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Tjarutja Dance Theatre Collective performs at the launch of Tarnanthi 2021, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Picture: Nat Rogers

Tarnanthi opens with stunning show

ELECTRIC Fields, Antara singers and Tjarutja Dance Theatre Collective provided a stunning live- streamed opening for Tarnanthi last week. 

Tarnanthi, the Art Gallery of South Australia’s festival of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, will feature the work of more than 1400 artists in exhibitions and events at AGSA and venues across South Australia. 

Senior Kaurna man Mickey Kumatpi O’Brien said that the festival is an opportunity for everyone to experience the wonders of culture…

Latest News Stories

Larrakia and Warramungu man Richard Fejo is among a growing group of Aboriginal people from the NT urging mob to book in to receive their vaccinations for COVID-19.

Localised programs are key to vaccination rate

Monday, 25 October 2021 9:00 am

With news that the Northern Territory Government plans to gradually open borders by the end of the year – and as take-up of the jab continues to stall in a handful of remote areas – First Nations groups are calling for immediate re-investment in community-led vaccine drives. 

“There are regions that are doing extremely well, but at the same time we have concerns around some small pockets still experiencing vaccine hesitancy,” Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) chief executive John Paterson said. 

“Our community members need to hear the voices, hear the directions from our Aboriginal health professionals: Those vaccines are safe.” 

AMSANT’s call comes at a critical time. By the end of the second week of October, 78% of Territorians aged 16 and over had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 65% had received both. For NT- serviced remote communities, double doses are sitting around 46%, but in some communities take-up is below 20%. 

The Northern Territory Government this month announced plans to open up the territory gradually from the end of November, including changes to requirements for vaccinated travellers interstate that would allow them to quarantine at home…

Family members of JC, an Aboriginal woman shot dead by police, attend the trial of the policeman charged with her murder.

Shooting death by police not justified, court hears

Monday, 25 October 2021 9:00 am

A policeman who shot dead an Aboriginal woman carrying a knife on a suburban Western Australian street had “no justification” for pulling the trigger, a jury has been told. 

The first-class constable, whose identity is suppressed, is on trial in the WA Supreme Court charged with murdering the 29- year-old woman, known as JC for cultural reasons. 

JC, a mother-of-one, had experienced mental health and drug problems and recently been released from prison when she died in Geraldton, in WA’s Mid West, on September 17, 2019. 

Opening the trial on Tuesday, October 5, director of Public Prosecutions Amanda Forrester said JC had died from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. 

She said the accused had been one of eight police officers in four separate vehicles who had responded to reports of a person roaming the streets carrying a knife. 

The jury was shown confronting CCTV footage of the shooting, which occurred while JC was surrounded by police vehicles…

Hayley McQuire, co-founder of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition. Picture: Gregory Lorenzutti

Schools have role to play in fight against racism

Friday, 22 October 2021 9:00 am

From the global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement to the national story of AFL legend Adam Goodes and his fight against racism in the sport, we are seeing race and racism discussed more and more in the mainstream. 

But some researchers argue that these important conversations are being stifled in the classroom despite an eagerness from students to have them. Psychologist and Monash Education PhD candidate Hannah Yared has been undertaking research in order to understand why that is, leading a study in the past year titled ‘How does race play out in schools?’. 

The findings are stark. There appears to be a code of silence around discussing race and racism with children in the classroom, as well as a lack of training and support for teachers who want to hold safe and informed conversations. 

What’s concerning, Ms Yared argues, is this trend doesn’t mitigate the harm caused by racism and could foster the development of prejudices later in life…

ACT takes the lead

Friday, 22 October 2021 9:00 am

The Australian Capital Territory has released an independent report which outlines the reforms needed to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years. 

The review was prepared by Professor Morag McArthur in partnership with Aboriginal consultancy Curijo, and Dr Aino Suomi from the Australian National University. 

The report looks at the ACT’s current system and identifies ways in which that system could be changed to better meet the needs of children who would most likely be affected by raising the age. 

The review proposes a model of wrap-around and case management services for children and young people, including appropriate after-hours and crisis accommodation for this age group in the ACT. 

Aboriginal health, legal and human rights organisations welcomed the report and called on Australian governments to follow suit as a matter of urgency…

Gomeroi man Phil Duncan is an ambassador for National Water Week (#NWW2021).

Water Week zeros in on the value of caring for Country

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 10:51 am

For Gomeroi man Phil Duncan caring for water and Country means everything. 

“We as Aboriginal people across this country live in a symbiotic relationship with our cultural landscapes,” he said. 

“Our Indigenous totemic values are related to both fish and animals. 

“Our rivers are our arteries. 

“We have a profound intrinsic birthright to care for Country. It’s one of our cultural obligations.” 

Mr Duncan is an ambassador for this year’s National Water Week, which has the theme ‘Caring for water and Country’ and runs from October 18-24. 

Mr Duncan said that one of his hopes for the future was enabling more Aboriginal people to share their concerns about water management. 

He said he’d also like to see Aboriginal cultural knowledge working with Western science to protect and preserve waterways…

Cairns City Lions players celebrate winning the 2021 AFL Cairns Seniors premiership recently.

Captain Davey takes Cairns City to the flag

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 10:49 am

Cairns City Lions broke a 38-year premiership drought when they defeated Cairns Saints by 11 points, 15.12 (102) to 14.7 (91), in the 2021 AFL Cairns Seniors grand final in September.

Leading the Lions around on the park as captain was former Melbourne Demons AFL player Aaron Davey. 

Davey, who played 178 games for Melbourne and three for the Indigenous All Stars between 2004-2013, used his strong connections to bring to the club several Indigenous players from three different states and territories, including Brandon Lovell, Jake Long, Eddie Sansbury and Josh Tilmouth; Greg Braico and Reece Munster, who had played during the year, had missed the grand final. 

Tilmouth kicked four goals for the winning Lions while Long and Sansbury, a one-time AFL player at North Melbourne, added one each. 

Cairns City came from fourth position on the ladder, with an 8-7 win-loss record, to win the premiership. Their grand final opponents, Cairns Saints, had finished the home-and-away rounds on top of the ladder with a 12-3 record…