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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

“That old maluka” – Warren Snowdon on the passing of a great man

I have today received a message from the Gurindji: ‘Very sad we lost that old man, but good because now people all over Australia will be reminded of his great legacy and the great thing he did with our leader, Mr Lingiari. That old maluka’—old man—’understood our important role in land rights. We will meet today to plan how we will mourn him.’

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Marion Scrymgour on Stronger Futures and Constitutional reform

And so to the here and now. In 2014 we again have a coalition government in Canberra. The self-proclaimed ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’ has emphasised his commitment to fixing up the constitution so that Indigenous people have a proper place in it, and in the nation.
I’m not a constitutional lawyer, and there are aspects of the recent constitutional reform debate which have struck me as somewhat arcane.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Scrymgour on the NT Intervention – rivers of grog and acres of leases

The term ‘rivers of grog’ was seized upon by the media and Mr Brough. Unfortunately, the impression that seems to have taken hold down south was that the place where the rivers of grog were flowing was in remote Aboriginal communities.The intended outcome of the leasing program was the more-or-less permanent Commonwealth takeover of Aboriginal community land.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Strange Fruit. The Dingo trees of Western Queensland

The “War on the Dingo” approach to population ‘management’ is a punitive, uncoordinated, expensive and devastatingly ineffective folly. There are better ways of managing Dingoes in the landscape. We just haven’t worked out what they are and how to apply them yet.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Marion Scrymgour: The NT Intervention disinformation campaign – from allegations of child sexual abuse to moral panic

Child sex abuse is only one aspect of child protection. General child neglect and associated social dysfunction was the underlying problem which could have, and should have been focussed on by Mr Howard and Mr Brough. By using paedophilia as the emotive hook for their PR campaign, they indiscriminately and irresponsibly labelled the male population in remote Territory communities as predators of the worst kind. That was the second, again almost immediate, negative impact of the Intervention declaration.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Marion Scrymgour. From Elliott, Robinson River, the Tiwi Islands and beyond: “Recognise” that blackfellas have survived.

Despite poverty and marginalisation, there was a spirit of defiance and pride amongst the Elliott mob. The slogan from the previous year’s anti-bicentennial – ‘we have survived’ – had continuing resonance. There was respect for the endurance and fortitude of the many former stockmen who lived in the town. Through their skill and discipline they had earned a limited degree of autonomy, despite working for white bosses, and they had managed to maintain culture and ceremony under difficult conditions.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Tri-state bickering: The politics of dialysis resource allocation

All four governments appear unwilling to sit down together and work out an equitable solution: the Commonwealth in particular appears reluctant to knock a few heads together and get the results needed.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

“Our organs are sacred”: how we fail Aboriginal Australians with Chronic Kidney Disease

Based on ANZDATA Registry analysis, from 1999 to 2009, the number of people receiving renal replacement therapy—dialysis—from Central Australia more than tripled from 62 to 209. At present, there are some 558 Territorians undergoing dialysis—98% of whom are Aboriginal. Current estimates are that this will grow by 4.5% a year. In simple terms, and all other things being equal, this means over 1,000 Territorian and tri-state Aboriginal people will be “on the machine” in the Territory in 14 years. In Central Australia alone, at worst case by 2020, there will be 479 people under going dialysis.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Bird of the Week: Yilingkirrkkirr – the White Throated Grasswren

Applied ethno-biology at its best. This guest post from Peter Cooke examines the benefits that Aboriginal fire management regimes can have on fragile landscapes and vulnerable –literally — bird and mammal species.

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AUSTRALIAN POLITICS |

Why Essendon and Hird must appeal

The decision by Justice John Middleton in the Essendon v ASADA case is an existential threat to fairness and justice in Australian sport. Bob Gosford explains why it must be appealed by the Essendon Football Club and coach James Hird.

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