Do these two people live in the same country?


From two media releases today …
As National Reconciliation Week activities kicked off today across the nation, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, encouraged all Australians to have a conversation about reconciliation and constitutional recognition.
Reconciliation Week is an important time to celebrate the contributions, cultures and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their place in our nation [and] a great opportunity for Australians to continue the conversation about recognising Indigenous people in the Constitution.
The Australian Government is working to lay the necessary foundations for a successful referendum, including through a $10 million investment to build public awareness and community support for recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
I encourage all Australians to get involved in this important national conversation and show their support for constitutional recognition.
To our brothers and sisters … we say to you, we are with you and we will stand with you as one peoples against the Australian Federal Government Stronger Futures Bills and Northern Territory Policies.
We call on the Federal Government to scrap the Stronger Futures laws [and] we call for full return of our land rights. We do not want native title in its present form.
We call on our people to reject any meetings or discussions with government appointed bureaucrats, or representatives of government agencies on Stronger Futures laws.
We call on International UN bodies to review the Australian Federal government’s Stronger Futures laws under the human rights charter. And a full scrutiny be carried out against its human rights obligations.
We  have been treated and effectively stigmatised as child sexual abusers, drug traffickers, rapist, and murderers under the Northern Territory Emergency Response which treatment continues today under the Stronger Futures laws.
We say no to further mining exploration, and we withdraw support of all new mines.
Richard Downs
Alyawarr spokesperson, Central Australia


  1. Two faces of racism, are NOT the only views.
    Jenny Macklin maintains Commonwealth claim for 67 years it lacked authority to assist whilst at same time they practiced apartheid.
    Richard Downs and others believe they advantaged from Commonwealth apartheid policies.
    Hundreds of millions of public money spent perhaps could have achieved more if just given as compensation to all the intended beneficiaries of these programs.
    Recipients made wealthy who then wasted it could at least look in their mirrors to see whom to blame.
    Past 44 years Commonwealth busily promoted segregationist programs.
    Schooling is about attending school, with nothing to do with racial identification.
    Took government to make attendance a racial issue, then being government they wasted more public money.
    Bilingual education was about teaching people to read, using words they understood, whilst also teaching them to speak English, the language of modern Australia.
    People remain – in civilized societies – free to study any languages they like, as long as they have the basics needed to live in the wider Australian community.
    Bilingual Education was NOT about expanding languages from our past to incorporate explanations of modern science, medicine, technology or quantum mechanics.
    The Commonwealth Attorney-General told Parliament NO racial tests exist in Australia.
    Yet Commonwealth racist actions include on almost every Australian a form our Commonwealth’s racial test.
    Coldly, deliberately, refusing to all a chance to “decline to answer” questions to do with their racial identification. Any those who do not answer are then deemed to have answered NOT.
    Why is our answer “Australian” NOT acceptable?
    Such is the approach of our racists.
    The Commonwealth promotes, supports and imposes also segregation upon families based on racial testing.
    Proposed Commonwealth Constitutional proposal is NOT about helping people to fix past wrongs – have already wasted billions doing this.
    Proposed Commonwealth Constitutional proposal is to widen up ability of Commonwealth to claim it has Constitutional authority and power to discriminate between Australians using racial identification as the measure.
    Commonwealth denies legal support – when required by the Courts, to those who challenge this purported existing authority.
    Australians at Federation, then again in 1967, overwhelmingly voted to extinguish, to eliminate, stop ALL racial discrimination between Australians, not widen opportunities for their Commonwealth to practice same.

  2. And maybe it is time for segregation and the us and them to end. Australia does not belong to one race of people, it belongs to those who call it home. It is not for one race to divide up without paying for land whilst all others pay for theirs. It is not for one race to shout accept us and we demand special recognition. It is not for the federal government to spend millions on propaganda to promote segregation. It is time for us to acknowledge we have history and move forward with hands joined in a country that understands our differences and encourages unity. Our constitution recognizes all of us to make the changes. [But what] is spoken about is rubber stamp segregation as a belief, and an insult to all Australians who believe being Australian is to be above racism and dictatorships.

  3. Janet, Paul, you pretty well got it right there.
    And another thing, I may have missed something, but what is the view of the broader or non-Aboriginal community on the issue(s) of the NTER and the Stronger Futures Legislation, the people that actually live there. It has been stated that there was extensive consultation, but is, was, the views of All Territorians seriously considered ?
    Do people support the measures so far taken?
    Has there been a show of hands?
    What do people think of the Issue and the Impact of Political Correctness?
    What of this “conversation about reconciliation and constitutional recognition”?
    Is it about time the voices of All are to be heard?

  4. [****Correction to my earlier comment awaiting moderation.]
    Few people disagree some people do need their income managed – partly or fully, to ensure they maintain a roof over their head, and provide them money each week for food.
    People go to welfare about this out of desperation, not desire.
    The Commonwealth claims Australians’ identification of themselves with any of Australia’s many racial-sub-cultural groups is their valid measure to determine assistance.
    IMHO (“in my honest opinion”) most Australians strongly disagree.
    IMHO most feel Australians need protection from government assistance, particularly when racism is used as a tool.
    IMHO most Australians do trust our Courts in making these decisions, as their state welfare authorities MUST PROVE THEIR CASE for each intrusive management to be imposed upon the citizens thus denying their civil liberties.
    Courts can require privacy of parties to be protected, whilst allowing relevant facts be published. We no longer see enough reporting, so not enough public discussion of issues which are raised in courts. Result is less effective, less responsive legislation.

  5. Paul @ June 4. I think I understand your clarification to mean that there is a case for improved legislation in many areas of social policy.
    We live in an increasingly complex world, socially and technologically, where government intervention is controversial, but democratic parliaments are still the best mechanism for debating the pros and cons of it.
    As you correctly point out, reporting and commenting in public forums / media is another means of discussing what sort of society we want to live in, e.g., those who oppose the NTER out of principle, miss the productive results, one of which you mention.
    Government intervention is necessary to police those who take advantage of the vulnerable and trusting. While the detail is often controversial, there is a case for intervention in alcohol reform, pornography, welfare reform and if necessary, economic stimulus – these few examples are evidence for the obviously simplistic argument that government interventions are not always for the worse.
    It is government for the people, by the people, paid for by the people and persuasively argued that gives us our best chance of maintaining the standards which a community agrees should be the rule of law.

  6. Our politicians and governments refuse to accept Constitutional restriction on their ability to qualify the rights or responsibilities of Australians using race as their measure.
    Commonwealth “NT Intervention” problems continue earlier Commonwealth mass-treatment applied by racial measurement.
    Commonwealth obstructs relevant judicial determination processes.
    Commonwealth claims it held no Constitutional authority to qualify rights and responsibilities on basis of race, yet it busily did and continues to do so.
    Today’s problems result from earlier racial discrimination.
    Australian’s Constitution sort to outlaw ALL legislation which qualified Australians rights or responsibilities using racial measurements.
    Yet many opposing Commonwealth “NT Intervention” act with concerns for their preferred flavor of racism, not eliminating racism.
    The Commonwealth Attorney-General advised Parliament Australia has NO racial tests.
    Yet the Commonwealth supports, promotes and practices racism using racial measures.


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