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Indigenous Social Justice Association: catch-up time for several things

it is time that isja caught-up on several matters and advertised others.

firstly due to work and health problems we failed to report on the passing of leigh bruce ‘tracker’ tilmouth who moved on recently. he will leave a gap, though a controversial one perhaps, in the northern territory. to his immediate family, his community and many friends we offer our sincere regrets at his passing and know that he now walks his lands in peace.

the second passing was that of alf bamblett who i had the good fortune to meet in the mid to late nineties when he was managing the victorian aboriginal legal service. i was in victoria, along with aunt barbara nicholson, being hosted by the freedom socialist party/radical women on a death in custody tour of victoria. we crossed paths over the intervening years and it came as a shock to me that he had passed on. to his family, community and friends we also express our sorrow at his passing but know that he walks his lands in peace.

the third passing is much more personal to me and that is learning from cathy via text that her mother, the wonderful fighter that i affectionately called ‘ woman warrior’, patricia or pat eatock, had died in the rpa hospital this morning. peacefully we are informed. i cannot remember where or when i first met pat but, in my opinion, thankfully, there was that very strong comradely bond and a hunger for justice for our people that i had also known in two other very strong women that i had had the privilege of knowing. many were the times at actions, meetings or social gatherings of activists i would seek out our ‘warrior woman’ and she would be there. her presence outside of the glebe coroners court with her in her motorised chair with her dog vigorously supporting the call for justice for the death in custody of veronica ‘paris’ baxter will remain a very fond memory to me. to pat’s family, community and many, many friends we present our most sincerest condolences but know she walks her lands at peace. when i am advised of the funereal arrangements i will make them known.

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the attached letter from the office of family and community services in reply to a previous post on the graft and corruption at the aboriginal housing company and its problematic cemented-in ceo, mick mundine, comes as a complete shock. most nsw government department replies are very short and terse in nature whilst this reply almost oozes information and concern. unless, of course, i am reading too much into things as i sometimes do.

previously i had pointed out that both pemulwuy 1 and 2 had been long thrown into the corporate waste-basket whilst the push for the ‘mundine mansions’ concept were put into place thanks to the support of deicorp who would front up the required funds for the much mutated project. this project was submitted to the then planning minister, brad hazzard, whose office and department ok’ed the deal to steal the block from the aboriginal community. the department is now being ministered by ms. pru goward who also seems to be untroubled by the events we now find ourselves in. i doubt if one could find a piece of legislation, let alone a thought bubble, from the baird government in supporting what is the call of the redfern police and the ceo of there being “no black enclave at the block.” but they definitely support that view in practice by doing nothing to stop it.

ms. goward is now on my list and both this and the previous post will be sent to her for her input and opinion.

the author of the letter, ms. mychelle curran, goes on to state that the ahc as a registered corporation indeed falls under asic rather than oric. perhaps i have been head-butting the wrong walls! this will be investigated further.

as of 1600 today the redfern aboriginal tent embassy remains with our combined commitment continuing unabated. we are committed to saving the block to be able to fulfil its original intentions; low-cost accommodation for our elders and families, beginning with those few original tenants remaining to return to their promised land. the ceo has stated that there will be no return of the drug dealers and on this point we fully concur but if there were drug-dealers among the original tenants then that sad situation only highlights the incompetence of the then redfern police and him as the ceo during that time. you do not collectively punish the good for the crimes of the bad.

as previously advised we are set to march from the block to redfern park on saturday 21/3 to advise the commercial soiree held by the chamber of commerce in their ‘beyond dreaming – colours of redfern’ gala that is supported by deicorp, that aborigines are still in redfern. another supporter of this ‘selling redfern’ event is the sydney city council who also seems to accept the fait accompli that the block is for commercial purposes only and not for the accommodation needs of the aboriginal community. where money is concerned morals and values are flushed down the corporate toilet.

however my understanding of the responsibilities of the elected councillors is to correctly monitor the applications for construction within their bailiwick. they would need to also have agreed to the ‘mundine mansions’ concept for it to go ahead. i remember not one word of this matter being discussed with the most important stakeholders, the aboriginal community. i and others would have raised our voices had we been given the consideration of knowledge in this matter. does the scc and its councillors now only want our culture but not our presence in redfern/waterloo? there are just so many questions to be asked from our so-called civil representatives that one hardly knows where to start. but i and others would like to try to do just that.

whomever said that ‘the law is an ass’ was spot on. in the weird way of the law the ceo and the ahc are viewed as the sole and rightful owners of the land that they were to manage known as the block. that, sadly, appears legally irrefutable. but in my opinion we must look at the 30+ year entrenchment of the currant ceo, mick mundine. whilst he was, i assume, popularly elected in the first decade but from the 90’s that position was regularly questioned, disputed and fought against. during that period, the better to protect himself or cement himself into that ceo position, he was able to lock the community out from any counter activity. since then the ahc has become very much a closed shop with all power remaining internal to the ahc.

we know that no civil, legal or parliament was able to shake that power, even if they wanted to. there was one effort made that i know of when 2 nsw minders approached isja to take on mick and to remove him with government assistance. they were shown the door. only the insiders know what changes have been made to the constitution that now allows for full ownership of the block but as long as you have the avid support of governments, state and local, then no crime or governance issue becomes a problem. that is evidenced every day by the strong continuance of the rate.

whilst this scenario is based on corporate and personal greed, it is also based on the most basest racism. blacks out of redfern/waterloo!


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