Why the Deafening Silence: on Constitutional Recognition?

The Protest against Constitution Recognition at Kirribilli hit the mark with some of the self-acclaimed Aboriginal 'leaders'.
SU Media Release

Ghillar, Michael Anderson 17 August 2015

"As the Gurindji celebrate the 40th anniversary of former PM Gough Whitlam announcing the return of land at Daguragu, Wave Hill, Northern Territory, we have to ask ourselves why the deafening silence from the proponents of Recognition in the Australian Constitution, after PM Tony Abbott refuses to support 'Indigenous-led' community consultations on the implications of the proposed referendum.
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Obviously our well reported protest against the secret meeting at Kirribilli on 6 July 2015 hit the mark. [ ]

Noel Pearson was propelled into admitting the meeting was stage-managed and then Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, revealed his defeatist attitude when PM Abbott has refused to meet their request for community meetings on the referendum. His reported saying: "For me it is one of those moments where I feel like curling up in the foetal position under the doona." does not inspire confidence in the government chosen so-called 'leader'.
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So we need to revisit PM Tony Abbott's 'captain's pick' of Aboriginal leadership in Australia and his Prime Ministerialship ambition to cleverly disguise the last chapter in the Aryan race's ambition to assimilate the remaining Aboriginal Peoples.

Mick Gooda's statement doesn't inspire confidence in this government chosen so-called 'leader'.

The most disappointing aspect of Abbott's 'captain's pick' is that the so-called leadership for Aboriginal people mostly comes from those educated in various church-based schools. Whereas with the various grassroots Aboriginal leadership, including someone like me, who could barely afford public school education, we maintained a very close association with our Elders' leadership in our communities, but more importantly we maintained connection to country and our culture.

Some of us were even fortunate to learn from our last of the true speakers of language and were even ceremonially educated into Law by those Old Ones who out-dated the whiteman's expectation of life expectancy. We learnt from those who were born at the turn of the 20th century and before that period and who were privileged to have grown up in a culture that was not yet fully corrupted by the colonisers. This kept people like me and others grounded, because we learnt from people who were not yet corrupted by colonialism and who kept the integrity of our Law and culture intact.

The colonialists of the eastern states had not, and I emphasise not, succeeded in destroying all of the knowledge of our Law and culture along the east coast. It is the anthropologists, like PM Abbott's choice of Aboriginal leadership, who were duped into believing that the culture knowledge had been destroyed.

The leadership choice, like many of the anthropologists, are under this false belief that Aboriginal people can be made into an homogenous society. This is not the case and it will never work, no matter how hard they try. The Abbott government supported by Bill Shorten's ALP are so far off the mark that they can't even see, or do not want to see, the big picture at the end. On the other side of politics, the Greens, I believe, they miss the point of Aboriginality because they still put us into the flora and fauna basket, seeing us with the koalas and failing to embrace our assertions of pre-existing and continuing sovereignty as First Nations Peoples.

It is so wrong for non-Aboriginal people to be making choices and setting time frames for us as Aboriginal Peoples and to spend millions of taxpayers' dollars on the Recognise campaign to lure us into their colonial constitution, such as that very costly recent advertising campaign with the rugby league. To me this is a waste of taxpayers' money for a campaign that may not even get up to a starting point. I believe that this expenditure should be investigate by the Senate estimates committee as a matter of priority, because this money could be redirected into providing the very necessary services to those Aboriginal homeland communities that are threatened with closure, and to restore homelands already stripped of the children and resources, such as Coonana in western South Australia.

We are ramping up the 'No' campaign amongst our people at the grassroots, who need to tell the Australian public that we don't accept inequality; we don't want the government to make laws for us; the only thing we want is our sovereignty recognised, our Law and culture recognised; and by having each Nation map their own country and then negotiating their own Treaty packages will we be able to gain a type of satisfaction in this war of attrition against the colonialists.

The Vote 'No' To Constitutional Change campaign has summarised the issues well in:

10 Reasons to Vote NO on Constitutional Recognition
10 Reason’s to Vote No for Constitutional Recognition - 1) It wipes out Sovereignty and Land Rights - 2) Overrides Native Title - 3) Doesn’t give rights - 4) Turns Blackfella’s into ‘Property’ of the ‘Crown’ - 5) Does not give Blackfella’s any power - 6) Doesn’t protect Cultural Rights - 7) Does not recognise Cultural Ownership - 8) Does not protect Cultural Law / Lore - 9) Offers a restricted citizenship - 10) Allows the Government to make Laws for Blackfella’s as a targeted race without limitations

It is not possible for the authorities to shut us all up and lock us all away in their prisons – out of sight and out if mind. They did not break the spirit of opposition to the colonial processes and their attempts to enculturate our people through the public school system is breaking down, because the students are rejecting the enculturation program. I believe instinctively the school students know the difference between assimilation through an enculturation program and being educated at world's best practice with Respect for diversity.

This Constitutional recognition has no purpose which will bring about effectively changing the education system that will grant the rights to be Aboriginal, learn First Nations ways in the school system; to have our languages taught by appropriate Aboriginal language speakers; nor will it ensure our national identity as Aboriginal Peoples from our respective Nations; nor will it ensure our basic rights to be taught in our languages and to maintain our national identity. Our kids in the future will be the big losers. They will not be Gomeroi, Euahlayi, Yolngu, Anangu, Waka Waka or Yorta Yorta. They will be Australians.

Contact: Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples
and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic -
Contact Details for Ghillar

Ghillar, Michael Anderson is the Convenor of the Sovereign Union, Head of State of the Euahlayi Republic and co-founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra.

Ghillar Michael Anderson and Graeme Merritt (right) on the ferry to Kirribilli to protest against Constitution Recognition on 6 July 2015. The Land Rights flag is held upside-down as the international sign for distress.