Newsletter date: 30 December 2014
* Personal Account: Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: A nation shamed when the solution for its children is homelessness
* News: Shalailah Medhora, The Guardian: Homelessness advocacy groups lose $21m in federal government funding
* Media Release: Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: Funding cuts a cruel Christmas gift to the community sector
* Analysis / Opinion: Melissa Parke, The Guardian: Aboriginal people are entitled to be treated as human beings, not just as a fiscal problem
* Analysis / Opinion: Amnesty International Australia: "After the eviction, many community members were left homeless"
* Analysis / Opinion: Amnesty International Australia: A message from Rosalie, Alyawarr/Anmatyerr elder
* Statistical Summary: Jens Korff, Creative Spirits: Homelessness
* WGAR Background: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget
* WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
WGAR News Public Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en-GB#!forum/wgar-news
WGAR News - Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
- Personal Account
The Stringer: A nation shamed when the solution for its children is homelessness
27 Dec 14: "It is not often I am brought to tears but this morning I was bereft as I left behind a beautiful family of five who have been homeless for 9 months. They have been living in a single tent in bush on the northern outskirts of Perth. Four beautiful girls are homeless but in their loving mother’s vigilant care. Their bastion of hope, all their hope, rests in the dignity of remaining united. ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
The Guardian: Homelessness advocacy groups lose $21m in federal government funding
23 Dec 14: "Peak organisations told on Monday they would no longer receive funding, raising questions over whether voice of homeless people and sector will be lost ... Homelessness groups are facing an uncertain Christmas after the federal government reportedly pulled funding from a number of advocacy organisations. Several peak organisations that provide policy advice and research into homelessness and housing services received word from the Department of Social Services on Monday that they would no longer receive funding. ... " Shalailah Medhora, a reporter for Guardian Australia
- Media Release
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: Funding cuts a cruel Christmas gift to the community sector
22 Dec 14: "The Australian Greens said today that we are seeing further evidence of Abbott's desire to dismantle our social services sector, with a number of peak bodies, particularly outspoken, advocacy bodies learning that they have been defunded as part of the $240 million budget cuts to social services.
"We are hearing today that services are receiving calls informing them of the cancellation of funding, in some cases with very short effect," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.
"It is already clear that key housing and homelessness services including Community Housing Federation of Australia and the National Shelter and Homelessness Australia, along with financial counselling services will be affected, some as early as February. $21m over 4 years has been stripped from research, peak bodies, innovative projects, emerging priorities and policy advice on how to improve housing affordability for all Australians.
"We've known that cuts were coming, but for organisations to hear the news that their funding has been cut just days before Christmas is very cruel. This inflicts maximum chaos and undermines the sector's advocacy on behalf of vulnerable Australians. ... ""
- Analysis / Opinion
The Guardian: Aboriginal people are entitled to be treated as human beings, not just as a fiscal problem
9 Dec 14: "The planned closure of 150 remote Indigenous communities will have devastating consequences. The reason behind it is hypocritical in the extreme ... Before last year’s federal election, Tony Abbott promised he would be "a prime minister for Aboriginal affairs. The first I imagine that we have ever had." The Coalition also promised to "continue the current level of funding expended on Closing the Gap activities." Instead, the first budget of the Abbott government cut $500m directly from Indigenous affairs. ... " Melissa Parke, the Labor member for Fremantle
- Analysis / Opinion
Amnesty International Australia: WA Government must stop Oombulgurri demolitions after forcibly evicting community members
23 Sep 14: "Forced eviction: Amnesty International sent a team to the East Kimberley earlier this month to gather evidence and residents’ testimonies. Based on these testimonies, there is evidence the residents were victims of forced eviction as defined by international law. ... Homelessness, overcrowding: After the eviction, many community members were left homeless and even now some do not have appropriate accommodation or are living in overcrowded housing in the neighbouring town of Wyndham. ... "
- Analysis / Opinion
Amnesty International Australia: A message from Rosalie, Alyawarr/Anmatyerr elder
5 Jul 11: "To the Alyawarr people, the land owning you means that through your song lines, you've got to know which part of the land owns you and where you are responsible for the wellbeing of that earth...Let me assure anybody who cares for the Aboriginal people of Australia that once we are moved from our place of origin, we will not only lose our identity, we will die a traumatised tragic end." Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
"It seems sentimental and - I can't find the other word in English - about attachment to the land. It's not attachment to the land, it's survival of a cultural practice that is still alive in spite of what has been thrown at it. We need to stop the destruction of the oldest living culture in the world."
- Statistical Summary
Creative Spirits: Homelessness
" ... Aboriginal people can suffer from spiritual homelessness, a term which describes dispossession and forced removal from homelands and family. ... " Jens Korff
WGAR Background: Aboriginal Peoples and the impact of the Federal Budget
(last updated: 24 December 2014)
WGAR Background: Plans to close Aboriginal homelands / remote communities in WA and SA
(last updated: 24 December 2014)
- - -
WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
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