NSW Aboriginal communities launch a ‘Culture Ride’ against state heritage reform that “gags” Aboriginal voices
10.30am, Archibald Fountain – Hyde Park, Sydney
to march to NSW Parliament House
Aboriginal Elders and community members from rural areas such as Maitland and Gunnedah will travel to Sydney tomorrow to call for Aboriginal community control of Aboriginal heritage sites. They have launched a ‘Culture Rides’ to protest the consultation process for a new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act, set to begin in December, which “will reduce Aboriginal rights and voices to a privileged few”.
The proposed legislation is being developed after years of protest against Aboriginal heritage sites being inappropriately listed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1974).
“The proposed legislation is flawed. On the surface and in principle, it seems hopeful but in the detail the reforms will be opening the gates to opportunity for crime and misconduct by mining companies and other commercial interests”, said protest organiser and Gomeroi woman, Dolly Talbott.
She continued, “Our culture and heritage, our ancestors footprints, are at risk of being destroyed! If the government are real about protecting Aboriginal culture and heritage then Aboriginal communities need to have the right to decide the governance of these sites according to our traditional lores and customs. It’s not about stopping development, it’s about saving our culture and heritage”.
Many of the Elders participating in the protests took part in the infamous ‘Freedom Rides’ of the Aboriginal Lands Rights Movement over 40 years ago. They said, “We need to go back to the old ways and make ourselves visible. The message is simple – Save Culture and Heritage. Leave a legacy for future generations”.
For more information, see leaflet attached or click here to visit the campaign petition.
Dolly Talbott: 0413131983
Steven Talbott: 0401324031