WGAR News: UN Human Rights High Commissioner hears from NT Aboriginal leaders

Newsletter date: 21 May 2011

* UN Human Rights High Commissioner hears from Northern Territory Aboriginal leaders
* UN Human Rights High Commissioner receives letter signed by thousands of Australians
* UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visits Australia from 20 May 2011
* UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, 16 to 27 May 2011
* Aboriginal Health
* Interview with Chris Graham, Editor of Tracker Magazine
* Video: No to a dump in the NT - Darwin rally 11 May 2011
* Background to Muckaty nuclear waste dump
* [Quasi] Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention


- News

SMH: Australia's human rights under spotlight
20 May 11: "Northern Territory Aboriginal leaders have told a senior United Nation official that "things have gotten worse" since the Howard government's intervention. UN high commissioner of human rights Navi Pillay is visiting Australia as a guest of government to assess whether the country is complying with its international obligations. "Two areas of concern are the discrimination against the Aborigine and Torres Strait Islanders and the mandatory detention of people," she told reporters."

ABC: UN commissioner visits NT amid intervention concerns
20 May 11: "The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says she is concerned about the treatment of Indigenous people in Australia and the Federal Government's mandatory detention policies. Navi Pillay is in Australia to assess whether it is complying with its international obligations. On the first day of her visit, she toured Darwin's immigration detention centre and met with Aboriginal elders who told her they are being discriminated against under the Northern Territory intervention."


- Media Releases

'concerned Australians': UN Human Rights High Commissioner Receives Letter signed by Thousands of Australians
20 May 11: "Today Aboriginal Elders in Darwin will present to the UN Human Rights Commissioner a letter signed by almost six and a half thousand Australians from across the country, calling for her support in restoring the rights of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.
This follows repeated calls from visiting UN Special Rapporteurs, the World Council of Churches and last August, from her own Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva. ...
Signatures from NT residents have come from some thirty-four different centres including those from future growth centres (hub towns) and from smaller remote homelands. They include: Marngarr, Ramingining, Bolkdjam Outstation, Oenpelli, Ngukurr, Bickerton Island, Utopia, Ampilatwatcha, Daguragu, Djarrakpi, Gan Gan, Croker Island, Wadeye, Barrika, Raymanggir, Dhamitaka, Gapuwiak, Mirrngatja, Maparu, Dondyji, Santa Theresa, Lajamanu, Elcho Island, Tiwi Island, Yuendumu, Maningrida, Milingimbi, Galiwin’ku, Yirrkala, Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Nhulunbuy.
Today the Commissioner, at the start of her Australian visit, will hear directly from Aboriginal people living in the NT prescribed communities of the impact they experience on a daily basis, living under the discriminatory policies of the Intervention."

'concerned Australians': UN Human Rights Commissioner Hears of One of the Greatest Injustices in Australia Today.
20 May 11: "I believe this (the Intervention) is one of the greatest injustices in Australia today. The first peoples of our land desperately need our respect, not our coercion.
So states one of the many hundreds of messages sent by Australians from all over the country to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay. The High Commissioner will commence her visit to Australia today with a visit to Darwin."


- News

ABC: UN commissioner eyes Australia's human rights
20 May 11: "Navi Pillay has arrived in Australia as part of a fact-finding mission. She is in Darwin today and is first meeting with Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson. The commissioner will then tour the Immigration Detention Centre before meeting with Aboriginal elders this afternoon to discuss the Northern Territory Emergency Response, or federal intervention."

Galdu: UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay to Visit Australia
18 May 11: "UNITED NATIONS, Geneva -- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will on Friday begin her first official visit to Australia to discuss rights issues with the Government, the Australian Human Rights Commission, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and non-governmental organizations. During her six days in the country, Pillay will visit Darwin, Cairns, Sydney and Canberra. ... The UN human rights chief will focus broadly on the following issues: ... discrimination against indigenous people ... "

- Event

Australian Human Rights Commission: Human Rights 2011
"Date Monday, 23 May 2011
Time 5.00pm - concludes at 7.00 pm
Location Sydney Town Hall, George Street
You're invited to a peak Human Rights event in Sydney featuring Bangarra Dance Theatre performing at Human Rights 2011.
For the first time in Australia, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms.Navi Pillay will be giving a public presentation, joining in a panel discussion which includes one of Australia's most prominent and well-respected Aboriginal Elders Prof Patrick Dodson and Director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Paris Aristotle AM.
The forum will be facilitated by popular TV broadcaster Indira Naidoo. Admission is free but it is essential to register."


Indigenous Peoples: New South Wales: Human Rights To Take Centre Stage At Sydney Town Hall

Australian Human Rights Commission: Sydney opportunity to hear first-hand from UN Human Rights Chief


- Introduction

Treaty Republic: UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - May 2011
"More than 1,300 delegates are expected to attend the tenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at Headquarters in New York from 16 to 27 May. The 2011 Permanent Forum is a review year and the focus will be on the implementation of Forum recommendations on economic and social development, the environment and free, prior and informed consent. The Permanent Forum will engage with Member States, United Nations agencies and civil society. Delegates will include the United Nations, intergovernmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples' Organizations, non-governmental organizations and academia."

- Agenda


- News

9 News: UN summit to hear from indigenous group
18 May 11: "A United Nations summit on indigenous issues will hear about issues with the federal government's Northern Territory intervention. About 40 Australian delegates have arrived in the US to take part in the 10th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which runs in New York until Friday next week. The forum advises the UN's Economic and Social Council. Indigenous activists including Barbara Shaw, Richard Downs and Ngarla Kunoth-Monks on Wednesday said they would speak about the impact the invention has had on their communities."

Indigenous Community Volunteers: An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice at the UN
18 May 11: "The federal government’s intervention in the Northern Territory and the right to water are to be raised at the United Nations. The issues are being put to the Tenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPHII) in New York by a delegation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ... The Australian delegation, numbering around 40, is co-chaired by Janine Gertz and Brian Wyatt. "The size of the Australian Delegation reflects the importance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at home are placing on implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People,' said Mr Wyatt, a Yamatji man from Western Australia."

Koori Mail: Indigenous voices at UN forum
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
18 May 11: "THE Northern Territory Intervention, deaths in custody and rights to water will be amongst issues raised by 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander non-government delegates at the tenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues UN (UNPFII) in New York this fortnight. Delegation co-chairs Janine Gertz and Brian Wyatt said delegates would pressure the Australian Government to ensure the issues raised at the forum were addressed."

Indigenous Peoples: Australia: Indigenous Australian Woman Participates In United Nations Forum
18 May 11: "Megan Davis, the first Indigenous Australian women to be elected to the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today attended her first session of the Forum in New York. Ms Davis joins 16 independent experts nominated by Governments and Indigenous organisations across the world to examine Indigenous issues including economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights."

National Indigenous Radio Service: UN Indigenous Forum underway
17 May 11: "The annual United Nations forum aimed at advancing the rights of the estimated 370 million Indigenous persons around the world is underway with a call to turn those rights into a practical reality. More than 1,300 delegates are expected to participate in the two-week Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which is being held at UN Headquarters in New York and is marking its tenth anniversary."

Koori Mail: Kudos for Aboriginal rep at UN forum
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
17 May 11: "THE first Indigenous Australian women elected to the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is today attending her first session of the Forum in New York. Megan Davis joins 16 independent experts nominated by Governments and Indigenous organisations across the world to examine Indigenous issues. Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin congratulated Ms Davis on her new role."

Green Left: Aboriginal leader: ‘We need to make communities viable again’
14 May 11: "Barbara Shaw, a town camp leader from Alice Springs and member of the Intervention Rollback Action Group, spoke to Green Left Weekly on May 9. She said the current intervention hasn’t worked, so "why have another one?" ... Shaw, who travelled to New York on May 12 to attend the 10th UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, said the intervention has been a "waste of time and waste of money". Those resources should have been used "to allow Aboriginal people to get on with their lives and solve their problems themselves"."

- Audio

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."


- Journal [includes many articles on Aboriginal health]

eMJA The Medical Journal of Australia:
Contents 16 May 2011
"Editor's Choice: Questions and answers in Indigenous health - Ruth M Armstrong ... "

- Analysis / Opinion

eMJA The Medical Journal of Australia:
Talking Policy - Editorial: How can Australia do better for Indigenous health?
MJA 2011; 194 (10): 501-502
16 May 11: "Respect, tolerance and trust in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are needed from government to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians ... In 2007, the Northern Territory Emergency Response (the "Intervention") was perpetrated on Aboriginal people in the NT, and in doing this the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cwlth) was waived. Further, this approach bypassed the Aboriginal leadership, undermining their sense of control over their communities and destiny. It overtook and failed to acknowledge progress that was already being made by Aboriginal health services." Peter W Tait


Tracker Magazine website: http://www.thetracker.com.au/

- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
Chris Graham Speaks on CAAMA Radio
19 May 11: "Chris Graham, the editor of the freshly released news magazine Tracker speaks to Paul Wiles on CAAMA’s Strong Voices. A cross between a newspaper and a magazine, Tracker will have a print run of 35,000 and is backed by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council."


WGAR News: More on Tracker, the Aboriginal rights-based magazine
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/05/10/wgar-news-nt-nuclear-waste-dump-plans...


- Video

YouTube: Muckaty Protest - Darwin May 2011
17 May 11: "On May 11, 2011 Darwin rallied against the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, the legislation that will pave the way for a radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, 120ks north of Tennant Creek in the NT. Check out the range of speakers who came together to express concerns and say NO to a dump in the NT."

- Related News

Koori Mail: Dump vote is deferred
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php?page=Current+Edition
18 May 11: "THE Federal Government’s National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, expected to be voted upon last Tuesday, has been deferred until the Senate sittings next month. It means a decision on the future of the proposed Muckaty nuclear waste dump in the NT is now several more weeks away. Anti-nuclear campaigners welcomed the delay, saying 'every day without a bad law is a good day'."


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:

Beyond Nuclear Initiative:

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:

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)

WGAR News: More on Muckaty nuclear waste dump (14 May 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/05/14/wgar-news-aboriginal-elder-raises-int...

WGAR News: Interview with Muckaty Traditional Owner, Dianne Stokes / Doctor: Public misled over nuclear medicine needs (17 May 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/05/17/wgar-news-global-call-to-action-for-a...

WGAR News: Gov't hopes Senate will debate nuclear waste dump in June (18 May 11)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2011/05/18/wgar-news-amnesty-international-repor...



WGAR News: Proposal to recognise Aboriginal people in the Constitution; Jenny Macklin has ruled out a treaty (16 Nov 10)

- Media Release

The Greens: Rachel Siewert: Join a national conversation on the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians
19 May 11: "People are being invited to participate in a national conversation about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians could be recognised in the Australian Constitution.
Late last year the Prime Minister appointed a 20 member Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians to consult the community and report back to the Government.
The panel, made of up Indigenous and non-Indigenous community leaders, legal experts and members of parliament, has begun travelling around the country to ask Australians to think about constitutional change and to contribute their views.
Panel member Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said a discussion paper had been released today as a starting point for the consultations."

- News

Koori Mail: Reconciliation Australia welcomes discussion paper
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
19 May 11: "RECONCILIATION Australia has welcomed today’s launch of a discussion paper by the Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians as an important step forward for reconciliation. RA Co-Chairs Professor Mick Dodson and Ms Melinda Cilento said this was a great opportunity for all Australians to get involved in the national discussion about recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our country’s most important document."

Koori Mail: Discussion paper to start national conversation
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
19 May 11: "A DISCUSSION paper aimed at providing a starting point for Australia-wide consultations on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was released today. The paper, authored by the Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, co-chaired by Professor Patrick Dodson and Mark Leibler, sets out background information about the Constitution, how it can be changed and the potential benefits for all Australians from constitutional recognition."

National Indigenous Radio Service: New Constitutional preamble being considered
19 May 11: "The Preamble recognizing Indigenous people in the constitution could also include a statement of the nation's values. ... Any changes made to the constitution would need to be voted on in a referendum."

Southern Courier: Constitutional recognition for indigenous Australians
19 May 11: "A discussion paper aimed at providing a starting point for Australia-wide consultations on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was released today. ... The Australian Government, the Opposition, the Australian Greens and the Independent members of Federal Parliament have all given in principle support to recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution."


Creative Spirits: Northern Territory Emergence Response (NTER) - "The Intervention":

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

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

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

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

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/

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/

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