Rio Tinto kept loading explosives at Juukan Gorge after promising to stop, traditional owners say

Calla Wahlquist on The Guardian



28 June 2020

ABC’s Fake ‘Anonymous Youth Worker’ Promoted to High Commissioner to Ghana

Chris Graham on



26 May 2020

Rio Tinto blasts 46,000-year-old Aboriginal site to expand iron ore mine

Calla Wahlquist on The Guardian



22 Apr 2020

Aboriginal mothers fear there will be a new generation of stolen children

Mim Cook on ABC News



9 Mar 2020

Mining giant given millions in grant by Coalition from fund for Indigenous disadvantage

Lorena Allam on The Guardian



23 Oct 2019

Water supply failure in Kakadu's largest Aboriginal homeland triggers emergency review

Jano Gibson on ABC News



14 Oct 2019

NLC to NT government: ‘Stop blaming Aboriginal people for your failures’

Media Release of the Northern Landccouncil (NLC)



9 Aug 2019

Aboriginal communities sue Federal Government over 'racially discriminatory' work-for-the-dole scheme

Tom Joyner on ABC News





12 Years of NT Intervention


29 Jun 2019

Experts say Aboriginal advancement should be prioritised as Territory confronts budget crisis

Emily Smith on ABC News



23 Jun 2019

Activists implore the Government to stop killings, marking 12 years of the Northern Territory Intervention

Himath Siriniwasa and James Monaro in Honi Soit



19 Jun 2019

Abbott's $5.1bn Indigenous funding program must be overhauled, critics say

Lorena Allam on The Guardian





24 Jun 2019

IRAG open letter

Alastair Nicholson and Jon Altman on CAAMA Radio News



23 Jun 2019

Productivity Commission calls for help with vast Indigenous evaluation

Alastair Nicholson and Josie Crawshaw on Saturday AM, ABC Radio



22 Jun 2019

NITV News - 12 years Intervention




21 Jun 2019

Today marks 12-years since the start of the NT Intervention: What has changed?

Douglas Smith on NITV News



21 Jun 2019

Amnesty International calls for Indigenous-led solutions to youth justice

ABC RN Breakfast Radio



2 Jan 2019

Australia slapped with F minus for zero progress in Indigenous affairs

Wendy Caccetta on NIT (National Indigenous Times)



5 Mar 2019

'We want to say sorry': the historian whose great-uncle led the Coniston massacre

Lorena Allam on The Guardian



19 Feb 2019

Aboriginal women lead fight against violence

Celeste Liddle on Eureka Street



29 Jan 2019

How can the NT spend money allocated for remote Indigenous disadvantage elsewhere?

Christopher Walsh on ABC News



28 Jan 2019

Wagan & Jagalingou People continue the fight against Adani




25 Jan 2019

Adani coal mine should be suspended, UN says, until all traditional owners support the project

Josh Robertson on ABC News



25 Jan 2019

The Australia Day date debate means nothing without a treaty

Lidia Thorpe on The Age



7 Dec 2018

Western Australia signs $122m deal with Canberra for remote housing

Calla Wahlquist on The Guardian



4 Dec 2018

Fracking in Borroloola

NITV on Facebook



7 Oct 2018

Fracking in the NT: Indigenous community 'pushed' to consider benefits because industry 'not going away'

Jane Bardon on ABC News



23 Nov 2018

Adoption without parental consent legalised in NSW

Lorena Allam on The Guardian



22 Nov 2018

“The Final Nail”: Block Redevelopment to Expand With No Aboriginal Housing

Paul Gregoire on the Sydney Criminal Lawyers Blog



15 Nov 2018

Minister offered $460,000 Indigenous funding to groups that did not ask for it

Lorena Allam on The Guardian



8 Nov 2018

Don't let 'inquiry mentality' see life get worse in the NT after the royal commission

Mick Gooda on The Guardian



8 Nov 2018

Fresh calls to close Don Dale after latest violent incident

Lorena Allam and Helen Davidson on The Guardian



7 Nov 2018

Nigel Scullion offered to fund dispute over Indigenous land claim, fishing group says

Lorena Allam on The Guardian



1 Nov 2018

National Congress criticises Indigenous Affairs Minister, seeks answers for redirecting funds

Media Release of the The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples



31 Oct 2018

Indigenous advancement funding redirected to cattlemen and fishing groups

Lorena Allam on The Guardian



25 Oct 2018

Indigenous deaths in custody: key recommendations still not fully implemented

Lorena Allam and Calla Wahlquist on The Guardian



17 Oct 2018

Remote work-for-the-dole scheme a 'national disgrace', former Fraser minister says

Lorena Allam on The Guardian



14 Oct 2018

Nigel Scullion awards Indigenous grant money to CLP president's employer

Christopher Walsh on ABC News



29 Aug 2018

Abbott as Indigenous affairs envoy? Be disturbed. Be very disturbed.

Jack Latimore on The Guardian



25 Apr 2018

Lest We Forget: why we need to remember the Frontier Wars

Jidah Clark on The Sydney Morning Herald



18 Apr 2018

Richard Flanagan: 'Our politics is a dreadful black comedy' – press club speech in full

Richard Flanagan on The Guardian



2 Apr 2018

Opinion: Aboriginal children need loving, safe and culturally appropriate homes

Christine Craik and Linda Ford on ABC News



31 Mar 2018

Gap not closing on Indigenous disadvantage

Mike Seccombe on The Saturday Paper



10 Mar 2018

The economics of reparations

Natalie Cromb on The Saturday Paper



21 Sept 2017

Australia must abandon racially discriminatory remote work for the dole program UN told

Michelle Bennett on the Human Rights Law Centre



5 Aug 2017

Sally McManus ratchets up campaign against 'racist' work-for-the-dole program

Fergus Hunter on The Sydney Morning Herald



15 Jul 2017

300,000 fines levied on participants in remote work-for-dole program

Calla Wahlquist on The Guardian



27 Nov 2017

Behavioural neoliberalism in the Australian outback: The quest to alter Indigenous subjectivity

Jon Altman on



21 Nov 2017

Australia's heartless 'House of Discards' refuse First Nations' fundamental rights

Jeff McMullen on Independent Australia



6 Nov 2017

Indigenous workers: the ‘modern slaves’ of Australia?

Jon Altman on



31 Oct 2017

Deepening Indigenous Poverty in the Northern Territory

Jon Altman in Land Rights News, October 2017 Issue 4, page 18



17 Oct 2017

Video: Genocide and Intervention in Contemporary Indigenous Australia

Jon Altman on YouTube, uploaded by CICADA (Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives)



Oct 2017

Modern Slavery in Remote Australia?

Jon Altman in Arena magazine No 150



31 Aug 2017

Video: Professor Jon Altman of Melbourne's Deakin University on the NT 2007 'Intervention'

Jon Altman on YouTube, uploaded by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne



Jun 2017

The Destruction of Homelander Life-ways

Jon Altman on, first published in the Arena magazine No 148



Jun 2017

In the aftermath of the Intervention there has been a profound shift in the terms of national attention to Indigenous affairs

Melinda Hinkson in Arena magazine No 148






The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment (Economic Empowerment) Bill 2021 is before parliament



Minister Ken Wyatt MP has introduced what he terms as the most comprehensive reforms to the NT Land Rights Act to the Australian Parliament since its enactment in 1976.

The Aboriginal land Rights Act is the most powerful expression of land rights in Australia.

There are serious concerns with aspects of his proposed bill. ‘concerned Australians’ are calling for a Senate Committee inquiry. Amendments are required.


There will now be a Senate Inquiry which is due to report on 25 November and submissions will be required by 5 November.

Inquiry details and to place in submissions have been posted, please act now:


Further information:

  • Prof Jon Altman AM brief critical assessment: please click here

  • Some comments for the Institute for Cultural Survival Inc.: please click here

  • Letter from ‘concerned Australians’ to The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP: please click here

  • Prof Jon Altman spoke about "Land Rights at Risk, again? Evaluation of the Economic Empowerment Bill" on Wed, 27 Oct, 7.30pm AEDT. Recording of this session see below.

  • Reasons for referral of the Bill to the committee: please click here

  • Prof Jon Altman's speaking notes of 27 Oct: please click here




Prof Jon Altman speaks about
Land Rights at Risk, again?
Evaluation of the Economic Empowerment Bill










The history of the Commonwealth’s Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA) and policy of the past twenty years which has hindered social justice



"The Commonwealth’s Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALRA) is a statutory instrument designed to deliver a form of social justice – that is, to arrest and even reverse the illegal land dispossession that occurred in Australia since British colonisation."  ...


"... in the last two decades the steps have been backward. Those living on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory are not only the most impoverished people in Australia, but also they are becoming relatively poorer. This trend is the result of policy to discourage and even financially penalise those who live on their country. The most recent ... survey indicated that there are over 600 homelands in the Northern Territory. People may have land rights, but because the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments fail to support living at outstations, people are leaving their ancestral lands. To pressure Aboriginal people for whom connection to country, sacred sites and ancestors in the landscape are paramount values to live in the same way as non-Aboriginal people is a form of cultural genocide.


Jon Altman, SELF-DETERMINATION’S LAND RIGHTS Destined to disappoint?, (September, 2020)


Click here to read the full article









The 2007 Northern Territory Intervention:
Cultural Genocide and Ecocide?



These assimilation policies destroy our culture and our lives. It is the Stolen Generation all over again. ... The government is refusing to build us any housing unless we sign over control of our land for 40 years or more. We say NO LEASES. We will not sign. … The government having this control is no good. Our lives depend on our land. It is connected to our songlines, our culture and our dreaming. Prescribed Area Peoples’ Alliance from First Nations communities affected by the NT Intervention, Mparntwe /Alice Springs, (September & November 2008).




Returning to the crucial issue of land, given that the 2006 [Aboriginal Land Rights Act] ALRA reforms were promoted to open up Aboriginal land to mineral exploration and development, the Intervention’s compulsory acquisition of townships has created a dangerous precedent for other Aboriginal lands. In late 2007, the Howard Government signed up to the US-led Global Nuclear Energy Partnership initiative (GNEP), which committed Australia to mine and enrich its uranium, export it to other countries, then re-import the resultant radioactive waste to be stored for ever more in the Australian desert. Approximately 30% of the world’s currently identified uranium reserves are to be found on NT indigenous lands and since last year the number of exploration licences for uranium in the NT has doubled, with nearly 80 companies either actively exploring or having applied to explore ...   click here to read more


Martin Cook, Damien Short, Political Economy of Genocide in Australia: The architecture of Dispossession Then and Now, in Bachman, J. (ed.) Cultural Genocide: Law, Politics, and Global Manifestations. New York: Routledge. 2019.









13 years of failed NT Intervention
First Nations people demand their solutions




The Intervention is the worst infraction of human rights we have seen in recent times in relation to Aboriginal people and paved the way for the continuing erosion of rights. Its my honour to be hosting a forum [with] some of the strongest most continuing voices.


Facilitator Larissa Behrendt AO, June 19th 2020




Videos from the event:



Excerpt from the forum shown in "The Point" (NITV) on 24th June 2020 - 2 min




Video of the complete forum - 1h 48min




Videos of the individual speakers




Speeches and Transcripts:


How did the Intervention affect Yuendumu - Speech from Harry Jakamarra Nelson


The Wasted Years - Speech from Greg Marks


Transcript of Pat Ansell-Dodds' speech


Transcript of Yingiya Mark Guyula's speech


Transcript of Amelia Kunoth-Monks' speech







25 June 2020 - 'Guns is not our law, it is not our culture': calls for systemic change as Kumanjayi Walker matter back in court’

19 June 2020 - Joint cA-IRAG-STICs Media release


26 June 2020 - The Point Recap - includes 13 Years NT Intervention


27 June 2020 - Interview with Georgina Gartland in Classically 'It's About Time' Saturday 3MDR 97.1 FM
(scroll down the page and click on the "listen back" button, about 48 minutes into the program)


5 July 2020 - ABC radio: Speaking out - NT Intervention: 13 years On









Support Aboriginal People to have their voice:
This is Self Determination


During this time of promoting Aboriginal Lives Matter, help support those fighting for Self Determination and equality. Yingiya Guyula MLA, a highly respected senior Yolngu Leader and currently the only elected Aboriginal Independent member in any Australian, State or Territory parliaments, needs support.


This man of great strength and integrity is re-standing in the 2020 Northern Territory election on August 22nd this year. His people are being disempowered and oppressed under current bipartisan policy directions hence his standing as an Independent, free of party politics. In the neighbouring electorate of Arnhem, a second First Nation Independent candidate, Ian Mongunu Gumbala, is also standing as an Independent. Both are standing for their people and communities to flourish, for resources to be equally distributed to homelands and for effective community led decisions to be supported. Yolgnu have the solutions in their own country but these are denied. As independents they do not have the resources of larger parties. They need your support.


Support Self Determination, watch this short film, see what has been and what is yet to be achieved and why funds are necessary, donate if you can. Go to




To Donate: or direct transfer



Campaign Video in English and Yolŋu Matha (11 minutes)


There are NEW challenges introduced by NT Labor for non-english first speakers -
need to fill out full preferential voting system



Help create some positive history. Australia needs these voices, and they need our support.









13 years of failed NT Intervention
First Nations people demand their solutions




Online Forum on Friday, 19 June 2020
6pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) – 8pm


Join the Zoom Meeting at



21 June is the 13th anniversary of the discriminatory and brutal NT Intervention, now so-called "Stronger Futures".


Last year in an open letter to Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians, First Nations People from Central Australia, stated: “Although Aboriginal people have become conditioned to the detrimental impacts of those racist laws, the trauma is deeply entrenched and continues. ... The voices of people struggling under these racist laws have not been heard, or their pleas have been distorted to impose further repressive laws on them.”


A new report on the Intervention from the Castan Centre of Monash University has given yet another damning picture of the abject failure of these laws to address the cultural and social well-being of First Nations People. Child removals and incarceration rates have skyrocketed with all the consequent devastation on families and communities. Compounding the detrimental effects of the Intervention, changes made to the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 have weakened First Nations People’s land control, causing great concern.


The failure of the Intervention has contributed to the unacceptable vulnerability of people as the country is facing Covid-19.


This forum moderated by Professor Larissa Behrendt will be an opportunity to hear First Nations People speak of their lived experience and discuss the way forward in the struggle to be heard.



Speakers include:

Aunty Pat Ansell Dodds, Arrernte/Amjatere, Central Australia

Yingiya Mark GUYULA MLA - A Liya Dhalinymirr leader of the Djambarrpuyngu people

Amelia Pangarte Kunoth-Monks, NT youth leader living on the BasicsCard

Harry Jakamarra Nelson, Warlpiri Elder, Yuendumu, NT

Barbara Shaw, Arrente, Kaytetye, Warlpiri and Waramungu, Alice Springs, Member of IRAG


Greg Marks, International human rights law expert, Indigenous rights, who has lived and worked in the Northern Territory and retained a close interest in NT issues

Stephen Gray, Senior lecturer, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University. Head researcher of The Northern Territory Intervention: an Evaluation report (Feb 2020).



Join the Zoom Meeting at


Meeting ID: 978 2922 4417

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+61861193900,,97829224417# Australia

+61871501149,,97829224417# Australia


Dial by your location

+61 861 193 900 Australia

+61 8 7150 1149 Australia

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Meeting ID: 978 2922 4417

Find your local number:










Gove Peninsula Native Title:
Help Save the Yolngu way of life




The Yolngu people of North East Arnhem Land are one of the last Indigenous groups still living within their traditional framework of law and governance. Although the Yolngu won rights to their land and way of life in 1976 through the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, these rights have been overridden and are increasingly denied due to Australian government agency error, mismanagement and arbitrary rule.


With regard to the Gove Peninsula there has never been a court determination of any kind settling who the traditional owners are and how they give consent. Consequently, most traditional land owning and caretaker groups of the Gove Peninsula are excluded from decision making, which remains the greatest source of injustice and has adverse consequences threatening the Yolngu way of life.


The Yolngu people are seeking to correct this through a native title process.




For more information, the explanatory video and to donate click here:


Gove Peninsula Native Title: Help Save the Yolngu way of life











Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Aboriginal Peoples were four times more likely to be admitted to hospital with the 2009 pandemic (H1N1) of influenza than non-Aboriginal people. This was a costly lesson that must be heeded.


AIDA has long promoted the significance of the social determinants of health as an important measure in improving the health of our communities. The challenges of mitigating the impact of any pandemic will be influenced by the current burden of chronic diseases endured by our Peoples, inadequate housing and environmental health infrastructure, and the lack of access to culturally appropriate healthcare faced by many of our communities.


All governments and health departments must continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations, communities and stakeholders to ensure that our Peoples and communities are consulted appropriately, and receive equitable access to services at this critical time.


AIDA, March 5th 2020

Click here to read the full release “Australian Indigenous Doctors Respond To Covid-19 Pandemic”




Further Information:



Introduction to the Coronavirus


Why Warriors:

How Coronavirus could impact remote Indigenous communities


ABC News   (21 March 2020):

Coronavirus panic-buying threatens food security in remote NT community


The Conversation   (2 April 2020):

The answer to Indigenous vulnerability to coronavirus: a more equitable public health agenda


Central Land Council (CLC)   (2 April 2020)

Food security alert: remote communities will defy stay home orders














Galiwin'ku residents allocated housing shelter years after Cyclone Lam's havoc


Almost five years after the Arnhem Land community of Galiwin'ku was battered by Cyclone Lam, the NT Government is yet to spend $20.3 million of disaster relief funding for rebuilding housing.


  • 80 houses in Galiwin'ku were destroyed when Cyclone Lam hit the Arnhem Land coast in 2015

  • $20 million allocated to rebuild houses in Galiwin'ku remains unspent by the NT Government

  • The NT Government has missed deadlines to claim Commonwealth reimbursements for the program


Please click here to read the full article by Kate Ashton on ABC News









Traditional First Nations’ burial rites are under attack in the Northern Territory October 2019


The Bill has been withdrawn ‘for now’. Thank the ministers but keep pressure on NT Govt (in this and other issues) to work closely with Clan/First Nations’ community leaders across the NT.


Yingiya Mark Guyula Mla speaks of serious concern with the bill - section 39 &40


Northern Territory forced to back down on plan to criminalise Aboriginal burial rites




“Is this Government genuine about working in partnership with Aboriginal Nations? This Government is introducing a law that disrespects our culture, and our authority and criminalises our elders and leaders.”

The Burial and Cremation Bill was referred to the … Committee in August 2019, and despite receiving submissions that raised serious concerns from the NLC, CLC , NAAJA, the Galpu and Golpu Clans of Elcho Island, and the Member for Nhulunbuy, and hearing evidence from many of these groups, the Committee have tabled their report to the Assembly with no recommendations to amend any part of the legislation.”

Yingiya Mark Guyula Mla


ABC News: Burial bill 'the worst form of disrespect in the world' for Aboriginal communities, Chelsea Heaney, 16 Oct 2019


Katherine Times: Indigenous groups warn Govt not to meddle with traditional burials, Chris McLennan, 16 Oct 2019


Let’s Talk Podcast: Boe Spearim at 98.9fm discusses concerns with Alastair Nicholson Former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, 21 Oct 2019



Media statement from Yingiya Mark Guyula, Member for Nhulunbuy, NT Legislative Assembly

Media release from the Northern Land Council (NLC)

Media release from 'concerned Australians'

Yingiya Mark Guyula speaks in language on the secretion 39 &40 that would have criminalizing for practicing traditional law



Call to Action:

Please email and phone the relevant Ministers’, for details please click here

Sign the Get Up Petition: Stop the NT Government from criminalising traditional burials









Remote Control


The Community Development Program (CDP), remote Australia's work for the dole scheme


The CDP is expected to perform a herculean task. Remote Australia has few jobs and a disadvantaged workforce. However, the CDP is failing. It pays less than the minimum wage and imposes harsh penalties. It costs taxpayers more than similar programs. Government claims of success are based on creative interpretation of statistics, not on outcomes.


Rod Campbell, Bill Browne, Matt Grudnoff. The Australia Institute: Research that Matters. ACTU

Please click here to read the report.









So much at stake:
Forging a Treaty with Authority and Respect


by Sarah Maddison and Dale Wandin

published in Australian Book Review (ABR) , August 2019, no. 413


The article concludes:
At this point in time, it is impossible to predict the success or failure of treaty in Victoria. This is a bold attempt to respond to a claim that has been central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aspirations over many decades, but for Aboriginal people in Victoria, the fear of assimilation hiding in the acts of treaty is creating high levels of anxiety and concern. While treaty would be a landmark accomplishment, this can never occur at the expense of protocol, culture, and respect. It seems the current process has not done enough to put those fears to rest.


Please click here to read the full article









2019 Garma Key Forum


Address by Mr. Yingiya Guyula











Justice Now for David Dungay:
An Interview with Leetona Rose Dungay


The following is another incident of a Death in Custody. For those wanting justice and closure it is a long and difficult road.


Warning: the details in this article can be distressing to some people


David Dungay Jr, a 26 year old Dunghutti man, died in custody on 29th December 2015 at Sydney’s Long Bay Prison Hospital. The details that led to his death are shocking. The circumstances surrounding the death have been questionable and the investigation has been drawn out.


Interview with Mr Dungay's mother Leetona









Michael Mansell:
If the choice is between Treaty or Voice, I say Treaty


OPINION: Activist and lawyer, Michael Mansell critiques the Voice to Parliament proposal and asks, is this as good as it gets or should we all aim higher?


Please click here to read the article









12 years of the NT Intervention


21st June 2019 marks 12 years of the NT Intervention and continued entrenched trauma.



The NT Intervention Rollback Action Group wrote an open letter to the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians.




Please click here to read the letter.


12 Years NT Intervention - IRAG Report Card (June 2019)




Media Release from 'concerned Australians'




Rally in Sydney on Saturday, 29th June, 1pm Hyde Park North










Treaty-Truth Telling


2018 Garma Key Forum - Truth Telling Session

Yingiya Mark Guyula



You cannot understand treaty until you first understand sovereignty






Please click here to watch the speech (YouTube)



Please click here to download the speech (PDF)









Prince Charles asked to intervene on behalf of the Yolngu





Prince Charles on Monday April 8th 2018 “visited the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts Centre in the Northern Territory, where he met with Yolngu clan leaders and the Member for Nhulunbuy who asked him to intervene on their behalf and acknowledge their people's sovereignty.

He was asked to take a strong position on the issue and was handed a letter stick to deliver to the Prime Minister of Australia.

"We have many difficulties with the Australian governments because they do not recognise our sovereignty," Member for Nhulunbuy Yingiya Mark Guyula MLA said.

"We need to correct this situation, for the sake of our children and their children, for our cultural survival - for our ancestors."

Source: Prince Charles winds up Australia visit, Sydney Morning Herald, April 10th 2018



Yolungu Leaders Declare Sovereignty (PDF)


Prince Charles tours Nhulunbuy for sixth visit to the Northern Territory (ABC News)


Yolŋu Leader Gives Prince Charles A Treaty Letter Stick … And A Diplomatic ‘Middle Finger’ (Chris Graham in New Matilda)


Aboriginal Declaration of Sovereignty - meeting with Prince Charles (Tasmanian Times)











Treaty Yeh, Treaty Now!
Long March for 'Justice Thru Treaty' 26 Jan


“Calls for a Treaty were repeatedly raised by Aboriginal communities during the recent Constitutional Recognition consultations as a practical means to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the First Nation Peoples and to implement the structural changes required to establish self-determination. ... A Treaty sets a process to legitimately move forward in partnership between Aboriginal people and the Australian State.”

Indigenous Peoples Organisation (IPO)


Flyer: Please click here

List of Speakers: Please click here



IPO Video compilation of event (17 minutes):


Watch this video on YouTube




Treaty Talks Workshop on 23-25 January 2018


In the three days before the “Justice Through Treaty” march Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will meet to discuss what we wish included in a national Treaty. Speakers and participants from every State will look at practical means to address self-determination, how we can support our communities to overcome the legacy of colonialism, poverty, racism and marginalization. For more information please click here.


Facebook Page: Justice Through Treaty


For other January 26th events: Please click here








Time to end 10 years of Intervention in the Northern Territory

Statement from eminent Australians



Statement of Eminent Australians on the continuing damage caused by the discrimination, racism and lack of justice towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, exemplified by the continuation of the Northern Territory Intervention


While the Australian nation deliberates on the future of its relationship with the First Nations of this land, most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are focused on the continuing discrimination, racism and lack of justice, shown towards them by Federal, State and Territory Governments in so many areas.



Statement of Eminent Australians



The impetus for this statement lies with the ongoing profound disempowerment and destruction caused over the past decade and the three June 2017 statements of NT Elders, leaders and communities impacted by the Intervention:

1. Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation Statement (Yananymul Mununggurr and directors)

2. Mparntwe (Alice Springs) Stand Up 2017 statement

3. Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory Statement impacted by the NT Intervention of 29 June 2017




Audio recording from the launch of the statement




Video recording from the launch of the statement (1h 54 min)



For further information and to view the 6 Individual speakers (shorter videos) click here









Mining Royalties


Mining royalty payments and the governance of Aboriginal Australia


Distinguished lecture 2017

Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh

Delivered at Griffith University, South Bank campus, 9 August 2017


Please click here to download the lecture (PDF)




Further information:


ABC Big Ideas: Mining royalties and Aboriginal autonomy


McArthur River Mine Compensation Talks

(in: NLC Land Rights News Oct 2017, page 12)









Quest for Treaty: Yingiya's Bid for Parliament


Yingiya Mark Guyula, a Yolngu Elder, endorsed by the Yolngu Nations Assembly, makes a bid for the NT Parliament as an independent candidate. He stresses the importance of Treaty and the need for the Yolngu Madayin Law to be recognised.


As part of Treaty Awareness and Fund Raising Tour Mr. Guyula spoke at two events:


Geelong, 11 March 2016: Mr. Guyula spoke on the disempowering impacts of living under the ongoing intervention policies, the need of a Treaty for Arnhem Land and his contributions towards the book The Intervention: an Anthology


Melbourne, 12 March 2016: Mr. Guyula spoke on Madayin law and how his platform Treaty Now! will work.

Please click here to read his speech


Please click here for further information (including videos) of the events.


Declaration of the Yolŋu Nations Assembly (Yolŋu Matha and English) on Sovereignty & Treaty









Custodianship in the 21st Century


Jeff McMullen AM, presented the 15th Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture at Charles Darwin University, August 6th 2015.


Custodianship is one of the foundational concepts of the intellectual knowledge system of all of the First Peoples of this land. As a senior lawman, Vincent Lingiari was drawing on his grandfather’s connection to Gurindji country, reclaiming and asserting this core responsibility.


Can we forge a treaty or treaties, recognizing the truth of the past and legally supporting a fair and just future? Can we rise above our doubts and flaws and in the 21st Century find the full expression of custodianship that Vincent Lingiari cherished?




Vincent Lingiari knew who he was and that this land held him close to its heart. "You can keep your gold. We just want our land back."


Please click here to read the full lecture



Interviews with Jeff McMullen: CAAMA, ABC and 104.1 Territory FM




Tony Abbott and White Australia: Lets's be serious about change

'First Nations Telegraph' article (includes iconic pictures)



Jeff McMullen with Jimmy Wavehill, just prior to delivering the 15th annual Vincent Lingiari Lecture at Charles Darwin University.









Watch this video on Vimeo


Justice before Reconciliation -

A conversation with Rosalie Kunoth-Monks



This video presents excerpts of a speech given by Rosalie on May 28th during a 2015 Reconciliation event, organised by Monash Reconciliation Group, Mt. Waverley.









The book In The Absence of Treaty is now available as PDF.


Please click here to download the book (1 MB).


Endnotes for the book updated October 2015











Published by 'concerned Australians'


The Intervention - an Anthology



In this historic anthology, award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss have gathered together the work of twenty of Australian’s finest writers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous together with powerful statements from Northern Territory Elders to bring a new dimension and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.



Past Book launches:

Redfern (NSW) – 1 July 2015, 6:30pm

Ashfield (NSW) – 9 July 2015, 6:30pm

Darwin (NT) - 4 August 2015, 5:30pm

Parramatta (NSW) - 12 August 2015, 7:30pm

Glebe (NSW) - 26 August 2015, 6pm for 6.30pm

Sydney (NSW) - 2 September 2015, 6:30pm for 7pm

Mona Vale (NSW) - 14 September 2015, 7.30pm

Fitzroy (VIC) - 24 September 2015, 11.30am - 1pm

Adelaide (SA) – 8 December 2015, 6:30pm

Fremantle (WA) – 18 February 2016, 6pm

Geelong (VIC) – 11 March 2016, 2pm - 3pm



Book reviews:

Syndey Morning Herald (SMH)

Linda Jaivin

Arena Magazine No. 137, August-September 2015

Michael O'Connor, AURORA

Elizabeth Lhuede

Julie Wark



Book orders (via Booktopia)

The Anthology can also be ordered from major booksellers.




The Honourable Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC at the Fitzroy launch:


Watch this video on Vimeo.


Speech by The Honourable Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC (PDF)



Speeches and photos from the launches







First Nations Women Speak out for Treaty




On 20th March 2015 a public forum was held in Redfern: First Nations Women Speak out for Treaty.


Treaty would recognise the sovereignty of the First Nations People over their land and enshrine the right of self-determination which was promised to them when Australia ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 40 years ago.


The forum also discussed the relationship between Treaty and the current campaign for constitutional recognition.



For more information about the Forum please click here


Watch this video on Vimeo











Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL 1930 - 2015



20 March 2015


‘concerned Australians’ is mourning the passing of Malcolm Fraser at the age of 84. Malcolm was a person of dignity and courage who showed tenacity and compassion in his commitment to racial equality and multiculturalism. He will be remembered as a true humanitarian and a good friend.


We offer our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to his wife Tamie and family.


We are most grateful to him for the support he gave to the Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory over the last eight difficult years. He was a man of integrity who recognised injustice and was prepared to speak out for change. We were profoundly thankful for the support that he gave to the work of ‘concerned Australians’.








Remote Community Closures


March 2015


Will You Help to Prevent a Crisis?


The Commonwealth’s commitment to Homelands and Outstations was surely sealed by the 1967 Referendum. How can it be then that the federal government can consider abandoning their long-held responsibilities by cutting essential funding to these especially vulnerable areas?


What is clear is that the Commonwealth knows full well that the consequences of the cuts will fall with brute force onto Aboriginal communities least able to defend themselves. Such behaviour is contemptible.


It is quite clear that state governments do not have the resources to simply replace Federal funding. Mr. Barnett in Western Australia has responded by indicating that he will close up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities by simply cutting off their essential services – water, power etc. Arrangements with the South Australia government are still to be determined but at this stage the outstations fear their fate will be similar to those in the West.


Please click here for more information.


Joe Morrison's comment in The Age: Remote communities aren't a utopian lifestyle choice but they are good for our people


Jon Altman: Homelands under the hammer, again, from the aspiring PM for indigenous policy










Treaty Messages


9 February 2015


Treaties and Constitutional Recognition are both important issues. They are independent of each other. There is no particular order in which these important changes should be made.


"Canada has its centuries-old treaties, and more modern treaties today, and more recently, constitutional recognition of Aboriginal Canadians in the life and history of that nation."

Mick Dodson, July 2007



Please click here for more Treaty messages








The Advantages of Treaty



6 December 2014


On 6 December 2014, ‘concerned Australians’ invited a group of some 50 colleagues and friends to join them for a discussion on Treaties.


Three of the attendees graciously agreed to share their views on the advantages of treaty. They were Bobby Nicholls, Aboriginal Partnership Officer at the Department of Health in Wangaratta and Co-Chair of the Traditional Elders Owners Land Justice Group, Gene Roberts who is now the Western Metropolitan Local Justice Worker for VALS, and Janet Turpie-Johnstone. Melbourne’s first Aboriginal Anglican priest, and currently working as an Aboriginal Equity Pathways Officer at the Australian Catholic University.


All three were enthusiastic in their belief that treaties would improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples across Australia and their establishment would be the only way by which Aboriginal culture could be protected. Janet feared that without treaties Aboriginal culture might not survive.


Please click here to read the full article.



Bobby Nicholls, Gene Roberts and Janet Turpie-Johnson









Land Rights News - Northern Edition



December 2018

August 2018

May 2018

Feb 2018

Oct 2017

July 2017

April 2017

Jan 2017

Oct 2016

July 2016

April 2016



Please click here for general information
about the Land Rights News









A Discussion on 99-Year Township Leases


Featuring: Yirrininba Dhurrkay and James Wapiriny

Introduction: David Suttle



Watch this video on YouTube







The Importance of Engaging Experienced of Cross-Cultural

Interpreters for all Negotiations with Indigenous Communities




This article by Murray Garde flags lessons for all parties, including the NLC, which are involved in consultations with Aboriginal communities where English is far from being the predominant language.


Murray Garde is highly qualified for this assignment, and the NLC has total confidence in his expertise as an interpreter.


Linguists have taught us for a long time about the problems that arise from cross-purposes communication.


Murray Garde’s article demonstrates the value – indeed, in some instances, the necessity – of engaging an experienced cross-cultural interpreter for complex negotiations such as those that arise from profoundly important public policies that will have impact on the lives of current and future generations of Aboriginal people.


He has revealed the complexity of these negotiations and demonstrated that there are big holes in the understanding of Traditional Owners at Gunbalanya about the substance of negotiations so far towards the Commonwealth’s goal of securing a 99-year-lease over their community.



CEO, Northern Land Council


Please click here to read the article by Murray Garde








The plan to undermine the Land Rights Act

by Ian Viner AO QC


With the Commonwealth Government’s push for 99-year leases, the Forrest Report call for Aboriginal land to be privatised so as to be bought and sold, and attacks upon the Northern Land Council in particular over their defence of traditional ownership and their responsibilities under the Land Rights Act, the iconic 1976 Land Rights Act is under threat like never before.


Please click here to read the full article








Open Letter from Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM in Response to

the Prime Minister’s Statement to The Australian







Open Letter from Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM to

Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia for his courage in publicly acknowledging the terrible impact on Aboriginal Peoples as a result of early British settlement.


It is of extreme importance to us that we now work together for better outcomes and this can happen when a Prime Minister is prepared, as you have been, to recognise the pain and suffering that has taken place. This is a beginning point and we thank you for it very sincerely.


You say that we should be recognised as first class citizens in our own country. We believe this to be true and we also believe that determining our own future is our right. With your determined support we look forward to realising this in the not too distant future.


Your support for the recognition of Aboriginal Peoples in the Constitution is greatly welcomed and it is our wish that changes will also include provision of a framework for incorporating treaties as they are negotiated




Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM







Archbishop Desmond Tutu Prays for Australian Aboriginal Peoples


On World Peace Day, 21 September 2014



International Day of Peace


On World Peace Day 2014, I pray for the rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia to determine their own destiny.


It is a severe indictment on Australia that many of its indigenous people still feel that their culture and dignity are being eroded, and that they continue to be treated as second class citizens – 42 years after the country signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


Aboriginal elders say that although the Aboriginal Land Rights Act of 1976 transferred control of much of the Northern Territory to Aboriginal peoples, the people never had the opportunity to draw true advantage from the land. They were ill prepared to deal with complex Western bureaucracies, and their efforts have been undermined by under-development and neglect.


The imposition of legislation generally known as the Northern Territory Intervention, in 2007 virtually stripped them of their voice.


Community councils have been closed down and management of many aspects of the peoples’ lives has been transferred to non-indigenous institutions. The exclusion of local Aboriginal perspectives from decision-making is directly eroding customs, laws, languages and land-use aspirations. Nearly 50% of the youth in detention in Australia are Aboriginal, although the Aboriginal population constitutes just 3% of the Australian population.


There are no first-class and second-class citizens on earth, just citizens; sisters and brothers of one family, the human family, God’s family. Our diversity is a Gift from God. It strengthens and enriches us.


All people, regardless of their looks, cultures and beliefs – including the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia – are equally entitled to dignity, to justice, and to the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives. I support those who have called for a Truth and Justice Commission for Aboriginal Peoples to lay bare the horrors of the past and, finally, commence a national healing process for all Australians.





Other Links:











Watch this video on YouTube


The message from very many Aboriginal Peoples in Australia to the Australian Government is that the time is long overdue for genuine negotiation on treaties.












The book A Decision to Discriminate is now available as PDF.


Please click here to download the book (3 MB).








The National Indigenous Human Rights Awards 2014




Watch this video on YouTube




Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM


is presented with the first Dr Yunupingu Human Rights Award by Arnhemland Elder, Yalmay Yunupingu at NSW Parliament House. The National Indigenous Human Rights Awards recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who have made significant contribution to the advancement of human rights and social justice for their people.



Yalmay Yunupingu’s Speech:


“Politics, politics, politics. Policy, policy, policy. Changes, changes, and more changes. What’s next? Are we going to keep living like this and keep being used as a Trojan horse? As new Government gets voted, in comes new policy, “bang”, and then follows by the new changes “bang”. New jobs are created, people are put into positions and they often don’t have any idea how to do their job. Bush schools are criticized, and they say that Indigenous team teachers are inexperienced and unskilled to run bilingual and education programs in our own communities.”


Full text of Yalmay’s speech










Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights:

Review of the Stronger Futures package of legislation




In the 43rd Parliament, our predecessor committee applied this approach to the examination of the Stronger Futures package of legislation, and used its 11th report of 2013 to set out its understanding of the concept of special measures and the circumstances in which special measures may be permitted or required under human rights law. In considering those measures described as special measures in the Stronger Futures legislation, the committee noted the importance of continuing close evaluation of such measures and concluded that the committee could usefully perform an ongoing oversight role in this regard. The committee recommended that in the 44th Parliament it should undertake a 12-month review to evaluate the latest evidence in order to evaluate the continuing necessity for the Stronger Futures legislation.


The committee has given careful consideration to our predecessor committee's recommendation and has decided to undertake a review of the Stronger Futures package of legislation, commencing in June 2014. The committee proposes to write to the minister and advise him of its intention to undertake this review, invite him to respond to the conclusions drawn by our predecessor committee in its 11th report of 2013 and alert him to the range of information the committee will seek from him and his department as part of the review. The committee proposes to report the conclusions of this review in 2015.









of Aboriginal Adults residing outside the Northern Territory on
The Intervention and Stronger Futures Legislation,
Constitutional Change and Treaties



Please click here for the Report








The Disallowance by the Senate of Regulations made under s28A
of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976



Media Release Northern Land Council


Media Release Northern and Central Land Councils


Official Notification of the Senate












“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Benjamin Franklin



In an excellent article (SMH 2 March 2014) by long-time Aboriginal advocate, Sol Bellear, he suggests that reconciliation has failed. This leads me to ask the question, “What is the basis on which reconciliation might be delivered?”


While I regularly read of new opportunities that are being promoted for Aboriginal people under the banner of ‘reconciliation’ and I greatly applaud them, at the same time I wonder if we have confused the meaning of the word itself and whether this could be the root of Sol’s conclusion?



Please click here to read the full article from 'concerned Australians'












25 Jan 2014 - Yalmay Yunupingu calls for Treaties

Yalmay’s speech in response to her husband, Dr M Yunupingu, being posthumously awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia


27 Jan 2014 - Warren Mundine on Treaties with Aboriginal Nations


28 Jan 2014 - Tony Abbott Open to Aboriginal Treaties


30 Jan 2014 - Yolngu Nations Assembly on Indigenous Treaties









Changes to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT) 1976


Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment (Delegation) Regulation 2013 - F2013L02122


The new Regulation was registered on 12 December 2013. This was the last sitting day of Parliament for the year and means the changes will not come before Parliament before February 11, at the very earliest.


All information can be found at:


The legislative instrument allows for Aboriginal Corporations to request that certain functions of the Land Councils be delegated to them. Where there is reluctance on the part of the Land Councils, the Minister is the final arbiter.



from: Explanation from the Regulation:


Subsection 28(3) of the Act provides that a Land Council may delegate certain functions and powers to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.


Subsection 28A(1) of the Act provides that an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation may apply to a Land Council for a delegation of certain Land Council functions or powers.


Subsection 28A(5) of the Act provides that a Land Council is taken to have refused to make a delegation if it has neither made nor refused to make the delegation within the period worked out in accordance with the regulations (or such longer period as is agreed by the Minister).


Subsection 28B(4) of the Act provides that an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation may apply to a Land Council for a variation of an existing delegation to apply to all of the Land Council’s functions or powers that are delegable to the corporation, or to add specified delegable functions or power, or to add specified delegable functions or powers in relation to specified matters.









In the Absence of Treaty



This book explores the current inadequacy of the process used in engaging with Aboriginal people, which results in control slipping away from them. It provides concise but incisive account from recent reports about the reasons for the ongoing and growing frustration of many Aboriginal people in the NT. In doing so it hints at possibly the only solution - treaties.



Past Book launches:


Sydney – 28 January 2014, 6pm for 6:30pm

Melbourne – 4 February 2014, 6pm for 6:30pm

(in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia)

Canberra – 6 February 2014, 5:30pm for 6pm

Darwin – 13 February 2014, 5pm for 5:30pm

(in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia

Adelaide – 13 February 2014, 6pm for 6:30pm

(in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia - Tickets $5)

Waurn Ponds (VIC) – 6 March 2014, 6:30pm for 7pm

(in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia)

Mona Vale (NSW) – 10 March 2014, 7:30pm (sharp)

(in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia)

Sydney - 5 April 2014, 1pm for 1:30 pm

(book presentation in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia)

Katoomba (NSW) - 12 April 2014, 12:30pm for 1pm

(book presentation in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia)

Ryde (NSW) - 28 June 2014, 1:30 pm

(book presentation in conjunction with a screening of John Pilger's film Utopia)




Book review by The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC



To order the book please click here


Speeches and photos from the launches








The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC

Answers Questions on 99-Year Leases

from Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM and Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM



1. Government is asking some communities to agree to 99-year township leases. What are the implications of signing a 99-year lease?


2. Government states that the community will still own the land even though a 99-year lease has been signed. Can you explain this please.


3. How important to Aboriginal Peoples are the protections in the Land Rights Act?


4. Under current legislation we are able to support housing and business development in our towns. Why do you think Government is asking communities to agree to 99-year leases?


5. Our people have great difficulty in persuading Government to negotiate with us in a culturally appropriate manner – that is, talking with the senior law men of our communities. Can you suggest ways in which this can be achieved?

  Watch this video on YouTube








Dismantling the Land Rights Act

99 year leases



6 Nov 2013


Statement by Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM regarding MOUs on township 99 year leases


I express my deep concern at the actions of the Abbott Government as evidenced by the behaviour of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Scullion, in hastily procuring MOUs on township leases for 99 years in Gunbalanya and Yirrkala in recent weeks. He is quoted as saying that this was part of a blitz to encourage other communities around the country to sign similar deals.


Please click here for the full statement



Article in the The Australian: Overhaul township leasing system, says Northern Land Council (18 Nov 2013)


Letter from Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra to The Australian (22 Nov 2013)


Response from The Australian (23 Nov 2013)



22 Nov 2013


Interview with Dr Gondarra


NT First Nations leader calls for rejection of lease deals




27 Nov 2013


Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM in Conversation with


Watch this video on Vimeo


Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL PC,

Frank Vincent AO QC and

Hon. Alastair Nicholson RFD AO QC (by Video)


at Victoria University

facilitated by Jeff McMullen




NITV News:


Mr Fraser is among a growing number of opponents to the plan [to take 99-year leases on communities] who say there has been little community consultation to date.

"If the government is wanting 99-year leases, it goes a long way to making sure Aboriginals can no longer control their own land" Mr Fraser said.


Please click here for the full statement



Other statements:


Unravelling the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT) of 1976 by Rita Camilleri


The 99-Year Lease Attack on the NT Land Rights Act by Ian Yule


NIT 4 Dec 2013 by Geoff Bagnall


Senator Scullion peddles De Soto in Arnhem Land by Jon Altman


Dismantling the Land Rights Act (NT) 1976 by Catholic Religious Australia


No 99 year leases - No oil and gas exploration say Arnhem Land clans by David Wood


Nigel Scullion responds to criticisms about the 99-year-leases by The Stringer


Coalition stirs the ghost of Jimmie Blacksmith by Tim Kroenert









Anti-Poverty Week


October 2013


To coincide with Anti-Poverty Week, the following books produced by ‘concerned Australians’ are now available for download:



This Is What We Said (2010) - 3 MB


Walk With Us (2011) - 1 MB


NT Consultations Report 2011 (2011) - 13 MB


Please click here to download the poster








John Pilger’s film "UTOPIA"


October 2013


The Premiere of Utopia was held at the London National Film Theatre (BFI South Bank) on Thursday 3 October 2013. A large crowd attended the screening and many signed a message calling for Treaties to be negotiated between Aboriginal Nations and the Australian Government.


Utopia is John Pilger’s new feature documentary. In his new film Utopia, John says that until white Australia negotiates a genuine Treaty with indigenous Australia, it can never claim its own nationhood.


The launch of the film in Sydney will feature special screenings at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney, leading up to 'Australia Day' on 26 January 2014, followed by a cinema release across the country.


Further film screening:









Community Living Areas


26th July 2013


We are advised through a statement on the website of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) that regulatory changes have been made to Community Living Areas in the Northern Territory.


This regulation Number 184 is made under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012. (See ComLaw for details)


The explanatory Note states:


The Regulation modifies section 110 of the Associations Act (NT), as set out in Schedule 7 of the Regulation, and enables community living area landowners (both associations and Aboriginal corporations) to grant leases and licences for purposes consistent with the Northern Territory Planning Scheme without Northern Territory Ministerial consent if the grant is for a term of 10 years or less.


Purposes consistent with the Northern Territory Planning Scheme, including the following:


(i) commercial purposes, including a community store


(ii) purposes relating to infrastructure


(iii) public purposes, including the provision of essential services




This change was implemented following ‘consultations’ held between just fifteen selected Community Living Areas and Commonwealth Government representatives. There are more than a hundred Community Living Areas. The criteria for conducting consultations recommended by the Human Rights Commissioner (2010) and again recommended by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (2013) were not used and no transcripts have been provided.









Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights Report



June 2013


We learn from the Report that the Committee:


... sets out the committee's analytical framework for the assessment of human rights compatibility and addresses a number of issues of general relevance raised by the Stronger Futures package. It then goes on to apply this analytical framework to a number of the Stronger Futures measures on which the committee has decided to focus its comments: the tackling alcohol abuse measure, the income management measure, and the school attendance measure.


The report does not deal with the food security measures relating to the licensing regimes for food stores in certain areas, certain land reform measures, and amendments relating to the extent to which customary law may be taken into account in bail and sentencing decision, or restriction on access to pornography in certain areas.


Even with these limitations, the report reaches the conclusion that the Stronger Futures measures considered are unlikely to be ‘special measures’.


The committee is not persuaded by the material put before it by the government that the Stronger Futures legislation can properly be characterised as 'special measures' under the ICERD or other relevant human rights treaties.


The report identifies a series of concerns including the need to ensure the affected communities are engaged in the development of policy making and policy implementation processes, and are engaged in meaningful consultation – using the criteria as set out by the former Human Rights Commissioner, Tom Calma.


Ultimately, the report concludes:


The committee has indicated the importance of continuing close evaluation of measures such as these which are claimed to have a beneficial effect, and notes that the potentially disempowering effects of such measures also need to be taken into account in any assessment of human rights compatibility.


The committee considers that it can usefully perform an ongoing oversight role in this regard and recommends that in the 44th Parliament the committee should undertake a 12 month-review to evaluate the latest evidence in order to test the continuing necessity for the Stronger Future measures.



Please click here for the full report









Sixth Anniversary of the Intervention - 21 June 2013



Striking the Wrong Note



Aboriginal advocate Olga Havnen, in her Lowitja O’Donoghue oration, has asked a critical question. She asks what has been the psychological impact of the Intervention on Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory. It is surprising that so little attention has been given to this critical, yet in some ways tenuous, link before now.


Even before the Intervention began in June 2007, government had long planned a new approach to the ‘management’ of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. It was no longer part of government thinking that self-determination and Aboriginal control over land could be allowed to continue.

Please click here to read the full document









Keeping Them Home


The most recent data shows that the number of children being moved into out-of-home care in the Northern Territory has just about doubled since 2007. Two-thirds of these children are being placed with non-Indigenous families away from their communities.


Elder Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, as spokesperson for Yolngu Makarr Dhuni calls for this trend to be reversed by increasing family support services in communities. He has written to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Adam Giles, asking him for his support.



Letter from Djiniyini Gondarra to Adam Giles


We would like to thank all those who also wrote to Adam Giles in support of Dr Gondarra’s request. Your sustained support for Aboriginal-managed family support and preventative services in communities in the Northern Territory is important.



What Did We Learn from “Bringing Them Home”?



The Guardian: We have to stop the creation of another Stolen Generation


The Australian: Keep care for kids 'within family'









Community Living Areas (CLAs)


CLA Media Release by the government

CLA Discussion Paper


Rather than providing certainty and support to Aboriginal people in Community Living Areas (CLAs) in the NT, the Federal Government continues its obsessive march to remove control from Aboriginal Peoples.


It is understood that current leases for CLAs need to be less restrictive, and there is evidence for this from some of the larger CLAs. The Federal Government, however, intends to use this opportunity to take control over future development in these areas through sections 35 (4) and 35 (5) to the Stronger Futures legislation which allow changes to regulations without consultation with owners and where their consent is not required.


Such loss of control will deny certainty for those living in CLAs and deny them the right to self-determination.


This is disgraceful legislation and in breach of Australia’s commitments under international law. The controls that have been set are arbitrary and there is no avenue for appeal.



The Stronger Futures Legislation on Land Reform


35 (4) Before making regulations for the purposes of subsection (1) in relation to a community living area, the Minister must consult with:

(a) the Government of the Northern Territory; and

(b) if the owner of the land that is the community living area requests to be consulted about the making of regulations for the purposes of subsection (1)—the owner; and

(c) the Land Council (within the meaning of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976) in whose area the community living area is located; and

(d) any other person the Minister considers appropriate to consult.


35 (5) A failure to comply with subsection (4) does not affect the validity of the regulations.



Submission by 'concerned Australians' on CLAs – April 2013

Submission by 'concerned Australians' on Stronger Futures Land Reform - January 2012

Disempowerment in NT Communities Driven by Arrogant Policy and Inept Processes

List of Community Living Areas in the NT as shown on the FaHCSIA website










A Decision to Discriminate


Aboriginal Disempowerment in the Northern Territory


Through the use of direct quotation, this new book is an important historical record that focuses on the Senate Committee Inquiry into the Stronger Futures legislation. It shows how the Government decision-making process chose to ignore the views expressed by many Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory communities, in much the same way as has happened since colonisation.



Past book launches:

Sydney – 5 November 2012, 6pm for 6:30pm

Melbourne – 7 November 2012, 12pm for 12.30pm

Canberra – 13 November 2012, 5:30pm

Murray Bridge (SA) – 16 November 2012, 7pm

Adelaide – 9 December 2012, 2pm

Darwin – 10 December 2012, 5:30pm

(International Human Rights Day Celebration with Introduction to the book)

Brisbane – 12 December 2012, 5:30pm

Blackett (NSW) - 18 March 2013, 6pm

Mornington (VIC) - 12 April, 7 pm

(including Film Screening ‘Our Generation’)

Geelong (VIC) - 3 May, 2pm

Mona Vale (NSW) - 13 May, 7.30pm - 9.00pm

(The book will be presented as part of the event "An update on NT Intervention")

Mitcham (VIC) - 13 May, 7.15 for 7.30pm start – 9.30 pm

(The book will be presented as part of the event "Human Rights and the Northern Territory")

Shepparton (VIC) - 31 May, 6.30pm for 7pm start

(The presentation includes video clips and opportunities for questions)

Ryde (NSW) - 11 June, 6.30pm - 9.00pm

(including Film Screening "Our Generation")


Download the Book (PDF, 3 MB)


Unfortunately hard copies of this book are no longer available.

Instead you might want to consider ordering one of the following books:
Walk With Us ,   NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations or
In the Absence of Treaty


Book reviews


Speeches and photos from the launches





Djiniyini Gondarra

at the Adelaide book launch


Watch this video on Vimeo

Amelia Pangarte Kunoth-Monks

at the Adelaide book launch


Watch this video on Vimeo

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks

at the Adelaide book launch


Watch this video on Vimeo





Interview with Jeff McMullen

on Blackchat   Koori Radio 93.7FM with Lola Forester on 5 Nov 2012



with kind permission of Koori Radio 93.7FM





'concerned Australians' gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the
Mary MacKillop Foundation











Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni

(Yolŋu Nations Assembly)


Statement from the second Yolngu Nations Assembly meeting, Maningrida
October 11th – 13th, 2012


Click here for the Statement



3CR Radio Interview with Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra and George Gaymarani about the Yolngu Nations Assembly (MP3)









Stronger Futures and Associated Bills are Passed into Law - 29 June 2012


Response from the Northern Territory 27 June 2012:
Media release Yolngu Nations Assembly and Alyawaar Nation


Letter from Deni Langman to Politicians read during the Senate 'debate'


Hansard of the passage of the Bills through the Senate


Senate Inquiry Committee Report






Stronger Futures Legislation (and Associated Bills) Chart

(designed to be printed at A1 size)









A Public Forum on the Northern Territory Intervention into Indigenous communities and the Stronger Futures legislation




from top left: Prof Jon Altman, Barb Shaw,
Les Malezer, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and Gary Foley at the centre


Incorporating the launch of Arena Magazine’s
special issue on the NT Intervention


on 21 June 2012 in Fitzroy, Victoria




Listen to Rosalie Kunoth-Monks talking about the impact of the Intervention on her community (audio)


Speech by Jon Altman (PDF)








Press Conference on the Stronger Futures Legislation


in the Senate Courtyard at Parliament House, Canberra on 18 June 2012


Click here for the Statements made by Aboriginal, Church and Community Representatives












Signing the Statement



Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni

(Yolŋu Nations Assembly)


Statement regarding Australian Federal Government Stronger Futures Bills and Northern Territory Policies, to the Leaders of the Australian Federal and Northern Territory Parliaments


Click here for a copy of the Statement



Churches, Religious, Organisations and Reconciliation Groups


Calls to Abandon the Stronger Futures Legislation, and


Calls to Support the Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement


Click here for their Statements









Launch of the report "Listening But Not Hearing"

by the Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH


The report, based on transcripts of the 2011 Consultations, was prepared by Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning and the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC.




Audio recordings from the launch of the report on 8 March 2012


The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC (excerpts) (MP3)

Former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia


The Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH (MP3)

Former Prime Minister of Australia


Nicole Watson (MP3)

Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, co-author of the report


The Hon Ian Viner AO QC (MP3)

Former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs


The Hon. Frank Vincent AO QC (MP3)

Provost of the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Former Chancellor, Victoria University



Click here for a copy of the report (PDF)



From left to right:

Ian Viner, Frank Vincent, Malcom Fraser, Nicole Watson, Alastair Nicholson









The House of Representatives debates the Stronger Futures Legislation

Monday, 27th February 2012

13 March 2012



Statement supported by 28 Leading Australians

is sent to Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Bob Brown calling on Government to Abandon the Stronger Futures Legislation



Names of Supporters








Senate request for inquiry




The Selection of Bills Committee referred the Stronger Futures Bills to the Community Affairs Committee on 25 November 2011.



The reason for Referral/Principal Issues for Consideration:


The Effect of measures and implementation plans, evidence of community awareness / acceptance. Assessment of intended and unintended consequences.



(See Appendix 8 of the

 Selection of Bills Committee
 Report No. 17 of 2011 (PDF)


Senate Hearing at Maningrida 22 February 2012


Watch this video on Vimeo



The above video is a compilation from the hearing (13 min).


Click here for the full recording of the hearing



Transcripts of the Senate Hearings:









Ntaria (Hermannsburg) (PDF)

Alice Springs (PDF)

Maningrida (PDF)

Darwin (PDF)

Darwin (PDF)

Canberra (PDF)

Canberra (PDF)









Watch this video on Vimeo

Stronger Futures Forum

held at Maningrida on

21 February 2012



Aboriginal people from West, Central and East Arnhem Land give their views on the proposed Stronger Futures Legislation



Facilitator: Jeff McMullen



This video was produced by NITV

(National Indigenous Television)








NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations


Consultations took place in the NT between June and August 2011, at the request of government. Ten of these consultations were recorded and quotations from them are contained in this report.


Launch & Press Conf. on the Stronger Futures legislation with
The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC and
The Hon. Frank Vincent AO QC
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 12:30pm in Melbourne (PDF)


“NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotation” Order Form (PDF)


Download the book (13 MB)



Transcripts from the ten recorded consultations (PDF):


Alice Springs Public Meeting

Alice Springs Town Camps


Darwin Public Meeting












Videos from the Launch and Press Conference

on the Stronger Futures legislation




Watch this video on Vimeo


From the Introduction-

by Jeff McMullen


Commentary on the Proposed Stronger Futures Legislation -

by The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC


Watch this video on Vimeo




Watch this video on Vimeo


From the Commentary -

by The Hon. Frank Vincent AO QC










NTER Evaluation 2011



Prepared by 'concerned Australians' in November 2011



Click here for a copy of this document (PDF)


Cuts to Welfare Payments
for School Non-Attendance
Requested or Imposed?



Prepared by 'concerned Australians' in October 2011



Click here for a copy of this report (PDF)







Watch this video on YouTube  

No More! Enough is Enough!


Statement by Northern Territory Elders and Community Representatives
4 Nov 2011 (PDF)









Central Land Council, Kalkaringi, 26 August 2011 (PDF)










New round of consultations 2011


Letter from the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO to Minister Jenny Macklin  
27 Jun 2011 (PDF)

This letter was also signed by other influential Australians.


Media Release by Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM   26 Jun 2011 (PDF)


Media Release by the Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL, former Prime Minister of Australia   27 Jun 2011 (PDF)


Media Release by The Anglican Diocese, the Most Rev Archbishop Philip Freier   29 Jun 2011 (PDF)


Open letter from the Hon Malcolm Fraser, the Hon. Alastair Nicholson and the Hon Ian Viner to Minister Jenny Macklin   4 Jul 2011 (PDF)


Public statement re the Northern Territory Intervention   14 Jul 2011 (DOC)










Walk With Us

Aboriginal Elders Call Out to Australian People
to Walk with them in their Quest for Justice


The book will be launched in:


Melbourne – 30 August 2011 at 12.30pm

Sydney – 1 September 2011 at 6pm for 6.30pm

Canberra – 8 September 2011 at 5.30pm

Perth – 14 September 2011 at 4pm for 4:30pm

Darwin – 18 November 2011 at 6.30pm



Information about the book (DOC)


Download the book (1 MB)


“Walk With Us” Order Form (PDF)








CHILDREN OF THE INTERVENTION - Aboriginal Children Living in the Northern Territory of Australia


Click here for a copy of this report (PDF)



This report is a complement to the report

"Listen to Children - 2011 Child Rights NGO Report Australia"

by the Child Rights Taskforce.

The Child Rights Taskforce is a coalition of organisations committed to the protection and promotion of child rights in Australia. The co-convenors of the Taskforce are NCYLC and UNICEF Australia.

Click here for a copy of the "Listen to Children" report (PDF)







Aboriginal Leaders meet
Navi Pillay in Darwin
20 May 2011


Leaders from 20 different communities spent several hours with the UN Human Rights Commissioner telling her of their concerns about the loss of their rights under the Intervention.


Thank you to those organisations who assisted in making this meeting possible.



Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (PDF)









Letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


We would like to sincerely thank all who added their name to this letter to Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Just over 6,500 signatures were presented by Djapirri Mununggirritj to the Commissioner in Darwin on Friday 20th May.


Signatures were collected from every State and Territory and a large percentage were from NT towns and communities.


Letter to Navi Pillay (PDF)







A Further Conversation with Elders
held at the Melbourne University Law School on 7 Feb 2011.


Bringing you up to date with the impacts of living under the Intervention


Statement by Aboriginal Elders of 7 Feb 2011 (PDF)


Statement on Aboriginal Rights by leading Australians (DOC)


ABC Sunday night: Indigenous Australia: The Future (LINK)


Audio recording from the event (LINK)


Audio recording from the event (MP3)


NT Intervention coverage by the NIT (National Indigenous Times) (PDF)



From left to right: Dhanggal Gurruwiwi from Yirrkala, George Gaymarani Pascoe from Milingimbi, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM from Utopia, Betty Pike, a Nyoonga woman from SW Australia, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann AM from Nauiyu (Daly River), Djapirri Mununggirritj from Yirrkala, Rev Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM from Galiwin'ku and Harry Jakamarra Nelson from Yuendumu








LOSS OF RIGHTS - the Despair of Aboriginal Communities in the Northern Territory


A submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by ‘concerned Australians’ August 2010


Prepared by
Professor the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC
Michele Harris OAM
Georgina Gartland
July 2010

Submission to the CERD by 'concerned Australians'


Click here for a copy of this report (PDF)


Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM with Australian Racial Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes at the UN


Report by Rev.Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and Rosalie Kunoth Monks OAM (LINK)


Media Release by ‘concerned Australians' (DOC)







Concluding Observations report by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
13 September 2010 (PDF)



Report by Australian Racial Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes
11 August 2010 (LINK)




Statement to the UN by the Australian Government
11 August 2010 (DOC)




Media Release by ‘concerned Australians’
28 August 2010 (DOC)




ABC Alice Springs interview with Professor the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC discussing the Loss of Rights Report/UN CERD Concluding Observations
30 August (MP3)





Some Responses to the the Social Security and Other Amendment
(Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination) Act
can be found in:


Professor the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC (PDF)


Graeme Innes, Australian Race Commissioner (LINK)


Graeme Mundine, Executive Secretary National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (LINK)


World Council of Churches Living Letters (PDF)


Ngoppon Together Inc., Walking Together Reconciliation Group (PDF)


Social Policy Connections (SPC) Statement on NT Intervention & RDA (DOC)








Australian Aboriginal people give their views on the Northern Territory Intervention - February 2010


Download the book (3 MB)


Unfortunately hard copies of this book are no longer available.

Instead you might want to consider ordering one of the following books:
Walk With Us ,   NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations or
In the Absence of Treaty


“This Is What We Said” Media Release (DOC)


Launched on 9 February 2010 at Melbourne University by

Irene Fisher, former CEO Sunrise Health Service, Katherine, NT and


The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC










Conversation with Elders held at the Melbourne University Law School on 19 May 2010.


Elders: Roslaie Kunoth-Monks OAM from Utopia in Central Australia
Rev Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM from Galiwin'ku on Elcho Island in East Arnhem Land
Professor the Hon. Alastair Nicholson former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia

Facilitated by well-known journalist, Jeff McMullen


Conversation with Elders Transcript (DOC)


Click here for video with Elders night









“Will They Be Heard?” – a response to the NTER Consultations June to August 2009

Introduction by the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC

Prepared by the Hon. Alastair Nicholson, Larissa Behrendt, Alison Vivian, Nicole Watson and Michele Harris - Research Unit Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, November 2009

Initiated and Co-ordinated by “concerned Australians”

Launched at Melbourne University Law School on 23 November by:

The Right Hon. Malcolm Fraser, AC CH,


The Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC


Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law & Director of Research at Jumbunna House of Indigenous Learning, University of Technology, Sydney, and

Theo Mackaay, General Secretary, Victorian Council of Churches  



“Will They Be Heard?” Media Release (DOC)


“Will They Be Heard?” Report (PDF)








"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."

Lilla Watson and a group of Aboriginal activists in Queensland in the 1970s





2/11 Terrara Road

Vermont VIC 3133


'concerned Australians’, formed at the time of the NT Intervention, is an independent, human rights advocacy body with extensive networks that creates opportunities for Aboriginal voices being heard, especially those of the Northern Territory.