|Photo credit: Wayne Quilliam, Courtesy of Manningham Gallery|
- There are no legal or institutional discriminations against Indigenous people but there are a raft of positive discrimination measures in all States, Territories and the Commonwealth.
- Indigenous people have privileged standing before the law. They have, collectively, more rights than white people. That includes land rights, cultural rights, resource rights, and a certain status among opinion leaders.
- Indigenous people have access to the riches of two ancient cultures – their own, and the Judeo Christian Western culture.
- Australia has a land rights legal regime that would be the envy of any other nation.
- Australians have apologised in many and varied ways over a number of years both generally for the wrongs done to Indigenous people, and for specific actions such as abducing children (note that white children were also abducted for similar reasons and this nation was founded on white slavery).
- Uniquely among all the countries on earth, the Australian government has issued a formal and specific apology.
- Indigenous people insist on living in communities so remote that they will never have jobs, services, health care or opportunity. By living in these communities they choose to condemn their children to a future with no hope. Any other cultural group would pack up and move. Indigenous elders choose to ruin their children’s lives because their belief in ancestor worship prevents them from leaving their ‘country’.
- Indigenous (some groups) tradition that elders can choose brides, and girls can marry at 14 is ..um… shall was say ‘not helpful?’
- Collective ownership of resources makes perfect sense in a nomadic tribal society. In a sedentary capitalist society it makes saving and investment impossible, rewards sloth and punishes productivity and enterprise. The practical outworking is that working Indigenous people often cannot save enough to buy property or start businesses because they are being bled by their unproductive ‘relatives’.
- Tribal obligations trump work obligations. Would you employ someone who turns up to work regularly and on-time or someone who has to disappear from time to time for indeterminate lengths of time to attend a cousin’s funeral ‘up country’ or do ceremony?
Last year, Indigenous people from across Australia met in Uluru, where they developed the “Uluru Statement from the Heart”.
The statement was hugely significant. Our first people came together, and agreed that we need a treaty. This treaty would ensure that their people would be properly recognised in Australia. They declared to trek across our vast country, to demand to be heard.
And they invited us to walk with them.
The Turnbull government ignored these historic calls. In a stunningly disrespectful gesture, the government just rejected calls for proper rights.
Indigenous people die younger of preventable illnesses, are more likely to be locked up, are less likely to finish school, and most recently, the Turnbull government is forcing people into a racist work-for-the-dole program.
Now Australia’s first people are coming together to plan the next phase of the campaign. They have not given up. They are demanding basic rights.
The next stage of the plan is hold a meeting in Sydney next week, and they need some assistance in getting there, flying and bussing in hundreds of people from across the country for this three day event is hugely important, and quite expensive. Can you chip in $20 to help people make it to Sydney to take part in this important meeting? If you do, you will be helping indigenous people come together and fight back, you will be demanding that they be heard and given their rights.
It’s important that everyone who needs to be there, can get there, and you can make all the difference.Chip in $20 to stand in solidarity with our comrades whose ancestors have lived on this land for millennia, to help them fight for their rights. Thanks for your support,