Newsletter date: 12 May 2015
* Analysis / Opinion: Kimberley Land Council: State Government community closure reforms all PR and no substance
* Analysis / Opinion: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Don't believe them; They will close Homelands - the only 'consultations' should be about equality
* Media Release: Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: State Government is far too late to try and 'consult' with remote Aboriginal communities about their closures
* Issues: Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): Threats to Close Remote Aboriginal Communities
* Media Release: Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): Water quality well below standards in remote communities
* Personal Account & Opinion: Amy Marshall, Rockhampton Morning Bulletin: Medical student reacts to closures of remote communities
* Media Release: Ghillar Michael Anderson, Sovereign Union: Reparation needed before First Nations peoples can 'move on'
* WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
* WGAR Background to the Aboriginal Sovereignty Movement
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
- Analysis / Opinion
Kimberley Land Council: State Government community closure reforms all PR and no substance
7 May 15: "State Government reforms to address community closures are more about appeasing public outrage than improving the lives of Aboriginal people living in WA. The State Government’s reforms to improve living in remote communities are a blatant PR and marketing exercise that tell us nothing, KLC Chair Anthony Watson said. "What we need is a change of attitude across the board, where Aboriginal people are trusted to control their lives. ... ""
About Us - Kimberley Land Council
" ... Our region is known for its strong and significant Aboriginal culture and heritage that dates back more than 50,000 years. We continue to work to ensure that our land, law, language and culture lives on and continues to be vibrant and long-lasting. We do this by getting back our country, looking after our country and securing our future. The Kimberley covers about 423,000 sq km with an estimated population of 35,000 people - half of whom are Indigenous. Kimberley Aboriginal people have undergone rapid and significant changes since European colonisation but we have resisted, survived and adapted. ... "
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: Don't believe them; They will close Homelands - the only 'consultations' should be about equality
9 May 15: "The bent to close down Homelands, to raze communities into oblivion, the plan to relocate people is still on despite the latest foray by the Western Australian Government into the propaganda of consultation. Who will they consult? Who will they handpick? What will they listen to? ... Four years ago, I wrote about 180 remote communities under threat from the State Government - after two decades of degrading these communities. I wrote that the State Government had compiled a list of communities it intended to rub out of existence so that the miners, developers and other commercial interests could do what they do, reap from the earth for the making of money. ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
The Stringer's Editorial policy:
[scroll down page] http://thestringer.com.au/about-us
"Independent news media contributes to the unfolding landscape of human rights and social justice. It is The Stringer’s aim to provide every opportunity to the rise of voices that far too often are denied. If The Stringer believes in the importance of a story we will sustain coverage - this is what The Stringer terms through-care journalism. The Stringer has become known for breaking stories that others initially were not prepared to investigate and report. ... "
Gerry Georgatos - The Stringer
"His predominant work is in suicide prevention research and in unveiling racism and in articulating the ways forward. ... Some of his stories on homelessness in First Nations communities have led to many people housed and to restorative cultural projects. ... He is an expert in his fields, particularly in the understanding of racism and in suicide prevention - and involves himself at the coalface in addition to interfacing with Governments. ... "
- Media Release
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: State Government is far too late to try and 'consult' with remote Aboriginal communities about their closures
8 May 15: "Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has today slammed the State Government for being two years late in promising faux-consultation in the lead up to the closure of remote Aboriginal communities. "The State Government has moved to quell surging opposition against the closure of remote Aboriginal communities by promising ‘consultation’ in the lead up to an undefined number of closures. "It is hardly consultation to tell a group two years into planning that the closures are happening whether they like it or not, but they will be consulted from now on. ...
"I recently visited the Kimberley and spoke to elders and stakeholders in Kununurra, Halls Creek, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing and Wangkatjunka. The resounding answer to my question ‘has the Premier come up to speak with you about these issues’ was ‘no’. ...
"The lack of transparency and top-down approach demonstrated by the State Government is offensive to Aboriginal people. It needs to end. "Both State and Federally our Government have let communities down monumentally"."
About Rachel Siewert
"Senator Rachel Siewert is a dynamic member of the Australian Greens parliamentary team, working hard for people at home in WA, and across the country. ... Rachel is the Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services, ageing, disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, agriculture and rural affairs and the marine environment. Rachel was first elected as a Senator for Western Australia at the 2004 election and commenced her term in July 2005. ... "
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues - Rachel Siewert
"The Australian Greens acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s first peoples and recognise their strong cultural and spiritual connection with the land, and their rights and obligations as owners and custodians. We are committed to seeing these rights reflected in our laws and our society. All Australians, including those living in remote communities, have an equal right to essential government services such as health, education, training, housing, community infrastructure, employment support, and policing. ... "
Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): Threats to Close Remote Aboriginal Communities
"Examples of Successful remote indigenous initiatives:
The Yiriman Project: Supported by the Kimberly Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre, Yiriman’s work mostly involved hosting what local people call "back-to-country trips. This involved removing troubled youth for periods of time, hunting and collecting food, meeting others, going on country with their elders, taking care of country and walking as a means of learning stories, becoming healthy, building their skills and respecting the old people. ...
Bush light Program: This project supported off grid solar battery energy for remote indigenous communities, and local contribution to operation and maintenance, ...
Self-Build Projects: Self-build projects in small remote indigenous communities including WA, have been shown to be cost effective in providing adequate housing sensitive to the needs of its occupants with shared planning and construction. Support of such services could greatly reduce the cost of government housing provision. ... "
- Media Release
Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA): Water quality well below standards in remote communities
7 May 15: "An Auditor General’s report, tabled last night in parliament, has revealed dangerous levels of uranium and E.Coli in several remote Aboriginal community’s water supplies. Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs said the damning statistics showed there was a considerable shortfall in investment in Aboriginal health in WA. "To have communities of people in WA where the uranium content of their water supply is as much as double the level allowed under Australian guidelines is absolutely alarming," he said. ...
"Access to clean, safe drinking water is a basic human necessity that some West Australians are currently being denied. ...
"It makes we wonder if the government’s proposed community closures represent an easy way out for problems such as these; an opportunity for them to ‘wash their hands free’ of problems considered too difficult to address. "This is not a matter to ‘look into later’ or for political bargaining; closing the gap in Aboriginal health means taking revelations such as this seriously and acting upon them immediately.""
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... "
Aboriginal Issues - Robin Chapple MLC, Greens (WA)
"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. ... The Greens (WA) hold that all Australians, including those living in remote communities, have a right to essential government services including health, education, training, housing, community infrastructure, employment support and policing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should have the same life expectancy and living standards as other Australians. ... "
- Personal Account & Opinion
Rockhampton Morning Bulletin: Medical student reacts to closures of remote communities
11 May 15: "Plans to shut down remote Aboriginal communities have sparked national outrage among indigenous people. Former Morning Bulletin journalist Amy Marshall is studying medicine in Western Australia and she has visited remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. This is her opinion on the issue: "HUMBLE thyself before you enter." The scrawled words on the door of the old man's house danced like a tarantella in my head. They stayed with me with every step I took through the West Arnhem community of Gunbalanya. ... " Amy Marshall
- Media Release
Ghillar Michael Anderson, Sovereign Union: Reparation needed before First Nations peoples can 'move on'
Linksunten Indymedia: https://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/node/142696
9 May 15: "Ghillar, Michael Anderson Convenor of the Sovereign Union, co-founder of the Aboriginal Embassy and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic responds to The Australian, 8 May – 'Noel Pearson shines a light' p.15: ... "
"'Telling his own people to move on from the traumas of the past, makes it very obvious why he is not accepted in many Aboriginal communities.' Ghillar Michael Anderson says, and 'It is untrue that all of the European holocaust victims have moved on and forgotten the past. Throughout Germany and other places there are memorials for those who suffered and died at the hands of tyrannical leaders and murderers, but there is only one monument to the Aboriginal dead, who were killed en masse through white farmer vigilantes and government approved killings'."
About 'Sovereign Union'
"This is the official website of the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia. ... As First Nations Peoples it is now imperative that we unite and rebuild as sovereign independent nations, in order to assert our sovereign title and rights throughout Australia. This will be a major political and legal fight, but it is our future for not just us, but for our children and our grandchildren. You can discover where we have been in the past 40 years in respect of our struggle for land rights, sovereignty, restitution and compensation, and what has been said and acted upon by the governments. ... "
WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
(last updated: 10 May 2015)
WGAR Background to the Aboriginal Sovereignty Movement
(last updated: 10 May 2015)
- - -
WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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'WGAR News' monitors the media, including alternative media, focusing on:
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