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Koori Mail
Our national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper

The Voice of Indigenous Australia
Archie Roach 1956-2022 Picture: Wayne Quilliam

Songman returns to The Dreaming

Beloved musician Archie Roach has been remembered as a truth-teller whose powerful songs were a source of healing. 

The 66-year-old Gunditjmara- Bundjalung elder died on July 30 surrounded by family and loved ones at Warrnambool Base Hospital in Victoria after a long illness, his sons Amos and Eban Roach announced. 

“We are so proud of everything our dad achieved in his remarkable life,” the pair said. 

“He was a healer and unifying force. His music brought people together.”

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Tom Teniswood, Bec Digney, Brendon ‘Buck’ Brown, Graeme Gardner, Fiona Maher and Jane Teniswood at the launch.

Returning land to the pakana

Friday, 12 August 2022 9:00 am

The Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania (ALCT) has launched Giving Back Land – a campaign inviting private owners to return land to pakana ownership and management, through a clear structured process. 

“We became aware that there’s people out there willing to give back but we didn’t have a structured process,” ALCT manager Rebecca Digney said at the recent launch event in Nipaluna (Hobart). 

“Now, when people come with those offers we can act on it. 

“Aboriginal people have intrinsic connection to our land, we’ve suffered 213 years of dispossession, that dispossession started with violence, our land was taken from us at the point of a gun,” Ms Digney said. 

“Some people in the state of Tasmania have much more land than they need, some have land that they can’t manage because what they have is so vast, some people have land and they have nobody to pass it onto, and some people who have land just want the opportunity to right past wrongs.” 

Land can be given back directly, bequeathed to the Aboriginal community at the end of life or money can be donated to purchase land back. ALCT has recently been granted charity status and donations over $2 are now tax-deductible…

Traditional Pormpuraaw dancers performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Pormpur Paanthu Youth Summit. Pictures: Christine Howes

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Friday, 12 August 2022 9:00 am

Pormpur Paanthu’s Youth Summit for 2022, in the tiny Cape York town of Pormpuraaw, was another great success, chief executive Ganthi Kuppusamy said.“It was an amazing week and the event was well received by community members,” Ganthi said. 

A huge program of activities and events, including several run by Australian Ninja Warrior star Jack Wilson and his brother Mick, featured everything from fire-making competitions to touch footy – and a lot of deadly stuff in between. 

Coordinator Vanessa Deakin said it was all about showing their young people they were loved. 

“I’m really, really hoping that there are youth who have come out of this Youth Summit knowing that they’ve got the support around them, they’ve got guidance here if they need it. They are loved and cared for,” she said. 

“I know we’ve got vacation care, I know we’ve got outside school care. But we don’t always acknowledge and recognise the 12 to 24s. They sometimes fall through the gap and that’s where they end up miserable, or they start doing the wrong thing…

More than 200 people gathered under the stars at the Deckchair Cinema on Larrakia (Darwin) Country to witness the prestigious National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) last week. Showcasing excellence across six categories, the 2022 NIFA awards ceremony provided an exciting platform to celebrate the innovation, diversity and ethical practices of First Nations people working in fashion and textiles while contributing to the capacity building of the sector. Six Indigenous creatives were honoured and recognised for their outstanding contribution to the fashion industry in each of the award categories.

Indigenous fashion on Larrakia Country

Friday, 12 August 2022 9:00 am

More than 200 people gathered under the stars at the Deckchair Cinema on Larrakia (Darwin) Country to witness the prestigious National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) last week. 

Showcasing excellence across six categories, the 2022 NIFA awards ceremony provided an exciting platform to celebrate the innovation, diversity and ethical practices of First Nations people working in fashion and textiles, while contributing to the capacity building of the sector. 

Six Indigenous creatives were honoured and recognised for their outstanding contribution to the fashion industry in each of the award categories. 

Hosted by Rachael Hocking, the ceremony also featured Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chanston Paech who addressed the massive crowd. 

Mr Paech told the Koori Mail that the awards ceremony demonstrates the sheer talent, creativity, and BLAK excellence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities…

AAMSI’s presence was felt in Zagreb when the Mediterranean Cricket League held a four-day Twenty20 tournament in the Croatian capital in July. Picture: MCL

AAMSI makes its debut at Zagreb

Friday, 12 August 2022 9:00 am

Clint Dann’s middle stump concept featuring traditional Aboriginal art was front and centre at Zagreb in July when the Mediterranean Cricket League played out a tournament in the Croatian capital.

Dann’s Aboriginal Artwork Middle Stump Initiative seeks to create a greater Aboriginal presence within first-class cricket with a wicket placed in the middle at both ends of the wicket, which is where the wickets were placed at in the tournament in Zagreb. 

Dann’s connection with the MCL stems from a long-term friendship with the organisation’s director Jeff Grzinic with whom he played cricket with for many years at the Perth Cricket Club. Last year in September, the MCL fielded a team in a T20 tournament in Perth. Dann led an Wadjauk Nyoongar team in that same tournament. 

Having hosted tournaments at Split and Tučepi, the MCL organised a four-team tournament at Budenec Oval in Zagreb…

Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney.

Report: mixed bag on Closing the Gap

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 1:48 pm

More than half the socio-economic targets outlined in the Closing the Gap agreement will not be met. 

That’s according to the Productivity Commission’s annual data compilation report, although the report’s authors stressed the data should be treated with caution, being the first set since the baseline year of 2021. 

The commission says progress on healthy birth weight for babies, enrolment of children in pre-school, youth detention rates and land mass subject to rights and interests (4,027,232sq km) are on track. 

But other areas, including children starting school developmentally on track (34.%), children in out-of-home care (57.6 per 1000), adults in prison (2222.7 per 100,000) and people who took their own life (27.9 per 100,000) are not on track. 

Data in those key areas has worsened, while there’s been improvement in Sea Country subject to rights and interests (90,555sq km) but not enough to be declared as on target…

Margaret Rarru Garrawurra, Senior Yolŋu artist from Laŋarra, Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory has won the $100,000 main prize at the 2022 Telstra National Art Awards. Picture: Charlie Bliss.

Weaver sails to a win

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 1:45 pm

Margaret Rarru Garrawurra, a Senior Yolŋu artist from Laŋarra in Arnhem Land has taken home the top prize of $100,000 at the 2022 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) for her artwork Dhomala (pandanus sail). 

Ms Rarru Garrawurra told the Koori Mail that she was excited when she found out she had won one of the most prestigious art awards in the country. 

“I was with my sisters when I found out about winning. We were very happy. It makes us proud to get first prize,” Ms Rarru Garrawurra said. 

“This is a Makassan dhomala (sail). Yolŋu people were watching Makassan people weaving their dhomala over time … then they started to make them,” she said.

“My father picked up the skill as well. He used to make them, Makassan dhomala. I was watching my father making these dhomala. He was making them, and I was watching. I thought about how he made them. My father and I started remembering. And now I’m making these.” 

Margaret Rarru Garrawurra was born in Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island). Today she lives on her mother’s Country of Laŋarra (Howard Island) and at Yurrwi/ Milingimbi, both off the coast of Northeast Arnhem Land.

Dhomala (pandanus sail) is an ambitious work of weaving, rendered using a mixture of natural dyes to achieve deep red, black, orange, and yellow.

The work embodies the time consuming processes of harvesting pandanus…