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An historic handful of dirt: Whitlam and the legacy of the Wave Hill Walk-Off

Wave Hill 2016

Fifty years ago , on the morning of August 23, 1966, Vincent Lingiari led a walk-off of 200 Gurindji, Mudburra and Warlpiri workers and their families from a remote Northern Territory cattle station, escaping a century of servitude . The families rejected the pleas of their British multinational employer Vestey’s to return to the Wave Hill station, re-occupied an area of their own land at Wattie Creek, and fought until the nation’s leaders heeded their cause. Nine years later, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam symbolically returned the Gurindji’s country with a handful of red dirt. [node:read-more:link]

New Zealand’s Indigenous reconciliation efforts show having a treaty isn’t enough

NZ Treaty

The relationship between Maori and the British Crown (which delegated its authority to the New Zealand government) has historically been filled with broken promises. Maori reached their nadir at the turn of the 20th century when their population had fallen to half of what it was at first contact - According to Senior Researcher in Maori Studies, Massey University, New Zealand. Ever since the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, a raft of government initiatives have resulted in Maori losing both resources and power. [node:read-more:link]

The invasion and the non-Aboriginal claim to sovereignty

It must be acknowledged that this country was invaded and this is confirmed by the actions of Captain James Cook when he fired at the first group of Aboriginal people he came in contact with. Then the invaders imprisoned us and interned us in detention centres in the guise of looking after our welfare, protecting us from the barbarous acts of the squatocracy and their militias, supported by the police and redcoats, and then had the audacity to try and establish representative government on the land of others, while we were being imprisoned and killed. [node:read-more:link]

The invasion and the non-Aboriginal claim to sovereignty

It must be acknowledged that this country was invaded and this is confirmed by the actions of Captain James Cook when he fired at the first group of Aboriginal people he came in contact with. Then the invaders imprisoned us and interned us in detention centres in the guise of looking after our welfare, protecting us from the barbarous acts of the squatocracy and their militias, supported by the police and redcoats, and then had the audacity to try and establish representative government on the land of others, while we were being imprisoned and killed. [node:read-more:link]

'Blackfellas' Eureka', The Pilbara's Aboriginal pastoral slaves strike

Don McLeod

Between 1946 and 1949, at least 800 Aboriginal workers walked off stations across the Pilbara led by Nyamal lawman Peter Coppin. Supporting the worker's strike action was a small group of non-indigenous unionists and radicals and it's these activists, in particular Don McLeod, that supported the people in fighting for their rights for wages and freedom of movement. The Aboriginal strikers, who worked on dozens of stock and sheep stations throughout north-west Western Australia, wanted 30 shilling a week minimum wage, freedom of movement for more control over their lives. [node:read-more:link]

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