Yingiya Mark Guyula. Why I am Running in the Northern Territory Elections.

Yow, NT elections are on this year in August 2016. Yolŋu from Arnhem Land have electorate areas: Arafura, Arnhem and Nhulunbuy. Since the first NT legislative council in 1947, we Yolŋu have been voting for ALP and CLP politicians to speak on our behalf, but their policy is governed according to the Monarch of the Commonwealth of England, created by a King 800 years ago, or more. That’s why our voices through politicians, (both Yolŋu and Balanda) have never been listened to, because that law is not ours. It operates according to the (foreign) Westminster system of law. Sadly, some Indigenous candidates will stand for ALP and CLP parties this year, but they will be controlled by a foreign sovereignty. I have been endorsed by the Yolŋu Nations Assembly to stand as an Independent candidate for the seat of Nhulunbuy, and I will represent my people according to the Yolŋuw maḏayin system of governance created by a mimay’ (unseen creator), created ever since time began, and handed through Djaŋ’kawu and Barama/Lany’tjun. I am proud to be a Yolŋu leader/elder. I have knowledge systems passed on to me by fathers. I will represent my people with the Djirrikay (proclamation) according to the Yolŋu Ŋärra (parliament) of this land.

The reason that I want to do this is the voices of my people, of Arnhem Land and Australia wide, our voices have never really got through to the parliament house in the way it was meant to be. Our voices and our cause have been misinterpreted and twisted around and the politicians we have voted in before have always thought of how Yolngu people should live. It’s always been said “I think this is what is good for you”, rather, I want to go in there and say “this is what we know we need for our children, this is what we know we need for our community.”




Luke Pearson. Can Australia handle the idea that it wasn’t always the ‘good guy’?

Australian likes to see itself as the Lucky Country, the land of the fair go, home of the ‘Aussie battler’. We like stories of underdog battling against the odds, even if they don’t always overcome them – Ned Kelly, ANZACs at Gallipoli, the Australian farmer, convicts, bushrangers – these are our national heroes.

These are how many Australians still like to view themselves, even though most Australians today have never farmed the land or even ridden a horse, have never fought in a war (thankfully!), were not sent to Australia in chains, and have never even worn a trashcan on our heads while having a shootout with police.




Luke Pearson. I was a ‘young Indigenous leader’ once – now I’m just some guy

I was once tapped as ‘young Indigenous leader’, and have been invited to various equivalent programs over the years to talk to the next generation of ‘young leaders’ and it has never really sat that well with me that the opportunities provided to our ‘young leaders’ don’t seem to continue very well after we turn 25. What is the point of focusing on recruitment if there is not a similar focus on retention and promotion?

Me, being all young Indigenous leadery and whatnot.  Me, being all young Indigenous leadery and whatnot.




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Natalie Walker. Dreaming big and chasing dreams: helping Indigenous mothers finish school

Most people have that one teacher. Like Sidney Poitier’s Mark Thackeray in To Sir, With Love or Robin Williams’s John Keating in Dead Poets Society. The one who inspired, opened our eyes to our own abilities and ultimately helped take us out of our adolescent angst so we saw – for the first time – the much bigger world around us.

Mine was Mr Coburn. He was my English teacher from Mossman State High School in Far North Queensland.




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Martin Hodgson. Killing Gurrumul, what Australia really fails to recognise

By now everyone is or should be aware that RDH left Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu to die from a chronic illness he has suffered since childhood. He had vomited blood, had internal bleeding and required immediate surgery and yet he was forced to wait 8 hours before he was attended to in which time he could have quite easily died. There are allegations that he was either racially profiled or that the hospital is completely incompetent. “The racial profiling allegations were “completely ridiculous”, said hospital spokesman Professor Dinesh Arya.” So we will have to assume that the professor while dismissing the racial component is admitting to the complete incompetence because no hospital in Australia should be leaving any person vomiting blood to wait 8 hours to be cared for.

But there are signs Professor Dinesh Arya’s denials about racism being involved are also wrong, Gurrumul’s long time manager Mark Grosse sighted the notes made by hospital staff that essentially stated he was a “drinker” and well you do the math. Professor Arya claims he visited Gurrumul, although this is denied by his manager as Gurrumul does not remember the visit, nor do the ward’s staff and Gurrumul’s Specialist also sighted the suspect notes. Mr Grosse paraphrases those notes as “It clearly says to me that he is Aboriginal, as a result of heavy drinking his conditions has developed. He’s unlikely to survive, therefore not sure really if any action is needed, that’s the message essentially in his notes”.




Karmaphobia or: How to be a racist but still be a good person

Sorry white peeps, this isn’t a useful ‘How to’, as the heading suggests, but don’t worry because most white people are already experts at this.

Racism isn’t just the overt hatred of other races, and it isn’t always blind hatred either, but if you were raised in Australia then you have probably been far more regularly exposed to racist attitudes than you have been to almost anything else.




Stolen Generations — 21st anniversary of launch of Inquiry, 17 years since report

Page 2 of the October 1952 edition of Dawn, a ‘Magazine for the Aboriginal People of NSW’ published by the Aboriginal Welfare Board. Through the 40s and 50s many Aboriginal girls were forcibly removed from their family’s and interned as wards of the state at the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Training HomePage 2 of the October 1952 edition of Dawn, a ‘Magazine for the Aboriginal People of NSW’ published by the Aboriginal Welfare Board. Through the 40s and 50s many Aboriginal girls were forcibly removed from their family’s and interned as wards of the state at the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Training Home

Incredibly, the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families continues to this day.




What Was 200 Years Ago?

The recent shenanigans around the use of ‘invasion’ instead of ‘settlement’ was annoying on so many levels. Not least of which was the stark reminder of how many Australians just require an inciting ‘green light’ from media to let loose a tirade of hatred and ignorance aimed at Aboriginal people.

It can happen at the drop of a hat, over the most insignificant of events. Even a years old document stating things that have been around for decades can set it off. Never mind that it is not an enforceable document demanding students think and talk in a certain way. Never mind Captain Cook, who wasn’t even mentioned in the document in question, was not the first white person to come to Australia. Never mind that the Australian national ethos can proudly embrace historical criminals who opposed government in the form of bushrangers, but feels threatened by the acknowledgement of Aboriginal resistance fighters. Never mind that the edicts from England which spoke of peaceful negotiations, purchasing land and forming treaties were completely ignored in favour of the myth of Terra Nullius, or that the infamous posters pictorially claiming that both white people and Aboriginal people alike would be hung for killing each other was completely ignored (the only white people to be hanged for killing Aboriginal people was after the Myall Creek Massacre, the only massacre that has entered mainstream Australian consciousness, not because of the horrific nature of the massacre itself, but because of the fact that white people were punished for it). Never mind any of that, because as amateur historian Kyle Sandilands said, “get over it, it’s 200 years ago.”