8 September 2010
The Hon. Julia Gillard, MP
Prime Minister of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600
Minister of State for Indigenous Peoples Rights
Dear Prime Minister
My organisation has played a major role in Australia and at the United Nations in advancing the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the world. FAIRA is pleased the Government of Australia has supported the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and we recommend the government now be prepared to negotiate ways to implement these rights.
Accepting that special and concrete measures are needed to overcome socio-economic disadvantages, efforts to address disadvantage are clearly failing because of inadequacies within the system. Ultimately it is intolerant public opinion, widely fuelled by mainstream media, which subverts any real advancement. Racism in Australia inevitably influences and constrains the design of policy within government and leads to loss of community control over their own development. The government is incompetent, at legislative and administrative levels, to generate or implement measures suitable to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
FAIRA requests that you appoint a Minister of the Crown with sole responsibility for the implementation of the rights of the indigenous peoples. This portfolio should have a mandate to report to the parliament on indigenous aspirations, to generate public understanding and awareness, and to support the implementation of the rights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. FAIRA further request that the portfolio encompass formal and transparent engagement with indigenous peoples’ leadership and cross-party political representation.
We trust that you will consider the proper arrangements for this important portfolio.