Happy 2019! It is going to be a very big year for the affairs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and ANTaR is ready to do all we can to make sure it is momentus for the right reasons.
Eleven years ago now, after the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, the Rudd Government held the ‘Australia 2020 Summit’ which brought together hundreds of prominent and community delegates to think big about what Australia could be like by 2020 and beyond.
In his 2005 landmark Social Justice Report, Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma called for a generational campaign to address the appalling gap in health between First Peoples and other Australians, that sees a baby born to an Aboriginal mother twice as likely to die before the age of four, and elders lives cut short by more than 10 years compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
Today ANTaR and many of its supporters will pause to reflect on the anniversary of the invasion that started the dispossession and oppression of Australia’s First People. We will join them in mourning what they have lost to the colonisation of their lands and honour their survival after years of fighting for justice, rights and respect.
Momentum for changing the date of Australia Day from January 26 has made its way to Canberra this week. Just yesterday, the Greens committed to campaign on the issue both at a Federal and local government level.
ANTaR has been campaigning for changing the date for a number of years now, and here’s why.
For anyone familiar with Australian history, the arrival of the British in Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788 did not set off a peaceful 200 years of coexistence based on agreement to hand over land, resources and the system of law/lore.
Sunday 10th December marked 25 years since the landmark Keating Redfern Speech. It was a speech that told the truth.
Coming from a Prime Minister, it was a truth that could not be unsaid, a truth that formed the foundation for moving forward together on the journey towards a reconciled nation. He said:
Earlier today in Canberra we stood with peak Aboriginal organisations in front of Parliament House to launch the Change the Record: Free To Be Kids Action Plan.
We then took our message inside Parliament in a series of meetings with MPs.
Our message: The over-imprisonment and abuse of Aboriginal children is happening all over the country and urgently requires national leadership.
The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory Report has been released following months of inquiring into the failings of the child protection and youth detention systems in the Northern Territory.
Few who saw the images could forget the trigger for the establishment of the Royal Commission on Four Corners - Aboriginal child Dylan Voller hooded and shackled to a chair in Don Dale Detention Centre in Darwin.
The Prime Minister and his government outright rejected the Referendum Council proposal for constitutional reform.
The decision was made without a single meeting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative bodies or other First Nations leaders following the delivery of the Referendum Council Report.
We’re heading to Canberra, as we did 20 years ago this month, and we need your help.
There were two events that marked the start of ANTaR 20 years ago.
The Sea of Hands came on the back of a Citizen’s Statement on Native Title which was a petition circulated by ANTaR to mobilise non-Indigenous support for native title and reconciliation.
The installation involved hundreds of volunteers planting 50,000 hands planted in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags directly in front of the nation’s parliament. It was a powerful statement of support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.