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Koori Mail
Our national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper

The Voice of Indigenous Australia
A Worimi dancer performs. Picture: Kris Cook

A fine time to dance at Saltwater Freshwater

After two years of cancellations because of COVID restrictions, the Saltwater Freshwater finally took place at Eungai Creek on the mid North Coast of New South Wales recently.

The festival is a celebration of the local art, music and culture of the Worimi, Biripi, Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr nations. 

The name of the festival represents the coming together of the ‘saltwater’ peoples of the coast, and the ‘freshwater’ peoples of the many rivers that run through the region. 

The annual event has traditionally been held on Australia or Survival Day, but was this year rescheduled to coincide with the start of Reconciliation Week…

Latest News Stories

Those winning smiles tell it all – winners at the 2022 Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles (from left) Rhys Collins (Masters mens), Landen Smales (junior boys), Kauri Heuston-Conner (junior girls), Robbie Page (Elders), Finn Hill (Open mens) and Jaz McCorquodale (Open womens). Picture: Liam Robertson/Surfing Victoria

Back-to-back at Bells, baby

Monday, 20 June 2022 9:00 am

Finn Hill and Jaz McCorquodale have stamped themselves as among the country’s best Aboriginal surfers after winning back-to-back titles.

The pair claimed the respective mens and womens division events at the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles at Bells Beach / Djarrk on Wadawurrung Country. 

Perfect conditions greeted competitors on the final day of competition with a clean two-to-three- foot swell wrapping into the culturally significant beach. 

McCorquodale also claimed the Open women’s longboard title but not without a scare toward the end. Summer Simon made a late push in the final two minutes of the event and briefly took the lead. But McCorquodale found a final wave on the siren to re-take the lead with an 8.27- point ride. She finished on a heat total of 17.27 points (out of a possible 20) to Simon’s 16.20 heat total. 

“I’m so stoked. I’m so glad we got some waves to showcase how amazing we surf as a culture and as a group,” McCorquodale said…

Tiwi Islanders hold the banner they made to protest the Barossa Gas Project.

Tiwi TOs fight to protect Sea Country from big gas

Monday, 20 June 2022 9:00 am

Traditional owners from the Tiwi Islands have begun legal action to stop offshore drilling for a massive gas project in the Northern Territory.

The Munupi people are taking the federal offshore oil and gas regulator to court to challenge its decision to approve the work in the Barossa offshore gas field, 300km north of Darwin.

The community said it wasn’t consulted before the Santos-led project was authorised to drill up to eight production wells. 

It wants the Federal Court to scrap the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority’s (NOPSEMA) approval. 

“My clan, the Munupi, own these northern beaches. It’s our land that’s closest to the drilling site. We are the ones who are going to be affected,” Dennis Tipakalippa said after the case bearing his name as the plaintiff was filed to the court recently. 

“They never came to me in person or face to face.”

“No one spoke to me as a traditional owner and senior lawman for the Munupi clan.”

Mr Tipakalippa said the drilling could threaten the Tiwi Island community’s food sources, culture and way of life…

Celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the Mabo High Court decision, which recognised that a group of Torres Strait Islanders, led by Eddie Mabo, held ownership of Mer (Murray Island), have been held in the Torres Strait, Townsville, and other parts of the country. In acknowledging the traditional rights of the Meriam people over their land, the court also held that native title existed for all Indigenous people.

Nation marks 30 years since Mabo

Friday, 17 June 2022 9:00 am

Torres Strait Islander communities came together on June 3 on Weiben (Thursday Island) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mabo High Court decision. 

The gathering was rich with traditional songs and dancing, and included a march in the morning followed by a re-enactment of the court case. 

On 3 June 1992 the High Court of Australia recognised that a group of Torres Strait Islanders, led by Eddie Mabo, held ownership of Mer (Murray Island). 

In acknowledging the traditional rights of the Meriam people to their land, the court also held that native title existed for all Indigenous people. 

This landmark decision gave rise to important native title legislation the following year and rendered terra nullius a legal fiction…

“Being in another person’s Country and experiencing the culture is like
a healing process,” – Mau Power, hip-hop musician from the Torres Strait Islands.

Djarmalak for music

Friday, 17 June 2022 9:00 am

Across three Sundays between June and August the remote community of Beswick/ Wugularr will experience an exciting array of First Nations musicians and performers at Djarmalak (Come Together) Festival. 

Hosted by the salacious Constantina Bush and set on Bagala Country, the festival has been designed to run over three weekends to keep the concerts small and intimate. 

Featuring the likes of Mau Power, Emma Donovan, J-MILLA, Miiesha and Emily Wurramurra, the Djarmalak Festival will also showcase the the innovative collaboration of Yolngu Songman Daniel Wilfred and Korean vocalist Sunny Kim in Hand to Earth. 

Each concert will also see performances by Yolngu artists Djakapurra Munyarrun and Rrawun Maymuru. 

Mau Power, a hip hop musician from the Torres Strait Islands, told the Koori Mail he was excited to be performing at the community festival and was looking forward to enjoying the experience…

Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council Human Research Ethics Committee won the Category 1 Award.

Celebrating First Nations excellence in business

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 10:52 am

The Australian Indigenous Governance Institute, Reconciliation Australia and the BHP Foundation announced the winners of the 2022 Indigenous Governance Awards last week. 

The awards share and promote success from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations around Australia. 

Normally held every two years, this is the first time the awards have taken place in four years because of the COVID pandemic. 

Reconciliation Australia chief executive Karen Mundine said it was wonderful to be able to host the awards night during the Reconciliation Action Plan conference in Sydney. 

“After the unavoidable disruptions and postponements throughout the past two years, it’s our honour and privilege to showcase these finalists and their stories of uncompromising  strength and resilience,” Ms Mundine said.

Following a rigorous judging process, the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) Human Research Ethics Committee based in Sydney was named the winner of Category 1 – Outstanding examples of Governance in Indigenous led non-incorporated initiatives…

Larrakia man Trent Lee with a traditional art depiction of the Hidden Valley racetrack in Darwin.

Hidden Valley reveals a first for the V8 Supercars

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 10:43 am

Australia’s Supercars Championship event will provide a first for the sport with an Indigenous Round at Darwin’s Hidden Valley in round 6 of the national series. 

The three-day event from June 17-19 features five divisions of racing – Combined Sedans, S5000 (open wheel category), the Porsche Carerra Cup, Australian Superbikes and the Supercars. 

The key features at Hidden Valley this weekend will be traditional art by Melissa Tipo on Tim Slade’s Tickford Racing-built Ford Mustang from the Blanchard Racing Team, and artwork by Kalkadoon woman Chern’ee Sutton on Mark Winterbottom’s Holden Commodore ZB from IRWIN Racing…