Reconciliation: A Space for Healing

20 05 2011


This is an event that is going to be a powerful evening, so please forward this on to any of your friends and networks and if it is appropriate specifically invite key inspirational people whose paths you have crossed and ask them to come along.

Check out the link to the poster pdf above!!

Reconciliation Week at UQ Wednesday, June 1st – Parnell Building (7), Room 326 6:00pm start, drinks, nibbles, and live acoustic music Participatory Yarning Circle Gathering together for reconciliation week to engage with ideas, share experiences and stories with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Come and be part of a much needed discussion, your voice is important in creating a harmonious Australia through honest communication.

please RSVP or contact us for more information at<> – 0434 269 025 for more info

!!!Silent Protest 2 Next Week!!!

10 05 2011

Next week on Tuesday17th May we will be gathering at the grassy knoll at 1pm. Bring your lunch, your hats, your silence, tell your friends, your class and join us to make a stand against the NT Intervention!!

Silent Protest at Uq Captures Students!

28 04 2011
silent circle for change

A beautifully unfurled, spontaneous and creative event to create awareness about the continuing yet failed racist Interventin Act. People loved it!  Next one is coming up at 1pm Tuesday the 3rd. Come and join us! all you need is your silence!


On Wed 27th of April UQ Students for Indigenous Rights listened to Gary Johns 
speak and took part in the question and answer session picking holes in Gary's 
strategies and suggesting our solutions. Have a listen to the aboriginal self 
determination - question and answer session at the following link

NTEU reports back on John Leemans talk in March!!

8 04 2011

John Leemans speaks

John Leemans, from the NT spoke on Wednesday March 23 at the University of Queensland at a meeting co-hosted by UQ Students for Indigenous Rights and the UQ branch   of  the National Tertiary Education Union.

After an acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners by Andrew Bonnell, the UQ Branch President of the NTEU, John addressed the meeting addressing key concerns around the ‘Intervention’, arguing that it was an attack on the human rights of Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory.

John attacked the threats and inducements to sign up to lease arrangements for land, and the lack of consultation over projects into which the Federal Government is pouring money.

He identified alcohol as a serious issue, and argued that the current response was inadequate, with a need for improved funding for on-the-ground education and rehabilitation.

John said that very few houses had been built since the intervention and that the discontinuing of funding for projects previously funded through CDEP was affecting the capacity of Aboriginal people to be self-sufficient. In Wave Hill these included a bakery, brick-making, horticultural projects and road-repairing.

He spoke about the issues associated with the BasicsCard, saying that, while supported by elders and women to stop people ‘humbugging’ for money, it was a confusing system which denied people control over their own income, and was no substitute for proper jobs and proper wages.

The attempts by the Federal Government to mainstream programs through the intervention was destroying cultural identity, language programs and links to land, through forcing Aboriginal people to leave their land in search of jobs elsewhere. So fundamental was this issue, John argued, that if links to land and culture were severed, people would die as a result.

In response to a question from the floor, John discussed the conflict between the prospects of employment offered by mining, and the destruction of cultural identity and sacred sites through development. He believed that the pressures associated with mining were too great, and it was in the best interest of Aboriginal people to resist mining developments.

He concluded by seeking support of those in attendance to participate in the campaign against the intervention, and inform others about the situation faced by Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.

Welcome to Students for Indigenous Rights Group, University of Queensland

10 11 2010

We helped raise money to publish this statement in The Australian on October 29th 2010:

Stop the NT Intervention – Jobs with Justice for Aboriginal workers

Worse than Workchoices

The NT Intervention promised to deliver ‘real jobs’ for Aboriginal communities.  Instead, thousands of waged jobs have been lost and Aboriginal organisations have been crippled as Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) close down.

i. Under the new CDEP scheme designed by the federal Labor government, Aboriginal people no longer receive wages. They are being forced to work providing vital services such as rubbish collection, school bus runs, sewerage maintenance, construction and aged care in exchange for quarantined Centrelink payments.

ii. People are compelled to work 16 hours a week for $115 cash, plus $115 credit on a ‘BasicsCard’ which can only be used on ‘priority items’ in government approved stores.  Aboriginal workers have described this as a return to the “ration-days’ when they were paid in food instead of cash.  Centrelink is threatening to cut off payments entirely if people do not participate.  Unclear guidelines and the vulnerable position of many workers have seen cases of people working 30hrs or more for no extra money.

iii. This is far worse than anything the Liberals inflicted on workers under Workchoices.  The Labor government committed to halving the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in a decade.  But due to a continuation of Howard era policies such as the Intervention, Indigenous unemployment has drastically worsened from 13.8% in 2007 to 18.1% in 2009.

iv. 500 ‘real jobs’ created to replace some of the lost CDEP positions in remote NT shire councils face the axe next year.  The Commonwealth is refusing to guarantee ongoing funding of $8.5 million per year needed by the NT government to keep the jobs.

v. Many Aboriginal communities serviced by these shires already suffer atrocious living conditions –500 more job losses will be devastating.  The NT Intervention shames Australia.  Despite recent amendments, the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) ruled in August that Intervention legislation provides clear evidence of “embedded racism” against Aboriginal people.

vi. The UNCERD report said living conditions had deteriorated for Aboriginal people under the Intervention through loss of land, property, employment, legal rights and opportunities for cultural development.

vii. Rather than abandon failed policy, the government is planning to spend $350 million (over 4 years) to expand income management across the NT.

viii. This money is desperately needed to create real jobs in Aboriginal communities and ensure the provision of basic services.

The government must act immediately to:
– Guarantee the 500 threatened Shire jobs
– End compulsory income management
– End current CDEP arrangements forcing people to work for the BasicsCard
– Turn all CDEP positions into fully waged jobs
– Provide massive investment in job creation and service provision in all Aboriginal communities.

Click to join UQ-SIR


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.