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Basketball star Patty Mills carries the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Michael Kappeler, Getty Images

Flag bearers set the standard at Olympics

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander basketball star Patty Mills made history last weekend when he carried the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Mills became the first Indigenous Australian to have the honour of being the Olympic team’s flag bearer. 

The Boomers star – a four- time Olympian – is one of a record 16 Indigenous athletes competing at the Tokyo Games. 

“Entering the village a couple of days ago and just being able to see how much Indigenous artwork has been combined throughout our Australian HQ and the flags at the bottom of the stairs, it’s definitely one of those things that gave me chills just to see how much it was incorporated throughout our entire team,” Mills said. “It’s something that is very unifying, as the Olympic Games is…

Latest News Stories

Jessica’s family in 2019, at a walk in her honour. From left: Gerard Gibson, Averil Bairnsfather-Scott, Alison Gibson, Will Bairnsfather-Scott, Braden Langley and Brenden Bairnsfather-Scott. Picture: Tash Gillespie

Murder victim’s family ‘destroyed’ by the loss

Friday, 30 July 2021 9:00 am

NOONGAR woman Jessica Bairnsfather-Scott was no stranger to domestic violence. 

Like her sister Alison Gibson and mother Averil, Jessica had worked in the field of domestic violence, working with a Perth refuge as a health worker at the time of her death. 

But despite that experience, and the support of her loving family, Jessica herself became a domestic violence victim – murdered by a lying, cheating, drug-abusing husband who then tried to elicit sympathy from the court by claiming he had mental health issues. 

But Justice Joseph McGrath rejected those claims and sentenced the husband, Harold Andre Carter, to life behind bars, with a minimum of 21 years to be served in prison. 

Alison Gibson told the Koori Mail that while the family welcomed the sentence, the impact of Jessica’s death was profound. 

“We are destroyed from it … My parents are both completely different people, a shell of themselves,” she said. 

“I don’t think they will ever recover and it breaks my heart to see them this way. 

“I have a brother as well and he was unable to sit through the sentencing. 

In(digenous) Place Design founders Leroy Hart, Reuben Maynard, Che Hart, and newest member of the team Tye Hart, work on a timber and resin inlay piece outside their shipping container workshop in Hobart’s port area.

Young designers are knocking on wood

Friday, 30 July 2021 9:00 am

RUEBEN Maynard and brothers Leroy, Che and (now) Tye Hart are making themselves and their community proud with their beautiful wood-crafted creations, all the while keeping their mental health in check. 

Known as In(digenous) Place Design (IPD), they have gone from designing and making wooden spoons and knife handles, to stunning chopping boards and tables, with resin insets that tell a story, and more. 

Based at Nayri Naira’s Longhouse, an event, arts and business incubator space in the Hobart wharf area, the initiative began last winter. 

Nayri Naira founder, Yorta Yorta woman Ruth Langford, had put out a call to help refurbish and organise the space. The young men answered the call. 

Initially it was just a few days’ work. 

“They started talking about how hard it was being stuck at home during the pandemic and they wanted to get out. They loved the days being out. Their mental health and wellbeing was really positive after those days,” Ruth told the Koori Mail. 

Conversations between Ruth, her carpenter brother Tasman Langford, and the young men moved to design and ideas around working with salvaged wood. IPD was born. 

Representatives of the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and the WA Government at a signing ceremony.

Historic land transfer, WA

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 12:17 pm

LAST week, Western Australian Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson and Lands Minister Tony Buti executed the first documents that give effect to Boodja (Lands) transfers under the South West Native Title Settlement at a signing ceremony with Noongar leaders and Elders at Parliament House. 

These first parcels of land signify the commencement of a five-year process to transfer up to 320,000 hectares of Crown land to the Noongar Land Estate. 

The transfer of up to 300,000 hectares of land as reserve or leasehold and up to 20,000 hectares of land as freehold will be for cultural or economic development purposes, as determined by the Noongar traditional owners of the South-West. 

The settlement, the most comprehensive Native Title Agreement negotiated in Australian history, recognises the Noongar people as the traditional owners of the South-West region.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) said in a statement that the signing ceremony was a significant milestone…

Keanu Pinder has crossed from Adelaide to Cairns in a big coup for the Taipans in the NBL. Picture: Peter Argent

Pinder to add bite for the Cairns Taipans

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 12:16 pm

KEANU Pinder is one of the most athletically gifted players in Australian hoops and the 26-year-old has just signed a two-year NBL contract with the Cairns Taipans. 

Pinder began to find his feet in his first year in the NBL with the Adelaide 36ers after getting into plenty of plenty of foul trouble and having to adjust his style. 

He displayed his capacity to perform at this level with an impressive season-high 19 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks in the 36ers’ round- 16 win over Brisbane. 

“What he brings is unique to the league and he still has massive room for improvement,” Taipans head coach Adam Forde said. 

“He’s hungry and has a point to prove so I think it’ll be beneficial for us to provide him with the platform to do so…

Dianne Kelly holds a plaque dedicated to her brother Michael, to be installed at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Aboriginal Memorial Garden, Westmead.

Stolen baby brother comes home at last

Monday, 12 July 2021 1:23 pm

Warning – this story includes the death of a baby and may distress readers.

MICHAEL Kelly was just three months old when he was stolen. In 1972 baby Michael died suddenly while being treated in a Sydney hospital from where he was then buried in an unmarked grave. His parents Rhonda Nicholls and Cedric Kelly never saw their bub again, nor did any other member of the Kelly family. 

“Michael should never have been taken from me. He knew that. I knew that. Everyone knew that, and we still don’t have answers why,” Ms Nicholls told the Koori Mail.

“For many excruciatingly painful decades, I had no idea where the hospital had buried my baby, or why for that matter, but Michael would come and whisper in my ear, and tell me that he wasn’t at peace, that he wasn’t resting, that someone needed to come and find him.”

“Mum, I’m incomplete and I’m not happy. I’m sad and lonely and in a very dark corner,” Rhonda would hear her son whisper. 

“I don’t want them to do any more testing on me, I just want to be put back together so that I can be complete again.

“They’ve done so much damage to me, Mum, and the terrible things they did do to me was enough.”

Rhonda was initially told by the hospital that Michael was gravely ill because he had leukaemia, and so she was shocked to learn later that Michael didn’t die of either leukeamia or natural causes. Instead, a letter from…

Zhanae Dodd is co-chair for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Portfolio for the Queensland Youth Parliament.

Young mob are keen to have their voices heard

Monday, 12 July 2021 1:21 pm

WHEN Ghungalu (Blackdown Tablelands, Queensland) Biri (Mackay region) woman Zhanae Dodd found out she had been elected as co-chair for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Portfolio for the Queensland Youth Parliament, she got straight to work.

“When I put in my application for the Rockhampton division, I didn’t really think anything else of it, and so when I got the call to say I’d been successful, I was just so excited, because giving other Aboriginal people a voice is what I’m all about,” Ms Dodd told the Koori Mail.

“We had a launch day back in April, when I was sworn into Parliament alongside 92 other youth members, all aged between 15 and 25, and given the chance to meet other members of our portfolio too.

“We spent the day together exchanging ideas on what changes we’d like to see be made, especially in terms of bills and other government policies that affect each of our respective communities.

“There were some hot topics that came up, centred around raising the age of criminal responsibility for our mob, who are overrepresented and already caught up in the justice system, and we looked at other areas we find ourselves represented in, like domestic violence.”

The YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament (QYP) is a unique opportunity for young people to create real change in Queensland. QYP participants, known