SA Treaty Commissioner Roger Thomas and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher.

Aboriginal man Roger Thomas to lead treaty negotiations in South Australia

February 28: Senior Kokatha and Mirning man Roger Thomas has been appointed SA’s Treaty Commissioner. He will lead the consultation process about a model for a treaty between the State Government and Aboriginal South Australians. Mr Thomas will consult with Aboriginal communities in coming months and provide advice to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher on a recommended treaty framework. The commissioner will then work on the treaty-making process.

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Qld Government drops Wotton court appeal

Palm Island man Lex Wotton.
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 11:32 am

The Queensland Government has dropped its Full Federal Court appeal over a damages award to Palm Island man Lex Wotton and members of his family. Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’Ath said the decision was based on new legal advice. Mr Wotton and members of his family were awarded $220,000 after the Federal Court found Queensland Police breached the Racial Discrimination Act in relation to their actions on Palm Island following riots sparked by the death in custody in 2004 of Mulrunji Doomadgee.

National Indigenous art gallery a major step closer

A view of Alice Springs, where the proposed gallery will be situated.
Monday, 27 February 2017 4:32 am

Plans to build a national Indigenous art gallery are a big step closer, with the announcement of two prominent Aboriginal Central Australians as co-chairs for the project steering committee. Curator, writer and consultant Hetti Perkins and Philip Watkins, chief executive of Desart, the peak body for Central Australian Aboriginal art centres, will lead the committee to undertake initial consultation work for the gallery, including considering where it should be located in Alice Springs. 

Julalikari Council under special administration

Flashback to 2015 when Tennant Creek residents held a rally seeking reform of the Julalikari Corporation.
Friday, 24 February 2017 5:16 am

One of Australia’s largest Indigenous organisations is under special administration. Tennant Creek-based Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation is now in the hands of administrators appointed by Registrar of Indigenous Corporations Anthony Beven. The move follows ongoing concern about Julalikari, established in 1989 to alleviate poverty and improve the wellbeing of the Aboriginal people in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory. Special administrators have been appointed until August 23.

Australia condemned in Amnesty rights report

Thursday, 23 February 2017 4:41 am

Australia has been condemned in Amnesty International’s State of the World’s Human Rights annual report 2016, with the rights organisation saying the justice system is failing Indigenous people, particularly children, who are detained at 24 times the rate of non-Indigenous children. The report also criticised Australia for its ‘continued abuse of people seeking safety and the warehousing of vulnerable people in offshore detention, as well as the failure to legislate for marriage equality’. 

Money to help Indigenous babies and mothers

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 4:14 am

The Federal Government is putting millions of dollars into improving the health of Indigenous babies and their mothers following the latest Closing the Gap report. Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt has announced the $27 million boost for child and maternal health programs, to be spent over the next 18 months. It will go toward services like antenatal and postnatal care and ensuring children are properly immunised. The services will be delivered by providers across NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Former Retta Dixon Home children to receive compo

A dormitory at the now closed Retta Dixon Home.
Thursday, 16 February 2017 3:34 am

Former child residents who suffered abuse at the Darwin’s Retta Dixon Aboriginal Home in Northern Territory will receive compensation from the Federal Government. The notorious home for Stolen Generations children was run by Australian Indigenous Ministries and overseen by the Federal Government. Seventy-one former residents, who alleged physical and sexual assaults by staff between 1946 and 1980, launched a civil lawsuit in 2015. The compensation follows evidence at the sex abuse royal commission. 

Govt moves to reverse native title decision

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 12:41 pm

The Federal Government has moved to reverse a major Federal Court ruling relating to native title claims. Earlier this month an appeal court ruled a single member of a claimant group can prevent an Indigenous land use agreement from being registered if they withhold their consent. The Government today introduced a bill to reinstate a 2010 decision that was effectively overruled by the appeal court.

Closing the Gap report shows failures

Congress co-chairs Jackie Huggins and Rod Little with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 2:30 pm

Only one of the seven targets set down nine years ago to improve Indigenous health, education and employment is on track to be met. That’s been highlighted in the ninth annual Closing the Gap report handed down in Parliament by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Targets in mortality rates and health, employment and reading, writing and numeracy are not being met, with Indigenous Year 12 attainment the only success reported. Mr Turnbull said the “stark reality” is there is not sufficient progress. 

Cricket wins to Victorian men and NSW women

Victorian captain Ben Abbatangelo all smiles after his team’s win.
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 8:18 am

Victoria has won the men’s grand final at the 2017 National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC), defeating NSW by 18 runs and in the process securing the NICC men’s title for the first time. Victoria won the toss and elected to bat first at Traeger Park, Alice Springs, scoring 8-228 from their 50 overs. NSW could manage only 210 in reply. The title win on February 13 was the first for a Victorian men’s team at the NICC. Victoria’s win in the men’s grand final followed NSW’s win over Queensland in the NICC women’s grand final earlier in the day. 

Sydney marchers mark Apology anniversary

The protest march in Sydney.
Monday, 13 February 2017 4:46 pm

Aboriginal grandmothers led a march in Sydney to NSW Parliament House on February 13 demanding an end to the continuing removal of Aboriginal children from their families. The march and rally came on the ninth anniversary of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s National Apology to the Stolen Generations. Marchers called for thousands of children be returned to their families, Aboriginal control of Aboriginal child welfare, an end to the practice of incarcerating children, and serious investment in services to support struggling families.