27th: Where to from here - Shaping the next stage

50th Anniversary Aboriginal Embassy, Canberra
Media Release

18 November 2021

A statement from Ghillar, Michael Anderson, the last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy articulating his personal position for this 50th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Embassy.

Ghillar wants to see our people come and unite for a common purpose and take this fight forward together, casting off personality clashes and personal ideological differences. As he says: “We all have a common enemy. Yes people, please come to the 50th Anniversary in Canberra. Bring your tents and bring your food. We are doing it old-school. BYO."

“All day on 27 January I am proposing we talk about sovereignty and land rights and I am inviting a couple of International experts in their field of law and society to address these very issues so that you will understand that this is not a pipe-dream. We can achieve a lot but we must be committed to take on the fight. These talks will take place at the Albert Hall on Commonwealth Ave very close to the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra.”

The 50th Anniversary is on our doorsteps. I am well aware that a number of people are running around doing various things to highlight the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Aboriginal Embassy. There is no money to bring people and house people to celebrate this period that triggered political and legal changes in this country in respect to First Nation Peoples.

Back in the day, we committed ourselves to resistance to effect change because we believed in what we were doing and we had the commitment to put ourselves out there and take the chances - trial and error. As Gary Foley and Garry Williams said in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 40th Embassy anniversary occasion, when explaining why they had not agreed to go to Canberra on 26 January 1972: “We thought that it would be a 15-minute fly by nighter before they got arrested.”

There were others who did not volunteer and Kevin Gilbert could not come because of his parole conditions, otherwise he would have been with us. So, four of us took the chance and here we are celebrating the 50th year of a very successful political campaign. Nowhere else in the world is there such a long-standing living monument to a commitment to fighting for justice and self-determination based on our continuing sovereignty.

I recognise and acknowledge all those who have contributed over the years to keep the Aboriginal Embassy out there in front for all to see. They must all be applauded for their commitments.

The underlying political statement is that this country was invaded by a war-mongering society. The so-called free settlers who came were people of high society and part of the aristocracy and the others who came were sent here in chains as prisoners for stealing bread, clothing, and the odd murderer. The so-called free settlers committed the most heinous of crimes and stole our lands way in excess of anything the convicts had done back in their own country.

For my part the Aboriginal Embassy stands for Land Rights, that is, the invaders have to return and pay for what they stole from us. There are no laws in this country, nor in England, that intended to extinguish any rights that First Nations had then and that we continue to hold now. The underlying part of the protest was 'sovereignty never ceded’.

Mabo (No.2) recognised Aboriginal Law and culture. I ask you to think about this for one moment. Our Law is now recognised by the Australian common law. What follows from this is that the courts must, and I emphasise must, observe Aboriginal Law. They can no longer ignore it. The un-ceremonially educated white and black lawyers in this country cannot articulate any arguments to the contrary or in support because only the ceremonially educated Lawmen and Law women know this Law. The arbiters for First Nations’ are the Lawmen and Law women of high degree. There is a pathway that is lifetime’s commitment, and there is now established a Wati Law Council as a first step to administering First Nations Law in this modern era. What is continuing in this country is the foulest colonial and most evil autocratic rule of law that is beyond anything that exists elsewhere in the world.

Looking back 10 years

Countless Aboriginal rights campaigns, events and smoking ceremonies have occurred or been generated from the Embassy, since 1972 by a great many Aboriginal groups and Individuals.

40th Anniversary
40th Anniversary
40th Anniversary
40th Anniversary

The 50th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Embassy must go back to the original themes so that we can then come forward on our terms. We must demand the Australian parliament go back to the drawing board on the matter of Native Title and Aboriginal Law. It is now confirmed that the actual entry on the land title register for native title lands in Queensland is 'unused State land’. When I asked which names are recorded on the land title the emphatic answer was “none”. This is res nullius (land unable to be owned)!

We must now go forward and demand that autocratic rule over First Nations is finished. We will not let this parliament proceed on the basis of having a constitutional right to pass laws for us without our free, prior and informed consent. To do otherwise is dictatorship and tyranny. We are many Nations and we do not all fit into one basket. So, get rid of your little pet Aborigines and talk to us at the grassroots. We demand to be self-determining on our own terms.

Remember, Australian governments do not have their own sovereignty. Australians are subjects (defined as Australian citizens) of the English monarch who holds the sovereignty over this country and rules over her subjects at her pleasure, not the pleasure of the people who call themselves Australian.

The new stubbornness that must be in the forefront of our minds is First Nations people are not subjects. We are not even citizens. The colonisers just tolerate us and permit equal suffrage hoping to God no-one ever asks questions. Clearly, the Australian credo is: 'Shut up and hope that no-one finds out. We’ll deal with it when the time comes.’

The time is here and it is our turn to tell the public what is going on.

One of the great give-a-ways of the success of the colonial assimilation is to see how our people talk about what they perceive as a right. Sadly, too many of our people work from a defeatist position, that is, too many rely on the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to assert rights, when in fact our rights are implicit and sovereignty-based. We do not need some UN document to give us those rights, which are already enshrined and are very well defined in international law – 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, UN Resolution 1514.

Too many think that the Australian court system will do us justice. This will never be achieved while ever we have the following rule that was made in the High Court of Australia in the Mabo case, when the judges ruled:

29. In discharging its duty to declare the common law of Australia, this Court is not free to adopt rules that accord with contemporary notions of justice and human rights if their adoption would fracture the skeleton of principle which gives the body of our law its shape and internal consistency. …

43. … However, recognition by our common law of the rights and interests in land of the indigenous inhabitants of a settled colony would be precluded if the recognition were to fracture a skeletal principle of our legal system.

When you read these statements you must ask yourself: How can the most superior court of this nation make such a racist ruling, just to keep our colonial occupiers and oppressors on top? If that is justice then the law courts and the law faculties in this country need to take a very hard look at themselves. Justice must not just be seen to be done, justice must be done.

We must denounce the Black apologists and we must denounce them in the boldest of terms, for how can you have these apologists writing government-funded reports. For example, the Expert Report to the government regarding Towards Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians stated:

" ... that any proposal relating to constitutional recognition of the sovereign status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people would be highly contested by many Australians, and likely to jeopardise broad public support for the Panel's recommendations. Such a proposal would not therefore satisfy at least two of the Panel's principles for assessment of proposals, namely 'contribute to a more unified and reconciled nation' and 'capable of being supported by an overwhelming majority of Australians from across the political and social spectrums'. While questions relating to sovereignty are likely to continue to be the subject of debate in the community, including among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Panel does not consider that these questions can be resolved or advanced at this time by inclusion in a constitutional referendum proposal."

This is in contradiction to what the 1983 Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs stated in its report to parliament Two hundred Years Later:

It may be that a better and more honest appreciation of the facts relating to Aboriginal occupation at the time of settlement, and of the Eurocentric view taken by the occupying powers, could lead to the conclusion that sovereignty inhered in the Aboriginal people at that time.

[The Report by the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Lega Affairs on the feasibility of a compact, or 'Makarrata', between the Commonwealth and the Aboriginal people entitled Two Hundred Years later…, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, p. 50.]

We must be aware of the fears that are held within the legal and political administrations at the heart of this country. Dr Stephen Davis’ article 'Native Title: a Path to Sovereignty’ published by the Samuel Griffith Society of constitutional lawyers raised the red flag to PM John Howard. Davis concluded:

The issue of domestic sovereignty is set to dominate future international discussions of indigenous rights, and decisions made by the United Nations, together with precedents in other countries, could potentially change the map of this country. Land rights and native title in Australia are examples of a very dynamic debate which is open-ended, and which can be simply linked to international conventions and trends to develop a credible basis for a range of outcomes with far reaching and irreversible consequences.

Australians tend to take their sovereignty for granted. That sovereignty is now being contested. We must become more aware of the issues, the players and be prepared to defend our sovereignty if we are to maintain it. [vol. 9 ch. 11]

From a personal position at this 50th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Embassy I want to see that our people come to unite for a common purpose and take this fight forward together, casting off personality clashes and personal ideological differences. We all have a common enemy. What we want in New South Wales is no different from that of South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory or Queensland. We have a common enemy who is now suppressing their own people with military law under the banner of 'biosecurity’. Being locked up or locked down and being banned from places is not new to us! Those of us who remember can laugh at mainstream - so now you probably can’t get a job in the future because you haven’t been vaccinated or had a booster shot. We couldn’t get a job because we are Black. You can’t go into shops, restaurants nor pubs, if you are not vaccinated - we couldn’t go in because we were Black. Yes, we’ll serve you but we’ll serve you out the side window or out the back. We know all about that, because that’s how they did it to us, because we are Black. Now you have to wear masks – the Muslims must be laughing, considering Pauline Hanson and the other racists in parliament targeted women of the Muslim faith for wearing the hijab.

Governments talk about Aboriginal people needing to establish good governance. I bet those people who say this never look at themselves in a mirror.

sovereignty and land rights

Yes people, please come to the 50th Anniversary in Canberra. Bring your tents and bring your food. We are doing it old-school. BYO.

All day on 27 January I am proposing that we talk about sovereignty, self-determination and land rights and I am inviting two international experts in their field of law and society to address these very issues so that you will understand that this is not a pipe-dream. We can achieve a lot but we must be committed to take on the fight.

These talks "Where to from here?' will take place at the Albert Hall on Commonwealth Ave very close to the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra.

Ghillar, Michael AndersonContact: Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor of the Sovereign Union,
Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic
Contact Details here