Paddy Gibson looks at how the ruthless imposition of Intervention measures in the NT has undermined resistance, and what this means for the future
Paddy Gibson looks at how the ruthless imposition of Intervention measures in the NT has undermined resistance, and what this means for the future
Six years after Howard sent in the troops to Aboriginal communities to begin the Northern Territory Intervention, Paddy Gibson surveys the impact of assimilationist policies
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has launched a further expansion of the Income Management system, sparking plans for protest.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has appointed Indigenous former-Olympian Nova Peris as the lead candidate on the Labor Party’s Northern Territory (NT) Senate ticket for the September federal election. This virtually guarantees that Peris will be the first Indigenous Labor representative in the federal parliament.
The Country Liberal Party (CLP) government in the Northern Territory (NT) have launched a series of devastating cuts to public services and Aboriginal organisations in their first mini-budget, handed down in December.
The inquiry into the death of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti has thrown an international spotlight on the brutal use of tasers by the NSW Police. Curti was threatening no one. He was fleeing from police after stealing two packets of biscuits from a service station and probably suffering psychosis from LSD use the previous night.
A growing number of NT Aboriginal communities are pushing to reclaim control of their communities and assets, in the wake of the Country Liberals’ NT election victory promising to restore community control.
Kwementyaye Briscoe’s family are demanding criminal charges against police over the young man’s death in the Alice Springs watch house in January. Family members led a demonstration of 100 people in early October, holding placards reading “Police must be charged”.
Following the Northern Territory elections last month, a community meeting of Aboriginal residents and traditional owners from Kalkaringi, Dagaragu and Lajamanu are calling for an end to the hated “mega shires”, announcing that they will refuse to sign any government leases over their land and calling for the scrapping of the whole, hated NT Intervention policy.
The Country Liberals (CLP) have swept to power in the Northern Territory elections, after 11 years of Labor rule. Aboriginal voters in remote NT electorates played the decisive role, electing four Aboriginal CLP candidates, delivering the party a majority of 16 seats in the 25 seat parliament.
A COMMITMENT to organising with unionists has paid off for the campaign against the NT Intervention and the rollout of Income Management into Bankstown. Child protection workers in the Public Service Association (PSA) in New South Wales have put an industrial ban on participating in the implementation of Income Management and on referring their clients to Centrelink.
“The Government has shown absolute disregard for our wishes and our human rights”, Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, Yolngu Nations Assembly spokesperson, declared after “Stronger Futures” laws passed the Senate on June 29.
The full, shocking truth about the death of Kwementyaye Briscoe in Alice Springs has been exposed by a two-week coronial investigation.
On 28 September, 1983, off duty police officers in Roebourne, a remote town in WA, started racially abusing Aboriginal patrons at a hotel, sparking a brawl outside. A 16-year-old Aboriginal youth John Pat stepped into the fight. He was punched in the face by a police officer, kicked in the head by police after he fell, dragged to their waiting van and “thrown in like a dead kangaroo”, as a witness described it.
The Gurindji people at Daguragu and Kalkaringi have been fighting the Intervention with protests, including strike action, since its introduction. Here we reprint a statement calling on the Labor government to bin its Stronger Futures Bill, which will extend the Intervention measures that are destroying their community for another ten years.
The 20th anniversary of the Mabo case, where the High Court recognised Native Title, has been celebrated by the government and the media as an historic step for Aboriginal rights. But while Mabo formally rejected the legal doctrine of “terra nullius”, used to justify colonial dispossession, the High Court did not challenge the legitimacy of this dispossession.
The Yolngu Nations Assembly meeting in Ramingining has taken an important stand against the “Stronger Futures” legislation currently before the Senate. “Stronger Futures” would extend most racist Intervention powers for a further ten years. In some areas it is worse—new provisions allow a six-month prison sentence for carrying a single can of beer on Aboriginal land.
Protests celebrating the anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy have been subject to a vicious and distorting media campaign, after a snap protest directed at Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard. But this protest, and the demands of the Tent Embassy for Aboriginal rights and self-determination, remain absolutely right and should be defended.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has used sham consultations with Aboriginal communities to announce an extension of the failed NT Intervention beyond the current legislation’s “sunset clause” of July 2012.
The Federal Court has condemned Andrew Bolt’s journalism as dishonest and racist, over a series of articles he wrote in the Murdoch tabloid The Herald Sun.
The federal government is currently in the middle of a six week round of “consultations” with Aboriginal people on the future of the NT Intervention. This process is a sham.
On June 21, hundreds of Aboriginal people and supporters marched in the biggest Aboriginal rights demonstration seen in Darwin since John Howard announced the Intervention in 2007. The demonstration launched a statement, Rebuilding from the Ground Up: An Alternative to the Intervention.
Local Aboriginal groups, migrant organisations and community workers are coming together in Bankstown to stand up against Income Management (IM), set to be introduced in the Western Sydney suburb in July 2012.
Aunty Carol Carter from the Bankstown area spoke to Solidarity about the decision to make it one of the new trial sites for Income Management
In July 2012, NT Intervention powers, such as compulsory 5-year leases and management powers over all assets and organisations within Aboriginal communities, will reach their sunset clause. Federal funding for smaller dispersed settlements known as Homelands, currently capped at $20 million, is also set to run out next year. The question, “What comes next?” has again thrown debate about the future of the NT Intervention into the national spotlight.
Income Management (IM), first applied to Aboriginal communities through the NT Intervention, will be extended to five “disadvantaged areas” from July 2012 following an announcement in the May budget.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has announced that more Aboriginal people will be forced to work for the BasicsCard as part of the government’s response to the growing social crisis in Alice Springs.
Billionaire Andrew Forrest is in damage control after trying to bully Aboriginal native title holders into giving him control of their land. Solidarity spoke with Michael Woodley, CEO of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, which holds the native title rights
From Little Things Big Things Grow
Exhibtion developed by National Museum of Australia, touring nationally see website for details
John Leemans, a Gurindji man and LHMU delegate from Kalkarindji, Northern Territory, travelled to Sydney and Brisbane to speak at worksites, union and community meetings in March.
The CFMEU, Unions NT and the Intervention Rollback Action Group have launched a joint petition demanding justice for Indigenous workers ripped off under the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP).
The trade union and Aboriginal rights movements have been shocked by news of Mark Fordham’s death on February 2. Mark, the proud father of two young sons, died of a heart attack in Darwin at 37 years of age.
Julia Gillard’s annual speech on the progress of Labor’s “Close the Gap” policy demonstrated the poisonous growth of blame the victim politics in Aboriginal Affairs.
In early November Julia Gillard announced plans for a referendum to decide whether Indigenous Australians should be formally recognised within the Australian Constitution. The move drew cautious support from both sides of parliament—but many Indigenous leaders living under the racist NT Intervention labelled Gillard’s plans meaningless tokenism.
In November a 20-strong trade union delegation organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), visited Central Australia on a fact finding mission to hear firsthand the impacts of the NT Intervention.
Supporters of an Aboriginal school in Melbourne have occupied the gym in a sit-in protest against plans to take half the school’s land. ‘’We want at least one Aboriginal school in Melbourne. They are trying to assimilate our kids into big melting-pot schools, but it’s not working and our kids are dropping out’’, according to spokesperson Gary Murray.
The fight against the racist NT Intervention has taken a step forward with the launch of new campaign demanding ‘Jobs with Justice’ for Aboriginal workers. In October, Mark Fordham, an Aboriginal worker from the Northern Territory, toured worksites to build rank-and-file union support.
On October 20, more than 200 Gurindji people joined an 11am stop work meeting in Kalkaringi, 470kms South-West of Katherine, NT. The rally was attended by workers from across the community including from the Victoria Daly Shire, Kalkaringi service station, the mechanics, the clinic and the school. The Gurindji are demanding an end to the NT Intervention, investment in proper jobs and return of control over land, employment and services to Aboriginal people.
Police in Western Australia have been caught on videotape tasering an Aboriginal man, Kevin Spratt, 13 times as he was held in an East Perth watch house. The Corruption and Crime Commission of Western Australia (CCC) released the disturbing video in October. It has focussed attention on police abuse of their powers—and also shows the racism ingrained in the police force.
While Liberal leader Tony Abbott postures as the champion of Aboriginal land rights (see Wild Rivers article), Western Australian Liberal Premier Colin Barnett has begun proceedings to compulsorily acquire James Price Point—7457 hectares of pristine coastline in the Western Australian Kimberleys. The land will be used by Woodside Petroleum to build a $30 billion gas processing plant.
The Labor government’s ongoing assault on Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) is devastating Aboriginal communities across Australia. But Aboriginal people are fighting back—uniting with unions and activists in a campaign to stop the huge loss of employment and demand “Jobs with Justice”.
Tony Abbott’s efforts to pose as a defender of land rights through his attack on the Wild Rivers legislation is motivated by mining interests, writes Paddy Gibson
Large swings to the Greens in the Northern Territory have shown the anger at the NT Intervention and its continuation by Labor. But they are also evidence of the impact of the campaign against the Intervention—which continued to build through the election period.
The struggles against the NT Intervention and the expansion of the nuclear industry in the NT continued to build during the election period - through the Greens campaign and the Intervention Rollback Action Group’s (IRAG) grassroots mobilisation.
Solidarity spoke to Mark Fordham, until recently the works manager for the Barkly Shire Council who service Ampilatwatja, a “prescribed community” under the NT Intervention, about the failure in providing basic services there—and the failure to employ any Aboriginal people to provide them.
Five men responsible for killing a young Aboriginal man, Kwementyaye Ryder, were recently given sentences of between 12 months and six years by an Alice Springs Court. The initial murder charges were downgraded to manslaughter.
In 2008, millionaire mining mogul Andrew Forrest launched a government-supported scheme to employ 50,000 Aboriginal people in mainstream jobs in two years.
The man Jenny Macklin said had a “dark ages” view of women, the man who refuses to acknowledge Aboriginal custodianship at public events, has indicated his support for Labor’s changes to the NT Intervention.
The death in custody of 18-year-old Aboriginal man Sheldon Currie has exposed the criminal neglect of Aboriginal prisoners in Australia. Currie’s death was the fourth in six weeks in Queensland’s prisons.
Unions are teaming up with anti-Intervention campaigners in the NT to demand proper jobs for Aboriginal people.
On Wednesday March 3, 150 people packed a community hall in Tennant Creek for a protest meeting against the imposition of a nuclear waste dump on the Muckaty Aboriginal Land Trust, 100 kilometres north of the town.
On January 31, residents at Ilpeye Ilpeye town camp in Alice Springs became the only Aboriginal land owners in Australia’s history to hand their land back to the Federal Government.
According to Minister Jenny Macklin, the new Intervention legislation would restore the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA), fulfilling a key Labor’s election promise. It’s a lie.
The attack on Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) that has gone along with the NT Intervention has cost thousands of Aboriginal jobs. People still on CDEP—some working up to 40 hours a week—are now mostly being paid only their Centrelink entitlements, but 50 per cent of this is quarantined on a “BasicsCard’’.
After four years of struggle, the federal government has finally secured 40-year leases over the Aboriginal town camps in Alice Springs, represented by the Tangentyere Council.
The continued suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) has acted as a lightning rod to the growing level of criticism against the Northern Territory Intervention. This clear symbol of the discriminatory nature of the Intervention has forced the Rudd government to implement a timetable for the reintroduction of the RDA.
Rudd Labor’s approach to Indigenous Affairs follows that of Hawke and Keating, argues Jean Parker
Conservative Indigenous leader Noel Pearson uses his new essay Radical Hope to argue for a neo-liberal agenda in Aboriginal education, argues Shannon Price
A “protest house” built at the walk-off camp established by the Alyawarr people, is set to be opened on February 14. It will coincide with national demonstrations against the NT Intervention.
The federal government’s “Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory” monitoring report, released quietly in October, provides damning evidence of the failure of the NT Intervention.
Breaking clear promises, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has introduced legislation that will continue to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) until December 31, 2010.
The suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA), stands as a blatant testament to the racism of the NT Intervention.
A national speaking tour has generated growing public and union support for the Ampilatwatja community walk-off, an ongoing protest camp against the NT Intervention involving hundreds of Aboriginal people.
Opponents of the NT Intervention have long maintained that its initial, stated aim—to protect Aboriginal children from sexual abuse—was an emotive smokescreen. So what is the real agenda, asks Paddy Gibson
Review: The Politics of Suffering
By Peter Sutton, Melbourne University Press, $34.95
The bashing murder on July 25 of young Aboriginal man, Kwementyaye Ryder, by a group of five white men highlights the violent extremes of racism festering in Alice Springs.
Conservative Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has used recent school attendance figures to trumpet the success of the punitive Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC).
In July Aboriginal elders from the Ampilatwatja community began a walk-off protest against the Intervention. Solidarity spoke to Richard Downs, one of the protest leaders.
Instability and opportunism have dominated the last few months in NT politics, with a merry-go-round of Ministers causing headache for Chief Minister Paul Henderson.
The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney organised a strong lobby of the national ALP conference on Thursday July 30. About 150 people turned out to the lunchtime rally.
The cracks in the NT Intervention project can be clearly seen in the pages of the Intervention’s urger—The Australian newspaper. The Weekend Australian August 15-16 devoted seven pages to exposing the plight of desperately poor Aboriginal people still waiting for a single house after two years under the Intervention.
The Australian hopes that by loudly condemning the bureaucratic failures of the Intervention, they can inject some credibility back into the project.
But they and Minister Jenny Macklin are on the back foot.
Firstly there is the mounting pressure on Aboriginal politicians and leaders from their constituents whose lives are wrecked by Intervention policies.
NT Aboriginal leader, Galarrwuy Yunupingu, used his speech at Arnhem Land’s Garma Festival to break from his previous support for the Intervention. A new regional council also declared its opposition to the Intervention.
Secondly, anti-Intervention campaigners have managed to turn Macklin’s threatened takeover of the Alice Springs town camps into a nightmare for the federal government.
Pro-Intervention forces splinter
On August 4 NT Indigenous Affairs Minister Alison Anderson brought the NT government to the brink of collapse. It was completely opportunistic, but Anderson, an ardent Intervention supporter and advocate of the neoliberal fantasy of Aboriginal home-ownership, was pushed to resign by the dramatic exposure that the $680 million Strategic Indigenous Housing Program (SIHIP) had not built even one house in two years.
Under SIHIP, funding is denied for any but the 20 government-nominated “viable” Aboriginal communities in remote Australia. Even then housing is only promised to communities which sign 40-80 year leases. It is straight out blackmail.
But, Tennant Creek residents discovered, signing a lease does not mean houses. The community has now been told that the most they will get is refurbishment of some existing houses.
The Australian is calling for new crack teams of bureaucrats from Canberra to “crash through” the red tape of the NT government. But the real solution is to immediately pay locally controlled organisations to build the kind of housing the communities need.
On the opening day of the ALP National Conference on July 30, the anti-Intervention campaign published a statement in The Australian opposing the takeover of the Alice Springs town camps and defending the Tangentyere Council.
The campaign raised $10,000 to publish the statement which was supported by a range of prominent individuals including Pat Dodson and Ian Thorpe, and organisations such as ANTaR, Unions SA and the CFMEU.
The statement coincided with a strident lobby held outside the ALP conference organised by the Stop the Intervention Collective.
The previous day, Macklin had tried to regain some initiative for the Intervention by (erroneously) claiming that Tangentyere Council had signed a 40-year lease. Rather than a media coup, however, her announcement led to an avalanche of media reports condemning the takeover as an act of government blackmail.
In another blow to Macklin, 13 town camp residents have gained a temporary Federal Court injunction to halt the takeover. The final court hearing, on August 28, may find that Macklin has not consulted adequately and must give residents another 60-days notice before takeover. This would be another blow to the credibility of the Intervention, but it will not be a knock out punch. Macklin could still try to gain control of the camps before her planned reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act.
However, the lies, the discrimination and racism at the heart of the Intervention are becoming more obvious.
Macklin may re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act, but the reality of the Intervention has already been exposed. And more legal wrangles will give the government more headaches.
Meanwhile the walk-off protest at Ampilatwatja (see box) has given a new focus for opposition to the Intervention.
By Jean Parker
The month old protest camp at Ampilatwatja is still going strong.
On June 20, coinciding with national mobilisations against the NT Intervention, more than 1000 people marched in Perth demanding justice for Mr Ward, an Aboriginal leader from the remote community of Warburton in WA.
A Productivity Commission report into Indigenous disadvantage was released in July. Examining the period 2000 – 2008, it demonstrates the horrific human toll of Howard’s assault on Aboriginal self-determination. Across 80 per cent of 50 surveyed indicators, “the gap” has stayed the same or become wider.
By Bain Atwood, Melbourne University Press, $54.99
Echoing the dramatic land rights struggle of the 1960s and 70s, elders at the Ampilatwatja community, 300 kms north-east of Alice Springs, have walked off their community demanding an end to the Intervention and immediate action to address shocking housing conditions.
On Thursday May 21 Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin announced her intention to use Intervention powers to permanently acquire the Alice Springs town camps. Her move unleashed an avalanche of racism against Tangentyre Council and the residents of the camps.
Review: Samson and Delilah, Directed by Warwick Thornton
In selected cinemas now
On Sunday May 24 Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs put a gun to the head of the Tangentyere council, which represents town camp residents in Alice Springs. The Rudd government is currently denying funding for badly needed housing in Aboriginal communities across Australia, until control of the land and housing is signed over to the government.
ON APRIL 3 the Rudd government endorsed the United Nations (UN) declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, claims that it is a major step towards “closing the gap”. In reality the declaration serves as a façade behind which the government can continue to abuse the human rights abuses of Indigenous Australians.
Noel Pearson has resigned as Director of the Cape York Institute (CYI), with much fanfare from his legion of supporters at The Australian.
The campaign against the Northern Territory Intervention is taking significant steps forward following a recent east-coast speaking tour by women from “prescribed” communities in the NT.
Following his apology to the Stolen Generation, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised to deliver an annual “report card” on the government’s progress in addressing Indigenous disadvantage. This report card was to be delivered on the opening day of Parliament each year, to mark the 2008 apology.
Irene Fisher is a Jawoyn woman, whose people live mainly around Katherine in the “top end” of the Northern Territory. She works as chief executive of Sunrise Health, a network of 10 health centres servicing Aboriginal communities east of Katherine. Below is the text of a speech given to a forum during the Canberra convergence against the NT intervention in early February.
Under the cover of the NT intervention, governments are once again trying to force Aboriginal people off their land. If history is a guide, they are in for a hard fight. Aboriginal people have always fought doggedly to live on and control their land. One such struggle was at Nookanbah in Western Australia in 1980.
In early October, the Federal Labor Government announced major changes to the CDEP (Community Development Employment Programs). The changes have been met with outrage from affected Aboriginal communities.
Aboriginal affairs minister Jenny Macklin announced her government will ignore two key recommendations of the review commissioned into the Northern Territory intervention.
THE RECENT anti-intervention convergence on Alice Springs has galvanised the commitment of activists to step up the fight against the NT intervention. The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS) has called for a rally on December 13 to coincide with international human rights day, and will be seeking endorsements from unions, human rights organisations, community organisations and the local Indigenous community.
After a trial lasting almost three weeks, and two days of deliberation, an all-white jury found Lex Wotton, an Aboriginal plumber from Palm Island, guilty of rioting with destruction. As a result, Chris Hurley, the police officer responsible for the death of an Aboriginal man is free, while someone who protested at this injustice sits behind bars.
THE REVIEW into the intervention in the Northern Territory, released in mid-October, has called for an end to blanket welfare quarantining and suggested the reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA).
WHILE THE restoration of the RDA would force some changes to the Northern Territory welfare quarantine legislation, it is likely that these would be modelled on the Queensland intervention legislation.
OVER 200 people from around Australia travelled to join hundreds more from the NT in a protest convergence against the NT intervention in Mparntwe-Alice Springs from September 29 to October 3. Activists camped at the “prescribed area” Mt Nancy town camp, in solidarity with all targeted Aboriginal communities.
A planned protest convergence against the NT intervention, set to begin in Mparntwe-Alice Springs in late September, is gathering widespread support.
One year, 810 federal public servants, $900 million on—Jean Parker’s intervention report-card
With the government threatening to close so-called “unviable communities” as part of the intervention in the NT, Mark Gillespie looks at the shameful history of Mapoon—an Aboriginal community declared unviable and burned to the ground forty-five years ago
Review: On Rage
By Germaine Greer, Melbourne University Press, $19.95
ANTI-INTERVENTION campaigners Barbara Shaw, Paddy Gibson and Nat Wasley recently traveled to Tennant Creek to find out about how the intervention is affecting people’s lives. They spoke to Margaret Anderson, who is living under the harsh income management regime in Tennant Creek.
By Chloe Hooper, Hamish Hamilton, $32.95
CHLOE HOOPER, a novelist whose first book won international praise, recently released The Tall Man, a book on the Palm Island inquest into the death in police custody of Cameron Doomadgee.
THE RUDD government is set to hand down its “review” of the Northern Territory intervention at the end of September. All signs point to Rudd retaining the racist policies aimed at dispossession. Paddy Gibson spoke to Walter Shaw, an Aboriginal leader from the Mount Nancy town camp in the NT. Shaw is speaking around the country alongside screenings of the new documentary This is Our Country Too. The tour is designed to build the campaign against the intervention.
The new government’s review of the Northern Territory intervention is stacked with supporters of the policy, and looks set to whitewash the disastrous impact on Aboriginal people in the NT
THE WIDESPREAD acclaim for The Australian journalist Paul Toohey’s Last Drinks: The Impact of the Northern Territory Intervention (Quarterly Essay 30, June 2008), demonstrates just how deeply racist attitudes to Aboriginal people are embedded in Australian politics and culture.
Veteran journalist Jeff Waters has authored a new book investigating events surrounding the death in custody of Aboriginal man Mulrunji on Palm Island in late 2004, and the subsequent trial of Sergeant Chris Hurley for his manslaughter. He spoke to Lauren Mellor about the case and about the continuing struggle of Aboriginal people for justice.
Come along to the Aboriginal Rights Coalition and help build the campaign against the Northern Territory and Queensland interventions, and stand up for Aboriginal rights.
Meetings are weekly on Wednedays at 6:30 pm on Level 2 of the Trades and Labour Council Building, 16 Peel St, South Brisbane. Contact Rob on 0424 265 730 for more information.
On June 21, people from ten cities around Australia took to the streets to protest the ongoing NT Intervention. One year since John Howard and Mal Brough announced the Intervention in the NT the vast majority of it continues to be rolled out, full steam ahead, by Kevin Rudd.
More than 100 people came from all corners of the country to Redfern, Sydney for the Aboriginal Rights Coalition “Black and White, Unite and Fight” conference on 23, 24, 25 May. The conference has put the campaign on stronger footing to build opposition to the intervention. A public meeting on the Friday night attracted over 160 people.
On March 13, Protests against the NT intervention targeted Centrelink offices in 8 cities and towns around Australia, to draw attention to the racist policy of welfare quarantines for all people in “prescribed communities”.
History’s Children: History wars in the classroom
On March 25, Vince Forrester addressed the Darlington branch of the ALP which passed the following motion:
LABOR’S Aboriginal Affairs minister, Jenny Macklin, consistently presents the Northern Territory intervention as a humanitarian effort aimed at supporting remote Aboriginal communities and stamping out child abuse.
There is growing criticism of the welfare quarantining measures within the “intervention” into Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. But the federal government has signalled its intention to expand the scheme into selected communities in WA, Queensland and NSW.
Kevin Rudd tells us that he is pulling together the “best and brightest” 1000 Australians for his 2020 summit in Canberra in April. Rudd has already been hammered for selecting only one woman, Cate Blanchett, among the 11 prominent Australians who will help select the participants. But it is not just Rudd’s gender blindness that is a problem.
CURRENTLY THOUSANDS of Aboriginal people from outstations and remote communities in the Northern Territory are living in unstable conditions in the major urban centres of Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine and Mt Isa.
ONE HUNDRED and twenty people packed a meeting of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition in Redfern in April to hear first-hand the impact of the intervention on remote communities in the NT.
WITH THE ALP’s promised review into the first year of the NT intervention due to begin in July, there are new crises cracking the facade of the policies. The roll out now affects about 7700 Centrelink recipients in 29 Territory communities. Three groups of town camps are also subject to the restrictions.
Kevin Rudd talked about “opening a window on our democracy to let some fresh air in.” But how fresh was the 2020 summit?
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