Originally published 18Mar2009
TALKING UP THE TERRITORY: Mullum tonight
Last night I was very moved and motivated after hearing two Aboriginal women, Barbara Shaw and Auntie Val Martin, talk about the NT Intervention, which they described as "another invasion, like Botany Bay".
MULLUM CIVIC HALL TONIGHT: They will be speaking again tonight 18 March from 6pm featuring in a Sovereignty Panel reviewing issues of the Intervention in local and NT indigenous communities.
IRAG - INTERVENTION ROLLBACK ACTION GROUP: Barbara Shaw, from the Mt Nancy Town Camp, Alice Springs, and Valerie Martin from Yuendumu Community, 280k northwest of Alice Springs are campaigners for IRAG. In an open letter to Jenny Macklin MP of 3.2.09 regarding the NT Intervention, they say:
3; Self determination has been shattered and abused by the government." And "Your policies are hammering down on us on all sides. They are making it harder to get food, live on traditional lands and live day to day. Children are being punished through this Intervention. All it has given us is heartache."
HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT: Barbara Shaw is the main complainant, along with others, who are taking a complaint to the UN regarding the human rights abuses inherent in the NT Intervention. The statement will be presented in Geneva in August this year. She will also be attending the UN Durban Review in Geneva in May and making a presentation.
RUDD"S DEAF EARS: Barb feels compelled to take her complaints to Geneva as PM Kevin Rudd and Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin do not even respond to her communications.
QUARANTINED WELFARE PAYMENTS: The situation has worsened with the Rudd government"s 9 new Shire Councils, as well as the loss of jobs for thousands of Aboriginal workers under the CDEP (Community Development Education Programme). Instead of jobs (eg with night patrols, community buses, women"s centres and childcare centres) these workers now have to go on the dole which is subject to Income Management. Half of their entitlements are in the form of a "Basics Card" which must be spent in pre-selected stores. Given the massive distances between remote communities and towns, this is absurdly impractical and costly in areas where petrol can cost up to $3 per litre.
SHAME JOB: Aboriginals, the only people who hold Basics Cards, are required to form separate queues at supermarkets. The resulting apartheid-like segregation is both shaming and discriminatory. Difficulties for indigenous elders to key in pin numbers as well as cardholders finding out what balance they have to spend often ends up in embarrassment at the check-out.
Amnesty: NT Intervention breaches international law as Race Discrimination Laws are suspended in NT as part of the Intervention
Commonwealth Ombudsman has received about 600 complaints relating to the NT Intervention since its NT office opened about a year ago.
Also: a great Youtube video with Barbara Shaw and Bob Randall (Mututjulu) has just been uploaded, and can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMnxmWENU6E
CALLS TO ACTION: Women from the Prescribed Area Peoples Alliance (PAPA) formulated the following
1. We call on Quentin Bryce, the Governor General, to come and meet with us women.
2. We call on Jenny Macklin to have proper consultation with us women.
3. Stop the intervention. We want to manage our communities the proper way, the way we want it, this is our community, we are the ones that live there, listen to us and our cultural ways.
MULLUMBIMBY WORKING GROUP is currently forming with the aim of supporting Aboriginal People in the Northern Territory who seek the support of mainstream Australians to hep get the government to listen. First meeting:
WHEN: SAT 28 MARCH
WHERE: 39 PRINCE STREET, MULLUMBIMBY
Karen Hodder 02-6684 6407
Maura Dawes 02 6684 3693
This FRIDAY 20 MARCH
EWINGSDALE HALL CONCERT WITH JODI MARTIN & GUESTS
Traditional opening ceremony, dancers, yarn with Barbara Shaw and Valerie Martin and
fundraising auction. 6pm $13.
HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS
RESTORE THE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT IN NT NOW!!