| March eNews |
Closing the Gap
and More News Closing the Gap 2020 The 2020 Closing the Gap Report was released last month and shows 2 of 7 targets are on track – early education attendance and year 12 attainment. Explanations for this around Australia, and in the Aboriginal community, vary with some saying the initial targets were unrealistic and that methods have not always been culturally sensitive. Mr Morrison and state and territory leaders are expected to sign a formal agreement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations later this year to drive improvements at a local, regional and national level over the next decade. The agreement is expected to cover greater government cooperation and Aboriginal community involvement in the areas of education, employment, business, community safety, suicide prevention and health. This article discusses the failure of government to be sensitive to cultural differences.
Leaders from 47 Aboriginal peak bodies have repeated the call for more input and involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and explained that the program was “doomed to fail as it was designed without Aboriginal input”.
Recognition Referendum by June 2021 Ken Wyatt has announced that he has high hopes for a National referendum on whether the Constitution should recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Peoples of Australia, to be held by June 2021. A timeline is currently being mapped. Wyatt has said that legislation underpinning this will be introduced by the end of the year. He announced that it should be clear of the next federal election which will be before September 2022. Wyatt has also announced that it is likely that an Indigenous voice to parliament will be finalised before the referendum. A 16-member group of experts are currently working towards establishing what this voice may look like.
Award Winning Indigenous Films and Filmmakers
There has been maximum turn out and great reviews for In My Blood It Runs, a documentary that follows the journey of 10-year-old Arrente boy, Dujuan Hoosan. Dujuan is a child-healer, a hunter and speaks three languages, yet he is ‘failing’ in school and faces increasing scrutiny from welfare and the police. His family work to give him an Arrernte education as well his western education. The film walks with him as he grapples with these pressures, shares his truths and, somewhere in-between, finds space to dream, imagine and hope for his future self.
Click here and here to learn more about the film and find out where you can see it in Victoria. Tickets are selling fast.
My Australian Dream – a campaign to share Aboriginal stories
A short series of videos titled, My Australian Dream, have been running this year on ABC, following the success of Stan Grant’s documentary, Australian Dream, which follows Adam Goodes’ journey throughout his AFL career, particularly looking at his experience with ever present racism. Launched by Australian Dream, ABC, and Culture is Life, a campaign titled My Australian Dream has encouraged people to spread the word and support Aboriginal voices.
Watch the short films here. Find out how you can support the campaign here. The film is available on iview until 24 March.
Taika Waititi Oscar win a victory for all Indigenous Peoples
Maori film-maker Taika Waititi became the first Indigenous Person to win an academy award for writing when he won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay with Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit at the recent 92nd Academy Awards. The film was adapted from a 2008 novel by Christine Leunens called Caging Skies and was written and directed by Waititi.
His success has been embraced by Indigenous Peoples around the globe.
“I dedicate this to all the Indigenous kids all over the world who want to do art and dance and write stories,” said Waititi.
9-year-old Quaden Bayles sparks bullying conversation
Murri boy, Quaden Bayles, touched the hearts of people all over the world when his mum, Yarraka, posted a video online of her son crying and talking about suicide due to school bullying about his dwarfism. In the video, Yarraka spoke about the effects of bullying on her son and asked viewers to consider why suicide happened among young people. The video gained attention on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
The Indigenous All Stars rugby league team responded with their own video featuring the entire team. “We’ve got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing all right. We want you around, we want you to lead us out on the weekend,” said the team’s Fullback, Latrell Mitchell. American comedian, Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism, has set up a GoFundMe to send Bayle and his family on a trip to Disneyland. Williams tweeted on the 20th of February “I’ve set up a GoFundMe to send brave Quaden and his mother to Disneyland. Let’s show a bullied kid that he is loved”. The GoFundMe is entitled “Let’s send a wonderful kid to Disneyland” and has raised over 700 000 Australian dollars.
In an interview with National Indigenous Television (NITV) Bayle showed his resilience in the face of bullying, saying “If you get bullied, just stand up for yourself and don’t listen to what they say”. See the interview here.
Read more here and here.
High Court rules that First Australians cannot be deported
Following a two year case involving Gungarri man, Brendan Thoms, and Kamileroi man, Daniel Love, the Australian High Court has ruled that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with connection to their culture cannot be constitutionally considered ‘aliens’ and cannot be deported by the Commonwealth. Thoms was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia in 1994, while Love was born in Papua New Guinea and moved to Australia in 1984. Neither man applied for citizenship after moving to Australia and both had their Australian visas cancelled by the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton over criminal convictions. The high court ruled that the three part test of indigineity established by the Mabo native title cases of 1) biological descent, 2) self-identification and 3) recognition by a traditional group, protected Aboriginal people from being recognised as aliens in the constitution. Instead, the judges established a new category of “belonger” exclusively for Aboriginal people who are not Australian citizens, yet who are owed protection by the crown.
Read more here and here.
Events Indigenous Fashion Storytelling Session
When: 7 March, 2:30-4:30 Where: MPavillion, Queen Victoria Market This exciting fashion conversation brings together some of the best Aboriginal storytellers, to celebrate the power of fashion as a way to share culture, connect to community and continue one of the world’s oldest storytelling traditions. Come and hear incredible speakers such as Shelley Ware, Perina Drummond and Sandy Greenwood, as they tell the stories of their favourite fashion items and explore the cultural elements of fashion and design. This free event is hosted by Anaiwan / Dunghutti woman and founder of Australian Indigenous Fashion online community, Yatu Widders Hunt, as part of Melbourne Fashion week.
2 Worlds Festival
When: Saturday 14 March, gates open 11:30am
Where: Birrarung Marr
The family friendly festival celebrating culture is returning, this time on the banks of the Yarra River. Find out more here. Branch Out: Aboriginal Plant Knowledge Tour in Melbourne When: 11 March Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Use your senses to explore the marvel of Australian native plants from a First Nations perspective. Led by a First Nations guide, this walk focuses on the many ways Aboriginal people from across Australia have used plants as a food source, to craft tools and treat ailments. Find out about some of the region’s traditional cultures, customs and special connection to nature while enjoying the taste of a native herbal tea.
Find out more about this event here and other Royal Botanic Gardens Indigenous experiences here.
Eels and Livelihood: Indigenous Rights, Resistance and Resource Management
When: Wednesday, 18 March 2020 12-2pm. When: The University of Melbourne, Parkville. Damein Bell, CEO of the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, and Dr. Jane McMillan, a legal anthropologist from Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia Canada, will share their experiences of reinvigorating the cultural, social and political significance of eels in Gunditjmara and Mi’kma’ki Nations. Light lunch provided.
Lake Bolac Eel Festival
When: 20 March, 6-11pm Where: Lake Bolac Boat Ramp, Frontage Rd, Lake Bolac The 13th Lake Bolac Eel Festival will be held on the foreshore at Lake Bolac in South West Victoria. It’s the small festival with a big heart and lots of music, arts, culture, workshops and friendship – plenty to engage all ages. Held every two years in late March or early April, the timing reflects the season when Shortfinned Eels traditionally begin their migration to the sea to spawn. At this time Traditional Owners from the surrounding areas gathered around the shores of Lake Bolac and along the Salt Creek to harvest the eels, trade and hold ceremonies. Book tickets here.
Charcoal Lane Experience
When: 20 March, 6:30-10:30 Where: Bunjiluka Aboriginal Cultural Centre Head to the Birrarung Gallery for an evening of immersive culture and cuisine. This magnificent river-inspired space is dedicated to celebrating the living and vibrant Aboriginal cultures across Victoria today. Executive Chef, Claude Harris has created an inspired Indigenous menu in collaboration with Charcoal Lane with a focus on colourful, native Victorian ingredients. Enjoy this four-course masterpiece with matched wines alongside an inspiring cultural performance, a traditional Welcome to Country and an exclusive viewing of the First Peoples Exhibition.
Find out more here and book here.
Music for the Mob When: 22 March, 4-8pm Where: Shore Reserve, 223 Reynard Steet, Pascoe Vale South As the closing event for the Brunswick music festival, this street gig boasts a line up including Ziggy Ramo, Kee’ahn, Philly, Diimpa, Allara, Dameeeela Read more here. Arrive at 3pm to experience Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Welcome to Country, Smoking and Cleansing Ceremony.
Our mailing address is: ANTaR Victoria 67 Brunswick St Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Australia