just committed suicide in Perth's Casuarina Prison.

His death marked the 340th Indigenous death in custody since the handing down of the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991. Mr Wallam began his sentence for aggravated burglary in May this year and was due to be released on parole as early as January 2015.
Mr Wallam's death came shortly after Yamatji woman Miss Dhu, who was being held in police custody for the sole purpose of "paying down" around $1,000 in fines.

These deaths form part of a long history of avoidable Aboriginal deaths in custody. Recent examples include the 2012 death of an Aboriginal woman in Broome, who was arrested for drinking in a public place, and the death in 2008 of a respected Aboriginal Elder 'Mr Ward' who died in the back of a paddy wagon after being driven 400 kilometres across the WA desert.

The state of Western Australia has a particularly poor record when it comes to Aboriginal deaths in custody: 38.5 per cent of all adult prisoners are Aboriginal, despite representing just 3.5 per cent of the state population. 68 per cent of all young people detained in juvenile detention centres are Aboriginal.

In 1991 the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody published 339 recommendations in order to avoid future deaths. Several recommendations appear to have been breached by the relevant authorities in relation to the two most recent cases.

Recommendation 165 calls for the immediate removal of hanging points from prison cells, a point relevant to the death of Mr Wallam. In relation to the death of Miss Dhu, the following all bear relevance:

    o Recommendation 87: Arrest only when no other way of dealing with the problem.

    o Recommendation 92: Imprisonment as a sanction of last resort.

    o Recommendation 120: Amnesty on the execution of warrants for unpaid fines.

    o Recommendation 121: Sentences of imprisonment should not be imposed in default of a

payment of a fine.

    o Recommendation 128: Medical services provided to persons held in police watch-houses

should be of an equivalent standard to that available to the general public.

    o Recommendation 137: Careful and thorough checks of all detainees in police custody.

    o Recommendation 161: Immediately seek medical attention if any doubt arises about a

detainee's condition.

WA Premier Colin Barnett has recently promised to reduce the number of Aboriginal people in prison. But his promise stands at odds with Western Australia's current law and order policy.

Miss Dhu represents one of a significant number of Western Australians who are arrested and detained for the exclusive reason of 'paying down' unpaid fines, whereby a person is imprisoned one day for every $250 they owe.

Under this system the state does not recuperate any of the revenue it has lost as a result of the fines going unpaid - it simply punishes the person for being unable to front the cash.

It is believed that more than one in seven admissions to Western Australian prisons in the past four and a half years involved a person being put behind bars solely to 'pay down' unpaid fines.

Suicide-prevention groups accused of not doing enough for indigenous

The Australian


November 10, 2014 12:00AM

Natasha Robinson, Sydney

MAINSTREAM suicide-prevention organisations and major charities are failing to stem the tide of a rising epidemic of indig-enous suicide, sparking criticism from Aboriginal health workers that local groups are isolated from funding and service delivery.

The national peak organisation Suicide Prevention Australia has defended the fact that it does not have a single Aboriginal representative on its board, even though some of the nation's remote regions have the highest suicide rates in the world.

The national rate is falling, a gain that reflects the sustained efforts of health-prevention initiatives.

But at the same time the rate of indigenous suicide has risen to alarming levels.

Yet the nation's major charities that are granted millions of dollars in public funds are accused of -directing too little to indigenous-suicide prevention and instead pairing with professional activists such as GetUp! to raise funds for indigenous programs in competition with Aboriginal campaigns.

The Weekend Australian revealed on Saturday that the indigenous suicide rate in the Kimberley is the highest in the world, when referenced against World Health Organisation figures, at 70 deaths per 100,000. The latest analysis by researchers indic-ates as many as one in 12 indigenous people die by suicide.

"It's not a pandemic yet but if you've got suicide rates of one in 12 that indicates that we have a crisis in my books," said Aboriginal professor Marcia Langton.

"The solutions to suicide have long been identified by responsible leaders in Aboriginal communities across Australia."

The recent suicide of 11-year Peter Little triggered harsh criticism of the WA government which is accused of failing to respond adequately to the crisis.

Professor Langton said indigenous-controlled initiatives were best-placed to stem the crisis.

"An unknown quantum - it must be in the hundreds of millions of dollars - from the indigenous-specific commonwealth and state budgets go to NGOs and church organisations to deliver services," she said.

"I'm finding it difficult to think of one that intervenes effectively, especially in this area of child suicide.

"And Aboriginal organisations that have responsibility to convert the coroners' reports into the many child suicides, now scores of child suicides, into effective policies and program implementation plans are unable to do so because they are not funded adequately and sustainably."

A spokesman for the Black Dog Institute, which is raising funds via GetUp! for a suicide prevention app called iBobbly, said as a research institute and clinical provider, the majority of its income was tied exclusively to tightly-controlled research grants.

Adele Cox, a consultant on the newly formed -Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project, says suicide victims are now younger than ever. "Suicide no longer discriminates in terms of age," she said.

Suicide Prevention Australia chief executive Sue Murray said the body drew on the expertise of its adviser Tom Calma AO, a former social justice commissioner, on indigenous issues. "We're acutely aware that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities need to be represented," Ms Murray said.

Lifeline 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

Aboriginal activists in Western Australia are gearing up for a rally on November 12 to protect remote communities in the face of federal government attacks. It will follow a September 16 rally against state government threats to Aboriginal heritage and an October 23 rally against ongoing Black deaths in custody.
The federal government announced on September 24 that it would withdraw funding for 180 remote Aboriginal communities in WA. It will grant $90 million to the WA government for a two-year “transition period”.
Federal Aboriginal affairs minister Nigel Scullion said it was an “historic agreement”. But state minister Bill Marmion said it was “not an agreement, it was an ultimatum — we had a gun pointed at our head”.
Aboriginal activists fear the arrangement could mean communities lose basic services and be shut down.
Marmion told the West Australian it was “too early to tell” if any communities would close but that “this may well be an outcome”.
The Swan Valley Nyungar Community said on November 1: “[WA Premier Colin] Barnett's plan will inflict more suffering and death on us First People.
“By closing down communities, this state government is denying us as First People our right to live on our land the way we want to live, as a community of people, protecting our families, our culture and our sacredness in the land.”
Some communities have already been destroyed. Oombulgurri in the East Kimberley is one example that was bulldozed last month. The community was forcibly closed in 2011 after a coronial inquiry concluded it was in a state of crisis.
But according to Amnesty International, some former residents wanted to return to their homeland.
Human rights lawyer Tammy Solonec told the ABC before the demolition: “There’s 40 houses, there's a school, there's a clinic, there's a police station, a shop, water tanks, power station — it's not just a couple of houses, it’s a whole community.”
She said people who had been forced to leave and who did not have adequate housing as a result were to have their previous houses destroyed.
“People weren't afforded their free and informed consent in regards to the closure of the community, the forced evictions, or the demolition,” she said.
The Swan Valley Nyungar Community was bulldozed this year after a long struggle to reclaim access to their Lockridge site.
“Bulldozing our communities is attempted genocide,” the community said in a statement. “The damage will be felt for generations to come.”
The Greens have expressed concern over the development. MLC Robin Chapple said: “We don't go around closing small rural towns half the size of many of these communities, so why shouldn't Aboriginal communities be nurtured on their lands and in their towns?”
These attacks come on top of attempts by the state government to weaken the Aboriginal Heritage Act. The government says proposed changes will result in “greater protection” and “fairness”, but the reality is that the changes are motivated by a desire to streamline the approval process for mining and construction companies.
In particular, the proposed changes would concentrate enormous power in the hands of the CEO of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. In particular, the CEO would have authority to declare that “there is no Aboriginal site on [a particular piece of] land”.
The Law Society has also criticised the changes. Senior vice president Matthew Keogh said: “The government has spoken about the idea that the regulations that will go with this legislation will require the CEO to have regard to certain matters, such as consulting with the relevant Aboriginal communities, but it hasn't actually put that into legislation, nor has it actually required that the regulations include that.
“It's also provided in these amendments the capacity to change the criteria that the CEO is to assess against by a regulation. So it’s setting up a system which will be weaker and can be made weaker by government decision without having to go back to the parliament.”

SBS 10 Nov 2014 Ray Martin: The Great Divide

A personal reflection from acclaimed journalist and First Contact host, Ray Martin.

My own "first contact" was growing-up in the 1950s and 60s in country NSW - across The Great Divide. I'm not just talking about our famous mountain chain either: this was an Aussie form of apartheid. No question about it. Aboriginal families herded into rough, town camps on the other side of the river, without electricity and with communal taps. Aboriginal people segregated on a Saturday night, squatting on the floor down the front of the local picture theatre. Aboriginal boys - who were the same age as me - being "hosed clean" by the lifeguards at the public baths, before they were allowed to jump in the pool. As much as things have changed in the last fifty odd years, they've also stayed the same.

For me, this divide is personal.

About twenty years ago I was astonished to discover that along with my rich Irish ancestry, my great great grandmother - a lady named Bertha Lamey who lived near Tamworth - was a Kamilaroi woman. For reasons that escape me, it had long been a deep, dark family secret - which surprised me, given that my mother didn't have a discriminatory bone in her body. Yet she had never once mentioned Bertha's existence. When I asked Mum about this she just smiled and said, "I didn't really think it was that important. I never spoke much about our family's Irish heritage either." That was true. Mum always seemed much more interested in the present and the future rather than the family's past - which had been colourful but poor.

I suspect the real reason that my mother's tightly-knit family never spoke of Bertha's existence was that growing up in bush towns, in deeply working-class Australia, they believed there were enough obstacles in life - without the added "burden" of having an Indigenous connection.

On the contrary, my sisters and I remain extremely proud of Bertha, whom I also discovered lived to the rare old age of 104 years.

Sadly, there are no photographs of Bertha - just a marriage certificate, the record of their two children and confusion about why NSW Supreme Court probate papers from the late 1850s claimed that my great great grandfather, John Lamey, had died "without any immediate family", apart from his Irish-born sister and niece. Almost certainly colonial authorities at that time were not about to hand over a small farming property, "forty head of horse and other assorted livestock", to an Aboriginal woman and her kids.

Bertha received nothing at the time of her white husband's death.


Beyond this old Kamilaroi connection, being invited to work on the SBS documentary series, "First Contact" was in many ways for me a natural fit. Over several decades I've been deeply committed to the reconciliation of Indigenous Australians, having served on the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for a decade, as Chairman of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Chairman of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and Patron of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

As a journalist, I have also reported widely on the poverty and plight of Indigenous Australians.

As a young reporter, I remember a whitefella in Narrandera telling me the story of being taken by his father and uncle on "a hunting party" one Sunday morning - to shoot Aboriginal people. They lived in a squalid camp, on a small island, down the Murrumbidgee.

He was a six year old child at the time, which he figured was probably the late 1920s in NSW.


In the racially-divided, WA mining town of Meekatharra an old Aboriginal man told me of being chained to a boab tree by policemen - for two days without water - because they suspected he knew the identity of some young blackfellas who'd speared a cow belonging to a white property owner. He vehemently denied knowing the men. They eventually released him when they returned, dragging the culprits in chains behind their horses. The Aboriginal man had been only ten years old at the time.

In Leonora - out in the Kalgoorlie goldfields - I watched as Aboriginal women waited for hours in the dust and scorching sun outside the District Hospital, while white women drove up in their Land Rovers and were immediately treated by the Flying Doctor. The stories were endless.

ALISON ANDERSON      The Australian       November 11, 2014 12:00AM


THERE are many aspects to the social crisis entrapping my people in the indigenous communities of remote Australia. Their education has been shamefully neglected, their little bush economies have been destroyed by welfare programs and outside administrators.


They have appalling health and mental wellbeing problems, they are cut off from the wider world, their traditions are not robust enough to withstand the pressures of modernity. In their despair and inaction they are prey to the temptations of drugs, gambling and alcohol. But perhaps the most baffling problem they face is the onrush of outsiders keen to help who think they have a magic bullet for our ailments, a one-stop answer to all the complex problems of the bush.


The latest such messiah comes wearing unlikely clothes. He is Andrew Forrest, the iron ore monarch of the Pilbara, author of the Creating Parity report commissioned by the federal government, but shelved after its release earlier this year. It is the consensus of the Canberra bureaucracy that Forrest's blueprint is unworkable. He calls for the introduction of a "healthy welfare card" as a pathway to a largely cashless bush economy, and for extensive monitoring of children in communities felt to be at risk.


It may be such coercive measures and oversight could prove -effective, if any government had the nerve to implement them, but the 2007 Northern Territory intervention and the ongoing Cape York Welfare Reform program, where social controls have been applied piecemeal, do not fill me with confidence.


Forrest clearly feels the need to stamp his will on indigenous -affairs policy - and I thank him for his concern. But after such long failure we need a new approach, not more top-down instruction. I no longer have any faith in the prospects for any imposed strategy. I believe local communities, no matter how troubled, must shape their own future. There have been too many grand programs, too many blueprints, too few results.


Of course Forrest thinks he has been consultative. His report is filled with lists of those he spoke to. It is a report largely about bush communities: he did not visit a single one. Instead he held court in regional centres, along with his indigenous expert helper, professor Marcia Langton. I went to one such meeting, in Alice Springs, and gave testimony. I was shocked by Forrest's aggressive, intemperate manner, his abrupt interruption of other voices. It was his way or the highway. No surprise, then, that his report is a document of experts, an intensified wishlist for intervention. I had the uneasy feeling reading it that it really meant: "Let them be like us."


When Forrest failed to get much traction for his plan, and Tony Abbott gave it a lukewarm welcome, a campaign to highlight it began. Its chief voice was Langton, the thinking white person's favourite Aborigine. She told The Australian an ice epidemic was spreading in Aboriginal communities. I responded in these pages the following day. From first-hand knowledge of the western desert, extensive trips through the Top End, and close talks in Cape York, with locals, police and doctors, I know Langton's claim to be false. She has verballed my -people for a cheap headline.


God knows we have problems enough with drugs. Petrol sniffing is rife in the coastal Top End, there is an epidemic of kava abuse in Arnhem Land, and a marijuana plague of terrifying proportions on Groote Eylandt and certain communities of the western desert. Ice brought by mainstream dealers has begun to penetrate regional towns, and Aboriginal youth can find it there. In the Northern Territory parliament two months ago I described my son's ice overdose. I am not one to hide troubles.


But we must start from facts, not a fear campaign. Forrest rushed in to defend Langton as an academic of unimpeachable reputation. But what does she know of the bush, and communities whose languages she cannot speak? Has Forrest read her academic papers? Has he checked her insult--spattered Twitter feed?


Alison Anderson is an independent member of the Northern Territory parliament.

Poverty on rise: report

A new report by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has found that poverty is on the rise and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are significantly more likely than other Australians to fall below the poverty line.


ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie said it was unacceptable that after 20 years of economic growth, “our wealthy nation is going backwards in the numbers of people falling into poverty.”

“As this report shows, most of this poverty is concentrated among the groups of people facing the most disadvantage and major barriers to fully participating in our community,” she said. “These include people who are locked out of the jobs market, single parents, women and children, people with disabilities, the old, the young, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and migrants.”

The report “Poverty in Australia” found that the rate of poverty for Indigenous people was 19.3% compared to 12.4% for the rest of the population. And the results are backed up by “Falling Through the Cracks: poverty and disadvantage in Australia”, released last week by the Curtin Economics Centre.

“Across the array of potential metrics relating to poverty and disadvantage, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples invariably rank among the demographic groups within Australian society experiencing the worst outcomes,” the report found.


“Stark disadvantage exists with respect to physical and mental health, income, education, employment status, incarceration rates and the incidence of other adverse life events.”

The Curtin Economics Centre found that Indigenous people were almost four times more likely to live in overcrowded housing and that median incomes (the statistical middle) are “vastly lower for Indigenous persons.”

“Information makes it clear that income and labour market disadvantage are just some elements of a broader picture of deprivation suffered by Indigenous Australians, and that extends to physical and mental wellbeing, victimisation, incarceration and suicide,” the Curtin report said.

“On the positive side, recent data suggest a marginal narrowing in the gap in life expectancy for Indigenous Australians, to 10.6 years lower life expectancy for Indigenous men and 9.5 fewer years for Indigenous women, when compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.

“However, such glimpses of any positive change in the relative deprivation experienced by Indigenous Australians are all too rare ... thus the profound disadvantage faced by Indigenous peoples today can be expected to be perpetuated in the form of entrenched poverty and deprivation for generations to come.”

A separate report into homelessness in Brisbane found that nearly a quarter of the surveyed young families (24.3%) who were homeless or “vulnerably housed” identified as Indigenous.

Koori Mail