Sack Jenny Macklin Protest a success

Breaking News: It appears that Jenny Macklin has pulled out of the launch for security concerns. It is a victory for the campaign that Macklin feels so intimidated by our presence that she feels unable to defend her racist policy.

We will still be demonstrating and handing out information to those attending the event. We want to send a message to Macklin and the Intervention backers like Russell Skelton, that we are not going anywhere! We will keep up the pressure until this racist Intervention is gone!

Rally 5:30pm, Tuesday Nov 30
Readings Bookstore, 309 Lygon St, Carlton

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin will be at Readings Bookstore promoting Russell Skelton's new book 'King Brown Country'.
There has never been any decent consultation with Aboriginal communities about the Intervention, yet Macklin is free to tell her racist lies all around the country at events such as these. We will be distributing information that Macklin does not want you to see.
Bring placards, banners and loud voices!

Russell SkeltonKing Brown CountryAbout the Book Launch
King Brown Country: The Betrayal of Papunya
by Russell Skelton

$35.00 – Trade paperback
Allen & Unwin

AUDIO Audio file  Phillip Adams interview mp3 (Late Night Live)

'King Brown Country' is apparently the product of a five-year investigation into decades of percieved rorting and claims of community mismanagement in the Central Desert community of Papunya prior to the Northern Territory Intervention. Phillip Adams discussed the book with Russell Skelton on (ABC's) Late Night Live on 8th November 2010

King Brown Country

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'King Brown Country: The Betrayal of Papunya'

by Russell Skelton

Book Review by Mat Ward Green Left weekly (Issue 860)
Saturday, November 6, 2010 - READ REVIEW

Another Book Review - Sort of

I firstly have to say that I have not read Russell Skelton's new book, 'King Brown Country', but I have read some reviews and have heard his interview on Late Night Live with Phillip Adams. I hear a 'well meaning' white man with European values making paternalistic judgements on the well-known appalling conditions in a remote Indigenous community.

The one thing Skelton pushes that really gets on my goat is the referral to the Anderson family and general community financial management, especially regarding the amounts of money used on new vehicles for individual families before the Intervention, 'Motor car dreaming' he describes it. This tired old story has been bashed to death by literally thousands of do-gooder folks who have worked on communities or lived in nearby townships and believe their conclusions to be gospel because they have studied the situation first hand, albeit through European-educated and paternalistic eyes.

We are told that there were kids with diseases, child abuse, petrol sniffing, alcohol abuse and unhealthy conditions everywhere you look ... really ... I never would have thought. Apparently too much money is spent on new reliable vehicles. Well for those do-gooders who have appropriate and reliable transport themselves I have a few things to say about this. Aboriginal people do not want to leave their extended family group, even when their treatment and conditions are absolutely appalling.

Transport is a key issue for people living in remote areas - I have seldom seen a station worker or a community store manager drive an unreliable vehicle on very poor roads for hundreds of kilometers through the outback where services are non-existent or scarce. Indigenous people who live remotely on their country are required to travel on very poor roads for many reasons, sometimes to attend Centrelink appointments or to take family members to health and other services in town or to attend funerals.

Attending funerals for Europeans is rarely as significant as it is for Indigenous people. Our forefathers never really had the same feeling for their country of birth or intricate family connections; if they did, they would not have left their extended families to come to Australia in the first place.

Another important use for a reliable vehicle is to visit traditional country, perhaps to maintain the belonging to the land and share heritage and stories with family members.

Before we illegally invaded this country and dramatically disrupted the First Australians lifestyles with murder and disease and imposed our religion and laws, there was no real need for vehicles at all.

It is not our business how Indigenous people or communities spend their money. We will not progress if we insist that Aboriginal communities budget only by Western cultural standards. Offering money management skills is a good idea but why must we enforce our cultural standards and regulations?

Living with family on your own land is the most important thing for those Indigenous people who are lucky enough to know their law and understand their country. This is poorly understood by non-indigenous people. Few of us could appreciate what a people must feel for their land when they have lived in that area for many thousands of years.

The United Nations, Amnesty International and other world bodies that study conditions of poverty-stricken peoples around the world, have condemned the Northern Territory Intervention. It is in breach of almost every element of racial discrimination, and after more than three years has not improved the conditions in most of the communities at all. Yet Russell Skelton supports the cruel and paternalistic action to maintain the intervention.

The billions of dollars spent on the implementation of the Northern Territory Intervention could have kick-started a plan to support the real reasons why there are major problems in remote communities. (Petrol sniffing, boredom and alcoholism, to name a few). How about appropriate education and suitable employment opportunities that are properly funded and not just token gestures for a quick news grab before an election.

It doesn't surprise me that Mr Skelton has asked The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin to launch his book, but I was surprised that Phillip Adams allowed Mr Skelton racial views to be aired with little more than a whimper of challenge.

Australia has suspended the Racial Discrimination Act three times in its 35-year history, each time in relation to Indigenous people. The UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concern that Canberra had suspended the act to allow for the introduction of the Northern Territory intervention. This doesn't seem to disturb Russell at all. Oh! I forgot, we whities have all the answers and it's within the interests of Indigenous Australians to tow the line until they are clones of our good selves. It must be real easy to reverse 222 years of neglect and abuse, just implement a few more rules and the miracle will happen overnight.

Well Russell, we 'the know-it-all-Europeans' have been making similar analogies to yours ever since we started causing this mess and things are getting worse. I will not buy one of your books until I see a review that demonstrates you throwing some new and positive light on the subject.

Bruce Skewes (Opinion)
Sub Editor Treaty Republic


King Brown Country

Russell, there was so much you saw but didn't scratch and therefore didn't see through and drew conclusions that fell painfully short. Why do you think that Papunya and neighbouring communities always had corrupt store managers? Was it just a coincidence? Who selected the managers? Not the community. Your reference to a store manager being 'headhunted', who do you think did that??? Do you get it now??? Yes! that was his role and it was by installing such managers that he maintained his own empire. And given that you now know that can you also see how your conclusions about that manager were completely wrong? I could go on and on about this frustratingly superficial account. The dots were before you, within grasp, but your own preconceptions stopped you from joining them. You were not nearly cycnical enough for this task Russell.

King Brown Country - Russell Skelton, Fred Cheney, Michael Cathc

Click to Enlarge
Readings Bookshop
'Sack Macklin Rally'

From: The network

... the Sack Macklin Protest which was held last evening outside Readings in Carlton. It was a great success in many ways - even before we got there. Jenny Macklin - who was to be in conversation with Russell Skelton the author of King Brown Country - withdrew from the event. This was because of "security reasons" we have been informed. Clearly, she was afraid of the terrorists of the Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective.

Somewhere in all this the man from the Australian Federal Police turned up and spoke to one of our number who knew his name. He says he now looks forward to seeing happy snaps of himself when relevant files are opened in decades to come. It is a comfort to know that even if the majority of Melbournians didn't know about us, someone is still watching over us ...

... If Russell Skelton thought this was going to be a nice book launch in arguably the trendiest bookshop in Melbourne with a receptive audience, then the event turned out quite differently. Even Fred Cheney, who does not have a reputation as a controversialist, interpolated in sheer exasperation with some of Skelton's views. There were knowledgable people in the audience who questioned him closely or made statements - and many of these 'contra' views were well applauded by the receptive audience ...

Read Full Report - includes a compliation of images

Sack Macklin Protest @Readings

Sack Macklin Protest @Readings
5.30pm, Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Readings Bookstore
309 Lygon St, Carlton
Melbourne, Australia

Breaking News: It appears that Jenny Macklin has pulled out of the launch! It is a victory for the campaign that Macklin feels so intimidated by our presence that she feels unable to defend her racist policy.

We will still be demonstrating and handing out information to those attending the event. We want to send a message to Macklin and the Intervention backers like Russell Skelton, that we are not going anywhere! We will keep up the pressure until this racist Intervention is gone!

The Betrayal of Papunya - The Radio Program

'another Whitefella' ABC Lateline 10 Nov 2010

I was very interested to tune in to this program but disappointed that some of the people at the front line in Papunya seemed to have been overlooked in Russell Skelton's research for this book. Why didn't he speak to any of the World Vision staff who were there, at the front line in the 1990s? Philip, I hope that you balance Skelton's argument by interviewing some of these people and offer an alternative view to Skelton's, especially regarding the Northern Territory intervention. Grateful for any advice re future program addressing the issues I've raised. Thanks

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