Sydney public forum marking Human Rights Day: Aboriginal leaders speak out - 6 Dec 2012
Special STICS public forum marking Human Rights Day:
After the NT election...
The Struggle Against the NT Intervention
Aboriginal leaders speak out -
"Stronger Futures" = Stolen Futures
PLEASE Note especially new time and venue!
6:30pm Thursday, 6 December 2012
Tom Mann Theatre
136 Chalmers St Surry Hills
Special guest speakers:
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM, Alyawarr elder
Amelia Pangarte Kunoth-Monks, NT youth leader living on the BasicsCard
Jeff McMullen, CEO (Honorary) Ian Thorpe's Foundation for Youth
Communities in the Northern Territory continue to resist the NT Intervention, and the policy framework is in deep crisis.
In June, the Labor government passed "Stronger Futures" legislation, which will continue key discriminatory Intervention powers for a further ten years.
But Central Australian communities like Amoonguna, Ampilatwatja and Daguragu are refusing to sign long term leases with the government. They have issued ultimatums, demanding a return of community controlled councils and the eviction of Intervention managers and Shire Councils from their land.
On October 13, the Yolngu Nations Assembly in Arnhem Land also issued a declaration refusing leases and calling for the repeal of "Stronger Futures".
In the recent NT election, Aboriginal votes swept the ALP from power and the pro-Intervention bipartisan consensus that has dominated both federal and NT politics was broken.
In a populist appeal to bush voters, the Country Liberals ran on a platform of community control over municipal services and an end to the Intervention "hub towns" funding model, which is starving remote homelands and small communities in an attempt to shift people off their land. The CLP have also called for the return of a community based employment program and an end to race-based alcohol restrictions.
Liberal leader Terry Mills told ABC radio that communities had been "trashed" by the removal of councils, jobs and assets. Social crises are escalating. Reported rates of attempted suicide and self harm have increased almost five fold since 2007. Violent assault in Alice Springs is up 45 per cent. Incarceration rates are up 70 per cent.
But the Liberals can not be relied on to turn the situation around. Already they are backtracking on promises to reinstate bilingual education. The promise to restore Aboriginal councils have shifted to talk of "regional councils". In urban centres like Alice Springs they are increasing police harassment of Aboriginal people and threatening to criminalise public drunkenness to push Aboriginal drinkers, "into the scrub".
Community resistance must be supported. Come along to this human rights day forum to hear from Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, a senior Aboriginal leader from the Utopia homelands, about the important new phase in the struggle against the NT Intervention.
Rosalie's grand daughter Amelia will also speak about what life is like on the "income management" system. Plans to introduce this system into Bankstown in Sydney are being successfully fought, with a strong community campaign and public sector union bans stopping all referrals.