Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy Embassy was established at Market Square, Portland to demand a meeting with the state government over issues of Native Title and social services inequality. It started on Wednesday 8th February, 2012, shortly after the 40th Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.

April 27th 2012:  A positive motion was put forward at the Glenelg Shire Council April meeting, and carried, which has recognised the rights of the Portland Sovereign Aboriginal Embassy to protest.

Sandra Onus, Spokesperson of the Embassy, wrote the following on Facebook;

Must say I am so proud of our Embassy Mob and supporters, this mob here at the Embassy have been a tower of strength, commitment, and tenacity in the face of some nasty opposition, just like all our Warrior Men/Woman and children "We have survived the whitemans world", and I do not mean this with disrespect to all non indigenous people!

The struggle for our Sovereignty or Treaty will continue throughout Aboriginal Australia, together with all Aboriginal Embassies and together with all Aboriginal People fighting for Justice!! Hats off to all of you! Peace and Solidarity!!

Glenelg Shire Council meeting in April 2012
Motion Outline Not exact wording - General explanation only

Motion (put forward from Cr. Ken Saunders and Cr. Geoff White)

  1. That the Council does not attempt to remove people or property from the Tent Embassy because Council does not have authority through its local law.
  2. That Glenelg Shire Council does not issue a notice or initiate legal proceedings at this time, because:
    1. Council's brief to lawyers based on a recommendation by the Aboriginal Consultative Committee on 23rd of March 2012, however recent advice from the Gunditj Mirring Corporation (one of the key organisations represented on the committee) and the recognised Native Title holders of the relevant parts of Market Square no longer support the recommendation and the Gunditj Mirring corporation stated that it is not their "responsibility to play any role in any disbandment of the Portland Tent Embassy."
    2. The subject of the protest relates to a matter that only State and Federal Governments can influence; and
    3. Senior Counsel advice, states "There is no quick solution to the problem. The protesters have a right to protest, Charter rights for the free expression and perhaps native title rights, all of which may limit the ability of the council to remove them."
  3. That council make the resolution public, and communicates it to the following audience in this sequence:
    1. to the protesters, via a visit by the Mayor, Cr Wilson and Chief Executive Officer, Ms Kelsey:
    2. to the relevant State and Federal Government MInisters in writing and by telephone, seeking their urgent involvement in bringing about a resolution to this matter; and :
    3. to the general public via a media release
    4. .

Motion: - Carried.

Source: Facebook - Portland Aboriginal Tent Embassy 27th April 2012

Press Report - Aboriginal protest legal quandary Jono Pech 'Warrnambool Standard' 03/05/12

Audio File  AUDIO:  Portland Tent Embassy - Council recognises Indigenous rights - Sandra Onus 2012
Aboriginal perspective of the motion that was put forward and carried at the Glenelg Shire Council April meeting, recognising the rights of the Portland Sovereign Aboriginal Embassy to protest. Sandra Onus, Aboriginal Activist from the Embassy speaks on 3CR's 'Earth Matters'.
Audio File AUDIO: Mayor provides Council's view: Portland Tent Embassy - ABC - 15/02/12
This Interview was carried out just one week after the Portland Tent Embassy was established. To obtain a complete perspective, it is advisable to listen to the Sandra Onus interview segment (above) before listening to this.

Sandra Onus Video

Sandra Onus - Gournditch-Mara Elder, Melbourne, 29 July 2009 - Sandra talks about compulsory land acquisitions in the Northern Territory and Aboriginal Sovereign Rights.

(The Juice Media)