Leadership is the great challenge for Freedom Summit delegates - as 'The Gap' widens

Some of the people who were present at the Freedom Summit 2014
(Photo: CAAMA)

30 November 2014

Ghillar Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia, said from Broken Hill today:

"Having concluded my analysis of the Freedom Summit held in Alice Springs on 27 & 28 November, it is clear that the uniform position of the great majority at the Freedom Summit was their determined resolve to confirm that no Aboriginal/Original Nation or People in this Country has voluntarily ceded its sovereignty to the invader British/Australian society, nor has been conquered in any declared war.

Sovereign Union Flag incorporating
The importance of First Nations Unity

"It is also evident that this national task force of Original Nation delegates is to articulate in the strongest terms to the colonial governments that 'enough is enough' and that projects such as 'Empowering Communities' as designed by Noel Pearson and his cronies are not welcome, nor is their imposition accepted. Typical of their leadership style they bludgeon communities into accepting these programmes and use blackmail tactics such as - if you don't accept this then your community will get nothing and we will take this programme some where else. These people are predators preying on impoverished people and their communities.

"In my opinion the most significant point that came from the Freedom Summit was that we will determine the pathways to self-determination; we will establish and direct policy for our people and in doing so all delegates agreed that we must go home to our respective Nation's communities and convene meetings to seek guidance on their views of what types of independence and policy direction we take.

"As a Spokesperson for the Sovereign Union I am heartened to see the determination of the people to confirm and assert their continuing sovereignty, an issue Australia sooner rather than later will have to deal with. The Sovereign Union will continue to pursue its objectives of working with Nations and Peoples at the grassroots to map their boundaries; establish their own governance and constitutions; and assert their independent sovereign status.

"The Sovereign Union itself is made up of member States who are asserting their independence and are working now to be self-determining, through their own governance structure, in accordance with their ancient Law and culture. By the Sovereign Union engaging in this national delegation/taskforce it enhances our capacities, because no matter what organisation or political ideology one supports the fact is we have found common ground and unity of purpose, which is underpinned by our continuing sovereignty as Nations and Peoples of this continent.

"My other observation of the Freedom Summit was the polarity between our people, something that has never been so apparent before and that was the differences between political agendas and purpose. Young Paul Spearim summed it up best when he said with words to the effect of: 'There are many of us who have been dispersed and displaced by the tyranny and genocidal objectives of previous government policies, which sees fragmentation in our communities particularly in the east and south where white people have impacted most to date, with our culture and languages torn from us. For many of us we are striving to locate that which was lost. Whilst we live in cities and regional areas we do want our culture and language back.

"Then there were others who spoke of being descendants of the stolen generations and their pain showed when they spoke of being disconnected to their Country. As I heard one fellow say: 'Our identity and our Aboriginality is like a leaf on a dying tree, who fears the sudden wind of change. If we don't secure our grounding and water that tree, then as that leaf falls we too will be lost for ever.

"Then there were those who are firmly grounded in their Law and culture and these people are secure in their in their identity with a true sense of how they are and where they belong with language, law and culture intact. These people are connected to Country through their Law. They have greater opportunity to assert sovereignty over their own territories, waters and natural resources.

"One spinoff from this Freedom Summit is the possibility of reconnecting songlines across the continent, because we do know that, unlike the rest of the world, we may be many languages and many Nations across a vast island continent, but we have one thing that unites us all. For some it is called 'Tjurkuppa'; for others it is Gooma or Gubbi Goomerar, etc.. This describes our religion; our songlines, our Law according to our Creation. This Law is the steely framework for our sacred spirituality.

'Closing the Gap' promise would be laughable if the situation wasn't so desperate and the outcomes were not so tragic

"It was interesting to observe the coming together of these groups with an understanding that each can support the other.

"I anticipate that there will be two primary topics that will be pursued. One, sovereignty with absolute proprietary interest and usufructuary rights to our lands which will become our greatest challenge. Then there will be the age-old struggle for appropriate resources for us to deal with our issues in a manner that we ourselves determine, in respect of health, housing, economic development and future political pathways. The Australian governments' constant ill-handling, through absolute ill advice, is widening the gap and not closing it. If getting a job is the measure of 'closing the gap' then those who promote this nonsense are so far removed from the reality of need.

"I see the challenge for the delegates is to prioritise the needs that must be addressed in the short, medium and long term. If we can truly achieve this then I think our people may find it within themselves to again feel hopeful.

"For the delegates that attended and were successfully elected, their great challenge now is to lead.

"We have great minds and determined people who have now taken up the challenge.

'The ball is now in our court."

Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia
0427 292 492