Please note: As of 16 June 2008 this site will not be updated again until February 2009 as the SAO web manager is on sabbatical. To stay up to date with events and information, please subscribe to SAO Bytes (if you haven't done so already) by going to the Publications page.
Refresh Indigenous Australia
here for the SAO Refresh Australia!
Campaign which includes
a Briefing Note: Refresh
Indigenous Australia –
A future strong in culture,
health and genuine partnerships
Act Now to Refresh Indigenous Australia
Please take action to ensure the issues
facing Indigenous Australians do not get put on to
the ‘back burner’ as the new Federal Government
begins to implement its policies. Send a letter to the Prime Minister, Ms Jenny
Macklin (Minister for Indigenous Affairs) and your local member
(if Labor). Urge the government to establish a new
national Indigenous body and to work with that body
to improve health, education and economic outcomes
for Indigenous Australians.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday - 6 July 2008
The Australian Bishops' Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People has released Liturgy Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday. The liturgy resources, Celebrate the Living Spirit, will soon be available for download on the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council website.
Bishop Brian Heenan says, "This year, 2008, will go down in the short history of our Australian Nation, as one of great significance for on 13 February 2008, the Prime Minister delivered an apology to Indigenous People for all the injuries that they suffered as a result of the European arrival and settlement in 1788. We, as a Church, must celebrate this milestone but also ensure that our Indigenous sisters and brothers feel welcome in our communities, our parishes and our dioceses."
NAIDOC Week - 6-13 July 2008
2008 Theme: Advance Australia Fair?
creation of the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance
Committee (NAIDOC) has its origins in the fight for Aboriginal
rights that began to gather pace in the 1920s and 1930s.
Its precursors were the Day of Mourning (26 January 1938) and
Aboriginal Sunday that was observed the Sunday before Australia
Day starting in 1940.
NAIDOC celebrates the survival of Indigenous culture and the Indigenous contribution to modern Australia. All Australians are encouraged to participate in NAIDOC Week activities.
National Aboriginal and Islander
Children’s Day - 4 August
2008 Theme: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families – Nurturing Our Children to Flourish
The 2008 theme reinforces a message that we have to nurture our children to flourish. SNAICC doesn’t want kids just to be OK and do OK. We want them to flourish, achieve their greatest potential and enjoy the same quality of life and opportunity as all Australians. We have to set high expectations for children and for ourselves as those that look after them. (from the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care)
For more information go to National
Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day.
Christ and Culture Conference - 16-28 February 2009
NATSIEC is pleased to announce the second Christ and Culture Conference which is to be held at Ballina NSW from 16 to 28 February 2009. The theme for this conference is Christ through Culture. You can stay up to date with the program at the NATSIEC website. The registration brochure is on the website now. Register early to take advantage of the early bird rate - early bird registration closes 15 December 2008.
Reading for Reconciliation – Brisbane
Reading for Reconciliation is a reading group with a difference! The purpose of the reading group is to expand knowledge, understanding and empathy of contemporary Indigenous issues. The group meets in the Loris Williams Room Level 1, State Library of Queensland on Sunday mornings 10.30am to 12.30pm at 6 weekly intervals. More information available from Helen Carrick.
Northern Territory Intervention – Call for Action
Join in the National Day of Action on 21 June 2008 to urge the government to:
- Repeal all "NT Intervention" legislation
- Restore the Racial Discrimination Act
- Fund infrastructure and community controlled services
- Sign and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
21 June marks one year since the Howard Government announced the NT Intervention. The universal quarantining of welfare payments, the closure of many Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP) and the compulsory acquisition of Aboriginal property has forced thousands of people from their communities into urban centres. Aboriginal people are experiencing shame and humiliation as they participate in segregated service delivery in Centrelink, in supermarkets and in schools.
In July the government will begin a review of the Intervention. A massive injection of funds and resources into communities is badly needed, but cannot come at the expense of basic human rights. Only an approach which respects self-determination will lead to improvements in community life.
Please print off the attached petition and circulate it in your workplaces, organisations and communities. The aim is to have thousands of signatures from all around the country. Return petitions to: Aboriginal Rights Coalition Sydney, PO Box 433, Newtown NSW 2042 by 14/06/2008.
is available from the following websites:
stands up in support of NT communities
Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory have
released a detailed and proactive response to the Federal Government's
interventions to address child abuse in the Northern Territory
which followed the Little
Children are Sacred Report. The response paper has
been developed in close consultation and collaboration with
a wide range of organisations and draws on a wealth of knowledge
and expertise. The paper is on the ACOSS
Amnesty International Australia has
also launched an action campaign seeking to encourage the Federal
Government to consult Aboriginal communities in
the Northern Territory about proposed action and to facilitate
their participation in the process. Go to the Amnesty
website for more information.
Important points made by the Inquiry included:
Child sexual abuse is serious, widespread
and often unreported.
Most Aboriginal people are willing and committed
to solving problems and helping their children. They are
also eager to better educate themselves.
Aboriginal people are not the only victims
and not the only perpetrators of sexual abuse.
Much of the violence and sexual abuse occurring
in Territory communities is a reflection of past, current
and continuing social problems which have developed over
Programs need to have enough funds and resources
and be a long-term commitment.
It is impossible to set communities on the
path to recovery from the sexual abuse of children without
dealing with the basic services and social ills. It is our
hope that no Aboriginal child born from this year on will ever
suffer sexual abuse.
– Rex Wild QC and Pat Anderson, Inquiry
Women for Wik
for Wik, a group of prominent Australian
women, including Lady Deane, Tamie Fraser, Lowitja O’Donoghue,
Helen Caldicott and Faith Bandler, have re-united to monitor
the Federal Action in the NT. Individuals
and organisations are encouraged to endorse
their action through the Women
for Wik website.
Sea of Hands Online Campaign for Indigenous Health Rights
here to add your hand online
to ANTAR’s Sea of Hands Campaign to support
the health rights of Indigenous
The Make Indigenous Poverty
History Campaign was launched in Brisbane on Friday
20 October 2006 in the Sussex Street Uniting Church, West End.
Rev Graham Paulson delivered the sermon and Graeme Mundine
was the guest speaker. Click
here for a brief report and some photos of the launch.
Since then the SAO Indigenous Issues Circle has considered
partnerships and future directions from the indigenisation
of the eight Millennium Goals.
here for resources for the MAKE Indigenous POVERTY
HISTORY campaign from the NATSIEC website. A Nine
Days of Prayer leaflet is
also available for use. This can be used at any time to pray
in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Mundine, Executive Secretary of the National Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission, delivered
the fifth annual Common Wealth for the
Common Good Address in Brisbane on 17 October 2006. Click
here for the full text of Graeme's address.
The general campaign Halving world poverty
by 2015 has launched another video named “What
can one Church do?” which may be useful to view in the
future to assist with campaigning through church groups and
particularly our own constituency.
Annual Report on Social Justice for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
the HREOC annual reports on how Social Justice and Native
Title policy is being implemented and its impact on
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year’s
reports highlight some concerns about the implementation of the
new policy arrangements introduced in 2004. Click here for these reports.
Anniversaries along the road
of 41 years
since the 1967 Referendum
June - Neville
Bonner became the first Aboriginal Australian to hold a
seat in Federal
1971 12 July – The Aboriginal
flag was flown for the first time in Adelaide
1972 26 January - Aboriginal Tent Embassy established in Canberra
1975 11 June - The Federal Government ratified
Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination
1975 16 August - Wave
Hill Station returned to Gurindji People
1975 30 September - Racial
Discrimination Act proclaimed
1983 28 September - Death
of John Pat in Roeburne Prison WA 1983 initiated
Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
1985 26 October - Uluru
handed back to traditional owners, the Mutijulu
1988 12 June - Barunga
to Prime Minister Hawke by Aboriginal leaders
1990 5 March - Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) commenced
1991 15 April - Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Royal Commission Final Report signed
1991 2 September - Council
for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act
1992 29 May - Torres
Strait Islander flag launched
1992 3 June - High
Court Decision in Mabo Case
1992 10 December - Prime Minister Paul Keating's speech to launch the 1993 International Year of the World's Indigenous People
1993 21 December - Native
Title Bill passed by the Senate
1994 1 January - Native Title Act commenced
1995 14 July – Aboriginal
flag and Torres
Strait Islander flag proclaimed "Flags
1995 15 September - Racial
Hatred Act assented
1996 23 December - Wik
1997 25 May - Bringing Them Home Report released
2000 1 July - Voluntary
Native Title Agreement between the Gunggari
People and the Cowley family formalised after 4 years negotiation with State Government for a Nature Refuge Agreement
2005 16 March - Federal Parliament passed the ATSIC Amendment Bill, repealing provisions of the ATSIC Act and abolishing ATSIC
2005 30 June - Closure of ATSIC Regional Councils
2007 13 February - Australian Parliament's Apology to Indigenous People
Sorry Day 2008
A number of SAO staff members and partners
participated in Reconciliation Week events including Sorry
Day ceremonies around
Brisbane and beyond on Saturday 26 May. Below are some photos
from the ceremony at the Sherwood Arboretum.
Links to other websites on Indigenous issues:
Click here for the Reconciliation Archive