Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultation Principles
ANTaR Victoria 2018
We are ANTaR Victoria and we campaign for Land, Social Justice and Reconciliation in solidarity with Aboriginal &Torres Strait Islander peoples. We are independent of Government.
To support Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples' public voice on issues of:
-self-determination and empowerment
-land rights/native title rights
To promote respect for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures among non- Indigenous Victorians. We seek to educate the broader community about justice, rights and respect for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people.
We acknowledge that at the time of European invasion, the totality of lands now known as Victoria were occupied by sovereign Aboriginal nations who owned, cared for and enjoyed them in accordance with their laws, customs and traditions. The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Nations' sovereignty as well as their right of ownership, occupation, use and enjoyment of lands, have not been ceded.
The impact of invasion forced drastic changes on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples, including where and how they lived, their languages, religion, health, economic status, freedom of movement and association, and in some cases their very survival.
We acknowledge all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria today, including the original language groups as well as all clans, family groups and land owning groups, as well as their rights to their lands, self-determination and control over their culture and traditions.
We are guided by Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations in setting our campaign priorities and direction.
We partner with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and organizations.
We recognize that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples ( 3% of the population) have responsibilities in their own communities, ie capacity building, governance, dealing with consequences of racism & trauma, Stolen generations, cultural heritage, ‘fighting’ for their rights and thus we cannot expect or depend on time poor, over utilized Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples (FN) people for education, constant direction and specific approval.
DONT: Defenders of Native Title ( now ANTAR ) was started by various individuals and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples organizations in 1997, in opposition to the Howard Government's proposed amendments to the Native Title Act of 1993- the 10 point plan to reduce the rights of Native title holders. On the 12th of October 1997, the Sea of Hands paved its way into Australian history books as 70,000 members of culturally diverse communities protested outside Parliament House in Canberra.
DONT Victoria flowed from this action, with the Aboriginal Native Title body, Miriambiak Nations, led by Richard Frankland and other Aboriginal people, in collaboration with Sid Spindler Democrats Senator & UCA Peter Lewis. DONT Victoria local groups then formed in each electorate. Some of these are still active today (see local groups).
Aboriginal Consultation and Guidance
- Works collaboratively. It consults where required e.g. Welcome to Country; with Treaty Commissioner; intellectual property, permissions and consents.
- Is responsive – such as when we assisted the Stolen Wealth Games. We respond with volunteer and sometimes financial or promotional support.
- Works with local groups. There are currently 24 local Groups supported by ANTaR Victoria & Reconciliation Victoria. Each is governed uniquely, with differing relations to local councils and Traditional Owners of Country, reflecting the vast identities, challenges, and perspectives around Victoria.
- Has key relationships with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples – Elders, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s NGO’s, Wurundjeri Council. Some ANTAR Vic Committee members work for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s NGO’s or in relevant areas eg Native title law.
- Has links to other solidarity groups – Reconciliation Victoria, Concerned Australians, WAR, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s & political party policy activists.
- Takes responsibility for its own education about Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s issues & culture via academia, innumerable Government and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples NGO reports & policy bodies eg AITSAS; trustworthy media and books.
We undertake study of White privilege accessing experts (e.g. Elders /academics) to ensure we are always guided by appropriate ethics and principles.
- Utilizes input from ANTaR National and other state ANTaR bodies who develop policy, statements and lobby, and who work in collaboration with National reference groups and Aboriginal organisations.
- Frequently organises and participates in Aboriginal Forums.
- Acheives its goals through community-awareness raising projects such as school engagement projects, community stalls, provision of resource packs, sale of Recognition Plaques & other merchandise, facilitating networks of individuals and community organizations, and through state and nationally-generated grassroots campaigns, such as Sea of Hands, Treaty scroll & Campaign , social media and other past projects eg Fanning the Flames.