Cultural Heritage

NSW Bar Association calls for a new approach to Aboriginal imprisonment

ABORIGINAL INCARCERATION

The Bar Association of NSW's submission to a Law Reform Commission inquiry into First Nations incarceration calls for a new approach to sentencing which takes into account the deprivation and disadvantage inherent in an individual's Aboriginal background. The association also calls for an end to mandatory sentences, which make it impossible for courts to make any allowance for such disadvantage in their decisions. The rate at which Aboriginal people end up in jail is appalling and in NSW last year Aboriginal people were 3 per cent of the population, but 24 per cent of the prison population. Read more about NSW Bar Association calls for a new approach to Aboriginal imprisonment

Treaty signing between First Nations of the northern Murray-Darling Basin

Treaty signing between First Nations of the northern Murray-Darling Basin

Treaty: Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) - Inter Nation Multilateral Treaty at the original site of the 1972 Embassy in Canberra, 10:00am Wednesday 10 May 2017.
23 First Nations across southern Queensland and northern, north west, upper western and western New South Wales gathered in Canberra yesterday for today's signing of a Multilateral Treaty between these First Nations, which affirms each Nation's independent sovereign status.       ... Read more about Treaty signing between First Nations of the northern Murray-Darling Basin

'Aboriginal Heritage Act' changes give traditional owners less say: First Nations groups

Proposed changes to South Australia's Aboriginal Heritage Act will reduce powers of traditional owners, according to Indigenous groups.

South Australian Native Title Services chief executive officer Keith Thomas believed amended language in the act would give traditional owners less say over their heritage. "This is going to help people who want to access lands and destroy heritage, rather than improving the protection of Aboriginal heritage," he said. Read more about 'Aboriginal Heritage Act' changes give traditional owners less say: First Nations groups

Mabo judges perverted the course of justice

Eddie Mabo

While the 1992 Mabo judgement was a major milestone in Aboriginal history, we must remember that the judges in this case presented the same cowardice as Justice Blackburn in the Millirrpum Gove case in the 1970s.

In the Gove case, the court gave much weight to the evidence presented by anthropologist Ronald Berndt who coined the phrase, "the Aborigines don't own the land, the land owns them" or words to that effect, thus resigning our people to forever being part of the natural flora and fauna of this country. It must also be stated that the Gove matter was not presented with the 1872 Pacific islanders Protection Act as amended in 1875.

In the Gove matter Justice Blackburn was presented with enough evidence to permit him to make the same conclusions as did the High Court in Mabo but failed to do so. I think this was because of the extent of uncertainty the decision would have presented the Australian state, territory and federal governments in respect to land rights for the white population. Read more about Mabo judges perverted the course of justice

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