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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

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

International rugby union players from Australia and Fiji participated in a Proud Warrior program session at Lavarack Barracks ahead of the Oceania Rugby Sevens Challenge in Townsville on June 22.

Top athletes share stories of courage with Proud Warriors

Monday, 12 July 2021 1:19 pm

AUSTRALIAN and Fijian Olympians shared their stories of courage, identity and culture with at-risk youth during a Proud Warrior session in Townsville on June 22.

Led by the Australian Army’s 3rd Brigade, Proud Warrior is a youth program conducted in partnership with the Queensland Police Service, Department of Youth Justice and Child Safety, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Australian Army Cadets and local Indigenous community Elders.

Players from the Australian and Fijian men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams engaged with program participants and mentors from across the 3rd Brigade at Lavarack Barracks ahead of the 2021 PacificAus Sports Oceania Sevens competition.

The session included a number of military-style activities and was designed to teach teamwork, communication skills, resilience and courage, with Aussie Sevens men’s player Dylan Pietsch leading the yarning circle at the end of the session.

Dylan said he was honoured to share the challenges he faced as an Indigenous Australian growing up disconnected from his culture.

“It’s a story that is pretty common, which is crazy to think about,” he said. 

“It was really special for me to be able to talk about that with that mob, because I know that some of them would be going through what I went through.

“Just talking to them about what they’ve gone through in their lives and where they want to be, it provided good perspective on where I was at that age versus where they are at and what they are going through.

Yvonne Margarula, senior Mirarr traditional owner and director Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, receives the official deed to Jabiru

Mirrar people granted freehold title on Jabiru

Monday, 12 July 2021 1:14 pm

ANOTHER important step was taken for traditional owners of Kakadu last month, when the Mirarr people were granted freehold title of the township of Jabiru under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act.

Senior Mirarr woman Yvonne Margarula said traditional owners were very happy and proud that the long fight for recognition of ownership at Jabiru had finally been won.

“The handing back of Jabiru to Mirarr recognises our land rights here and gives us economic independence,” she said. “We are excited for the future of Jabiru and for the future of all our people.”

Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt, Environment Minister Sussan Ley, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Northern Land Council chair Sammy Bush-Blanasi, joined Mirarr people, other traditional owners and the community to celebrate the milestone.

The fight for land rights at Jabiru began in 1978, when the town was built on what was then Crown land without the involvement of traditional owners. It was built for workers at the nearby Ranger uranium mine. The senior Mirarr Elder at the time, Toby Gangale, is the father of today’s senior traditional owner Yvonne Margarula…