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Our national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper

The Voice of Indigenous Australia
Senator Lidia Thorpe.

‘Our grief is constant’

GREENS Senator Lidia Thorpe has described reports of more recent deaths in custody as heartbreaking.

And the Gunnai Gunditjmara Djab Wurrung woman has called on the Federal Government to act on a ‘national crisis’.

“More suffering and more pain. What kind of country asks that its First Peoples bear this kind of pain and trauma? What kind of Government refuses to act in the face of this kind of crisis?” she said. 

“Our grief is constant. It is never ending.” 

Latest News Stories

Mrs & Mrs McLeod share a special moment on their wedding day.

Love is all around

Wednesday, 5 May 2021 3:56 pm

ILUKA beach was filled with love when Kaylene McLeod married her partner Jodie (Rake) on its pristine sand on March 12. 

Mrs and Mrs McLeod tied the knot in front of their son Bayley Rake at their favourite spot in the Booderee National Park, along with a massive 300 guests.

Kaylene is a traditional owner from the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community in Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast. 

Jodie grew up in Merimbula, NSW, with Mum Lynette and her three siblings, before moving to Canberra.

Kaylene and Jodie met years ago through Kaylene’s cousin, who is good friends with Jodie’s brother.

“Apparently Jodie and I met many years ago, but neither of us realised until we met up later on down the track,” Kaylene told the Koori Mail.

“We ended up reconnecting through a Facebook group and at the time Jodie’s mum actually said to her, ‘Hold on, don’t you already know the McLeod family?’ And so when we got together, everything just felt like it was meant to be.” 

Kaylene said she asked Jodie’s family for their permission to take Jodie’s hand in marriage.

“Jodie’s family were thrilled with my proposal, so we organised for Jodie to head up to a beautiful lookout at Mount Ainslie in Canberra on her birthday,” Kaylene said.

“I just told Jodie we were heading for a ride up to Mt Aislie to check out the lookout for her birthday, and she had absolutely no idea I was about to pop the question.

“When we got to the lookout all the family was waiting, and I had already put a big sign…

Stones from the large, eel-shaped Kooyang Stone Arrangement, a site that is registered as an Aboriginal place on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register, were dug up and dumped on a field.

Stone arrangement dug up and dumped

Wednesday, 5 May 2021 3:54 pm

TRADITIONAL owners are waiting to see whether Aboriginal Victoria takes any action against a person who partially destroyed a significant site known as the Kooyang Stone Arrangement.

A stop work order was issued after the landowner allegedly removed about 60 metres of a 176-metre eel shaped structure near Lake Bolac last month.

The site is formally registered as an Aboriginal place on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS) and is highly significant to traditional owners.

Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, the Registered Aboriginal Party responsible for cultural heritage protection and management, alerted Aboriginal Victoria to the destruction and is assisting with the investigations.

Initial inspections by Eastern Maar officers revealed that the entire tail portion of the eel has been removed.

“We cannot understate the importance of this site or the devastation that this destruction has caused,” the corporation said in a statement.

“The stone arrangement at Lake Bolac is steeped in cultural and historic importance and was a major gathering place prior to European colonisation. 

“Different language groups and different nations came to this space to celebrate the life cycle of eels, which are of great cultural importance and the basis for an entire aquaculture industry.

“It is traumatic and heartbreaking to see such an important place that is considered vital to the identities, histories, practices and well-being of our people in the state that is in.

“We were swift in referring this matter to Aboriginal Victoria, the regulator responsible for carrying out investigations of this nature.

Leetona Dungay, left, the mother of David Dungay Jr who died in custody, and supporters outside NSW Parliament House in July last year. Picture: Getty Images

George Floyd verdict is wake-up call for justice

Wednesday, 5 May 2021 3:43 pm

THE mother of an Aboriginal man who died after being held down by six prison guards has renewed her calls for justice following the conviction of the police officer in America for the killing of African American man, George Floyd.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder, after kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

Footage of the incident showed George Floyd calling for his mother and repeatedly saying ‘I can’t breathe’, before he died.

Dunghutti woman Leetona Dungay, whose son David Dungay Jr, died in 2015 after being pinned down by prison guards, said her son also called out 12 times that he could not breathe.

“We have seen some kind of justice in the…

Deadly Funny brothers Chris and Jahmarley Dawson.

Deadly Funny finally brings back the laughs

Wednesday, 5 May 2021 3:41 pm

THE heartbroken, the bankrupt, the bribed, the addicted (to comedy), smart arses and bucket listers took to the stage for the 2021 Deadly Funny national grand final in Melbourne last month.

After the 2020 program was paused due to COVID-19, the grand final was the culmination of two years of workshops and events across the continent – double the line up and double the laughs.

In all, 16 contestants shone light on racism, identity, COVID-19 challenges, the great toilet paper crisis of 2020 and the absurdity of life, amongst other things. But it was the cheeky self-confessed joombe (Murri for gammin fella) Jahmarley Dawson, who took out the top gong. Jahmarley won the Deadly Funny Brisbane heat leading up to 2020 grand final, then his younger brother Chris won this year’s Brisbane heat, so the brothers were able to enjoy Deadly Funny together.

Bruce Shillingsworth Snr. Picture by JOSEPH MAYERS

Custodial death toll draws angry protest

Wednesday, 21 April 2021 2:55 pm

THOUSANDS of people took to the streets to protest against Indigenous deaths in custody ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. 

The nationwide protests on Saturday followed the deaths of five Aboriginal people in custody in the past six weeks. 

From Alice Springs to Rockhampton and down the east coast, protesters have expressed anger that the Royal Commission’s recommendations have not been adopted thoroughly and that deaths continue. 

More than 470 Indigenous people have died in detention since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody published its final report on April 15, 1991…

Arrernte artist Chantelle Mulladad’s artwork Crossroads decorates three carriages of the Ghan.

Stunning design inspired by country and culture sets the Ghan on the right track

Wednesday, 21 April 2021 2:54 pm

THE Ghan has been transformed into a spectacular piece of moving art with the help of Arrernte artist Chantelle Mulladad’s stunning design project Crossroads.

Mulladad’s work is precise and detailed, using pattern, colour shape and structure to create paintings depicting her sense of country, culture and self. 

To complement the external wrap on the train, there was an immersive light installation at Parrtjima light festival in Mpartwe (Alice Springs). 

Ms Mulladad paints for the Keringke Arts, an Aboriginal community art centre based at Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), 85 kilometres south-east of Mpartwe.

Ms Mulladad’s painting, Crossroads, is about travelling across country on a journey. 

“The colours are blue, green, blueish-green and it’s all matching colours on the side, which really made the artwork come out,” she said. 

Ms Mulladad said the inspiration for the piece came from her culture and land. 

“It was from when I was a teenager and is in two parts: the right path and the wrong,” she said.