Originals Sovereignty is inevitable: Michael Anderson

Audio File  AUDIO: Sovereignty Symposium - Wollongong May 2012 CAAMA News 25/5/12

Day 2 - location

Sandon Point Tent Embassy

Wednesday 23rd May: A conference was organised by legal academics at the University of Wollongong and Southern Cross University, who said this year had seen renewed focus on the issue of sovereignty, which is the ultimate power to govern or have authority over land or territory.

"We just have to change the whole dynamics of this country and our relationship ... but it's not going to be a change to the detriment of the nation, it will be a change for the betterment of the nation," said Michael Anderson, spokesperson for the interim national unity government.

Thursday 24th May: The establishment of Interim National Unity Government took place at the site of Sandon Point Tent Embassy, near Wollongong, NSW - (Sandon Point location images)

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Michael Anderson, Fred Hooper and Roy 'Dootch' Kennedy

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Professor Elena Marchetti, Michael Anderson, Dr Alessandro Pelizzon, Fred Hooper and Roy 'Dootch' Kennedy

Kate McIlwain Illawarra Mercury 24th May 2012

One of the founders of the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra yesterday told a Wollongong forum that Indigenous sovereignty was not a matter of if, but when.

Speaking at a legal symposium held at the University of Wollongong's Innovation Campus, Michael Anderson said indigenous people had a legal right to sovereignty, which would lead to a complete change in the legal and political dynamics of Australia.

"When our claims are upheld, Australia has to come and talk with us and we have to negotiate how we live together in this country," he said.

"We just have to change the whole dynamics of this country and our relationship ... but it's not going to be a change to the detriment of the nation, it will be a change for the betterment of the nation."

The symposium was organised by legal academics at UOW and Southern Cross University, who said this year had seen renewed focus on the issue of sovereignty, which is the ultimate power to govern or have authority over land or territory.

Some lawyers and Aboriginal activists argue that sovereignty was never extinguished when the British colonised Australia.

Forum co-convener and Southern Cross University lecturer Dr Alessandro Pelizzon agreed with Mr Anderson that sovereignty was undeniable.

"We're actually beginning a dialogue, a legal dialogue, on the issue because it's undeniable that there is a claim to sovereignty, it is a fact, and it's not something that can be denied," Dr Pelizzon said. "So what we are exploring here is 'what are the implications?'."

Dr Pelizzon said there had been a renewed campaign for sovereignty since Aboriginal activists articulated their claim in Canberra on January 26 this year.

"It's not a new discourse," he said, "but it's a newly supported claim, which hasn't been supported like that from the grassroots movement so far and the testimony to that is that 40 years ago there was one tent embassy in Canberra ... but since January 26 more Aboriginal tent embassies have [been formed]."

Litigating the boundaries of sovereignty

University of Wollongomg 23rd May 2012


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Attendees listened to the case studies presented at the symposium

UOW's Legal Intersections Research Centre and Southern Cross University's School of Law and Justice today hosted a jointly organised workshop, which aimed to explore the legal and political implications of claims to the continuity of Indigenous sovereignty in Australia articulated by prominent Indigenous activists on the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.

The workshop specifically focused on discussing the complexities of litigating claims of sovereignty, which refers to having supreme independent authority over a geographic area, as a public interest issue by bringing together leading Indigenous activists, legal practitioners and scholars in the areas of law, politics and public culture.

Speakers at the event included one of the founders of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra Michael Anderson, who gave an introduction to sovereignty claims before exploring the case study of the Provisional Constitution/ Advisory opinion to the International Court of Justice.

Mr Anderson was followed by Chair of the Northern Murray-Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations Fred Hooper, who gave a case study on the Northern NSW Local Alliance and local elder Roy 'Dootch' Kennedy, who spoke about the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

Professor Elena Marchetti, who co-conveyned the symposium alongside Southern Cross University's Dr Alessandro Pelizzon, said the event received a very positive response from attendees and focused on the next steps needed to support the claim to sovereignty.

Mr Hooper said the claim to continuous sovereignty, uninfluenced by any proclamations to the contrary made by Captain Cook and Captain Phillip in 1770 and 1788 and uninterrupted by the ever-changing colonial policies of the last two centuries, is supported by the use of cases, documents and doctrines which illustrate the possible existence of multiple coexisting sovereign claims on the same territorial jurisdiction.

One aspect of the claim, for example, will rely on the Pacific Islanders' Protection Act 1872 and the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery on international Indigenous sovereignty, matters soon to be discussed at the Eleventh Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues this month.

Location

2012 National Assembly

The official formation of Sovereign Union - interim national unity government


The Sandon Point Tent Embassy


The Sandon Point Tent Embassy


The Sandon Point Tent Embassy


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