Newsletter date: 9 May 2015
* News Analysis: Amy McQuire, New Matilda: WA Government Deregisters World's Oldest Rock Art Collection As Sacred Site
* Video: Eleanor Gilbert, Vimeo: Tim Douglas & Wilfred Hicks - Burrup Rock Art Site - spiritual & cultural importance
* Audio: Ninah Kopel, The Wire: 'Sacred' title eroded from ancient Indigenous art [Featuring Robin Chapple, Judith Hugo & Thor Kerr]
* Media Release: Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC: Ancient rock art not sacred enough
* News Analysis: Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF): ACF raises serious concerns about Aboriginal sacred sites de-listing in WA
* News Analysis: Simon Ludgate, Your News Wire: Call for review of protection of ancient Aboriginal sites in Western Australia
* News Analysis: Simon Ludgate, Your News Wire: Australian heritage site in danger from government sanctioned mining
* Background Video: Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): FARA 2015 Burrup/Murujuga heritage tour [FARA: Friends of Australian Rock Art]
* Background: Facebook: Stand Up for the Burrup: https://www.facebook.com/StandUpForTheBurrup
* Background: Jude Dineley, Australian Geographic: Burrup Peninsula rock art among world's oldest
* Homepage of the Aboriginal Heritage Action Alliance (AHAA): http://aboriginalheritagewa.com/
* News Analysis: AHAA: Kimberley Land Council condemn AHA amendments and community closures at United Nations
* Video: Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): The KLC petition on the amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972
* Audio Interview: AHAA: Late Night Live: Threats to Aboriginal heritage [Featuring Clayton Lewis & Prof Peter Veth]
* Videos: NITV News: WA Whistleblower 1: Allegations of Bullying, Intimidation in WA Dept of Aboriginal Affairs
* Background: Thor Kerr & Shaphan Cox, The Conversation: Frustration rises over changes to the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
- News Analysis
New Matilda: WA Government Deregisters World's Oldest Rock Art Collection As Sacred Site
30 Apr 15: "MP expresses 'deep shame' as historic site loses protection. Amy McQuire reports. The world’s oldest and largest collection of rock art - the Burrup Peninsula, or Murujuga, on the Dampier Archipelago - has been deregistered as a sacred site under new guidelines to the Western Australia’s weak Aboriginal heritage laws, which state there must be evidence of religious activity to qualify it as a ‘sacred site’. The change has led to questions about whether the art will be reinstated to the cultural heritage register ... " By Amy McQuire, a Darumbul woman from central Queensland. Amy McQuire is the former editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker Magazine.
Amy McQuire - New Matilda
New Matilda - About Us
" ... The Funding Model: Our readers are our investors. New Matilda is predominantly reader-funded and remains fiercely independent, with no affiliation to any political party, lobby group or other media organisation. Become a New Matilda funder here: https://newmatilda.com/be-a-supporter
The Mission: We believe that robust media is fundamental to a healthy democracy - and there's never been a more important time for independent media in Australia. With shrinking media diversity, and huge changes underway in delivery, there are fewer and fewer outlets publishing independent-minded journalism like ours. ... "
Eleanor Gilbert, Vimeo: Tim Douglas & Wilfred Hicks - Burrup Rock Art Site - spiritual & cultural importance
Sovereign Union: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/node/1000
2014: "In June 2013, Wong-goo-tt-oo elder Tim Douglas and his spokesperson elder Wilfred Hicks traveled from Roebourne in the Pilbara region of Western Australia to Canberra to meet with then Labor Environment Minister, Tony Burke. The elders asked the Minister to nominate the Dampier Archipelago ("Burrup") rock art to UNESCO's Tentative World Heritage List. World Heritage List protection for the estimated one million rock engravings, which include sacred works believed to be up to 35,000 years old, was recommended in 2012 by the Australian Heritage Council. ... "
Eleanor Gilbert on Vimeo
The Wire: 'Sacred' title eroded from ancient Indigenous art
4 May 15: "The Burrup peninsula is home to the world’s largest and oldest collection of rock art. It was once considered sacred by the Western Australian Government. Now only select areas are considered sacred. There are more than 2,400 registered Aboriginal sites on the Burrup Peninsula, but with ancient art covering the whole region, deregistered areas mean sights of culture could fall through the gaps. ... " Produced by Ninah Kopel
"Featured in story:
* Robin Chapple, Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Region of Western Australia
* Judith Hugo, co-convenor of friends of Australian rock art
* Thor Kerr, Lecturer in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University"
About The Wire
"The Wire is a daily current affairs program broadcast exclusively on Community and Indigenous radio stations around Australia. ... The Wire will: ... Priorities the voices of people under-represented in social decision-making, including women, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, people on low incomes. ... "
- Media Release
Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC: Ancient rock art not sacred enough
23 Apr 15: "In a move labelled shocking and internationally embarrassing by the WA Greens, Minister Collier this week confirmed the Burrup Peninsula had been deregistered as an Indigenous sacred site based on advice given by the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) regarding section 5(b) of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.
Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC said it was deeply concerning to learn that one of Australia’s most significant heritage locations was no longer considered a sacred site.
"The Burrup Peninsula has the largest concentration of rock art in the world and is an extraordinary cultural landscape telling the story of ancient Aboriginal occupation over the past 30,000 years or more," he said.
"Its significance is not lost on the international anthropological community or the federal government, both long term supporters of world heritage nomination for the Burrup Peninsula. ... " ...
"I have dedicated the best part of my life to protecting the Burrup; this news has left me deeply ashamed," he said. ... "
Aboriginal Issues - Robin Chapple MLC
"The Greens (WA) acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as the original inhabitants of this country, have a special cultural and spiritual connection with the land and water. We believe that their rights and obligations as owners and custodians must be respected. We hold that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a right to self-determination and political representation, and must be partners in the development and implementation of public policies, programs and services that affect them. ... "
Welcome to Robin Chapple MLC's website...
"Robin Chapple was first elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council on February 10, 2001. He is the first member of the Greens (WA) ever elected for the vast Mining and Pastoral Region. In the early State Election of 6 September 2008 Robin was re-elected for the region. With a background in engineering, Aboriginal community development, local government, nuclear and mining issues, Robin is well placed to represent the diverse communities of Mining and Pastoral. ... For the next four years, you have a Green voice in Parliament... "
- News Analysis
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF): ACF raises serious concerns about Aboriginal sacred sites de-listing in WA
4 May 15: "The Australian Conservation Foundation has today expressed serious concern about the de-listing of Aboriginal sacred sites in WA, including at James Price Point and at the world’s largest and oldest rock art sites on the Burrup Peninsula. "Following the revelations from the WA parliament, obtained after questioning from Greens MP Robin Chapple, ACF would like to know why significant rock art sites at the Burrup Peninsula and the beautiful coastline of James Price Point have been de-listed from the Aboriginal Heritage Act," said ACF’s Broome based Kimberley Project officer Wade Freeman. ... "
- News Analysis
GreenCareer: New rules leave vital artifacts unguarded
1 May 15: "The new guidelines, laid out by the state Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee (ACMC), were the subject of a Supreme Court review this week, in which Justice John Chaney found the definition was inconsistent with the Aboriginal Heritage Act, and clashed with the historic interpretation of ‘sacred site’ as well. "To suggest, however, that for a place to be a sacred site, specific rituals or ceremonies are required to be associated with it is to deny the expression ‘sacred site’ any specific meaning," Justice Chaney said in his judgement. ... ""
- News Analysis
Your News Wire: Call for review of protection of ancient Aboriginal sites in Western Australia
3 May 15: "In a call for a review of the protection of ancient Aboriginal sites in Western Australia, the battle between big business and precious ancient cultural landmarks have locked horns once again. ... The Guardian newspaper reports: Australian Labor and the Greens are calling for an urgent review of 22 formerly heritage-listed Aboriginal sacred sites after a landmark judgment in the supreme court of Western Australia found that the definition of a sacred site being used by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs was invalid. ... " Posted by Simon Ludgate, author screenwriter director
- News Analysis
Your News Wire: Australian heritage site in danger from government sanctioned mining
2 May 15: " ... The world’s oldest and largest collection of rock art - the Burrup Peninsula, or Murujuga, on the Dampier Archipelago - has been deregistered as a sacred site under new guidelines to the Western Australia’s weak Aboriginal heritage laws, which state there must be evidence of religious activity to qualify it as a ‘sacred site’. The change has led to questions about whether the art will be reinstated to the cultural heritage register following a successful Supreme Court decision that ruled against the WA government’s definition of a ‘sacred site’. ... " Posted by Simon Ludgate
- Background Video
Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): FARA 2015 Burrup/Murujuga heritage tour
[FARA: Friends of Australian Rock Art]
Facebook: Stand Up for the Burrup
"This is the Facebook page of the Coalition for World Heritage Listing for the Murujuga/Dampier Archipelago Rock Art Precinct. Wilfred Hicks, Wong-goo-tt-oo elder and spokesperson for Tim Douglas, Senior LawMan, directs the Global Stand up for Burrup campaign. The Global Stand Up for the Burrup Campaign was launched on 20.12.2006. We send photographs of the Stand Ups photo-shoot actions to several thousand politicians, media representatives, Woodside and other corporate executives, and senior public servants. ... "
Australian Geographic: Burrup Peninsula rock art among world's oldest
Study confirms vast collection of Aboriginal engravings in the Pilbara may be tens of thousands of years old.
18 Apr 13: "RESEARCH INTO THE rate of erosion of Pilbara rocks has put an upper limit on the possible age of up to a million ancient Aboriginal engravings in the Burrup Peninsula of Western Australia. The peninsula and surrounding Dampier Archipelago have the highest concentration of rock art in the world. The carvings, called petroglyphs, include depictions of human-like figures, human faces and animals that no longer inhabited the region, including the Tasmanian tiger. ... " By Jude Dineley
Aboriginal Heritage Action Alliance (AHAA)
"About Us: The Aboriginal Heritage Action Alliance (AHAA) is a community action group established in February 2015 to oppose changes proposed by the Barnett Liberal Government to the substance and management of Western Australia’s Aboriginal Heritage Act. In common with significant sectors of the WA and national political, legal, archaeological and anthropological communities, AHAA’s co-founders ... were motivated by the increasing attacks on Aboriginal people’s ability and legal right to protect Aboriginal places of significance in WA. ... "
- News Analysis
AHAA: Kimberley Land Council condemn AHA amendments and community closures at United Nations
23 Apr 15: "The Kimberley Land Council have traveled to New York to bring up the controversial changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act at a United Nations forum. Calla Wahlquist has the full story at The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/apr/09/kimberley-land-cou... "
Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): The KLC petition on the amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972
"This petition from the Kimberley Land Council states the proposed amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) (the Act) are discriminatory and would detrimentally affect Aboriginal heritage. The Act should protect and preserve cultural heritage for Aboriginal people. Instead, the proposed amendments would deny Aboriginal people any meaningful involvement in heritage protection and give supreme decision-making power to a government bureaucracy. Traditional Owners of the Kimberley have not been properly consulted about the proposed amendments and do not support them "
- Audio Interview
AHAA: Late Night Live: Threats to Aboriginal heritage
30 Apr 15: "On Radio National Late Night Live, Phillip Adams chats with AHAA founding member and spokesperson Clayton Lewis, and University of Western Australia Professor Peter Veth on the threats to Western Australia’s Aboriginal heritage. This segment highlighted the precedence of mining development over Aboriginal heritage, and the need for a fairer and sustainable approach to heritage management and industrial development in Western Australia. For those who missed it, follow this link through and click ‘listen now’: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/west-australi... "
NITV News: WA Whistleblower 1: Allegations of Bullying, Intimidation in WA Dept of Aboriginal Affairs
14 Apr 15: "The West Australian Government has reached a pivotal point in its political history dealing with Aboriginal issues. The state government is on the defensive over the future of remote communities and the ongoing issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody. It's also finalising the billion dollar Noongar land deal - and now seeking changes to the state's Aboriginal Heritage Act . Tonight - NITV News’ WA Correspondent Craig Quartermaine brings us a special report into the proposed heritage changes and reveals new allegations of bullying and intimidation within the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. ... "
NITV News: WA Whistleblower 3: Secret Meetings, Union Investigations
23 Apr 15: "Claims of intimidation and bullying at the West Australian Aboriginal Affairs Department are raising questions over the agency's culture and ability to protect heritage. Tonight, we hear from the Union which represents the employees of the Department. ... NITV News Perth correspondent Craig Quartermaine reports."
The Conversation: Frustration rises over changes to the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act
21 Aug 14: "In June, the Western Australian Government released draft amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. This is the legislation that determines what qualifies for heritage protection in the state - and what does not. The amendments have been met with increasing concern by Aboriginal people and scholars who see the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill 2014 as a threat to the objects and sites that it claims to protect. ... " Authors: Thor Kerr & Shaphan Cox
Thor Kerr - The Conversation
Lecturer in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University
Shaphan Cox - The Conversation
Lecturer, Department of Planning and Geography at Curtin University
- - -
WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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