Declaration of Yuggera tribal sovereignty to the lands of Brisbane/Ipswich

Karen Cummins Coghill

Article 18: Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision- making institutions. Article 19: states shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them. - United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples


Yuway, my name is Karen Cummins Coghill, I am the nominated scribe for the newly formed Yuggera Ugarapul Tribal Elders. Respects from the Yuggara Ugarapul original sovereign peoples of Meanjin / Brisbane and Ipswich. On behalf of the original sovereigns we are formally advising you and your representatives of who our newly established Elders body the Yuggera Ugarapul Tribal Elders, Save Deebing Creek and sovereign peoples that have come together in agreement to hopefully meet and begin a process of resolution with representatives of the federal, state, local governments and other corporate entities currently assuming governance in the lands of our ancestors.

We, the Yuggera Ugarapul tribal peoples are descendants to a number of prominent First Nations allodial ancestors that are recorded and confirmed within our communities both orally as well as historically. Representatives of the Yuggera Ugarapul Tribal Elders are bloodtied descendants of the Yuggera, Ugarapul peoples, Undambi, Gorenpul, Wakka Wakka, Turrbul, Yugembeh, Yiman,Yelangi, Yandai nations.

As original sovereigns to these lands we the First Peoples are requesting an audience with federal, state and local governments, including corporate stakeholders to address the serious issues of original sovereignty and justice within our ancestral homelands.

A number of issues that need to be addressed is the issues of when did the Yuggera Ugarapul peoples cede their sovereignty / independence to the Britain or the Australian governments? Is there evidence showing the First Peoples sold or leased their ancestral homelands? Is there a treaty / agreement / memorandum with the First People to claim ownership of our homelands and when were the agreements to apply your British Australian law to the First Peoples executed?

The Yuggera Ugarapul peoples are not Native Title applicants, nor are we party to this fallacy. We are appealing to individuals within your organisations who stand for unbiased truth, righteousness and fairness to address the seriousness of these issues, as well as the issue of fraudulence that has left Yuggera Ugarapul sovereigns invalidated, undermined, overlooked and without a political voice within their own country.

Our aim is to address the truth and hopefully resolve many of these serious judicial matters and propaganda that affects Australia as a whole.  Questions of when and did the First Peoples become Australian citizens or British subjects for your laws to dispossess, mass murder and incarcerate the First Peoples continue to be unanswered.

When did Australia become independent of Britain to govern these lands and the First Peoples?

In relation to the referendum of 1967, 'Aboriginal' people were supposedly placed into the Australian constitution why is Australia working towards recognizing the First Peoples into the constitution today?

In addition to our claims as original sovereigns to these lands there is a Yuggera Thompson Connection Report (that has included a number of our families and Apical ancestors) was developed and used to support government incentives including the consent to determination claim, through Native Title, with the Qandamooka peoples in which a number of original sovereigns have been excluded from these agreements.

•The Pacific Islander Protection Act 1875 clearly states Britain has no jurisdiction over the First Peoples, British Australia has been in breach of this declaration ever since.

•The Mabo case dismissed the notion of terra nullius in the high courts, and proved our existence within our homelands, why then is the Native Title agenda dictating the terms and conditions of the First Peoples connection to country?

•The Yuggera Ugarapul Tribal peoples are NOT party to the Native Title farce that does not acknowledge our birthrights / sovereign rights of the true custodians also.

•The Doctrine of Discovery developed by the Roman Catholic Empire is not based on biblical principles, this criminal and blasphemous document has been used to commit genocidal crimes against humanity including theft of lands and properties throughout the earth no civilised society should ever include this document to justify covetousness within any people's ancestral homelands

•Ongoing acts of parliament enforced slavery and many other inhumane treatments including the fact that our peoples were regarded as flora and fauna and not a people with any rights whatsoever

•Added supporting documents to our claims is the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples reinforces our rights as original peoples of these lands under international law

I might add to this letter, it was the Yuggera people and neighbouring tribes that maintained agreements within these lands that kept the environment pristine and pollution free for thousands of centuries, pre-invasion. Land and waterways management were the First Peoples’ occupation within these lands, including fire burn offs, river and creeks maintenance where our songlines did not suffer pollution, but were places of solitude, spirituality and travel. Our waters were drinkable and a place of leisure and resources for our peoples, flora and fauna. Our people and environment did not have diseases, pestilences, homelessness or starvation under their own governance and traditional way of life.

This letter is a reminder to Australia and its representatives of the survival and resilience of the First Peoples of these lands, there were holocausts in these lands. The issue of foreigners taking up residence and claim to the lands of the First People is still a major issue to many of our people, who when released from the Concentration Camps called Missions were given an Exemption Certificate that meant no contact with family, nor were they given any economical benefit to assist with their lives outside of dependency on government welfare.

In comparison to England's migration of Convicts to these lands British Migrants assumed the role of ownership and granted lands to many of their countrymen at the expense of the First Peoples. The comfort of many foreigners in these lands is due to the fact that many of the First People suffered acts of genocide imposed by British Australia. 

January 26 is celebrated throughout Australia as 'Australia Day' when this date is only a day of migration of convicts, to our people it is a day of invasion and not a day of independence or a day celebrated by the First People and the foreigner. These issues have never have been resolved. Since invasion, foreign refugees are given rights to lands and communities, integrating into our ancestral lands and prospering. Churches / cults and religions are occupying our lands with no agreements with the Yuggera Ugarapul peoples whatsoever, they are in receipt of stolen properties.

Refugees of World Wars 1 and 2 have integrated well into Australian society this included Nazi war criminals as well, refugees of the Vietnam War and a number of other wars in the world have come and made our ancestral homelands their place of refuge and commerce, many refugees have lived successful lives within these lands excluding the original sovereigns agreeing to any of these arrangements making these actions illegal under international law. The Australian governments have made the foreigner complicit to crimes including being in receipt of stolen properties.

In many cases migrants were given the option to murder the First Peoples to receive lands, thousands of innocent people were either murdered, had their families torn apart, children murdered and rounded up into concentration camps called missions where many were subject to abuses and tortures beyond human comprehension. There is no closure to these atrocities, no justice or healing processes in place whatsoever, even today inter-transgenerational trauma and abuses are very evident with First Nations society, with little or no reparations in place whatsoever.

Invasion, dispossession and invalidation of the First Peoples’ sovereignty is still an issue that needs to be addressed. We are a separate people with unique issues that continue to be overlooked. The lands are rich in resources and were not intended to only serve foreign agendas. We are an inclusive people that need to be reconnected to our lands and waterways to survive, the federal, state and local governments are guilty of crimes of genocide. Today we face systemic abuses particularly with 30 years since the Royal Commission into Deaths In Custody and not one arrest, the establishment of police liaison officers that play tokenistic roles for the states does not address the issues of Deaths in Custody as many of the First Peoples are still being murdered at the hands of contracted government servants. Today we encounter over-representation of First Peoples in the criminal justice system, juvenile justice system and child safety, including the Northern Territory intervention is systemic racism and abuse. These legislations are imposed by federal, state and Territory governments. It is detrimental we assert our sovereign rights as we face Genocide imposed by foreign Institutions legislating and racially motivated oppressions.

We are seeking restitutions, reparations and acknowledgement of our sovereignty within our country once again. Hopefully your systems of government acknowledge this and support our right to self- determination, but most of all it is agreed that we need our lands and waterways returned to the First Peoples for survival and true healing to begin. Our peoples have survived mass murders, illegal incarcerations, exposure to diseases, scientific experiments, kidnapping, torture, sex abuses, neglect, forced control, deprivation of liberties, desecration of sacred places, burial places including the theft of our precious ancestors’ skeletal remains, all was acted upon with no consent from the First People whatsoever.

Our aim is to convey to your peoples of the truth as our nationality as Yuggera peoples and we are appealing to the conscience of individuals within your governments and corporations who believe in justice and adhere to truth, righteousness and remorse for the detrimental actions of the past (including today) to remedy the future, not only for the First People but for Australia.

Your people are lawfully obligated to assist us with these processes, supporting the original sovereigns of these lands as we gain a better understanding of motioning the process towards independence from systemic foreign control, particularly in relation to lands which still to many of us within the cities of Brisbane and Ipswich have strong connections, spirituality and special significance ie: the birthing places, bora grounds, gathering places along the Meanjin Botanical Gardens, Nundah, Mt Cootha, Scrubby Creek. Laidly, Deebing Creek, Purga, Pine Rivers, Nudgee, Springhill, Gatton, Bayside, the Islands etc.

The serious legacy of destruction and dysfunctions are evident within surviving families’ has never been addressed nor remedied in any form. The issue of land rights / sovereign rights is asserted throughout Australia, even today, we survive with very little under an illegitimate government continually creating laws and legislations for the First People / original sovereigns designed to further impoverish, destroy and adds to the misfortune of generations of survivors.

The governments, religions and corporations have invalidated the true sovereigns of these lands, assuming governance with no agreements with the First Peoples of these lands. All are in receipt of stolen properties we hope to address these major breaches of our laws and international laws.

Fraudulence is another major concern where Aboriginal people claiming to be sovereigns to our lands, these people have never declared sovereignty but are given precedence over the true sovereigns of these lands, this has been detrimental to our people that even other First Nations peoples are used to authorize deals with corporations when they are not sovereign to these lands and your governments are well aware of the fraud taking place within Yuggera Ugarapul sovereign homelands.

The issues of Stolen Generations being compensated little or next to nothing to remedy the crimes committed against them and their families is appalling. The compensations to the Stolen Wages is appalling as many of the First Peoples were enslaved to colonialists as housekeepers and majorly used in the primary industries to boost Australia's economy but never given due fees. Many paid into welfare funds also that the governments oversaw and monies disappeared from trust accounts established by government agents. There is so much injustice within these lands, we as a people aim to address these misfortunes and hope to come to some agreements to remedy these atrocities with the compensation of the return of homelands.

Today the First Peoples are 3% of the total population of Australia, and yet we are the most marginalised, impoverished people here. The Yuggera Ugarapul peoples face outright racism, no culturally appropriate gathering places to address our unique issues, no educational centres compared to foreign Australia, no Yuggera Ugarapul structures signifying our existence within our homelands, when we gather for any event we are expected to request consent from foreigners, and astonishingly we are expected to pay a phenomenal amount of money to foreigners to be buried within our very own ancestral homelands also.

The relationship between original sovereigns and your governments have resulted in very unfair situations, without going into detail, there have been a number of sovereigns assert their rights within the courts, Musgrave Park and as late our aim is to save the Deebing Creek mission site to housing developers. The campaign for sovereignty has been ongoing over a number of years and hope not to be ignored and invalidated any longer. We the First Peoples are a peaceful people by nature we are requesting justice and legal support against crimes of genocide. Should any reading this letter have any contacts, particularly with the international legal supports please feel free to contact us.  

I have included a copy of my letter to Queen Elizabeth II and her response to my letter acknowledging our sovereignty from a foreign power. Please feel free to contact us as a start to true reconciliation and justice