a catch-up post of what has been happening for isja over the previous weeks.
we begin with the block tent embassy. last saturday week i was invited to a stics rally on the 7th anniversary of the intervention and spoke and was blown away by the input and passion of young kyol blakeney who is a student at sydney uni. old and ageing radicals sometimes despair as to who is coming behind them to take their place and, for me, it is good to see that there are indeed young radical fighters in the offing. the 100-odd protesters then marched to the block tent embassy to show support for both causes of struggle. we were welcomed by lyall and jenny munro who welcomed us and gave those assembled a brief history of the block and its dedicated aboriginal housing. this original event was brought about by a young lyall munro, jnr and other activists approaching then minister gordon bryant with a plan to turn the derelict houses on the block into an aboriginal housing enclave. bryant took the proposal to gough whitlam and thus it came to pass. during the last couple of decades as drugs and crime sucked the life out of the block, matters took a different turn and it became the task of the aboriginal housing company, (it is my understanding that it began life as a co-op run by the tenants but it got changed to a company run by a board), was to knock the houses down until in 2004 the last house on the designated block was knocked down.
for the last 10 years the ahc, under the iron fist rule of mick mundine, staggered from one plan to another and from one money source to another. when money was offered it would be knocked back by mundine and his board as they refused to relinquish control of the com pany and their plans. over the years it became very apparent that all was not right with the block as run by mick and rumblings were brought to a head when a newspaper article by hall greenland raised the fact that the ahc had stated that aboriginal housing just would not happen so the imperative became for their to be built only those edifices that would make money for mick and the board. aboriginal housing was not to be even considered as a result.
when jenny munro set up the tent embassy on the block, along with some other courageous grandmothers and ex-tenants, it was for one purpose and one purpose only; to stop the sell-off of the block and to strongly call for aboriginal housing only on the block. from small beginnings big things grow and the tent embassy is indeed growing from its small beginnings. on my last visit, sadly my camping days are over for various health and family reasons, there were some 18 tents on site and a definite permanency about its existence. the tent is there to stay and every person of sound and moral mind must support it in every way possible. on sorry day jenny and her brave sisters began the fight for the block. mick mundine, when he confronted the campers, informed them that the block was not aboriginal land, it was the ahc land!
such a false statement clearly brings into question the state of his mind and we are left to wonder at what might happen to those camping on the block. he has made the statement that he will not call the police into the stand-off but anything could happen. and it is that anything that we must be aware of as mick becomes thwarted day by day from his nefarious and ahc enriching plans. the ahc has planned this stand-off to occur in winter in the hope that support for the tent embassy would be minimal but that tactic has not really worked. as i said, the embassy is growing and becoming more permanent.
another tactic was to plan for the bulldozers to come in at the start of naidoc week, monday 7 july 2014, to knock down the old ahc office to allow construction of student accommodation, the first of many ahc cash cows to be erected. the second cash cow is to build a car park! why build aboriginal housing when greed is so much better! shame, mick, shame.
isja will be there on that monday in answer to a general call from lyall munro, jnr., and the embassy representatives, for people to come and stop the bulldozers from knocking down the block buildings. if this is allowed to happen then the ahc will have got their foot in the door. we must not allow this to happen. naidoc and flag raisings are fine but the block and its original dream must be fought for and protected.
come to the block when you are able on that day.
a second event of note was the inaugural indigenous human rights awards that was held at the nsw parliament house last tuesday evening.
i was invited by shaoquett moselmane, a labor member of the upper house, to become one of three judges of these awards. my initial reaction was to say no as they were government awards and both labor and the coalition had no real social justice record in this aboriginal area. why should awards take the place of positive action? was the question in my mind. after consultation and thought however i decided to accept the offer and i’m glad i did as it opened up some new and old vistas to me.
there were three awards each named after an identity chosen by shaoquett as being worthy of such an honour. the first was the anthony mundine courage award and this was won by ms. barbara mcgrady. see details below in the press release from shaoquett. the second was the eddie mabo lifetime social justice award and this was won by arthur and leila murray, deceased. the third was the dr. mandawuy yunipingu human rights award that was won by ms. rosalie kunoth-monks.
shaoquett had generously allowed me to have myself and nine others to be present and among the eight others who managed to make it was the french consul-general, eric bertie, who had generously accepted my invitation to attend the inaugural indigenous human rights awards as he had presented to isja the french human rights award in sydney. the first president of isja, don clark, had travelled to paris last december last year to pick it up whilst the award was given to me by eric in sydney in february this year.
someone had moved our table to the extremes of the room, an event that shaoquett was most distressed and apologetic for. linda burney had then approached eric and offered him to her table in the centre of the room but he graciously declined. a good political message for all, i thought.
other politicians there, to my knowledge where bryan doyle and john robertson. the indefatigable david shoebridge was also there.
mrs. yalmay yunipingu, ms. gail mabo and anthony mundine presented the appropriate awards.
i must admit to two reservations here relative to these awards.
without taking anything away from shaoquett and those others who helped to set the awards in place i think the involvement of governments of any party are not the proper presenters of aboriginal and torres strait islander awards. for the reasons as stated previously. some years ago i wrote an opinion on the awards given out at the deadly’s by our own mobs. i include it below. i congratulate shaoquett as the convenor of the awards but it is my opinion that less politics would be entered into if the awards were moved.
the second disquiet i have is the awarding of the awards posthumously. we need to honour the living first. posthumous awards are ok for our servicemen and women but nowhere else should that method be used. i worked with arthur and leila murray from 1989 to 2007 fighting for justice for the murder of their son in a wee waa police cell back in 1981. however deserving some may have felt they were for such an award, i believe that anna murray, her sisters and remaining brother, should have been better considered to win the award collectively for the recent push to remind the authorities that the family of eddie still awaited both justice and answers. this would have given to the murray family strength and honour to push on. i do not believe that awarding their deceased parents does that.
for what ever reason the coverage of the mainstream media of these awards was as low key as the winning of the french human rights award by isja. reconciliation, respect, recognition. anyone?
again, thank you shaoquett for all that you have done to prepare and present the inaugural indigenous human rights awards.
more strength to you. i accept you as a man of honour.
the third matter of importance is the upcoming appearance of the six ballina police who lied on oath and conspired against the truth of the arrest and brutal assault against corey barker. see media report below. they will be appearing at the downing centre, sydney on 17 july, 2014. two of the six have resigned from the force so as to protect their pensions i assume. the other four are still police officers and pleading not guilty but the police integrity commission report clearly, to me, shows otherwise.
it is my fervent hope that finally police officers who have broken the law of the land must pay the full price of breaking and/or perverting that law and face a gaol sentence. this arrogant and brutal practice of police putting themselves above the law of the land must change; the arrogant and brutal belief that somehow the police culture will protect them from their criminal actions must change; the arrogant and brutal practice of police ministers and their governments protecting police officers from their criminal actions must change and change now.
isja will be present outside of the downing centre at 12.30pm on thursday 17th 2014 to publicise the events of that day back in 2011 in ballina, nsw, where corey barker was arrested and badly assaulted by the six officers on duty that night. for the full facts of the events of that night i include, along with the media report, a link to the pic report looking into the facts that they attempted to hide.
if you believe in justice then be there to send a message that we, the public, expect nothing else.
there are other matters of interest to be posted but not here and not now.
future posts shall revisit the governance issues arising from the events occurring at the aboriginal medical service. other information has come to hand that our community should be made aware of.
some weeks ago sbs gave a broader public showing of john pilger’s documentary of shame, ‘utopia’, that included our warrior, rosalie kunoth-monks. four media reports quickly followed that decried the truths found in the film from pundits such as gary johns and anthony dillon, along with views from those on the ground, so to speak, from bob gosford and another whose name i cannot remember at this time. dillon is harassing me to do it but as i told him,……………..tortoise. in my time, anthony.
we also need to return to the ahc but that too in the right time.
much work lies ahead so the tortoise will reign.
indigenous social justice association.
recipient of french human rights award, 2013.
02 9318 0947
0450 651 063
1303/200 pitt street, waterloo. 2017.
we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.
Inaugural National Indigenous Human Rights Awards brings overdue recognition for First Peoples
The inaugural National Indigenous Human Rights Awards was held in NSW Parliament House on June 24, giving long overdue recognition to Australia’s First Peoples and their ongoing struggle for human rights and social justice.
The awards are the first and only national human rights and social justice awards dedicated to Australia’s First Peoples.
“This event has two aims – to recognise the phenomenal contribution that many Indigenous Australians make to human rights and social justice, and to also recognise the Indigenous Rights as Australia’s greatest human rights and social justice struggle”, The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane, Member of the NSW Legislative Council, said.
“The Indigenous Rights struggle is ongoing – and the inspiration behind this event is to recognise this, but also to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in their community and broader Australian society.
Three awards were established:
· The Dr Yunupingu Human Rights Achievement Award;
· The Edward Koiki Mabo Social Justice Award; and
· The Anthony Mundine Courage Award.
Arrente Elder Rosalie Kunoth-Monks was the recipient of the Dr Yunupingu Human Rights Achievement Award, recognising her work of over half a century as a community leader in Utopia, Northern Territory, and as a stateswoman leading all First People’s and others towards greater justice and equality. Her award was presented by multilingual educator and Arnhem Elder Yalmay Yunupingu.
“For the first time in my life I am left speechless, in tears…. These awards are the most important yet because they are for our people, by our people in every layer,” Ms Kunoth-Monks said.
The Mabo Social Justice Award was presented to Anna Murray, daughter of posthumous recipients, Arthur and Leila Murray in recognition of their work in north east NSW in fighting for wages equality for their people and their three decade long struggle for justice following the loss of their son, Eddie Murray.
The Courage Award was awarded to Gamilaroy woman, Barbara McGrady for her photography and documenting of the Aboriginal rights struggle over four decades.
The Awards keynote speakers were Yalmay Yunupingu and Gail Mabo, with Wiradjuri women and Deputy Leader of the NSW Opposition Linda Burney providing the Welcome to Country and acting as MC.
During her address Ms Yunupingu called for schools in the remote to be taught in both the first languages and in English, while Ms Mabo called for more to be done to recognise the connection First Peoples have with the Country.
During the evening Mr Mundine delivered a heartfelt speech that more needs to be done for equality, mesmerising guests with his own story of moving away from self-destructive pathways when he was 14.
The awards will be held annually.
Contact: National Indigenous Human Rights Awards Convenor: Shaoquett Moselmane 0411 337 525
i am still in the process of watching the deadly’s 2013 and, sadly, the nit did not win the award for a media story that involved the kings cross shootings of the 6 youth involved. i hope that this does not however stop the nit campaign pressure upon the nsw police and the nsw dpp for the reports and reasonings to be made public and not become just another bad example of the custodial star chambers that are put forward as justice in this state. isja will most certainly continue to call for the public showing of these covered-up matters.
another point with the deadly’s, and allow me to say here and now that under no circumstances has isja or i have any wish, need or intent to politicise the deadly awards – none at all, but i continue to be puzzled as to why when our brothers and sisters take the custodial system on, in all its forms, and when they so rarely win and force change for the betterment of aboriginal and torres strait islander peoples why this is not publically and nationally recognised? maybe that would be a step too far for some but i do not see the nsw govt. making an award against itself. what about the human rights groups and the legal groups? why do they not do it in the name of a victory for human rights and justice? perhaps it has some basis in pipers and tunes.
even that however should not stop the govt. funded deadly’s honouring our own, not just in sport, art, music, books, etc., etc., etc., but in all the fields of aboriginal achievement. eddie koiki mabo was so honoured for his commitment and tenacity in fighting to right a wrong, for what he knew to be true. we own the lands and the islands of this conquered country known as australia. always was, always will be, aboriginal and torres strait islander lands. john howard and his gang aside. we now face tony abbot and his black quislings.
but that is for another time.
a young nsw north coast man, in my very strong opinion, is just as worthy, for a different scenario, of an australian-wide award for his commitment and tenacity, and i would also add bravery, to righting another wrong that he knew to be true.
cory barker fought the system at all its labyrinthine levels and forced the ballina police to be held accountable for their criminal actions and their false words. the report below is from the local ballina newspaper and below that a link to the pic report sent to the dpp for further action.
but we also need to recognise that the pic has not only acted honourably in this matter but on two previous occasions has also, after due investigation, has found a case for nsw police to answer for their thuggish behaviour. the first was the sgt. bissett shooting of adam salter and the puerile attempt to change the facts of the matter so the blame lay squarely with adam and not the police. that went to the dpp. another matter of nsw police actions leading to the torture and death of young brazilian student, roberto laudisio curti. that case to was too hard to hide and became the second case referred to the dpp for judicial action
the third case to be referred is that of young corey barker. we expect nothing less than a strict judicial process for all 3 cases. kisses x 3 for the pic for doing their job of finding some of the corruption that is endemic to the nsw police. we will support corey in his fight for justice in any way possible.
the kicks x 3 are for mr. babb, the head of the nsw dpp, the govt. appointed group that decides as to whether cases referred to it have any judicial value in being taken to court. strangely but unsurprisingly those nsw police officers who have their cases reviewed by dpp officers seem to lead a charmed life as seemingly are never called to face the consequence of their criminal acts. the police involved in the shootings and assaults at kings cross are only one case in point that underlines this phenomena.
but now mr babb and his crew have much deeper problems. their first problem is that this is not an issue of police investigating themselves and that report then going to the dpp where it can be buried without too much fuss, assuming no public interest. these three cases have already been through two previous levels of the judicial and legal system and thus carry a great deal more legal weight.
both salter and curti went through vigorous levels of their respective coronial inquests and both coroner’s were not willing to shut their legal eyes and bury the outcome. the police thuggishness, brutality and corruption, with malice aforethought i believe, was too great. both matters went to the pic who also found it too much of a legal mouthful to be able to swallow so they issued a report that recommended charges against the offending police.
the dpp now has to make a decision that either both coroner’s and the pic on two occasions have erred in their legal judgement and there is, indeed, no case to answer – perhaps without published reasons – or allow the matters to go to court, maybe hoping for a townsville-like jury. conundrums upon conundrums. the job of the dpp has just got harder.
in corey’s case, he was fortunate in appearing before a magistrate in ballina who easily saw through the tissue of lies offered by the offending police and, quite rightly dismissed all charges against corey. now he could have left it at that but that would have been half the job only. justice does not deal in half-cases, there must be a legal and satisfactory outcome. magistrate heilpern proceeded to continue the case the only way he knew how and that was to refer the corrupt police to the police integrity commission for their examination and investigation. as the two coroner’s had also done. working on the legal principle that if you see or know of a crime, you are duty bound to process it. the pic also found obvious and undeniable police corruption and their report has also landed at the dpp.
action please mr babb. action. and we include the kings cross event in your expected action.
Watchdog recommends charges against Ballina bashing cops
10th Sep 2013 5:15 PM
THE Police Integrity Commission has recommended charges considered
against six Ballina police officers involved in the arrest of Aboriginal
man Corey Barker.
Mr Barker was arrested following an altercation in Tamar St and taken to
Ballina police station on January 14, 2011.
Police alleged he had filmed the arrest of two friends on his mobile phone.
A struggle between Mr Barker and officers ensued at the police station
in which it was alleged he punched Senior Constable David Hill in the face.
In hearings before Magistrate David Heilpern over the alleged assault of
Snr Cnst Hill, CCTV footage from the police station revealed it was Mr
Barker had been assaulted.
Mr Heilpern dismissed charges against Mr Barker, finding officer
involved engaged in police misconduct.
Operation Barmouth was launched in August last year to investigate
claims of assault, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, perjury,
and tampering with evidence against officers involved.
Hearings before the PIC held in Sydney concluded in May.
Today the PIC tabled a report in state parliament recommending charges
including police misconduct, fabricating false evidence, perjury and
A brief of evidence will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions
who will consider whether charges will be laid against officers David
Hill, Ryan Eckersley, Lee Walmsley, Luke Mewing, Mark Woolven and Robert
herewith the link to the pic report. makes interesting reading.
Past and present New South Wales police officers face charges over alleged bashing of Corey Barker in 2011
By police reporter Lucy Carter
Updated Thu 12 Jun 2014, 3:08pm AEST
Corey Barker was charged with punching a police officer in Ballina as he was arrested in January 2011.
For more than a year, police pressed charges, alleging that the then 23-year-old had assaulted a senior constable.
It showed a group of police throwing Mr Barker head first into a table, punching and kicking him and leaving him handcuffed inside a cell for a long period with significant injuries.
At no point in the vision can Mr Barker be seen throwing a punch at police.
Corey Barker says he was delighted to hear the news.
“Yeah the initial response was I’m ecstatic,” he said.
“That’s all I’ve been wanting from the get go – justice to be served properly and fairly.”
A total of 25 charges have been laid against the officers.
Senior Constable David Hill, Senior Constable Mark Woolven, Constable Ryan Eckersley and Constable Lee Walmsley have all been stood down pending the outcome of the court case.
The ABC understands that former Sergeant Robert McCubben and former Constable Luke Mewing have left the NSW Police Force.
The six men will face the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on July 17.
Corey Barker says NSW Police did not tell him charges were laid
Mr Barker said he was disappointed that no one from NSW Police contacted him to tell him the charges had been laid.
“I found out off people at work, that’s how I found out but I know there’s a lot of stuff that goes into behind it and stuff,” he said.
“[I was] initially disappointed that I had to find out off other ways but I knew what was happening kind of behind the scenes anyway.”
Mr Barker has praised the work of the Police Integrity Commission.
“They’ve been awesome throughout this, awesome. They’ve kept me updated, yeah they’ve been more than awesome. It’s more the local police they haven’t told me anything or kept me updated.”
Mr Barker said he would try to be in Sydney for the men’s court appearance.
“I can just sit back and relax while they’re going through what they tried to put me through.”