Human Rights

Remote Indigenous communities are vital for our fragile ecosystems

Amid the questioning of government support for remote Aboriginal communities and what PM Tony Abbott called the “lifestyle choices” of those who live there, the growing role of First Nations management of large areas of remote Australia has been overlooked. There are 1,200 small, discrete communities in Australia with various sources of income, including federal government “Working on Country” funding, as well as meagre and tightly regulated welfare payments. They fulfil a key role in populating large areas of outback Australia. Read more about Remote Indigenous communities are vital for our fragile ecosystems

Protesters 'shut down Melbourne' to fight against closure of First Nation communities

More than a thousand protesters shut down traffic in Melbourne's CBD to rally against the planned closure of remote Indigenous communities in West Australia. The group initially hoped to confront Tony Abbott at the National Gallery of Victoria about his statement and support of the displacement of thousands of peoples. The crowd eventually gave up on seeing Abbott and walked from the gallery to the State Library. About half-a-dozen tram routes were disrupted and roads were closed as they made their way up Swanston Street. Read more about Protesters 'shut down Melbourne' to fight against closure of First Nation communities

First Nations legal service to shut down after losing federal funding

The Peak body for Indigenous legal services was denied funding under the Indigenous advancement strategy as $680m in grants handed out. The NSW ALS had its two applications rejected by the IAS scheme, including one for its existing custody notification service, which provides 24-hour legal advice and welfare support for Aboriginal people arrested in NSW. Some organisations said they did not know if or how much of a grant they had been given, or if funding would continue beyond the next 12 months. Read more about First Nations legal service to shut down after losing federal funding

Plans for remote First Nations people in WA may be forced off their homelands and made homeless; Surrendering land for Mining

The Premier of Australia's wealthiest state Colin Barnett has, without notice or consultation, announced he is closing down 150 small towns in his state and has refused to meet the mayors or residents of these generally remote towns to discuss the matter. The Premier – Colin Barnett – said he had no other options after the Federal Government announced they would no longer fund essential services to the towns, instead providing a one-off payment of $90 million to the State Government to take responsibility. Read more about Plans for remote First Nations people in WA may be forced off their homelands and made homeless; Surrendering land for Mining

In the heart of Perth, an 'Aboriginal Sovereign Tent Embassy' and a 'Refugee Camp'

Matargarup Sovereign Embassy - Heirisson Island Wa

A group of First Nations women have established a 'Sovereign Tent Embassy' at Matargarup (Heirisson Island) WA which also hosts a "Refugee Camp" for their homeless sisters and brothers and for the displaced First Nations people from their Homelands. Elder Maureen Culbong said, "We will stand in even stronger numbers together than even the two years ago where we stood for so long. There are so many issues our peoples face that we need the Embassy as a place of sanctity for all those hurting ... " Read more about In the heart of Perth, an 'Aboriginal Sovereign Tent Embassy' and a 'Refugee Camp'

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