WGAR News: "I feared I was going to die" National Indigenous Times exclusive

Newsletter date: 1 May 2012

* Interview with Steve Hodder on UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
* Keynote Address by NACCHO Chairperson Justin Mohamed
* NIT exclusive: "I feared I was going to die"
* Interim National Unity Government Assembly - 23 & 24 May 2012 - Wollongong, NSW
* Henry Reynolds: After Mabo, What About Aboriginal Sovereignty?
* Glenelg Shire Council recognises rights of Portland Embassy, Vic
* Background to the Aboriginal sovereignty movement
* ABC: Elder seeks judicial review of mining approval
* Treaty Republic: Barnett trying to further disempower WA's Original's
* Frontier Wars Remembered in Melbourne & Canberra
* Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra: 'Stand with us to fight this racist legislation'
* Background to 'Stronger Futures' new NT Intervention laws
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Other articles


- Audio Interview

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Steve Hodder talks about the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
27 Apr 12: "The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) will convene its 11th Session in May 2012 and the CLC has a new staff member attending in New York, USA. CLC Media officer, Steve Hodder Watt (Bunabjee) has been sponsored by Oxfam as a youth delegate, and as a part of the Indigenous People’s Organisation (IOP) Network will help document the visit."


- Address

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation:
Keynote address Justin Mohamed: Weenthunga Symposium
28 Apr 12: "In my address this morning I will be giving you an overview on how NACCHO our peak body is leading the way nationally in Aboriginal health by:
And working collaboratively with the many groups and participants such as you here today
1. A brief overview of NACCHO
2. What is NACCHO strategic direction to 2013
3. An update on the Close the Gap Campaign and the National Health Leadership Forum
4. NACCHO recent achievements
5. Where to from here and our fire in the belly
6. And show you how you can stay connected with NACCHO into the Ifuture"

Welcome to the NACCHO website:


- News

National Indigenous Times: "I feared I was going to die"
28 Apr 12: "By National Indigenous Times Editor Stephen Hagan
A day after having major surgery to remove tendons from his left knee to place in his lower right leg Dempsey Cleven, 18, spoke exclusively to the National Indigenous Times of an ordeal on Easter Sunday that almost cost him his life. ...
" ... one of the cops pulled out his gun and fired at us.
"I heard a couple of shots; the first one he fired was at the fuel tank, which only just missed otherwise we would've all been blown up.
"Then the next one was directly into the middle of the car that struck me in the leg as I was sitting behind the driver in the back seat. ... ""

- Related News

Green Left: Racism the issue, not youth
29 Apr 12: "In the early hours of April 22, police officers risked the lives of hundreds in Kings Cross by opening fire on the unarmed occupants of a stolen car, shooting the 14-year-old driver twice and a 17-year-old passenger in the neck. ... Days of racist mainstream media followed while hundreds of people protested throughout the country against government and police racism and economic enslavement of Aboriginal people. Brisbane’s Aboriginal community held a rally on April 24 outside Queensland parliament to coincide with rallies in Sydney." By Robert Leech & Jacob Ball

National Indigenous Times: Brisbane leaders demand full independent inquiry
28 Apr 12: "By National Indigenous Times Editor Stephen Hagan
Indigenous leaders have called for a full independent inquiry into the conduct of the police officers involved in the shooting of Dempsey Clevens in Brisbane on Easter Sunday. More than 100 people gathered outside Brisbane's Parliament House on Tuesday to voice their anger and frustration at the police action."

National Indigenous Times: Community outraged by police brutality of youth
28 Apr 12: "By National Indigenous Times Editor Stephen Hagan
More than 200 angry members of the Brisbane Indigenous community gathered at an inner city church hall last Friday to express their outrage at the ongoing spate of police brutality against their youth. The community meeting was called by Elders Sam Watson, Rev Alex Gator and Adrian Burragubba after a recent shooting of unarmed youth in a... "

National Indigenous Times: Shooting protest anger
28 Apr 12: "By National Indigenous Times reporter Geoff Bagnall
Why was it necessary for police to treat this young boy like this? "There's no room for debate. The boys were pretty much unarmed, cornered, trapped and police opened fire at point blank range" - Anthony Mundine. ... Aboriginal activist Michael Anderson called for the NSW police officer seen in videos bashing Troy Taylor to... "

National Indigenous Times: Anger mounts as new claims emerge over Sydney shooting
28 Apr 12: "By National Indigenous Times reporter Geoff Bagnall
The horror surrounding the shooting of two young boys at Kings Cross in the early hours of Saturday morning has taken a new twist with claims police opened fire on the two youths after the car they were travelling in had crashed and come to a complete standstill. The shooting of two young boys in a crowded Kings Cross street has drawn... "

National Indigenous Radio Service: More dismay over Kings Cross police actions
27 Apr 12: "One of New South Wales' peak Aboriginal organisations has expressed its concerns over police actions in apprehending young Indigenous men in Sydney's Kings Cross over the weekend. New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council CEO Geoff Scott says the actions of police were heavy-handed, where mobile phone footage appears to show a policeman striking a teenager who had been shot by police."

Australian: Measures to curb gun violence as shootings multiply
25 Apr 12: "However, a group of protesters outside NSW's Parliament House yesterday demanded the government toughen gun laws for law enforcers, after police shot two Aboriginal teenagers in Kings Cross over the weekend. Indigenous Social Justice Association president Ray Jackson told a crowd of about 250 people the treatment of one of the pair, 17-year-old Troy Taylor, was "absolutely disgraceful". ... Aboriginal Tent Embassy activist Michael Anderson called the incident involving Troy "symptomatic of a bigger problem" involving relations between police and the Aboriginal community."

Indymedia: "Our NSW police are just too deadly!" - Ray Jackson
24 Apr 12: "Sydney's Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) held a rally outside the NSW state parliament in protest to the recent spate of perceived police brutality and to the five deaths in police custodial incidents in NSW. Hundreds of angry protesters blocked off half the road in front of the NSW Parliament in a protest against the police shooting and bashing of two unarmed Aboriginal teenagers on April 22. The rally, initiated by the ISJA, demanded an independent public investigation into the incident, ... " Gerry Georgatos

- Related Speech

Green Left: Victims of Kings Cross police brutality need justice
26 Apr 12: "The article below is based on a speech by Socialist Alliance national co-convenor Peter Boyle at the April 24 emergency rally called by the Indigenous Social Justice Association to protest the recent police shooting and bashing of two unarmed Aboriginal teenagers in Sydney’s Kings Cross. * * *
I read in the newspaper that Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said: "We have significant responsibilities in the use of firearms. One of them is not shooting at tyres." You get that? The police have a responsibility not to shoot at car tyres! But what about shooting unarmed 14-year-olds? What are your responsibilities there, Assistant Police Commissioner?"

- Related Analysis / Opinion

Socialist Alternative: Police brutality challenged in NSW
24 Apr 12: "At Kings Cross last Saturday, the NSW Police once again proved that they are brutal, racist thugs. It was 4am when they "recognised" the driver of an allegedly stolen car. They "recognised" his five passengers as well. All six were young Aboriginal men - "recognised" for just that, being Aboriginal." Luke Mason


WGAR News: Ray Jackson, ISJA: NSW police 'too deadly'! (26 Apr 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/26/wgar-news-frontier-wars-remembered-on...


- Upcoming event

Event: Wed 23 and Thu 24 May 2012: Wollongong, south of Sydney
Interim Aboriginal National Unity Government Assembly
of the Sovereign Union
Held at two locations:
Day 1 – Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong
Day 2 – Sandon Point Aboriginal Embassy
"All Aboriginal nations are being called on to send two
delegates to the inaugural assembly of the interim
National Unity Government in Wollongong
Wednesday 23 May & Thursday 24 May.
"This gathering to form the Interim Sovereign Union
National Unity Government is so important, as the federal
government and their Uncle Tom collaborators are working
overtime to indoctrinate our children and youth into their
way of thinking by falsely promoting that recognition in
the Constitution will give our people something,"
the spokesman of the movement, Michael Anderson, writes in
a media release."
"On the first day, 23rd of May, two universities, South Cross
and Wollongong law faculties will host a law symposium to
discuss the continuing sovereignty of Aboriginal people as
an introduction to this history-making event."
Event details: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/node/49
See next two entries for Day 1 and Day 2 event details

Event: DAY 1 Wed 23 May 2012: Wollongong, NSW
Litigating the Boundaries of Sovereignty
- Symposium Day 1
Location: Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong
Jointly organised by:
* Legal Intersections Research Centre, University of Wollongong
* School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University
"On 26 January 2012, on the day of the 40th anniversary of
the establishment Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra,
a number of prominent Aboriginal activists advanced an
articulated claim to the continuity of Aboriginal
sovereignty in Australia. ... [This is] a one-day workshop to
explore the legal and political implications of those claims."
Event details: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/node/85
Event details: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/node/49
Sovereign Union – National Unity Government: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/

Event: DAY 2 - Thu 24 May 2012: Wollongong, NSW
"8am till late – REGISTRATION at 8am
Venue: Sandon Point Embassy, Wollongong, NSW
All Aboriginal nations are being called on to send two delegates
- one man and one woman (if appropriate)
to the inaugural assembly of the Sovereign Union
interim National Unity Government
If possible bring a young person(s) between 15 & 25.
Each nation will have a limit of two official delegates
to the interim National Unity Government.
+++ Draft Agenda +++:
* The formal establishment of the interim
National Unity Government of the Sovereign Union
* Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Aboriginal nations
* Focusing on the proposed new Constitution
* Program of stages towards independence and timeline
* Allocation of interim portfolios
* Development of diplomatic and international relations
* Strategies for representations in United Nations"
Event details: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/node/108
Event details: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/node/49
Sovereign Union – National Unity Government: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/


- Analysis / Opinion

After Mabo, What About Aboriginal Sovereignty?
AHR: http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-April-1996/Reyno...
Sovereign Union: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/after-mabo-what-about-aborigi...
Treaty Republic: http://treatyrepublic.net/content/after-mabo-what-about-aboriginal-sover...
"The Mabo judgment was a major landmark in the decolonising of Australian law and society. It was, nevertheless, only a beginning to the process of redressing the legal injustice to Australia's indigenous people. Now the time has come to move on to tackle the question of Aboriginal sovereignty." Henry Reynolds


- News

Sovereign Union: Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy
"The Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy Embassy was established at Market Square, Portland to demand a meeting with the state government over issues of Native Title and social services inequality. It started on Wednesday 8th February, 2012, shortly after the 40th Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. April 27th 2012: A positive motion was put forward at the Glenelg Shire Council April meeting, and carried, which has recognised the rights of the Portland Sovereign Aboriginal Embassy to protest. Sandra Onus, Spokesperson of the Embassy, wrote the following on Facebook; ... "

- Background

WGAR News: Tent Embassy set up in Portland’s Market Square, Vic (1 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/01/wgar-news-press-conference-on-stronge...
[Portland, Vic]

Facebook: Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy
[Portland, Vic]


Last updated 30 April 2012:



- News

ABC: Elder seeks judicial review of mining approval
1 May 12: "An Aboriginal elder wants a judicial review in the South Australian Supreme Court of the State Government's decision to approve the Olympic Dam mine expansion in the state's outback. Kevin Buzzacott is seeking a review against the Government and the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister's decision, arguing the process was invalid to grant BHP Billiton development approval for a larger mine. ... In a new hearing in the Supreme Court, BHP Billiton has joined as a defendant in the legal action. A two-day hearing has been scheduled for June."

- Related News

National Indigenous Times: Elder loses Olympic Dam court battle
28 Apr 12: "The Federal Court has rejected a move by Elder, Kevin Buzzacott to block a giant expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine in South Australia's north. Mr Buzzacott, an Elder of the Arabunna people, challenged the Federal Government's approval of the mine, arguing Environment Minister, Tony Burke had not given enough consideration to its long term impact and the risks posed by storage of... "

Green Left: Court rules against Olympic Dam mine challenge
26 Apr 12: "If you are thinking of challenging a mining development in the courts, be prepared to go through the financial wringer. You might think you have an open-and-shut case, that the federal government has shirked its responsibilities under environmental legislation. But if the finding goes against you, the government and the mining industry will see you bankrupt. This is one of the lessons to emerge following the dismissal by an Adelaide judge on April 20 of the challenge brought by traditional owner and environment campaigner Uncle Kevin Buzzacott against the Olympic Dam uranium mine expansion." By Renfrey Clarke, Adelaide

Roxby Downs Sun: Government seeks cost
26 Apr 12: "BHP Billiton and the federal government are seeking costs from Arabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott. Mr Buzzacott known, as uncle Kevin, challenged the approval of the Olympic Dam expansion which was dismissed by the court recently."


WGAR News: "Court throws out Olympic Dam challenge" ABC PM (22 Apr 12)

WGAR News: Olympic Dam expansion music/art/festival/protest
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/wgar-news-court-throws-out-olympic-da...


- News

Treaty Republic: Barnett trying to further disempower WA's Original's
"The Western Australian Government plans to overhaul the Aboriginal Heritage Act, pandering to the mining sector by making it easier for companies to disrupt sacred sites. Although both developers and Aboriginal groups say the laws are clunky and unworkable, the changes appear to further dis-empower the State's 'Original' peoples. Greens' MLC Robin Chapple says the new laws will make it even harder for Aboriginal people to protect sites."


- News

Remembering the Frontier Wars on ANZAC Day
Treaty Republic: http://treatyrepublic.net/content/remembering-frontier-wars-anzac-day
Sovereign Union: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/aboriginal-activists-remember...
"Canberra: The small group of about 20, carrying 'Original's' flags and banners and accompanied by a didgeridoo, joined the tail of the national Anzac Day parade, behind columns of veterans. Led by Michael Anderson, one of the founders of the capital's tent embassy, the activists were separated from the main body but were met with support as they moved up Anzac Parade to the Australian War Memorial.
Melbourne: With rain falling, a small group of people attended a ceremony at Kings Domain to remember the freedom fighters and the ongoing frontier wars. Robbie Thorpe addressed the meeting reminding the group of the continued genocide of the 'Originals' and the savage history of the invaders."

- Related Audio Interviews

SBS Living Black: Acknowledging Massacres On Australian Soil
By Marc Tong
26 Apr 12: "As we remember Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans who fought abroad in wars for Australia, we also remember all First Nations People who fought for our freedom here on Australian soil. Aboriginal people who died in defence of their lands during the colonial invasion and the deaths suffered, should be recognised according to Michael Anderson, leader of the Euahlayi nation. He says as we remember our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans who fought abroad in wars for Australia, we should also remember all who fought for the freedom of the First Nations People on Australian soil. Uncle Michael tells Marc Tong the lack of historical acknowledgement of massacres on this continent's soil must be changed."

SBS Living Black: Remembering Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander ANZAC Contributions
By Marc Tong
26 Apr 12: "As we remember with respect fallen soldiers and veterans on ANZAC day, it is important to acknowledge and remember the supreme sacrifice paid by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service personnel. Despite knowing the challenges theyd face when they came home from war, Aboriginal people still served in all of Australia's main wars since the two Boer Wars-1880-1881 and 1899-1902. ... Kamilaroi man and acting Indigenous Liaison Officer Garth O'Connell from the Australian War Memorial explains to Marc Tong the selection process in the early 20th century."

SBS Living Black: Students To Research Overseas Aboriginal Soldiers' Graves
By Marc Tong
26 Apr 12: "The findings of eight Aboriginal students from Dubbo College in New South Wales, during a trip to France later this year, could help expand the Australian War Memorial's records for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men. Research by students from Dubbo College in New South Wales, could help fill the gaps in the national service records of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers. ... Kamilaroi man and acting Indigenous Liaison Officer at the memorial, Garth O'Connell, tells Marc Tong their findings will expand the Australian War Memorial's records for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers."

- Related News

National Indigenous Radio Service: Anderson pleased with ANZAC Day march
27 Apr 12: "[Aboriginal rights campaigner Michael Anderson] says he will continue the fight next year for better acknowledgement of Indigenous soldier's endeavours in Australia's wars, including frontier wars at the time of European invasion. "It's not a done thing, to go back and reflect on the killing of Aboriginal people. "That's too close to home. It's a sore wound that they don't want opened up. "But, unfortunately, we're going to open it up. "This is why they were saying, 'Look, why choose ANZAC Day?' "ANZAC is a time of remembrance of people who fought in defence of this land and the freedoms that they have. Our people fought on this land against those who invaded us.""

NZ Herald: Gillard's $100m plan for Gallipoli
25 Apr 12: "But her visit and the centenary programme that will run from 2014 to 2018 comes amid debate on the future of Anzac Day in an increasingly multicultural Australia, new claims debunking key elements of the Gallipoli mythology, and moves by Aborigines to expand its meaning to include Australian frontier wars. ... Aborigine activists are also intent on using today's national service in Canberra, with a group planning to join the tail of the parade to remember Aborigines "who died in defence of their lands during the colonial invasion"."

- Related Analysis / Opinion

SMH: The forgotten conflict
1 May 12: "There is a hole in our remembrance, and it is Black. We justly remember our dead in wars overseas. But Australia still has no national memorial to both sides of the long and deadly conflict on our own soil. It's almost as if it didn't happen. Frontier historian Lyndall Ryan has lifted the veil in a new book on Tasmanian Aborigines, which tallies deaths in the colonial Black War. She estimates it cost 878 indigenous lives, and 201 colonists'."

- Background

WGAR News: "Frontier wars remembered on ANZAC Day" Koori Mail (26 Apr 12)


- Speech

Solidarity: 'Stand with us to fight this racist legislation'
April 2012: "Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra is a traditional owner from Elcho Island, in Northeast Arnhem Land. This is an exert of his speech to a rally in Darwin on April 9 against the new Stronger Futures legislation, which will entrench Intervention measures for a further ten years. ' I am a Uniting Church Pastor. I grew up in the mission. I got my doctorate and also worked really hard with the community and got an Order of Australia. I was around when the NT Emergency Response was launched by John Howard, and Minister Mal Brough said, I’m going to take 73 prescribed communities, and five of the communities I want to shape [as a model] to the Australian government and people that I can do a better job. One of them, Elcho island, Galiwinku, is where I grew up. ... "


Last updated 29 April 2012:



Last updated 29 April 2012:



- News

Koori Mail: Bankstown income management plan slammed
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
27 Apr 12: "THE PUBLIC Health Association of Australia has condemned plans to introduce compulsory income management in Bankstown, and other places in Australia, despite overwhelming concerns from stakeholders. PHAA New South Wales branch president Gabriel Moore said PHAA supported voluntary income management managed by Aboriginal community-controlled organizations."

See: WGAR News: Union Campaign Letter on Bankstown Income Management (27 Apr 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/27/wgar-news-work-not-welfare-investing-...

National Indigenous Times: Murray River nations demand sovereignty
28 Apr 12: "A group of 21 Aboriginal nations in the northern Murray Darling Basin have demanded all water licences be revoked and the rivers' water be dealt with from a base of Aboriginal sovereignty, dominion and ultimate title. The Northern Murray Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) has called on all State and Federal governments involved in the rivers system to allocate 100 per cent of all environmental flows in... "

See: WGAR News: Aboriginal Nations assert sovereignty over the Northern Murray Darling Basin (19 Apr 12)

National Indigenous Times: Mohamed calls for political unity on 10 year funding deal
28 Apr 12: "By National Indigenous Times reporter Geoff Bagnall
Australia's peak Aboriginal health body has given its support to the Federal Government's 10 year funding commitment and called on the Federal Opposition to get behind the plan to make a real difference to Aboriginal disadvantage. Justin Mohamed, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) ... "

See: WGAR News: Responses to Ten-Year Funding of NT Aboriginal Communities (1 Apr 12)

National Indigenous Times: Bob Brown leaves a legacy of support
28 Apr 12: "By National Indigenous Times reporter Rhonda Hagan
Bob Brown may have left public life in his role as Senator and Leader of the Green Party, but will still be righting for Indigenous rights in international arenas. Dr Libby Connors, Queensland spokesperson for the Queensland Greens, said Mr Brown his not put turned his back on everything. "Bob Brown has not put Indigenous politics... "

- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio Online News 30.04.2012
30 Apr 12: "Up to 4000 older Aboriginal people who have participated in community CDEP programs for most of their working lives will be allowed to continue on the scheme for another five years."

See: WGAR News: "Work Not Welfare: Investing in a waged employment program in remote NT" APO NT (27 Apr 12)

See Background: WGAR News: Jumbunna, UTS: Jobs With Justice
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/27/wgar-news-work-not-welfare-investing-...

- Analysis / Opinion

National Indigenous Times: Is there more behind 21 years of failure to reduce the Indigenous incarceration rates?
19 Apr 12: "21 years since the culmination of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the most extensive inquiry in Australian history into Indigenous people's overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, little has changed. The Commission found Indigenous prisoners didn't die at a higher rate than non-Indigenous prisoners, but blamed... " By Emma Purdy

- - -

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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