Elders Statement: 7th February, 2011

From left to right: Dhanggal Guruwiwi from Nhulunbuy, George Gaymarani Pascoe from Milingimbi, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM from Utopia, Betty Pike, a Nyoonga woman from SW Australia, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM from Nauiyu (Daly River), Djapirri Munurrungitj from Nhulunbuy, Rev Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM from Galiwin'ku and Harry Jakamara Nelson from Yuendumu. - Source: concernedaustralians.com.au

ELDERS STATEMENT TRANSCRIPT (with signature copies)

To the People of Australia


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Not part of transcript
7th February, 2011

We are the people of the land. The land is our mother. For more than 40,000 years we have been caring for this land. We am its natural farmers.

Now, after so many years of dispossession, we find once again we are being thrust towards a new dispossession. Our pain and our fear are real. Our people are again being shamed.

Under the Intervention we lost our rights as human beings, as Australians citizens, as the First People of the Land. We feel very deeply the threat to our languages, our culture and our heritage. Through harsh changes we have had removed from us all control over our communities and our lives. Our lands have been compulsorily taken from us. We have been left with nothing.

The legislation under which we now live does not comply with international law. It is discriminatory. We are no longer equal to other Australians. We are no longer equal to you.

As people in our own land, we are shocked by the failure of democratic processes, of the failure to consult with us and of the total disregard for us as human beings. We demand the return of our rights, our freedom to live our traditional lives, support to develop our economic enterprises to develop jobs and to work towards a better future for all our peoples.

So extreme have been the actions against our people that we must appeal to all people of Australia to walk with us in true equality. Speak out and help to put an end to the nightmare that Northern Territory Aboriginal people are experiencing on a daily basis.

Signature: Rosalie Kunoth Monks OAM, Utopia
Rosalie Kunoth Monks OAM, Utopia
Signature: Rev Dr Djinyini Gondara OAM, Galiwin'ku
Rev Dr Djinyini Gondara OAM, Galiwin'ku
Signature: Harry Nelson, Yuendumu
Harry Nelson, Yuendumu
Signature: Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM, Nauiyu
Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM, Nauiyu (Daly River)
Signature: Djapirri Munurrungitj, Nhulunbuy
Djapirri Munurrungitj, Nhulunbuy
Signature: Dhanggal Guruwiwi, Nhulunbuy
Dhanggal Guruwiwi, Nhulunbuy
Signature: George Gaymarani Pascoe, Milingimbi
George Gaymarani Pascoe, Milingimbi