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Koori Mail
Our national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper

The Voice of Indigenous Australia

Blak Douglas wins coveted Archibald Prize

For artist Blak Douglas coming first in the Archibald Prize means everything.

But that first was hard fought. Douglas has entered the coveted art prize five times. 

He is the second Indigenous person to win after Vincent Namatjira won the prize in 2020 for his portrait of Adam Goodes. 

Douglas, 52, is a Sydney- based Dhungatti man. His real name is Adam Hills but he changed it to Blak Douglas to avoid confusion with the Australian comedian of the same name.

Latest News Stories

Gunai woman Kirli Saunders was thrilled to write the accompanying article for the cover story of Vogue Australia’s May edition in collaboration with First Nations Fashion + Design.

Kirli strikes with prose in Vogue

Monday, 23 May 2022 9:00 am

Vogue Australia’s May issue couldn’t be more Deadly. 

Featuring Awakabal woman Charlee Fraser, Yolŋu actress and model Magnolia Maymuru, Kune Rembarrnga Dalabon model Cindy Rostron and Bundjalung Arakwal woman Elaine George, the stunning cover photo and shoot is a collaboration between Vogue Australia and First Nations Fashion + Design (FNFD). 

Gunai woman Kirli Saunders was asked to write the accompanying article for the shoot, sharing the stories and experiences of these incredibly staunch women. 

“I’ve written articles and stories for magazines and other publications in the past and because I mostly occupy the poetry and picture book space, this was my first fashion write up so the feeling was quite surreal,” Kirli told the Koori Mail…

Kaley (left) and Joanne Nicholson are the mother-daughter team behind ethically run, Aboriginal- owned camping equipment and experience business, Yilam.

Mum and daughter camp it up with Country in mind

Friday, 20 May 2022 9:00 am

It was on a mother-daughter camping trip in the Barmah Forest that Joanne and Kaley Nicholson created the vision for Yilam: an ethically run, Aboriginal owned camping equipment and experience business based on Taungurung Country. 

Describing herself as a “pretty keen camper”, Kaley recals researching to purchase some new equipment for her trips out bush. 

However, on the camping trip, the discussion instead turned from buying new equipment for themselves to “why don’t we buy a few items and sell them.” 

“It kind of just came out of nowhere,” Kaley told the Koori Mail. “And mum said, ‘if you want to do that I’m keen.”

“I got back to the city and started to do some research and found while there are a lot of Aboriginal people in the tourism industry doing really amazing things there was nobody that combined that niche of Aboriginal culture and history with camping equipment and on-Country experiences…

Minister Dugald Saunders and Gamilaraay man Graham Kelly discuss the new ranger positions.

Ranger jobs to provide new career pathways

Friday, 20 May 2022 9:00 am

The NSW Government has launched a new Aboriginal Ranger Program designed to enhance Aboriginal peoples’ connection to country and provide meaningful career pathways.

Delivered across the Riverina, Murray, Central and North West, the program will see 22 new Aboriginal staff recruited, including 16 trainee rangers for local towns. 

The rangers will work on key parts of the Local Land Services operation, including assisting landholders with livestock health, pests and weeds, biosecurity matters, native vegetation, and managing travelling stock routes. 

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the $5.95 million program would create genuine employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal people and communities across NSW. 

“This is an exciting new initiative that will not only develop skills and experience for those involved but also increase the inclusion of traditional land management practices in on- ground projects and programs across the state…

Uncle Owen Whyman and his son Rally near the Baaka river, also known at the Murray Darling.

Grassroots party hopes to make election history

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 12:44 pm

The Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia is running for the first time in the Federal Election.

Uncle Owen Whyman, a Paakindji and Malyangapa man from Wilcannia, started the grassroots political party as an alternative to the main parties. 

“We want to be voice for the people,” Uncle Owen said. 

“While other political parties appear to be sympathetic to Indigenous concerns, not much ever changes.” 

The party is running candidates for the Senate and in the electorates of Parkes, Page and Robertson. 

“We know getting our people into all the parliaments is a crucial step,” Uncle Owen said.

Anyone can become a member of the party, you don’t have to be Indigenous.

Voting for the Indigenous- Aboriginal Party is becoming part of history, he said…

Chad Ritchie Sands (left), Dave Sands’ grandson with Phil Dotti (right) and former NSW MP Glen Brooks, at a formal ceremony with the replica belt of Dave Sands’ middleweight title he had won in 1949 in England. Picture: Supplied

Dave Sands – boxing great and national icon

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 12:42 pm

The belt that Dave Sands won when he knocked out Dick Turpin in a British Empire title fight in 1949 never materialised, and the legendary boxer never got the chance to hold it. Now, 73 years later, the great man’s family has something tangible to show, and the story of the world champion boxer can be told again. Sands’ nephew Phil Dotti was the man behind the push to make this happen. This is how he tells it. 

My Uncle Dave Sands was never given a title belt following his win in England in 1949 but last week we got something from people in England who wanted to correct that oversight.

Uncle Dave was born in 1926 and came from humble beginnings to rise as a world champion in the ring. He was one of six brothers who carved out incredible careers in Australian sport as boxers, a feat unlikely to ever be matched again. 

Those brothers, my uncles, were Dave, Ritchie, Clem, George, Alfie and Russell Sands. They all became main-event fighters who enriched this nation’s boxing history…

Seaman Joshua Agland of Sydney and Able Seaman Saje Wilson of Bowraville.

Coloured Diggers March honours Indigenous Vets

Thursday, 5 May 2022 3:19 pm

ABORIGINAL and Maori people danced together, marched together, and paid tribute to those that fought together in various wars at a special event in Redfern last week. 

The Coloured Diggers March on Anzac Day was the 16th to be held. The day serves to commemorate the history of the First Peoples of Australia and New Zealand who served to protect their countries in armed conflicts overseas. 

Starting at the Redfern Community Centre with a Welcome to Country from Aunty Barbara Simms, the event included dances by the Glen Dancers led by Glen Collis and the Bunja Bunja Butterfly Dancers led by Rayma Johnson. 

Pastor Ray Minniecon was MC for the event, and speeches were delivered by the NSW Governor Margaret Beazley, Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek, Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore and New Zealand Counsel General Bill Dobbie. 

Australian rock icon John Paul Young delivered a poweful performance of The Coloured Digger, a poem first penned by Bert Beros as a tribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans. 

A wreath laying service followed a march to Redfern Park.