Search Results: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples

  • AUSTRALIA

    The changing face of the law across generations

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 July 2016
    7 Comments

    Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the amendment to the Constitution which took out the adverse references to Aborigines. Following our recent election, we are assured at least six, and possibly seven, members of our national parliament who proudly claim an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. They are represented in all parties and none. How good it would be if our elected Aboriginal politicians could come together across party lines and propose an amendment to the Constitution which recognises them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Yielding and wielding personal information

    • Kate Galloway
    • 06 July 2016
    5 Comments

    I once knew of a boy whose birth was not registered. His parents believed this would free him from the strictures of the state: his life would be truly private. But it would leave this boy without the trappings of citizenship that we take for granted. Privacy is likely to become something that we can purchase if we have sufficient wealth. Those without enough wealth will be left exposed through both state and corporate surveillance. We will have an 'underclass' without the choice of privacy at all.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Shorten's treaty talk reflects impact of Indigenous activism

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 22 June 2016
    8 Comments

    For the first time ever, I got the sense that political views on the importance of Indigenous issues had shifted. It was not due to an increase in Indigenous voices in the political discussions nor was it because either of the major parties announced a policy which I found remotely inspiring. Rather it was because, under the glare of the camera, the leaders of the two major parties both attempted to show a greater understanding of the Indigenous political agenda than they have before.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    White Australia is alive and well in our parliament

    • Jarni Blakkarly
    • 21 June 2016
    11 Comments

    Across the political spectrum, Australia's major and minor parties are failing to reflect the multicultural Australia of the 21st century. We have fallen far behind similar nations like Canada, who elected 19 Indian-Canadians alone, and ten indigenous parliamentarians, at their last election. Who we elect to our parliament is not just about the gesture, it is also a reflection of where power lies within our society, and whose voices are given the space to be heard to represent the community.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Legal grey area hinders Aboriginal repatriation

    • Kate Galloway
    • 17 June 2016
    3 Comments

    Until the 1940s, bodies of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were sent to museum, scientific, and private collections around the world. The remains of more than 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians continue to be held overseas in collections. Indigenous Australians have worked tirelessly towards repatriation, and there has been some success in recent decades. Unfortunately, the remains tend to fall into a grey area of Australian law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Prognosis negative as election health debate stagnates

    • Melissa Sweet
    • 14 June 2016
    6 Comments

    When politicians and journalists speak about 'health' in an election context, they invariably are referring to healthcare, and usually hospitals at that. However, the health of individuals and communities is the result of many factors, of which access to healthcare is just one determinant. Climate change - the defining issue for public health this century, according to the World Health Organization's outgoing director general Dr Margaret Chan - barely figures in election health debate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Recognition or treaty ... Why not both?

    • Kate Galloway
    • 18 May 2016
    18 Comments

    Newly appointed Senator for Western Australia, Pat Dodson, in his first week on the job, raised the thorny political question of treaty. I see the need for both treaty and constitutional reform, which support each other in promoting justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. But the limitations of my understanding are both that I am a lawyer, and that I am not an Indigenous Australian. I need to heed the diverse voices of Indigenous Australia in understanding what is truly at stake.

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  • RELIGION

    The past, present and future of the Easter Rising 1916

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 May 2016
    2 Comments

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Patrick Dodson's Senate mandate

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 April 2016
    21 Comments

    The royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, which signed off on its final reports 25 years ago this Friday, definitely improved the systems for supervision of persons in detention, reducing the risk of deaths in custody. It also led to better coronial procedures. But it failed to reverse Indigenous imprisonment rates and it did little to counter the underlying causes of Indigenous imprisonment. Back then, Patrick Dodson saw police as the main problem. Now, he thinks it's the legislators.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Jailing fine defaulters punishes poverty

    • Kate Galloway
    • 30 March 2016
    6 Comments

    Around half of Indigenous prisoners in Roebourne Regional Prison are there on driving offences. Many Indigenous Australians do not have birth certificates and therefore cannot get a drivers licence. Yet those who live in remote areas often have no means of transport other than by car. When they are caught driving unlicensed, they receive a fine, and since many are unable to pay, they are consequently are jailed. And as we all know, jail is a particularly risky place for Indigenous Australians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't be disheartened by dismal Close the Gap reports

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 16 February 2016
    3 Comments

    Last week, Malcolm Turnbull presented the eighth annual Prime Minister's Report on the government's Close the Gap campaign. The Close the Gap Campaign steering committee also released its 2016 progress and priorities report. While the reports identify modest gains, overall the gaps remain wide the words 'target not met' recur throughout. The results are disheartening but should strengthen the resolve of all concerned to set realistic goals, with consultation at local levels.

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  • RELIGION

    Meeting Pope Francis

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 January 2016
    22 Comments

    Hailing from Argentina, Francis puts his trust neither in ideological Communism nor in unbridled capitalism. We need to enhance international security, building the rule of law within multilateral organisations, and fostering the climate for investment sensitive to the triple bottom line - economic, social and environmental. I return from Rome grateful that we have a pope prepared to open these questions, accompanied by senior prelates happy to mix it with business and community leaders.

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