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Terra nullius never went away

Past experiences of forced removal off country have proved disastrous. The result is more fringe dwellers, social problems, suicides and incarceration. Western Australia already has the highest rate of incarceration of Indigenous people, around 20 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. In fact Barnett hypocritically admitted that it “will cause great distress to Aboriginal people who will move, it will cause issues in regional towns as Aboriginal people move into them.” [node:read-more:link]

Cost of closing remote communities greater than tackling issues, Aboriginal leaders say

Aboriginal leaders and advocates are warning the "chaos and dysfunction" caused by closing down remote Indigenous communities will cost the West Australian Government far more than addressing existing issues. Amnesty International's indigenous peoples' rights manager Tammy Solonec said there was no plan to help people when Ooombulgurri community was closed down and people were required to integrate into Wyndham or other towns, leaving them "highly traumatised". [node:read-more:link]

While old Indigenous languages disappear, new ones evolve

By now we know that traditional Indigenous languages are losing speakers rapidly and tragically. Of the 250 languages once spoken in Australia, only 40 remain and just 18 of these are still learnt by children. But if children in remote Indigenous communities aren't still learning traditional languages, then what are they learning? It is generally assumed they are shifting to English, but this is not the case. - Article by Felicity Meakins from The University of Queensland [node:read-more:link]

'Speaking with one voice' – WA's changes to Aboriginal Heritage law rejected at bush meetings

Written Dr Stephen Bennetts, who is a consultant anthropologist that has worked with Aboriginal people in Northern Australia since 1994

Be careful what you pray for. By proposing to strip away protection for Aboriginal people's heritage across the board, and throughout the State, the Barnett Government appears to have unwittingly conjured up a strong, united and angry Aboriginal coalition which is now mobilising against the AHA amendments.

Written Dr Stephen Bennetts, who is a consultant anthropologist that has worked with Aboriginal people in Northern Australia since 1994. [node:read-more:link]

Race to protect Australia's rock art from mining, graffiti and feral animals

Split Rock Gallery on Cape York

Half the country's rock paintings – some dating back 30,000 years – could disappear within 50 years, experts warn. Oliver Milman meets the Indigenous rangers and researchers working to protect delicate sandstone from the triple threat of mining, graffiti and feral animals.

It's a race to protect Australia's most ancient treasures. For the traditional owners of land near the remote town of Laura, a four-hour drive north-west of Cairns, Far North Queensland, the job is essential – and urgent. [node:read-more:link]

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