N.1 Paul you missed totally my point. It is about …

Comment on From Intervention Lalaland: ‘We demand reparations’ by Georgina.

Paul you missed totally my point. It is about really “hearing” from Aboriginal people.
On land and many other issues we need to “really hear” and come to understand what people are saying and experiencing: “Hear” further what Elders and leaders are saying about land, culture, the NT Intervention legislation, and of their daily experiences of discrimination and of loss of control; gross injustices.
We are the people of the land. The land is our mother. For more than 40,000 years we have been caring for this land. We are its natural farmers.
Now, after so many years of dispossession, we find once again we are being thrust towards a new dispossession. Our pain and our fear are real. Our people are again being shamed.
Under the Intervention we lost our rights as human beings, as Australians citizens, as the First People of the Land. We feel very deeply the threat to our languages, our culture and our heritage. Through harsh changes we have had removed from us all control over our communities and our lives. Our lands have been compulsorily taken from us. We have been left with nothing.
The legislation under which we now live does not comply with international law. It is discriminatory. We are no longer equal to other Australians. We are no longer equal to you.
As people in our own land, we are shocked by the failure of democratic processes, of the failure to consult with us and of the total disregard for us as human beings. We demand the return of our rights, our freedom to live our traditional lives, support to develop our economic enterprises to develop jobs and to work towards a better future for all our peoples.
So extreme have been the actions against our people that we must appeal to all people of Australia to walk with us in true equality. Speak out and help to put an end to the nightmare that Northern Territory Aboriginal people are experiencing on a daily basis.
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM (Utopia); Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM (Galiwin’ku); Harry Nelson (Yuendumu); Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM (Nauiyu); Djapirri Mununggirritj (Yirrkala); Dhanggal Gurruwiwi (Yirrkala); George Gaymarani Pascoe (Milingimbi). Feb 7th 2011 Melbourne University Law School.

Then more recently, “REALLY HEAR” what people said during the recent Stronger Future Consultations. See research paper, “Cuts to Welfare Payments for School Non Attendance – Requested or Imposed?” (Oct 2011) which concludes:- “It is our belief that legislation to link welfare cuts to the parents of non-attending school children will be a pre-determined outcome which will ignore almost totally the suggestions of community residents.
“If these suggestions were to be addressed this will simply be in addition to the planned legislation to which there is evidence to believe that this is closer to having been imposed than asked for by Aboriginal people.
“The Government has spent considerable amounts of tax payer money on a very large number of consultations in the Northern Territory. It appears that virtually no weight has been placed on the information provided by the people.
“Within weeks of ending the process the Department has decided to legislate what it sees as a solution to the problem. This is based on a program that was implemented as a trial some two years ago and which has not yet been evaluated. It is not based on what has been heard from Aboriginal people.
There is no evidence from these transcripts that a request for welfare cuts has been made.”
FULL PAPER AT http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/media/Welfare-Cuts-Requested-or-Imposed.pdf
It is time to really listen and “hear”.

Georgina Also Commented

From Intervention Lalaland: ‘We demand reparations’
These people have a right to be heard. What do you mean by “LaLaland”! Perhaps a land where we have equal rights and dignity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Where Aboriginal people treated equal under Australian law, and not like second class citizens? Where our social and political institutions respect their human and cultural rights? Where the enormous walls causing disadvantage are torn down.
“Special measures” have been incorrectly defined by the Australian Government. Then, in order that Aboriginal people could not legally challenge these “racist” measures / policies the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act was simply suspended in 2007 so that the NTER could be rolled out. Many of these so-called special measures, racist policies, have now been entrenched further into Australian law. What was taken away? Human, cultural and event the right to legally challenge these!
Aboriginal people lost total control of their lives and vast areas of Aboriginal lands “Compulsory acquisition” first and now co-erced leases today are obtained in exchange for basic services and housing. Services main stream society take for granted. Leases of 15, 40, 80 even 99 years. We have to ask: What if this had happened to me? Yet not all communities have / will e.g. receive the promised housing and services.
Then to top this off where does the money come from to pay for these Government leases? From the ABA! Simply “WRONG” control of Land removed and now this! The taking of Aboriginal money to pay for the Government’s leases. The minister feels this is benefiting Aboriginal people! Outrageous, commissioner, Mick Gooda, said!
When you read the most recent “closing the gap monitoring report” of the NT you will see the hidden statistics and tragedies emerging. There is increasing socio-economic disadvantage for Aboriginal people, and their health in affected.
For example, “Since 2007–08 Indigenous hospitalisation rates NT-wide (not just in NTER communities) have increased from 229 per 1,000 to 262 per 1,000. These are extraordinarily high rates unimagined in the broader community.
Recorded school enrolment and attendance has declined from 64.5 percent in February 2009 to 62.7 percent in February 2011 with total enrolments declining from 8,960 to 8,914, despite rapid population growth. [Then] in the name of job creation, welfare dependence is increasing.”
Suicides and self harm have also more than doubled. See the rest of John Altman’s recent summary of the latest report on line at: http://tracker.org.au/2011/11/evidently-a-new-intervention/ Jobs for Aboriginal people are highly reduced since the Intervention.
In NT Aboriginal community’s childhood malnutrition and anemia rates have increased by 66%, and good quality schooling has long been denied. See http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12754
There are serious issues and failures under the NT Intervention. Billions of dollars being misspent – money that should have gone into the empowering culturally relevant recommendations of the 2007 Little Children are Sacred report.
This report was used, its 97 recommendations and nine principles of engagement IGNORED to roll out a Howard / Brough paternalistic agenda that saw the “take over” of Aboriginal lands and communities.
Control of Aboriginal lives and lands lost, thousands CDEP positions removed so income management could be imposed. Aboriginal people forced into welfare dependency! Community assets lost, Aboriginal councils disbanded.
On this most recent closing the gap report, Jon Altman said: “Deeply disadvantaged people in remote Northern Territory deserve far better. Policy instruments need to be deployed that generates improvement in absolute, not relative, wellbeing and that can be monitored less ambiguously.
Who has benefited under the Intervention? Questions must be asked. An apology it seems is warranted!
These Elders and leaders have a right to be truly “heard” and respected.

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