Sovereign Union - AudioBoom collection

NT Government under pressure to address facilities for teenage prisoners in Darwin

Sovereign Audio Collection - Sat, 2015/01/10 - 3:48am
ABC PM - SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The Northern Territory Government is being pressured to address serious concerns about the treatment of teenage prisoners in Darwin. Defence lawyers, youth workers and Amnesty International are angry that underage prisoners have been moved into an old, adult prison. They say the facility is dilapidated and under resourced. Bridget Brennan reports. BRIDGET BRENNAN: Darwin's new $500 million prison opened last year. But there was no new facility built for children in jail in Darwin. The former youth detention centre, Don Dale, was deemed unfit after five teenagers escaped last August. Youth prisoners are now in Berrimah prison, a 20-year-old facility that was used to incarcerate adults.

Untold Story: Unrecognised Indigenous soldiers

Sovereign Audio Collection - Fri, 2015/01/02 - 8:05pm
The First Nations Soldiers were equals on the battlefield, but when they returned, they were not given the recognition or entitlements that they deserved. Once forgotten, the Aboriginal and Islander people who went off to fight for Australia in the First World War have been getting increasing recognition a hundred years later. But many of the stories of soldiers who had to hide their true identity to fight are still untold. Some of their names are still not honoured in the Australian War Memorial, despite their active service.

Changes to teaching First Nations history - SBS

Sovereign Audio Collection - Thu, 2015/01/01 - 1:42am
Transcript from World News Australia Radio - SBS (January 2014) - There were concerns a review of the national curriculum could re-ignite the so-called history wars about Australia's past. - One particular area of contention is how Australian children should be taught about the early interaction - and often conflict - between Indigenous people and European settlers. Christopher Pyne, the eurocentric Minister for Education said that he was concerned about a left-wing bias on the teachings of Indigenous Australians and the culture of the Europeans who arrived after them. - Thea Cowie reports

Bennelong Sings

Sovereign Audio Collection - Mon, 2014/12/29 - 11:54pm
Audio source: ABC Radio National 'Hindsight' 2013 marked two hundred years since the death of Bennelong - that well known Wanggal leader and 'ambassador' to the Sydney colony. - Bennelong has long been cast as a tragic figure, a traitor to his people, a damaged character from countless Australian histories, novels and narratives. But as more information about him and his contemporaries comes to light, Bennelong is sometimes being recast as an adventurer, a politician, a diplomat … with documents that have come to light, he is still speaking to us across the centuries, in words and song. - Historian and curator, Keith Vincent Smith, has been investigating Bennelong’s life and his long, traumatic voyage to Britain in 1792. He found the copy of the letter we have today, in an obscure German astronomy journal. - Bennelong and Yemmerawanne's song, performed in London in 1792, as notated and published by musician Edward Jones in 1811. This version is performed by Clarence Slockee and Matthew Doyle at the State Library of NSW, August 2010. - http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/extra/2011/hht_20110403_BennelongYemmerrawanneLivePerformance.mp3 (02'01", 1.85MB)

Troublesome Natives rotting in the penal colonies

Sovereign Audio Collection - Mon, 2014/12/29 - 1:41am
Indigenous convicts: Khoisan, Maori and Aboriginal exiles - ABC Radio National - Hindsight --- The convicts left to rot in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) didn't all hail from Britain. There were Australian Aboriginal freedom fighters, South African and even Moari convicts. - If you hang the Freedom Fighters (Trouble-makers) you are left with a body (evidence), but if you transport them to a penal colony, they can disappear without trace. - ... tried and convicted in courts, and because of their perceived 'pagan' nature, they couldn't swear on a bible and thus give evidence. - --- How did a Maori man come to be buried on tiny, windswept Maria Island off Tasmania, way back in 1840? - Hohepa Te Umuroa was a convict, transported for joining the uprising of Te Rangiheata and other Wanganui Maori against settlers in the Hutt Valley. Hohepa was one of five Maori men who arrived as convicts, but they were among dozens of Indigenous people from across the Empire who were transported for waging war against the Crown. - Most Indigenous convicts didn't survive the harsh conditions of prisons like Norfolk Island, but some did. They often went to work in the service of the colony as trackers, bullock drivers, translators. They had been tried and convicted in courts, even though their 'pagan' natures meant they could not swear on a bible and thus give evidence. Gamaregal warrior, Musquito led a resistance against settlers in the Hawkesbury until he was caught and sent to Norfolk Island and then Van Diemen's Land. --- Full size Image Link: Hoheps:- http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/hohepa/5283380 Gamareagal warrior, Musquito http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/musquito/5283120 Article link: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/aboriginal-convicts/5984106

Remote closures will lead to trauma: Expert

Sovereign Audio Collection - Wed, 2014/12/17 - 8:01am
A leading Western Australian suicide prevention and healing advocate has condemned the state Government's decision to push ahead with the forced closure of up to 150 homeland communities. - Robert Eggington (pictured) from the Perth-based Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation is calling on Premier Colin Barnett to reverse his decision. - Mr Eggington says any closures will lead to trauma, anger, dysfunction and suicides. - Source: National Indigenous Radio Service - This audio file posted by Gerry Georgatos

Ethnic cleansing alive and well in WA

Sovereign Audio Collection - Fri, 2014/12/12 - 11:01pm
Proposed WA remote community closures labelled "ethnic cleansing" - National Indigenous Radio Service The CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (ALSWA) has described the state Government's decision to close about 150 remote communities as "ethnic cleansing". The WA Government flagged the closure of homeland communities after the Commonwealth shifted responsibility for remote municipal service funding to the state. Premier Colin Barnett says the state will not be able to afford to take up the costs of services. ALSWA's Dennis Eggington told Koori Radio the move is discriminatory and will lead to more social problems.

World Indigenous domestic violence conference in Cairns

Sovereign Audio Collection - Tue, 2014/12/09 - 10:17am
MARK COLVIN: For the first time in Australia, Indigenous women from around the world are meeting this week, to talk about domestic violence in their communities. The shocking rates of domestic violence in Aboriginal families, is mirrored in communities in New Zealand and North America. A Global Indigenous Domestic Violence conference in Cairns has heard that Indigenous victims won't speak up, unless support services are run by their own people. Bridget Brennan reports. BRIDGET BRENNAN: Aboriginal women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised with a domestic violence injury than other Australian women. Domestic violence workers say nothing is changing. ANTOINETTE BRAYBROOK: I have been working in this area for 12 years, and I just cannot see that things are getting better for Aboriginal women. You know, we're constantly fighting to make sure that our organisations are properly resourced so that issues can be addressed. BRIDGET BRENNAN: Antoinette Braybrook is chief executive of the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service in Victoria. In Cairns, she's meeting with women from New Zealand, Canada and the United States. They're all struggling to deal with the high levels of violence in their own Indigenous communities. ANTOINETTE BRAYBROOK: We see the devastation that violence in causing in our communities, and we're all on the same page with what needs to be done - we just need some backing from our governments, and we also need to all stand together on these issues. BRIDGET BRENNAN: Family violence is also affecting Maori women in New Zealand. Susan Ngawati Osborne works at the Maori women’s service the Tu Wahine Trust in Auckland. SUSAN NGAWATI OSBORNE: What we can say is that our women in particular suffer at the hands of violent men and I think more so from men who are not from the same culture. BRIDGET BRENNAN: She says Maori women are reluctant to report domestic violence, but they're having success with programs run by Maori people. SUSAN NGAWATI OSBORNE: It is the proven pathway to creating healthy communities. BRIDGET BRENNAN: From Auckland to Arizona, American social services worker Laura Horsley points out that violence against Indigenous women is systemic. LAURA HORSLEY: It's really interesting to see how similar, even though we come from very different places and very different populations, it's interesting to see how many people are struggling with the same barriers and the same successes and the same types of issues that we're trying to address. BRIDGET BRENNAN: She's been speaking in Cairns about her domestic violence service in Phoenix, which takes support workers into rural communities. LAURA HORSLEY: The Native American population is also scattered in and amongst most of those communities that we provide services in, and so our goal is to put an advocate that is well versed and well trained in that particular culture as the person that goes out to deliver those services. BRIDGET BRENNAN: It's a view shared by Antoinette Braybrook from Victoria's Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention service. She believes the challenge is to build trust. ANTOINETTE BRAYBROOK: Aboriginal people need to be able to do this our way, we don't need strategies imposed on us, and it's about time that we were given that opportunity to make sure that this violence against our women in our communities is stopped. MARK COLVIN: Victorian Aboriginal women Antoinette Braybrook ending Bridget Brennan's report.

Sisters on the Inside, Babies on the Outside - The Wire

Sovereign Audio Collection - Wed, 2014/12/03 - 9:06pm
Breastfeeding is important for the development of a child. But what happens when the mother is in prison. Recently an Aboriginal boy was born to a mother who was a prisoner in Queensland. Ideally the mother could have her child with her, but purpose-built cells are few.The pair were separated and the mother was not given a breast pump so that she could provide milk to the child from prison. Support group Sisters Inside tried to get one to her. - A Spokesperson for Queensland Corrective Services provided this statement: “Mothers wishing to keep their baby with them in prison must make an application to Queensland Corrective Services. The decision to allow babies to remain or not is made after in-depth consultation with primarily Child Safety, and a number of other key service providers. Every decision is made with the best interests of the child the priority.The mother’s unit at [the featured mother's Queensland prison] is currently under capacity." [Image: Bars by Cross Duck on April 2 2012, Flickr] - Story and Text from 'The Wire' http://www.thewire.org.au/ Featured in story Debbie Kilroy CEO of Sisters Inside Dr Jennifer James senior lecturer and course coordinator in Nursing at RMIT University Kat Armstrong Director Women In Prison Advocacy Network -

Truganini - In her Freedom Fighting days

Sovereign Audio Collection - Mon, 2014/12/01 - 8:48pm
One of the most familiar names in the story of Australian colonisation is that of the Tasmanian Aboriginal woman 'Truganini'. But for most people the story begins and ends with a single, very famous photo, along with a label describing her simply as the last of the full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines. - Not only was that label deeply misleading, we now know that Truganini's life is one of the most significant foundation stories of European settlement in Australia. But there's still one story that few people know about and about which little has been written - it's the extraordinary tale of Truganini's time as a freedom fighter (named as a bushranger in this story). - ABC Radio National 'Hindsight' - Presented by Lorena Allam in 2009 Thomas Bock (c. 1790-1855) ... IMAGE: PORTRAIT OF TRUGANINI (THOMAS BOCK, C. 1790-1855)

Victoria's forgotten war - The Freedom Fighters'

Sovereign Audio Collection - Mon, 2014/12/01 - 8:39pm
Five of the last Tasmanian Aboriginal people were shipped to the Victorian mainland to help the 'Aboriginal Protector' civilise the blacks - instead they gave the settlers such a fright, burning their houses and their money etc, that many of the settlers families left their 'stolen properties' and moved closer to Melbourne for protection. After a major hunting spree with mobs of police and settlers, they were finally caught and after a court case that they were not even allowed to speak at, the two male warriors ended up being the first hangings in Victoria - public hangings in a carnival atmosphere. - Known in Victoria as 'The Freedom Fighters', the two who gave their lives for First Nations peoples freedom were Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner. On the 20th January each year, there is a commemoration on the site of where they were hung. - Listen to this - it paints an amazing picture. A story that would not be too dissimilar to hundreds of other lost stories across Australia.

Abbott urged to try harder on engaging with Indigenous Australians

Sovereign Audio Collection - Fri, 2014/11/28 - 8:15am
The Social Justice commissioner Mick Gooda has tabled his 2014 report calling on the Prime Minister and his Government to try harder to engage with Indigenous communities. He's also joined with the Law Council of Australia in labelling the rates of Indigenous people in jail as a national crisis. Both have called on the Government to introduce specific justice targets in efforts to close the gap of Indigenous disadvantage.

Phillip Adams interview on the Freedom Summit

Sovereign Audio Collection - Thu, 2014/11/27 - 8:36pm
Phillip Adams from ABC 'Late Night Live' interviewed Tauto Sansbury, Michael Mansell & Rosalie Kunoth-Monks on the 2014 Freedom Summit in Alice Springs - Image by Gerry Georgatos

Campaign to stop jailing mentally ill without conviction grows

Sovereign Audio Collection - Sat, 2014/11/22 - 8:41pm
ABC PM with Mark Colvin - THE TRANSCRIPT - MARK COLVIN: A national campaign to stop mentally disabled people being jailed without a conviction is gaining momentum. - The Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign estimates more than a hundred people are in that predicament around the country and about half of them are Indigenous Australians. - Lawyers, academics and justice and welfare groups met in Melbourne today to develop an action plan. - Samantha Donovan reports. - SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign says about 130 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with a mental disability are languishing in Australian jails without having been convicted of an offence. - Some were born with an intellectual disability and others have acquired brain injuries, including foetal alcohol syndrome. - The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice commissioner Mick Gooda is involved in the growing campaign to stop these jailings. - MICK GOODA: We've had Marlon Noble here today who spent 10.5 years in jail and never been found guilty of anything, the charges have now been dropped so it will never face court. So after 10.5 years in jail he's now enduring parole-like conditions of release. - Now this is happening across the country and we think it's just about time we looked at it from a few perspective, one is a health perspective, another one's a human rights perspective. This almost goes against just about every human right we know around arbitrary detention and that's what we're seeing here with people like Marlon and others. - SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Mick Gooda says Commonwealth and state and territory governments need to take action. - MICK GOODA: The Commonwealth is our nation that signs up to international treaties that have obligations, they have that responsibility but the jurisdictions in Queensland, Northern Territory and WA are the ones that have got to start saying well if people are not fit to plead there's got to be alternatives to jail. - In the ideal world, Marlon would have gone to another facility and eventually would have got out and what you're seeing is a collision between the criminal justice system where you're innocent until proven guilty and the mental health system where you don't get out until you've proven that you're better. Well people with acquired brain injury don't get better, so you've got a situation where they can almost forever be stuck in the mental health system. - SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Patrick McGee is the coordinator of the Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign. - He says mentally disabled people at risk of coming to the attention of the police need to be identified early. - PATRICK MCGEE: It's far more expensive to put someone in jail than it is to provide support to them and what we also know is there's huge ethical and moral issues about, well, if you don't understand whether you're guilty or innocent, how can you understand the nature of punishment and how can you understand that you have to redeem yourself in the eyes of society and come out the other end and be a better person? - What we need to do is provide people with support so that they're not going into this situation in the first place. But if they do find themselves in this situation, that we've got methods that we understand will teach them to change their behaviour and understand the difference between right and wrong so that they cannot go back to where they've come from. - SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Are you envisaging some sort of supported accommodation as an intervention in these sort of cases or…? - PATRICK MCGEE: Supported accommodation that can be restrictive because some people are a serious risk of harm to others, right through to drop in support for people who just need a little bit of extra support to understand how to get through the working week and, you know, get up in the morning and have a good day and live a quality life. - MARK COLVIN: Patrick McGee, coordinator of the Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign, ending Samantha Donovan's report.

WA protesters: Aboriginal Heritage Act changes

Sovereign Audio Collection - Sat, 2014/11/22 - 8:10am
Audio report from Anna Vidot ABC PM - Katrin Long and staff reporters A petition with more than 1,600 signatures protesting against planned changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act has been presented to Western Australia's Parliament. - They presented the petition to the Opposition's Aboriginal Affairs spokesman Ben Wyatt and Nationals member for the Pilbara Brendon Grylls. - Port Hedland Nyamal elder Doris Eaton said she was not against mining but wanted protections in place. - "[Our heritage] is not going to be protected like the European heritage," she said. - "There's a hell of a lot of mining going on. We're not saying no to mining, but we want Government to negotiate properly with us." - Mr Grylls was moved by the distance people had travelled. - "It's relatively easy to come to Parliament and make your point if you live just over the river," he said. - "It's not easy to come to Parliament if you live in the Gascoyne or the Pilbara, or the Kimberley. - "That's damn hard, and that makes it very clear to me how passionate you are about this issue." - Mr Wyatt said it was clear that Indigenous people were not happy with the act's changes. - "It's my view that the change doesn't give due respect and consultation for Aboriginal people," he said. - "Aboriginal heritage isn't something for Government to bequeath to Aboriginal people. It's been there well before Government came along here in Western Australia. - "We need to look after and respect [it], and importantly Aboriginal people need to be involved in the process around heritage recognition and protection. That's my view and that's the view I'll take to the Parliament." - Changes speed up approval processes - Mr Grylls and a delegation of elders met Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier to voice concerns about the potential loss of Aboriginal cultural heritage and protection of sacred sites. - Mr Collier said he thought changes to the Act would be positive. - "The Aboriginal Heritage Act will actually enhance opportunities for Aboriginal people to have a say in what goes on," he said. - "It really does protect the sites, it provides much more clarity in terms of transparency of the process, everything will be readily available. At the moment it's not." - The draft bill, which was released earlier this year, speeds up the approval process for mining and other development by giving the Department of Aboriginal Affairs chief executive officer "expedited" or "fast track" authority to declare whether or not an Aboriginal heritage site existed. - The CEO would be able to issue land use permits when he or she decided a site would not be significantly damaged or altered. - Submissions on the draft amendments have been overwhelmingly critical of the proposed changes, in particular the new fast track approvals process. - Mr Collier said the pace of economic development in recent years, particularly in mining and construction, had highlighted inadequacies in the current legislation. - The proposed changes were labelled discriminatory by the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) which said earlier this year that they would disenfranchise Indigenous people. - The KLC said the draft bill focused power in the hands of one bureaucrat - the department's CEO. - Currently the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC), established through the act, provides advice and recommendations to the Aboriginal Affairs Minister on heritage sites. - The Law Society of WA and other organisations have argued the new process, via the CEO, would largely cut out Aboriginal people. - The Law Society said the proposed amendments stripped the ACMC of its evaluative role and predominantly shifted power to the CEO, who was not obliged to consult with Aboriginal people or to apply anthropological expertise. - When the draft bill was released, the department said the CEO would have certain regulations to follow, including having to refer any permit application to the committee if the activity could damage the site.

Elders hope France repatriation deal can be precedent

Sovereign Audio Collection - Fri, 2014/11/21 - 8:54am
Indigenous elders have welcomed a new agreement between France and Australia on the repatriation of Indigenous remains. Michael Kenny - World News Radio 20 NOV 2014 - (Transcript from SBS World News Radio) - Indigenous elders have welcomed a new agreement between France and Australia on the repatriation of Indigenous remains. - They say they hope it sets a precedent for similar agreements with other countries. - Prime Minister Tony Abbott and France's President Francois Hollande signed the agreement in Canberra this week. - Indigenous elders say it will help ensure Indigenous human remains held in French museums are returned to Australia. - Tony Abbott and Francois Hollande have agreed to establish a joint expert committee to help identify the origin of Indigenous Australian remains held in France. Australia and Italy signed a similar agreement in 2009, and remains have also been returned from Britain, Sweden and Austria over recent years. - Palawa elder and Amnesty International campaigner Rodney Dillon has had a long interest in the repatriation of Indigenous remains from overseas collections. - He is a former chairman of the National Reference Group for the Repatriation of Australian Indigenous Remains. - In 2000, as a board member for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, he successfully pushed for a deal to speed up Indigenous repatriation between Australia and Britain. - Mr Dillon estimates four to five thousand Indigenous Australian remains are held in overseas galleries and museums, mainly in Europe and across the United States. - He hopes the deal with France can set a powerful precedent for similar agreements with other governments on an issue symbolically important to many Indigenous Australians. - "These remains were stolen in the first place. They were taken, and, the people's remains that were taken, they didn't want to be taken. So it's very, very disrespectful the way these were taken in the first place. And I think that the people who have still got our remains around the world are common thieves." - Since 1990, the federal government estimates the remains of about 1,150 Indigenous Australians have been returned to descendants for burial or cremation. - But the government estimates around 10,000 remains are held in Australian public collections. - Gumulray elder Bob Weatherall has campaigned for the repatriation of Indigenous remains to Traditional Owners for over four decades. - He is currently chairman of the Centre for Indigenous Cultural Policy in Brisbane. - Mr Weatherall believes the government needs to shift more decision making over the repatriation of remains away from bureaucrats and into the hands of Indigenous communities. - "Aboriginal communities have enormous barriers in bringing their ancestors home and laying them to rest. There are remains up in the Kimberly that are sitting in shipment containers. They've been there for over 10 years. There has not been a concerted effort and commitment by Australian governments of all levels to, basically, assist Aboriginal people to alleviate those barriers and to lay their ancestors to rest." - Anthropologist Dr Steve Webb has been involved in research projects on the repatriation of Indigenous Australian remains for over 30 years. - The Bond University lecturer believes some European scientists have been allowed to interfere too much in blocking the return of remains to Traditional Owners. - He says very little scientific research has actually been conducted on the remains and many European collections have been lost because of bombing in the world wars. - Dr Webb has told NITV French scientists now need to take care to ensure Indigenous remains are carefully identified before being returned to Traditional Owners. - "There have been instances and times where non-Aboriginal remains have been returned to Australia because of the lack of expertise over in Europe with regard to identifying these sorts of remains. So I think, before any of this takes place, I think the French collections should be thoroughly inspected, in terms of the true identity of these remains."

Lex Wotton Interview November 2014

Sovereign Audio Collection - Thu, 2014/11/20 - 6:45am
Radio National 'Drive' program on 19 November, 2014 Picture: Lex at G20 - Deaths in Custody March - Speaches

WA chief justice says Indigenous interpreting services must be expanded

Sovereign Audio Collection - Tue, 2014/11/18 - 11:17am
There are fears that a West Australian Government decision to scrap funding for an interpreting service could deny justice to some Aboriginal people in the Kimberley. - The Kimberley Interpreting Service helps Aboriginal people navigate the technical English of police interviews and the courts. And the state's chief justice says Government should be increasing funding for Indigenous interpreters, not cutting it. - From Perth, Anna Vidot reports on ABC RADIO PM

Get them off their homelands and into the mines

Sovereign Audio Collection - Thu, 2014/11/13 - 10:06am
The 3 Stooges: Marcia Langton, mining magnate Twiggy Forrest and the Coalition Parliamentary Secretary, Alan Tudge hatch a plan for the employment of First Nations people. A key player in the Abbott Government review into Aboriginal and Islander employment says both incentives (Mining Companies) and disincentives of the welfare system (First Nations people) are in their plans. Alan Tudge, who is in charge of the Indigenous employment review says the review panel is taking advice from Twiggy and it appears that Marcia will undertake the propaganda. In this interview with CAAMA, Tudge says despite all the efforts and goodwill of previous Governments… things need to change. The complete interview here: http://caama.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Adam-Tudge.mp3

First Nations health service contests claims of ice use in remote communities

Sovereign Audio Collection - Wed, 2014/11/12 - 7:57am
A First Nations health service in South Australia says claims of an ice crisis in remote Indigenous communities are overblown and could harm the fight against drugs. The APY Lands in the far north-west of South Australia, the Nganampa Health Service covers eight remote clinics and the director says if the drug ice was being widely used in the region, the clinics would probably know. - 12 November 2014 - ABC AM AUDIO TRANSCRIPT - CHRIS UHLMANN: An Indigenous health service in South Australia says claims of an ice crisis in remote Indigenous communities are overblown and could harm the fight against drugs. - University of Melbourne Professor Marcia Langton recently told The Australian newspaper she'd heard many reports of crystal methamphetamine use in remote Indigenous communities. - But she's been accused by a Northern Territory politician of generalising about all Indigenous remote communities to win support for a major welfare change. - Sara Everingham reports. - SARA EVERINGHAM: On the APY Lands in the far north-west of South Australia, the Nganampa Health Service covers eight remote clinics. The director John Singer says if the drug ice was being widely used in the region, the clinics would probably know. - JOHN SINGER: And as far as I know we've had no reports of ice use amongst Anangu in the APY lands. - SARA EVERINGHAM: Last month the Melbourne University academic Marcia Langton told The Weekend Australia newspaper, "We heard many reports of ice or methamphetamines in remote communities. Whereas it was once marijuana and Kava," she said, "now there is a youth epidemic of amphetamine use." - Her comments were based on consultations while working on the review of Indigenous affairs by mining magnate Andrew Forrest. He has backed Marcia Langton's statements about ice, saying she spent countless days reviewing the information and that her academic reputation is beyond reproach. - But John Singer fears her comments could make it harder to deal with the problems his clinics already know about, such as marijuana and alcohol abuse. He says they also won't help if ice takes hold. - JOHN SINGER: It does put people off, in terms of if you want to make a change, if you want to do things in remote areas, you need to take people with you on that journey as a collective. - And automatically now people are on the defensive in the communities because they see these sort of extreme headlines with no real basis or evidence. - The peak body for the Aboriginal-run medical services in the Northern Territory says there are serious concerns about ice in urban areas such as Alice Springs and Darwin, where a community meeting was held about a month ago to discuss it. - The chief executive John Paterson says he fears the drug could end up in remote Indigenous communities but has not heard about widespread use there for now. - JOHN PATERSON: It is a major concern to the Aboriginal community, particularly in Darwin. I don't know how widespread. I am not hearing too much from our remote communities at this point in time, but that's not to say that, you know, it might be finding its way out there. - SARA EVERINGHAM: Ted Wilkes is a Perth-based drug and alcohol researcher and the chairman of the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee. He says there's a lack of solid evidence about ice use in remote Indigenous communities. - TED WILKES: I say to many Australians, this is a thing where not one size fits all, where some communities are more vulnerable and others may well and truly be safe. - But if we were to create a hysteria or a knowledge that Aboriginal Australians throughout Australia are using drugs of this nature, it would certainly be an unknown. We don't know what the evidence is. We need to make sure we get the evidence before we start saying things like this. - CHRIS UHLMANN: Associate Professor Ted Wilkes ending Sara Everingham's report.

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