i have been informed that we have lost another warrior from the tent embassy in canberra.
gungalidda elder wadjularbinna nullyarimma has passed on. she was a staunch supporter of the tent embassy and her real passion for social justice issues is well known and she was/is much respected for her stand on these issues.
i had the great pleasure of having met her twice at the embassy and had the privilege of speaking to her on those two occasions. wadjularbinna was one of the first aboriginal elders i heard speak up on behalf of the asylum seekers coming to australia for refuge only to be cruelly treated by federal governments attempting to continue the racist white australia policy.
to lose two of our tent embassy women warriors in such a short time is a most tragic event.
i urge readers of this post to google her name as there is a large amount of documentation of her struggles along with other elders. we all still have so much to learn from her life and her activities. to example what i am saying i add her 2002 statement on threats being made by wilson tuckey and other liberal sociopaths to remove the embassy during its 30th year of operation.
we proffer our most sincerest condolences to her family, her community and her many compatriots from within the tent embassy and elsewhere. we know she walks her land in peace but her spirit will remain as a guide to us who continue the war for full aboriginal rights.
TAKING OUR RIGHTFUL PLACE
Statement by Wadjularbinna, Gungalidda Elder and member of Aboriginal Tent
We are calling on all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with us at
the Tent Embassy on its 30th anniversary on 27 January 2002, a Day of Truth.
Recently there has been debate on radio and television about the Tent
Embassy being an eye-sore. Let us set the record straight in more ways than
one. The Commonwealth government, through its agency the National Capital
Authority, is constantly trying to remove the Aboriginal Embassy, even
though it is on the register of the National Estate. This would complete the
heritage-listed colonial view from the steps of old Parliament House, by
removing all traces of our lifestyle and our presence. What many see as an
eye-sore is actually an expression of our right to be different. What the
government sees as their heritage, we see as asphalt and buildings that
dont blend in with nature, smothering our poor land and destroying natural
habitats. The Commonwealth and its servant parliamentarians need an
education in accepting and respecting difference. These people do NOT have
the god-given right to destroy this land and our unique humanitarian system,
which has within it the answers to Australias problems and global survival.
Life is very sacred in our system and by denying us our right to life,
sovereignty and self-determination, the Commonwealth government is guilty of
terrorism, racism and genocide against us.
We call on everyone in a special way this year, like we have never done
before, to open your minds eye and face reality. There is such a thing as
people power and together we have to stop what is happening right before our
Aboriginal Peoples are still under as big a threat as we have ever been. Are
Australians, as privileged people in this land, going to stand by knowing
our lands, our cultures, our languages and our Peoples are being destroyed?
We are being treated worse than refugees. We cannot flee persecution to
another country because we are spiritually connected to our own ancestral
lands. So jails and mental institutions are full of our people. The
Aboriginal Tent Embassy is one place where our people can voice their
opinions and take their plight to government, which wants to take even this
final platform from us.
A monumental public lie is being erected adjacent to the Tent Embassy at the
tax-payers expense of $5.5 million. It is called Reconciliation Place and
echoes the resounding lie: “All is well with Blacks today”. The intent
behind it is to replace the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and to act as a
substitute for reparation and compensation, as Minister Ruddock informed the
Commonwealth Parliament. The Federal Governments refusal to say sorry is
purely one of economics, because they fear any admittance of liability will
see the possibility of massive compensation being paid. They even want to
substitute the ceremonial Fire for Peace and Justice, which has been burning
continuously for nearly four years, with a gas flame under glass dome. This
is religious persecution of the highest order.
Even though we had halted the construction of Reconciliation Place and
Commonwealth Place with our Fire for Peace and Justice, there was a meeting
with the trade unions. They assured us that Reconciliation Place would not
be built but, jobs won out and it went ahead. The Federal government opposes
everything the platform of the Tent Embassy stands for and constantly tries
to remove us. Less than 100 metres away they are building Reconciliation
Place to fool Australians and the rest of the world into believing that we
accept reconciliation. But we do not. Reconciliation Place even goes against
our spiritual and religious beliefs because, in our culture, we do not
worship monuments or idols. It is for the benefit the Commonwealth
government as a propaganda exercise and a money-making venture from tourism
at our expense. The government is trying to conceal what they are doing to
us – stealing our lands, harming our people and destroying our culture.
There can be no reconciliation without justice. When all of these issues are
dealt with, reconciliation will happen automatically and they will not have
to build monuments to prove reconciliation. Reconciliation Place is about
creating a warm and fuzzy feeling for the government and Australians in
general. It is not recognition of our grief and pain. It can never heal our
pain, suffering and trauma, but, instead, will be a constant reminder of the
evil acts of the colonists, who we believe are the Masters of Terrorism,
oppressing many Peoples around the world.
Through Aboriginal eyes, the colonists are responsible for planting the
first seeds of terrorism and we regard them as masters of the terrorist
movement, all in the name of Christianity, Democracy and Freedom. These
three things oppress us to this day. We are not free. We suffer religious
persecution in our own land and our own system of government of this land is
not recognised. These three forms of oppression are deliberate, systematic
and widespread with the intent to continue the destruction of this continent
and the genocide of its Peoples. Nakedness is part of our culture. Our
Law/Lore is so strict that men and women know their place in society and
carry the Law/Lore in a disciplined way. But the colonisers believed that
because we were naked we didnt have a system of Law, religion or even a
brain in our head. In reality our holistic Law, religion, culture and
spiritual connection is far superior to any man-made law. Our inherited
cultures and beliefs cannot be washed away by the tide of history despite
the Native Title ruling of the Federal Court judge in the Yorta Yorta case,
in the same way that it is written in the Bible that Naboth refused to part
with his land to King Ahab saying: God forbid that I should give of my
fathers inheritance unto thee. [I Kings
chapter 21, verses 1-3] The Native
Title system is so racist that it has been condemned three times by the
United Nations, because it places white interests in land over those of
traditional owners. Trained anthropologists, lawyers and historians have
studied us like animals and are placed as experts in our spiritual realm,
when they are living in the material world. We have a spiritual connection
that makes it impossible for any man-made court, or ruling, to extinguish
our birthright. Our spiritual connection is a living moving thing that is
past, present and future. It is a travesty of justice and an insult to have
to go to a foreign court to prove our spiritual connection to land and water
and all things natural to judges, who have little knowledge or belief in our
To us Reconciliation Place is a stark reminder of how the colonial powers
continue to try to destroy us, through genocide. Fred Chaney, who is now
head of Reconciliation Australia, was Federal Minister for Aboriginal
Affairs when the army and police were sent into escort the oil-drilling rig
onto Aboriginal-owned Noonkanbah station, against the wishes of traditional
owners. This monument is a denial of the real truth about our history of
massacre, land theft and the on-going effects of the stolen generations who
were, and still are, forcibly placed into a foreign system. Indigenous
Peoples, with human compassion, would not try to heal the pain of trauma,
grief and loss in this way. Truth is the only thing that can set us free.
The time has come for Australia to face its own history, instead of denying
its own history. Australians conveniently forget that Australia was
colonised by boat people who were criminals. Australia was not settled by
the common law but by the rules and disciplines of war.
Australias boat people do not have a kind history in relation with
Indigenous Peoples. All of the immigrants who came after the 1940s
resettlement plan, Greeks and Italians etc, came by boat as well, fleeing
the tyranny of dictatorship in their country of origin when they left. Now
they are forgetting their own history. Many of the older ones remember the
kindness of Aboriginal people and the horror of the discrimination by the
Western Anglo-Saxon Protestants, the WASPs.
In over 200 years of invasion non-Indigenous Australians have not learned
what it is that makes us tick, because of their arrogance and racism. They
see different, as inferior. In their sick minds they are self-centred and do
not see the importance of difference, nor embrace the beauty of diversity as
a necessary part of the whole. This arrogance and racism is going to be
their undoing, because they are not the centre of the evolving global
movement for the freedom of the oppressed. They still think they are the
centre, not just a part of the whole, but as the economy slows down we know
that they are not in control of their situation and no-one can predict what
is going to happen. But we, as the oppressed, are part of this global
movement. We will be recognised for who we are as sovereign Peoples of this
land, through our unique spiritual system, based on humanitarian principles,
not racism. Colonising people are their own worst enemy. They can boast
superiority and create wars and killings in the name of freedom and
democracy, but one day the Truth will call us all back to base. We are all
from the Human Race first, and we have all come in the same way and we are
all going out the same way. The time has come when, as the Human Race, we
have to deal with co-existence and see each other as equals, accepting all
these wonderful differences of culture, colour, language and faith, because
we are all on the same planet. We are all connected to the environment and
each other. As Aboriginal Peoples of this continent they call Australia, we
are many nations who stem from ancestral lands mapped out by the Great
Spirit Creator of this Land since the Beginning. We are grounded to this
continent through a unique, complex and balanced system that connects us in
body, mind and soul as collective Peoples. We are up against colonialism,
which is also a global movement but it is not grounded, it is not connected,
it is not balanced and it is bereft of spirituality.
Representatives of oppressed Peoples came together just before September 11
last year in Durban at the World Conference Against Racism. While we do not
condone what took place at the World Trade Centre in New York we understand
that desperate people take desperate measures through the frustration and
pain of rejection and not being accepted as equals because we are different.
The United States is making policies in the Middle East that are not
acceptable to Muslims, in the same way that Australia makes laws against us.
We share the pain of oppression. We are also at the receiving end of
terrorism, because different is not respected or accepted by the colonial
powers. To them different is inferior and this is where much of the
problem lies and racism breeds this mentality. But our culture will not
allow us to stoop to such levels as to destroy the innocent lives of
children and families.
When the world stood still on September 11 2001, it did not happen by
chance. In our spiritual belief system there is always a greater purpose and
lessons of life to learn from catastrophy. From our view, when the world
stood still on S11 there was an opportunity for a change, from violence and
destruction, to a bringing together of people. For all the loved ones in the
destruction of the World Trade Centre, there was an opportunity for the
world leaders to ensure these lives were not lost in vain. If the leaders
had chosen, on that day, to take another path and sit down and listen as to
why this destruction happened, things could have been different. If they had
sat around the table, under the banner of the United Nations, and thrashed
out the causes, one country to another, as equals, the world would be a
different place today. The opportunity was there to do this, but, instead,
the leaders of three countries George Bush of America, John Howard of
Australia and Tony Blair of England and their allies chose to compound the
pain and suffering of humankind. They could have given the surviving
children and families something to hang onto for the rest of their lives,
helping them through their grieving, knowing that out of this tragedy the
warring parties had been brought together and had begun the process of
conflict resolution, showing that might is not always right; that there is
another way to bring about peace, as our culture teaches. But instead of a
more peaceful world, we now have more war, bombing and pollution in
countries already ravished by war. If Bin Laden was known to be in the
Geneva would the Swiss Alps be bombed? How can the President of the United
States go to American school children and ask them to give a dollar to
maimed Afghan children, whilst at the same time continuing to bomb their
families, while the world stands by and allows this to happen? The example
being set is that money can fix anything, without there being any
compassion. We ask: “Who are these barbarians? We want to know: Who are they
answerable to? To the people who have created third and fourth world poverty
and who are responsible for the plight of many struggling nations today?
Spiritually speaking, we are being put in the hands of the devil.
The way we see things is: if people arent grounded, connected and balanced
in their decision-making as leaders, they are seen as loose cannons and
dangerous to Planet Earth and all humanity. How can any leader of nations,
spend billions of dollars on outer space, defence and modern technology
without first taking into consideration the needs of the human race, and the
billions of children and adults dying of hunger, starvation and curable
diseases? The need to move forward should always be balanced by the needs of
the human race and the effect these changes will have on future generations?
We have laws that have stood the test of time and the same law that was put
down then applies to us today. If these people think they are leaders they
had better think again, because our cultural system is centred around the
unborn child and the children of the future, who are protected because they
are the future. But at present we are ruled by rich men, who destroying the
future, today. We need to put these individual leaders and the leadership
in perspective and show them that they stand guilty of destroying Mother
Earth and the Human Race.
These leaders, who are out of control, discriminate against us and do not
allow us self-determination, because they do not accept our collective
rights as Peoples. But we always had self-determination and everyone had
their role and part to play. Just because their system is different, even in
the United Nations, Australian diplomats think they have the god-given right
to decide whether we have sovereign rights and self-determination or not.
But we are the oldest culture in the world and we are pulling rank and
asserting our sovereign rights and our self-determination.
The so-called leaders believe that might and power is right, but within our
Aboriginal system a great leader is born out of a humble spirit. We cannot
accept direction from confused people who, in our view, are doing the wrong
thing by Mother Earth and all humanity. They do not have the right to
dictate to us and this is what the Tent Embassy stands for. The Aboriginal
Embassy represents the assertion of Aboriginal Sovereignty, which cannot be
dealt with in the domestic courts because they do not have the jurisdiction.
At least the High Court has the capacity and willingness to admit the truth
as they did in Mabo, that this land has never been terra nullius,
inhabited by no-one. Our oppression has gone on for long enough. They even
ignore what their Bible confirms we already have. In Genesis chapter 2,
verse 7 it says: The Lord God made man from the dust of the earth and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.
The way our system stands, they cannot conquer us. The coloniser believes he
can go into someone elses country and conquer, but from the way our system
is structured and how we are connected to the land, we can never be
conquered in the way that people who believe land is a commodity to be
bought and sold can be conquered. We know the value of being connected to
land and the human place in Mother Earth and creation. We know the process
of connecting spiritually and we never get tired of learning the mysteries
from Nature and the universe
indigenous social justice association
(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017
we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.
sovereignty treaty social justice