A strong and unified movement is building to challenge the Australian Government on its discriminatory policies towards Aboriginal people, in particular the Northern Territory Intervention and the suppression of homelands and Indigenous languages in the Northern Territory.
We are on shifting ground, and the wider strategy for action is changing to keep up with government manoeuvring. To keep abreast of the movement, join our email list or some of the devoted organisations that are listed in GET INVOLVED.
Below are also some key avenues for action:
Support Amnesty International’s Homelands Campaign
Visit their website HERE to sign this vital petition to stop the extinction of Culture on Country.
Rebuilding from the Ground Up: Policy alternatives to the Northern Territory Intervention
Explore and promote the alternatives to the Intervention that have been supported by Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory.
Visit the JUMBUNNA and ROLL BACK THE INTERVENTION websites to find out more.
GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION FOR ABORIGINAL RIGHTS
On 13th May 2011, Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, senior elder and Dhurili Clan Nation leader of the Yolngu peoples of Northeast Arnhem Land, launched the Global Call to Action for Aboriginal Rights outside Australia House in London.
This petition calls on the Australian Prime Minister to end the Northern Territory Intervention and other indigenous policies that have been criticized by the United Nations for their gross breach of human rights.
You can read the full petition below. It expresses the key demands of the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory and human rights advocates from across Australia. It draws from the Statement by Eminent Australians, made in February 2011, whose signatories include former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, former Indigenous Affairs ministers, church leaders, QCs, academics and Aboriginal leaders cross the country. You can read their full statement at Concerned Australians.
Dear Prime Minister Julia Gillard,
In concurrence with ongoing United Nations recommendations (made by the Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights and the Human Rights Commission) and the will of the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory,
We call upon the Australian Federal and Northern Territory Governments to:
1. End all laws of the NTER immediately.
2. Establish a new working relationship with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, based on the recognition of traditional Aboriginal leadership and customary law.
3. Empower Aboriginal communities on the basis of prior informed consent, local decision-making and support of community-based institutions and programmes.
4. Support adequate service provision to Aboriginal homelands, and thereby protect the rights of Aboriginal people to live as they choose on their ancestral estates.
5. To provide housing and basic services to Aboriginal communities, without engaging in the coercive practice of demanding long-term government leases over land in return; thereby granting Aboriginal people the same rights entitled to all other Australians.
6. To re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) in its original, unqualified form.
7. To secure Aboriginal rights in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Australia has endorsed.
Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL, former Prime Minister of Australia 1975 – 1983
Hon Ian Viner AO QC, former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs 1975 – 1978
Hon Fred Chaney AO, former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs 1978 – 1980 and Director of Reconciliation Australia
Most Rev Philip Freier, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne
Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC, former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
Hon Ron Merkel QC, former Federal Court Judge and expert on Aboriginal legal issues
Hon Sally Brown AM, former Family Court Judge and Chief Magistrate for Victoria
Hon Paul Guest QC, former Family Court Judge
Hon Colleen Moore, former Family Court Judge, Adjunct Professor of Law, UTS, Sydney; headed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Programme for Family Court
Hon Elizabeth Evatt AO, former first Justice of the Family Court of Australia
Julian Burnside QC, Barrister and Human Rights Advocate
Rev Alistair Macrea, President of the Uniting Church of Australia
Rev Ken Sumner, Chairperson, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress
Rev Shayne Blackman, National Administrator of the UAICC and Acting Director of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Alliance
Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, Elder Galiwin’ku East Arnhem Land, NT
Graeme Mundine, former Secretary of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission
Peter Norden SJ AO, Executive Director of the Australia Jesuit Foundation and Convenor of the Victorian Criminal Justice Coalition.
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM, Elder Utopia, Central Australia, NT
Prof. Patrick Dodson, Chairperson of Kimberley Institute & Director of Indigenous Policy, Dialogue & Research at the University of New South Wales
Prof. Larissa Behrendt, Director, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS Sydney, NSW Australian of the Year 2011.
Prof. Fiona Stanley AC, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, former Australian of the Year
Prof. Cheryl Saunders AO. Laureate Professor, Melbourne Law School
Phil Lynch, Executive Director Human Rights Law Resource Centre
Brother Paul Smith AM, CEO Lasallian Foundation
Assoc. Prof. John Tobin, Lecturer in Human Rights Law Melbourne Law School
Brian Walters SC, Barrister and Human Rights Advocate
Prof. Jon Altman, Centre for Aboriginal Economic policy Research, Australian National University
Assoc. Prof. Sarah Maddison, Research Director Indigenous Policy, Dialogue & Research at the University of New South Wales
Bret Walker SC, a leading Australian barrister
Dr Sarah Pritchard, International Human Rights Law, University of New South Wales
John Pilger, author, journalist, film-maker
Sam Roddick, enterpreneur and human rights activist
Julian Lennon, artist and environmental campaigner
George Newhouse, Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate
Diana Batzias, President International Social Services Australia Branch
Prof. Tim McCormack, International Humanitarian Law, University of Melbourne