The Other Side of the Coin

Australia's human rights under UN spotlight ... again

Navi Pillay

Northern Territory Aboriginal leaders have told a senior United Nation official that "things have gotten worse" since the Howard government's intervention.

UN high commissioner of human rights Navi Pillay is visiting Australia as a guest of government to assess whether the country is complying with its international obligations.

Ms Pillay will hold a more formal media conference in Canberra on Wednesday, when she is expected to outline her opinion.

'Welcome to Country' scrapped by Victorian Premier

On the eve of the Indigenous celebrations 'National Reconciliation Week', 'The Long Walk' and the AFL 'Indigenous Round', Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, has scrapped the Labor party protocol which acknowledges traditional Aboriginal land owners and their elders past and present at public events. Wurrundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy said she was 'disappointed' about the news and the timing of the announcement, adding she thought the acknowledgement to the traditional Aboriginal land owners was 'common courtesy.' - but of-course former Premier Jeff Kennett disagreed.

On the 'Mornings with Sally Warhaft' program (ABC Radio 744) interviews were conducted with Auntie Joy Murphy, Michael Long, Steve Bracks and others - including listener comments.

AUDIO Audio file Aunty Joy Murphy, Richard Wynne, Jeff Kennett ABC 744 - mp3 file
AUDIO Audio file Michael Long, Steve Bracks Etc ABC 744 - mp3 file

Aboriginal populations were growing before invasion

Despite the problem of lost archaeological evidence, a new study suggests Australia's Aboriginal populations experienced accelerated growth in the 5,000-year period before European settlement. This research could help resolve a debate in Australian archaeology circles about the nature of prehistoric Aboriginal population trends and shed light into how land management techniques changed the continent's environmental history.

"A lot of Australians have a view of aboriginal history as something that was changeless for thousands of years," Christopher Johnson, a wildlife ecologist said. "Our results imply that aboriginal societies and cultures were dynamic and changing before the arrival of Europeans."

Elder tells UN's Highest Authority about 'racist' intervention

Geneva: Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, senior elder and Dhurili Clan leader of the Yolngu peoples of Northeast Arnhem Land, has met privately with the highest authority on human rights at the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

At the top of their agenda was the ongoing Northern Territory Intervention, which has been heavily criticized by the United Nations Committee on the Convention to Eliminate Racial Discrimination, the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights. This meeting precedes the UN high commissioner's trip to Australia next week to examine the current human rights situation.

Lionel Rose

Aboriginal elder raising awareness of abuse

Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM

Eminent Aboriginal elder goes to London to raise awareness of human rights abuses against Australia's First Peoples

Faced with deliberate attempts by the Australian Government to marginalize Aboriginal people from their resource-rich lands, as well as disempower their traditional leaders and suppress Indigenous languages in schools, Australia's First Peoples are on the brink of cultural genocide. The time has come for the world to listen to their cry for freedom.

Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, will be traveling to London and Geneva to raise international awareness of his peoples' situation. UK Media

The Dollar versus Aboriginal Culture and the Environment

Billion Dollar Battle Video

Goolarabooloo Law man Joseph Rowe said he will continue his opposition to the Kimberley Gas Hub following the loss of his court appeal - and after a majority of the other Indigenous land claimants signing away the highly significant cultural site to the Woodside consortium for one of the largest gas processing plants in world.

The general focus is now on environmental issues and whether Woodside can convince the investors to go ahead following some cold feet. The project still needs approvals from the Federal Government through the environmental and heritage processes.

Federal court dismisses gas hub appeal - Site to be desecrated

Joe Rowe, who was passed down the law for sacred Kimberley coastal land, fought with everything he had to stop the largest Australian gas hub being built on the site. However, many other Indigenous land claimants were enticed to sign on the dotted line for the rewards of one of most significant native title agreements in Australian history - worth $1.5 billion.

The money will be spent on much needed health, schools and grass roots enterprise developments for Aboriginal people of the area to begin their slow climb out of poverty and disadvantage. These basic infrastructures would have already been in place if it wasn't for negligence and the racist policies of current and past governments.

Lake Tyers Campaign Continues

SBS Living BlackLake Tyers 'Restore the Limited Autonomy'
on Living Black - SBS ONE
Sunday 8th May, 4:30pm
Repeats: Monday 12:30am & 5:30pm, Tuesday & Friday 3pm on SBS ONE. Monday 6pm on SBS TWO
Loss of Trust