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We dodged bullets to win land rights. It’s time for the next generation to take up the fight

When land rights were first won for Aboriginal people, it was about asserting our rights and traditions. Today it’s about continuing that legacy and ensuring future generations can benefit from the land.

In our fight for land rights in the 1970s and 1980s, we dodged bullets, we got beat up and locked up. But we kept turning up and we won the day. In New South Wales the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 was enacted and we had the power to make our own decisions and elect our own representatives to make these decisions on our behalf.

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I’m Not A ‘Proud Australian’

I don’t “feel” Australian. I don’t ever identify as just “Australian”. I don’t sing the anthem. I don’t wave the flag and don’t really care when I see someone burning it. I don’t feel proud on Australia Day. I don’t eat lamb chops. Frankly, I don’t particularly care for the people who do all the aforementioned. Indeed, a good portion of the time, I tend to view them with disdain and frustration.

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The walk for reconciliation changed my life. I still believe we can walk together

There are many current issues in Indigenous affairs I could write on: the closure of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia, the deregistering of sacred sites, the levels of uncertainty surrounding constitutional recognition, the poor outcomes for Aboriginal people on every significant social measure in Australia.

However, if people already refuse to listen to the evidence and the experts, the reports and the statistics, or to everyone else that talks so powerfully and passionately about these issues, then it’s more than likely that they, and the powers that be, won’t listen to me either. I’m no expert. I’m just a person who, like so many others, quietly and humbly works hard at their job and struggles to ensure that – together with my partner – I put food on the table and keep a roof over my children’s heads.

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National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples: What will a new leadership structure bring?

The idea that Indigenous people should have their own democratically elected governance structures is referred to directly and indirectly in more than one article in the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people (UNDRIP). If Australia as a nation wants to have a mature response to the socio-economic woes affecting its Indigenous population, self-determination, self-representation and direct input into political decision making and policy development are systems that must be implemented. However, recent Australian political history hasn’t been favourable toward this model, as paternalistic and top down approaches have once again become the preferred method of engagement.

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My love affair with the three Rs: respect, relationships and reconciliation

When I was a child, I loved the 3Rs – reading, ‘riting and ’rithmetic. I still love reading and ‘riting, but once I went to secondary school and was expected to work with things like 6 + x = 13, I couldn’t cope. No one could tell me why anyone would want to do that, and I was lost.

However, every Friday (and sometimes Saturdays and Sundays) for some time now, I have engaged with my keyboard and collaborated with others to further develop the 3Rs. No, not reading, ‘riting and ’rithmetic, but respect, relationships and reconciliation (rrr.edu.au).

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Charles Prouse IndigenousX Host

The next generation of Indigenous leaders shows great promise for Australia’s future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have some of the most charismatic and intellectually accomplished leaders in Australia and indeed the world.

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Racism: The Painfully Obvious ‘Missing Factor’

Every now and again we hear in media that ‘research has found that racism may play a factor in [insert literally any school, uni course, job, or industry], and then it usually disappears from public discourse for a few months or even years. Sometimes, very rarely though, it flares up into the full blown media circus that is “Is Australia a racist country?”. This quickly leads to various groups of white people in the media attacking anyone who would dare suggest that racism exists in any other form than ‘reverse racism’, which we’re told is a is a very real and serious problem, and not at all a completely farcical circlejerk. They may also tell of us about all of their black friends, and then will usually attack the ‘professional anti-racists’ who rely on ‘playing the race card’ in order to make white people feel various feels…

The Changes to the National Curriculum have Nothing to do with Education

There has been some, but not a lot, of talk recently about the announced changes to the National Curriculum; a ‘greater emphasis’ on ‘our Christian heritage’, and a removal of any specific reference to Indigenous people (and migrants) from various parts of the curriculum, for example, in ‘Contributions to our society’ in Year 6.