'We were always here' - Dorothy Lawson's daring land claim in Australia

She was thrown into a jail cell, aged just eight. But instead of being strong-armed by the law, Murra Wurra Paakantji elder Dorothy Lawson – now nearly 80 – has used the law herself to make a daring, innovative land claim.

By Debra Jopson

She was thrown into a jail cell, aged just eight. But instead of being strong-armed by the law, Murra Wurra Paakantji elder Dorothy Lawson – now nearly 80 – has used the law herself to make a daring, innovative land claim.

If she wins, Indigenous people across Australia could benefit.

"I grew up with the feeling, 'They've stolen my land' and that's exactly what they did...You can't take my country out of me.

"A squatter in my own land? What laws are we breaking? We just want a piece of what was ours."

Justice Peter Biscoe ruled in late 2014 "That the applicant's claim had some substance."'

To read and view Debra'ss comprehensive article, including a video of Dorothy, go to http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/feature/we-were-always-here-dorothy-lawsons-daring-land-claim.


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Fact, not fiction, is the only way to deal with history

'I don’t know if an opinion poll has ever been done, but a sizeable portion of Australians, perhaps a majority, recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had their land invaded by the British
and experienced a systematic genocide.'

The whole recognition process has a deep colonial resonance

'Why did the federal government persist with the charade of Indigenous consultation if it never had any intention of change beyond symbolism?'

'Barely two days after the federal government, under cover of a ministerial scandal, put out the trash with its rejection of Indigenous pleas for a constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament, Malcolm Turnbull’s legacy in black Australia is all but fully defined.

'In the linguistically and culturally diverse urban, regional and remote communities that comprise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia,
Turnbull will now go down as the prime minister with the tin ear. And the tin heart.

'Yes, to many Indigenous Australians Turnbull will now be remembered as the Tin Prime Minister. He is the leader who purportedly asked Indigenous Australians what they wanted ... only to blithely dismiss their answer as soon as they gave it at Uluru in May. ... '

More Aboriginal news at http://groups.google.com/group/wgar-news

The Uluru custodianship - how much opportunity was in that handback?

By Natalie Cromb

As a descendent of one of the first land rights activists in this country, the struggle for land rights from a historical and legal perspective has always interested me and been something I lend my voice and expertise to whenever possible.

The Anangu people maintained their fight for their land and they saw their opening in 1976 with the Land Rights Act NT and set about organising to make a claim which was ultimately submitted in 1979.

"... the Government who, like all things with the Indigenous community of Australia, treated the handback as an act of symbolism rather than
a real opportunity to lift the Anangu peoples from the poverty they were living in."

More of Natalie's informative and insightful article at


Mutitjulu, the community that was ground zero for the NT Intervention,
ten years on

By Elliana Lawford

Historic agreement gives Mutitjulu people control of their future

By NITV News



More Aboriginal news at http://groups.google.com/group/wgar-news

Turnbull's Uluru statement rejection is 'mean-spirited bastardry' – legal expert

PM has reportedly voted against embedding Indigenous voice to parliament in constitution, calling it ‘too ambitious’


Calla Wahlquist @callapilla www.theguardian.com/profile/calla-wahlquist

' ... The Uluru statement was drafted following a three-day summit
of more than 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders and legal experts in May, following a year of consultation. ...

'The overwhelming message of the summit was a rejection of symbolic constitutional reform in favour of a constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament,
which would sit outside the parliamentary structure but provide advice and consultation on issues and legislation affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

'The Uluru statement also proposed establishing a Makarrata commission
with a view to establishing a treaty, or treaties, between Indigenous people and Australian governments. ... '


The whitesplainer-in-chief on the undesirable Uluru Statement
First Dog on the Moon

When we asked you to come up with a solution,
we meant you should come up with constitutional recognition


Most Australians support Indigenous voice to parliament plan that Turnbull rejected

OmniPoll survey finds 60.7% broadly support changing constitution
to set up Indigenous body to advise the parliament


Calla Wahlquist @callapilla www.theguardian.com/profile/calla-wahlquist

Monday 30 October 2017

' ... The proposal received majority support in every state but Tasmania, where 49.1% of people opposed the idea.

'It also received majority support from Greens, Labor and Coalition voters, 80.3%, 67%, and 55.1% respectively. ... '

Turnbull's rejection of an Indigenous voice to parliament is immoral and foolish
Shireen Morris

The prime minister has destroyed Australia’s best chance of meaningful reform in Indigenous affairs


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