Melbourne, 13 July 2010 - - An Aboriginal leader has told about 500 international psychologists and psychiatrists meeting here that Australia has perpetrated genocide on Aboriginal people since the white invasion and continues to do so.
Michael Anderson, leader of the 3,000 Euahlayi, whose lands straddle the border between northwest New South Wales and southwest Queensland, made the accusation to a genocide section of the 27th conference of the International Association of Applied Psychology, running from 12 to 16 July in the Melbourne Convention Centre.
He found Australia breaching all the definitions set out in the United Nations charter against genocide.
"It began by the declaration of martial law and subsequent slaughter soon after the invasion," Anderson said, "and never stopped."
Some of the UN definitions are clearing Aborigines off their lands, to which they are spiritually connected, the removal of children from their culture to be brought up in a different one and the continued isolation of Aboriginal people from their roots.
These were the factors causing the high rates of illness among Aboriginal people, Anderson told his audience of about 500. "Our high death rate and low life expectancy are genocide."
"White Australians believe government propaganda that their policies are all in the best interests of Aborigines. Their propaganda about closing the gap (between whites and Aborigines) is just to make the public feel good."
An Australian woman attendee challenged him on the removal of children, claiming it was done for their own good. Anderson rejoined: "It’s people like you who are our problem." That got a round of applause from the audience of about 500.
Anderson described Aborigines as people displaced from and refugees in their own countries. He charged that governments impose programs rejected by Aborigines because they are never consulted about them.
He alleged that ongoing media silence on what is causing Aboriginal suffering is collusion contributing to their continued oppression.
The conference reportedly brought 3,000 psychologists and psychiatrists to Melbourne. Its genocide forum was opened by Paul Slovic of Oregon University in the US, who said active and passive genocide continues around the world. Sudan, Rwanda, Congo were mentioned.
Speakers alleged that big powers like the US stand idly by to secure their access to raw materials in these troubled countries. Anderson alleged that in all cases the real agenda is a deeply rooted purpose to access mineral wealth.
The conference heard that many countries practised the ostrich syndrome of burying their heads in sand and pretending to see nothing. But idle bystanders are just as guilty as perpetrators, the conference heard.
Michael Anderson can be reached on mobile 0427 292 492.