Lidia Thorpe could be the first Indigenous woman elected to Victorian parliament

Lidia Thorpe could be the first Indigenous woman elected to Victorian parliament

Gunnai Gunditjimara woman Lidia Thorpe has been preselected as the Greens candidate for the Victorian seat of Northcote and stands a good chance of taking the seat from Labor if past voting trends repeat themselves.

If elected Ms Thorpe, who is the chair of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee, could be the first Aboriginal woman elected to parliament in Victoria.

2016 Census shows Indigenous population has doubled in Victoria and NSW

2016 Census shows Indigenous population has doubled in Victoria and NSW

The Bureau of Statistics has found that the Indigenous population has doubled in Victoria and NSW since 2001, at a far higher rate than the non-Indigenous population. The NSW population has grown from 120,000 to 216,000, while the Victorian population has risen from 25,000 to 47,000. Comparatively, the non-Indigenous population has grown between 15 and 20 percent. 

Melbourne Memorials show lack of Acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples

Melbourne Memorials show lack of Acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples

Genevieve Grieves has conducted her doctorate examining the monuments in the Melbourne CBD and reviewing the people commemorated. Almost all of the 520 monuments were dedicated to "dead, white men."

This discovery is a reflection of Australia's colonialist history, and demonstrates an alarming lack of acknowledgement of Indigenous Australians and their achievements.

Grieves states that "there aren't memorials to frontier conflicts in the 19th century, or Aboriginal heroes and resistance fighters... Melbourne's memorial landscape only represents colonial landscapes and heroes. Indigenous people are not present. Women aren't represented."

The City of Yarra voted to acknowledge January 26  in a culturally sensitive manner

Last night the City of Yarra Council voted to acknowledge January 26 in a culturally appropriate way. The decision was based on extensive conversation with the local Aboriginal community and feedback from an independent survey which indicated that 78.6% of non-Indigenous Yarra residents supported ''the idea of the Council holding an event to acknowlegde Aboriginal experiences of January 26.'' This includes referring to the day as ''January 26'' until a ''more appropriate'' term is nationally adopted. 

The Annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture kicks off Friday 4th August, pushing for nationwide Makarrata

The Annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture kicks off Friday 4th August, pushing for nationwide Makarrata

The annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture will begin tomorrow, bringing together business leaders, international politicians, academics and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing Indigenous Australians. This festival is Australia’s leading Indigenous cultural exchange event and a national hub for major forums with discussion, policy and action formulation. It brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through youth forums, art, music, film, song, dance and stories.

No Justice, No Peace - Melbourne Rally for Elijah Doughty 

No Justice, No Peace - Melbourne Rally for Elijah Doughty 

Melbourne was brought to a standstill last Friday as crowds rallied together to protest the unjust sentence handed down following the death of 14 year old Aboriginal teenager, Elijah Doughty and the ongoing racial discrimination faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country. Hundreds of protesters marched from Parliament House to Flinders Street Station where they participated in a sit-in, coming together in a time of difficulty and outrage.

New Street Art Installation in Charcoal Lane, Fitzroy

New Street Art Installation in Charcoal Lane, Fitzroy

Gunnai Waradgerie artist, Robert Young has created an incredible street art mural located on the wall of Charcoal Lane, off Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. The mural, supported by the Yarra City Council, is called Celebration Dreaming and incorporates the past, present and future history of the area as well as referencing Aboriginal identity, connections and culture in Fitzroy and highlighting the significance of the area, and building, for the artist and for the local Aboriginal community. 

Aboriginal leaders encourage crackdown on fake Aboriginal-style souvenirs

With the influx of tourists expected in the Gold Coast, Aboriginal leaders are encouraging penalties for retailers who falsely claim their merchandise, such as Indigenous arts and crafts, boomerangs or didgeridoos, is authentic and made in Australia. 

Activist Sam Watson stated that "Far too often you see cheap knock-offs that are created in these offshore sweat shops that look good, sound good, and feel good, but they are not the genuine quality Aboriginal products — that money goes offshore and away from us." Watson is concerned fake souvenirs have been stockpiled by retailers in order to profit from tourists arriving for the Commonwealth Games.

In response, activists planning to name and shame retailers who do peddle fake products, but are encouraging State Government to also impose penalties, including confiscating fake items.

The Queensland Government has stated that penalties will be in place, with Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones saying, "this is the first Commonwealth Games ever to have a reconciliation action plan and we worked really hard to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have their language and their artwork as part of the Commonwealth Games." 

 

Aboriginal campaigner Aunty Matilda House honoured

Aunty Matilda House received an honourary doctorate from the Australian National University on Wednesday, the 14th of July. The 72-year-old is a pioneering Aboriginal campaigner in ACT as well as the first person to perform a "Welcome to Country" ceremony at the opening of Federal Parliament.

The pro-vice-chancellor of the university stated that the campaigner has a "long standing connection with ANU... Matilda was involved in the establishment of this [Tjaba Indigenous Higher Education Centre] back in 1989. She is [also] the patron of the indigenous network for ANU students that we launched here last year." 

Of the doctorate, Ms House said "This doctorate is a recognition of all of my ancestry, and of course, my children. Family is precious and acknowledges the past with all of us."

For more information, click here

2017 Winners Announced in NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony in Cairns

2017 Winners Announced in NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony in Cairns

NAIDOC Week is drawing to a close for 2017. It has been another successful and inspiring time full of events and activities which highlight Indigenous achievement and celebrate the cultures, histories and languages of Australia’s First Peoples. 

At the official NAIDOC Awards Ceremony, the achievements of 10 inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians were celebrated and recognized as they were congratulated with awards in categories spanning academic, sporting, artistic and community achievement.

 

Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2017

Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2017

NAIDOC Week is almost upon us again, with many activities and events to be held across Australia. NAIDOC Week 2017 will begin on July 2nd, with the theme “Our Languages Matter”. The important awards ceremony will be held in this year’s host city, Cairns, however you can get involved all over the country.