WGAR News: Aboriginal elder raises international awareness of the NT Intervention

Newsletter date: 14 May 2011

* Aboriginal elder Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra raises international awareness of the NT Intervention
* Federal Budget and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
* More on Muckaty nuclear waste dump
* Background to Muckaty nuclear waste dump
* Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Other Aboriginal articles


- Media Releases

'concerned Australians':
Respected Aboriginal Elder talks with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva
12 May 11: "Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, senior elder and Dhurili Clan leader of the Yolngu peoples of Northeast Arnhem Land, has met privately with the highest authority on human rights at the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.
At the top of their agenda was the ongoing Northern Territory Intervention, which has been heavily criticized by the United Nations Committee on the Convention to Eliminate Racial Discrimination (CERD), the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Special Rapporteur on
Indigenous Rights. The High Commissioner co-ordinates human rights activities throughout the UN System and supervises the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland."

One World: Aboriginal elder to raise awareness of abuse
10 May 11: "Eminent Aboriginal elder comes to London to raise awareness of human rights abuses against Australia's First Peoples
Faced with deliberate attempts by the Australian Government to marginalize Aboriginal people from their resource-rich lands, as well as disempower their traditional leaders and suppress Indigenous languages in schools, Australia's First Peoples are on the brink of cultural genocide. The time has come for the world to listen to their cry for freedom.
One of Australia's most respected Aboriginal cultural and political leaders, Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, will be traveling to London and Geneva to raise international awareness of his peoples' situation. Dr. Gondarra is a senior clan leader and lawman of the traditional Yolngu people of Northeast Arnhem Land, one of the last strongholds of traditional Aboriginal culture in Australia.
He will be accompanying the filmmakers of the groundbreaking new documentary on Aboriginal rights, Our Generation, of which he is one of the stars."

- News

ABC: Aboriginal elder tells UN of 'racist' intervention
13 May 11: "An Aboriginal elder has told the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights the Northern Territory intervention is racist. Reverend Djiniyini Gondarra is a senior elder and Dhurili clan leader of the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem Land. In Geneva this week, he told UN high commissioner Navi Pillay Aboriginal people are victimised by some of the services delivered to them. "It is now time to stop establishing Aboriginal services that only victimise us and only say that we are special people with a special measure," he said. "That is a racist sort of attitude.""

Our Generation:
Rev. Dr. Gondarra meets with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva
"Star of Our Generation Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, senior Dhurili Clan leader of the Yolngu peoples of Northeast Arnhem Land, has met privately with the highest authority on human rights at the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. ... Whilst in Geneva, Rev. Dr. Gondarra also met with: United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, James Anaya; Secretary General of the World Council of Churches, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit; Coordinator of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples at Amnesty International, Andrew Erueti; and key staff of the Office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights."

- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 13-05-2011
13 May 11: "Top End Indigenous elder Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra has met privately with the highest authority on human rights at the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay."

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 11-05-2011
13 May 11: "A delegation traveling to the United nations Permanent forum on Indigenous issues will include for the first time a number of Aboriginal people who are living on their traditional country under Northern Territory Intervention regulations."


- Media Releases

ANTaR - Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation:
Mixed Budget for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
11 May 11: ""ANTaR welcomes additional investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, mental health, family tracing and reunion services and youth employment and training programs", said Jacqueline Phillips, ANTaR National Director.
"These initiatives should make a positive impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, particularly those in regional and remote areas."
"However, this year's Budget contained little additional investment to address housing and infrastructure gaps in Aboriginal communities."
"Welfare reforms which target sole parents and the long-term unemployed are likely to make life tougher for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, many of who are living in areas with limited access to employment opportunities. Many Aboriginal people will experience a cut to payments as a result of this Budget.""

NSDC - National Sorry Day Committee:
NSDC Response to 2011 Federal Budget
11 May 11: "The National Sorry Day Committee welcomes the commitment of $2.2 billion into mental health services announced in the Budget, and in particular, news that the Government will target support to areas and groups that need it most, such as Indigenous communities.
While more detail is sought, we also welcome the announcement of the new consolidated Indigenous Social and Emotional Well-being program bringing together family reunification services for the Stolen Generations and counselling services.
Funding has been continued but not increased as part of the new consolidated program, so there is a risk that Stolen Generations’ resources will be spread more thinly across the community.
Stolen Generations survivors and their families urgently need support but their needs are often compromised due to under-resourcing across the whole Indigenous mental health sector."

Australian Human Rights Commission:
Indigenous health gains in Budget welcome, but Government must ensure Indigenous people benefit from new mental health money
11 May 11: "Close the Gap Campaign Co-chairs, Mick Gooda and Dr Tom Calma, have welcomed the new funding for Indigenous health, part of the $526 million in new Indigenous-specific spending in the Budget.
"The Budget delivers in some major health areas for Indigenous Australians, such as the $113.4 million for 15 new or expanded Indigenous health clinics and 40 new renal dialysis chairs over the next five years. Of course, we welcome these and other initiatives," Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said.
But both Dr Calma and Mr Gooda cautioned that these allocations should be spent wisely.
"As is well documented, Aboriginal community controlled health services, when properly funded, deliver a culturally secure service with better health outcomes to Indigenous Australians than government-operated health services. In relation to the $112 million going to clinics, it is not clear at this stage where these funds are going and we have asked for further information from the Government," Dr Calma said."

The Greens: Rachel Siewert: Indigenous investment sorely missing from budget
11 May 11: "The lack of significant new funding or initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the federal budget serves as an unhappy reminder of the lingering gap between the Government’s promises and action on Indigenous issues, according to the Australian Greens.
"Wayne Swan could not find any time in his budget speech to mention any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs, which is a very disappointing state of affairs," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
"I do welcome the fact that existing programs have largely been spared from cuts, and acknowledge that the mental health and training packages could have some specific components that will benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, there is very little in the way of new investment or new initiatives.""

- Audio

The Wire: Budget 2011- How did Indigenous Australians fare?
[scroll down page] http://www.thewire.org.au/daydetail.aspx?SearchDay=2011-05-11
11 May 11: "The budget announcement has raised questions about whether the Gillard government is really committed to closing the gap. In this story: Professor John Altman, ANU Economic Centre for Aboriginal Economic Research and Michael Stuart, Senior Journalist at the National Indigenuos Radio Service."

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 12-05-2011
12 May 11: "New initiatives set for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in the latest federal budget are both positive and specific, according to the federal minister for indigenous affairs, Jenny Macklin."

- News

Koori Mail: Govt extends Cape York Welfare trial
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
11 May 11: "THE Australian Government has providing $16.1 million in the Budget to extend and expand the Cape York Welfare Reform trial. Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the trial would continue until 31 December 2012."

- Video

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Jenny Macklin Talks to CAAMA about the 2011 Budget
11 May 11: "Jenny Macklin Talks to Paul Wiles on CAAMA Radio about the 2011 Budget and how if will affect aboriginal people."


- Media Releases

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers:
Fresh evidence boosts traditional owners legal challenge to Muckaty Station nuclear waste dump
9 May 11: "National Archive documents unearthed by the legal team representing Aboriginal elders opposed to a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory provide compelling new evidence that the Northern Land Council (NLC) did not correctly identify and obtain consent from the traditional owners of the land before the site was nominated. ... "

KANUGUBA: Tennant Creek rally calls for end to Muckaty dump plan
8 May 11: ""We are determined to stop them"
A vibrant community rally and march will be held in Tennant Creek this Sunday at 9am, calling for the Muckaty radioactive waste dump plan to be scrapped. The event precedes the Senate vote on the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, listed for debate next Tuesday May 10.
"The ALP promised to get rid of Howard’s waste dump law, but this new law is almost exactly the same," said Muckaty Traditional Owner Dianne Stokes.
"They should throw the old law away. We don’t want anything to do with the waste dump in the Muckaty Land Trust. Nothing has been listened to from the Traditional people from this country. We did not want Muckaty nominated and we still want Muckaty to be taken off the list”.
Despite numerous requests, Minister Martin Ferguson has never met with Traditional Owners opposed to the Muckaty plan."

- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 12-05-2011
12 May 11: "A protest rally held last weekend against the proposed Muckaty waste dump North of Tennant Creek attracted people from across the nation, according to organizers."

- News

NT News: Locals reject waste dump
12 May 11: "'NO' was the message from an anti-nuclear waste dump protest at Parliament House in Darwin on Wednesday. The gathering rejected a nuclear waste dump anywhere in the NT, especially at the planned Muckaty Station site, about 120km north of Tennant Creek. The National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 was expected to pass through the Senate last night. But the Senate failed to debate the Bill by the time of print."

ABC: NLC keeps heat on nuclear waste dump push
12 May 11: "The Northern Land Council (NLC) has again disputed reports about the traditional ownership of the Northern Territory site nominated for a nuclear waste dump. The NLC says the traditional owners of the site at Muckaty Station are the Ngapa people. It denied a report earlier this week that it had referred to the Ngapa people as a "subgroup" in a legal dispute over ownership of the land, about 100 kilometre north of Tennant Creek."

ABC: Nuclear waste dump opponents rally
11 May 11: "A Northern Territory Labor Minister has called on his federal colleagues to abandon plans to set up a nuclear waste storage facility in the Northern Territory. Member for Barkly Gerry McCarthy was one of about 50 people who staged an anti-nuclear dump protest outside Parliament House in Darwin this afternoon. Mr McCarthy says a federal court challenge to the Muckaty Station nomination shows the site is in dispute among Aboriginal clan groups and the nomination should be withdrawn."

NZ Herald: Battle over nuclear waste dump
10 May 11: "Landowners opposing a plan to build Australia's first nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory say they were not consulted before the site was offered to the Government. With the Senate preparing to debate legislation this week enabling the dump to be constructed, lawyers for four local clans said they had uncovered documents showing that members of a fifth family group, the Ngapa, were not sole owners of the land at Muckaty Station, 120km north of Tennant Creek."

Herald Sun: Government hits back at Greens radioactive claim
9 May 11: "THE federal government says it's not trying to hide a Senate debate on nuclear waste behind the smokescreen of the 2011 budget. The Australian Greens have accused the government of deliberately listing the Senate debate on draft laws to set up Australia's first nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station, near Tennant Creek, tomorrow, just as the budget will be handed down."


YouTube: Muckaty Voices-Australia's nuclear waste dump story
""Muckaty Voices" is a short film capturing community resistance to an Australian government plan to dump radioactive waste at Muckaty Station, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory."

Beyond Nuclear Initiative - Muckaty: http://beyondnuclearinitiative.wordpress.com/muckaty/

Beyond Nuclear Initiative: http://beyondnuclearinitiative.wordpress.com/

Proposed Radioactive Waste Dump at Muckaty, NT
Briefing Paper - February 2011
Jim Green B.Med.Sci.(Hons.), PhD
National nuclear campaigner - Friends of the Earth, Australia
Friends of the Earth: http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/nontdump/Dump%20briefing%20...

Nuclear Territory News: Waste Dump News: http://ntne.ws/articles/article.php?section=waste

WGAR News: Nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory (2 Mar 10)

WGAR News: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (20 Mar 10)

WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump (28 Mar 10)

WGAR News: Muckaty Radioactive Waste Dump (4 Apr 10)

WGAR News: National day of action against Muckaty nuclear waste dump: 12th April!

WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump: Senate inquiry in Darwin; Nationwide protests (17 Apr 10)

WGAR News: Update: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (23 Apr 10)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2010/04/22/wgar-news-raw-sewage-dumped-in-ampila...

WGAR News: Update on Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (2 May 10)

WGAR News: "Muckaty Voices" film; Senate Report into nuclear waste dump plan (16 May 10)

WGAR News: Federal Court legal challenge over nuclear waste dump (13 Jun 10)

WGAR News: PM Gillard: No change on Muckaty nuclear waste dump (12 Jul 10)

WGAR News: Legislation passes enabling a nuclear waste dump to be built at Muckaty, NT (1 Mar 11)

WGAR News: Federal Court challenge over nuclear dump resumes in August (16 Mar 11)

WGAR News: Interview with Kylie Sambo, Mark Lane and Dr. Jim Green about Muckaty nuclear waste dump (21 Mar 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/21/wgar-news-protest-blockade-by-lake-ty...

WGAR News: Nuclear waste legislation must wait until objections heard in Federal Court (23 Mar 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/23/wgar-news-international-day-for-the-e...

WGAR News: Aboriginal groups protest against nuclear waste dump (26 Mar 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/03/26/wgar-news-police-used-to-break-blocka...

WGAR News: Crisis in Japan and Muckaty Nuclear Waste Dump (2 Apr 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/04/02/wgar-news-online-petition-about-abori...

WGAR News: Muckaty Traditional Owners speak out (14 Apr 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/04/14/wgar-news-deaths-in-custody-and-abori...

WGAR News: Help Stop the Muckaty Radioactive Waste Dump - May 7-8 (24 Apr 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/04/24/wgar-news-two-urgent-petitions-on-the...

WGAR News: "Keep the poison out of Muckaty" - community rally on May 7, 2011 (30 Apr 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/04/30/wgar-news-keep-the-poison-out-of-muck...

WGAR News: NT nuclear waste dump plans contested (10 May 11)


- Book

Federation Press: Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth Intervention
By Peter Billings
"This volume focuses on the Indigenous Intervention and contains a multi-disciplinary collection of articles on: ...
Indigenous Australian and the Commonwealth Intervention is a special issue (Volume 27 No 2) of the journal Law in Context."

- Analysis / Opinion

The Melbourne Anglican: Intervention an echo of Stolen Generation woes
12 May 11: "The Northern Territory Intervention is repeating the mistakes which led to the Stolen Generation, argue Jason Hobba and Mathew Crane. ... The Northern Territory intervention began in 2007 under the Howard Government, with police and defence forces entering Aboriginal communities, without consultation of Aboriginal leaders, and without any real say in decision-making that would drastically affect their communities. The result: severely damaged relationships between Aboriginal peoples and the Federal Government." Jason Hobba and Mathew Crane

- Video

ABC: Behind the News: NT Intervention
10 May 11: "Four years ago, the Federal Government had to make a big decision about the Northern Territory. Some Indigenous children there weren't being treated very well so the government decided to step in to try to help out. What the government did made some people happy but made others very angry. And as Tash explains, soon the government will be faced with another big decision, whether to stay or go."

- News

SMH: Vulnerable told how to spend
11 May 11: "The controversial system of the government taking control of a family's welfare payments - known as income management - is heading south from mainly Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory to ''vulnerable'' income recipients in Bankstown and four other disadvantaged towns in Australia. The government will extend the system of compulsorily quarantining half a social security payment for essentials such as food and rent without having waited for the results of evaluations of its effectiveness in the NT intervention."


Creative Spirits: Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER) - "The Intervention": http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/politics/northern-terr...

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Northern Territory National Emergency Response: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) - NT intervention: http://www.antar.org.au/issues_and_campaigns/nt_intervention

CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) - NT Intervention: http://caama.com.au/?s=NT+Intervention

Treaty Republic - NT Intervention: http://treatyrepublic.net/search/node/NT%20Intervention

The Greens: Rachel Siewert: Northern Territory Intervention: http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/category/issues/indigenous-rights...

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney): http://stoptheintervention.org/

Crikey - NT Intervention: http://www.crikey.com.au/topic/nt-intervention/

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group): Mparntwe - Alice Springs: http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/

Jobs with Justice: http://jobswithjustice.wordpress.com/

MAIC (Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective): http://maicollective.blogspot.com/

'concerned Australians': Without Justice there can be no Reconciliation: http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/

New Matilda - northern territory intervention: http://newmatilda.com/tag/northern-territory-intervention

Amnesty International Australia: Looking back at the Northern Territory Intervention: http://www.amnesty.org.au/indigenous-rights/comments/24460/

Defending Indigenous Rights: http://defendingindigenousrights.wordpress.com/

Intervention walk-off's Blog: http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

Australian Human Rights Commission: Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response’ intervention: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/intervention/index.html

FAIRA; Human Rights Law Resource Centre; NACLC: Australia’s compliance with CERD - Fact Sheet 2: Northern Territory Intervention: http://www.hrlrc.org.au/files/Fact-Sheet-2-NT-Intervention.pdf

Green Left: Northern Territory intervention: myths and facts: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/39732

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights): http://wgar.info/


- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Australian Greens on Indigneous Language Importance
11 May 11: "The Australian Greens have named Indigenous languages one of the most important issues in the Territory, following ABS statistics which showed Indigneous youth in remote areas are less likely to have poor wellbeing if they speak an indigneous language. We caught up with Lisa Hall, the NT Greens Convenor, just before thier public forum on languages in Alice Springs."


WGAR News: Indigenous Languages Forum - 8 May 2011, Mparntwe / Alice Springs

- Media Release

Rachel Siewert: Greens welcome AMA report card on Aboriginal health
13 May 11: "The Australian Greens say a new report on Aboriginal health highlights the importance of increasing accessibility of primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
"The AMA Indigenous Health Report Card 2010-11 shows the gap in life expectancy will not be closed until Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have better access to high quality primary health care," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said today.
"The AMA report delivers a frank assessment, identifying the failure of governments to include Indigenous people as full partners in the planning and implementation of primary health care services.
"This is a significant barrier to closing the gap in life expectancy and health disadvantage." [said Senator Siewert]"

- - -

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
WGAR Website: http://wgar.info/