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The Voice of Indigenous Australia
Mick Dodson.

Mick Dodson named NT Treaty Commissioner

ABORIGINAL groups have applauded the news that Yawuru man Mick Dodson is the Northern Territory’s first Treaty Commissioner.

The appointment follows the signing of the historic Barunga Agreement last year to to pave the way for consultations to begin on a treaty with Aboriginal people.

“Anyone who has listened to me talk publicly knows that I am concerned with what I call ‘the unfinished business’,” Prof Dodson said.

“A treaty is a good place to start with addressing this unfinished business.”

He will take up his new role in March following a career in law and and academia and the distinction of being the nation’s first indigenous law graduate in 1974.

His brother, Pat Dodson, is a federal Labor senator.

Latest News Stories

Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak. Picture: Toni Wilkinson

The trees are talking at Perth Festival

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 11:42 am

PERTH’S Kings Park was turned into a nocturnal wonderland for families to enjoy when Perth Festival opened last week. Tree-lined Fraser Avenue was turned into a tunnel of vivid colours, light and sound for visitors to walk through as they experienced Noongar culture and ecological awareness in the installation Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak. Celebrating 66 years as Australia’s longest-running arts festival, Perth Festival will run until March 3, with a program of 300 free and ticketed events for audiences of all ages, showcasing 1300 artists.

Damage to Wallaby Point Road at Long Beach, Palm Island.

Palm Island cops savage storm

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 11:39 am

AS north Queensland surveyed the damage caused by torrential rain last week, communities in the Torres Strait have been swamped by a king tide, while farming towns out west are facing widespread destruction. Both state and federal governments have opened up grant funding, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying he expects the cost of the once-in-a-century flood to grow. He and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week tripled the value of disaster grants to $75,000. The Federal Government will also spend $3 million on mental health services. Authorities are also investigating whether there’s been any environmental damage from water releases from Indian miner Adani’s Abbot Point terminal, south of Townsville.

Scott Chisholm, Trevor Walley, William Hayward and his son Malaki with Herbert Bropho are ready to begin the ceremony.

Smoke by the water

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 11:36 am

HUNDREDS of people gathered near Bathers Beach in Walyalup (Fremantle) for the official smoking ceremony to coincide with the One Day in Freo event on January 27. Now in its third year, Elder Mingli McGlade opened the ceremony before Trevor Wally explained to the crowd the significance of the traditional smoking ceremony, which is used to make peace and cleanse the area, people and spirit ancestors. The crowd was invited to walk through the smoke, before hearing from several speakers, including Uncle Ben Taylor, Herbert Bropho, William Hayward and Ezra Jacobs.

Jessie Lloyd, third from left, and the Mission Songs Project will be performing at this year’s Boomerang Festival.

Boomerang festival returns to Byron Bay

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 11:22 am

BOOMERANG Festival is back in Byron Bay on April 19-21 and the line-up is long – featuring Young Australian of the Year Baker Boy, Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project, Archie Roach and Dobby. Held as part of Bluesfest Byron Bay, Boomerang is Bundjalung country’s own Indigenous arts and culture festival, managed and programmed from a First Nations perspective. Bluesfest director Peter Noble said Boomerang – the Indigenous festival within a festival – is a musical and sensory delight including performances from Mojo Juju, the Mission Songs Project, Dallas Woods and Benny Walker. “Many have said the closing ceremony is one of the most moving experiences, not only of Bluesfest, but, of their lives,” he said.

Niningka Lewis with her artwork Australian Coat of Arms: We were there and we are here in the Tjanpi gallery, Alice Springs. Picture: Emma Poletti

We were there and we are here

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 10:25 am

THE Australian Parliament House has bought Niningka Lewis’ artwork Australian Coat of Arms: We were there and we are here. The artwork, which was a finalist in the 2018 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, will now become part of the Parliament House Art Collection in Canberra. Ms Lewis, who is a member of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, is a senior artist from Pukatja (Ernabella) on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of South Australia. Since Tjanpi’s inception in 1995, she has been a pioneering weaver and sculptor and is also an acclaimed punu (wood carving) artist and painter.

From communities around Australia MK Study ambassadors have been promoting the importance of taking part in the survey. Back row, left to right: Rob Williams, Carmen Parter, John Leha, MK Study leader Ray Lovett and Jack Wilson. Front row, left to right: Elsie Seriat, John Paul Janke, Jessica Lovett-Murray and Jeffrey Morgan.

Survey expected to produce a wealth of knowledge

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 10:36 am

A STUDY that includes people often missed in research – such as those in remote areas, with limited English literacy, disability, or in prisons – will soon be asking Australia’s Indigenous people some important questions. On January 30, Mayi Kuwayu (MK) Study surveys will be mailed out to 180,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 16 as the nation’s biggest study into the connection between culture, health and wellbeing begins. It’s the most extensive and comprehensive longitudinal study of Indigenous culture and wellbeing ever conducted in Australia, and will establish a valuable resource from which to influence policies and programs. See current edition for full report.