Meanjin: portrait of a city on fire

Optimism of the will, pessimism of the intellect” – Antonio Gramsci

This is my 70th year of living in Brisbane. Never once in those years have I been asked to re-imagine the city where I grew up in the 1950s & 60s. A small band of about one hundred dedicated people led by green city councillor, Joanthan Sri, have done just this.… Go to Article

‘Educating for Democracy’



A classic address on the Australian Constitution. I do not know if this is Brandis’ speech or the PM’s speech delivered by Brandis. If the latter, then I am sure there would have been an outcry again, against the PM.

I call it a ‘classic’ address because it clearly messages that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are on the verge of joining the very, very British instrument called the Australian constitution.… Go to Article

Open Letter from Nyungah Land

Open Letter from Nyungah Land and Culture Protector Iva Hayward-Jackson

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 17/11/2014 – 6:57pm

Recently The Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, committed to closing down approximately one hundred and fifty remote Aboriginal communities in the State of Western Australia.

The Premier has claimed that the closures would be in the best interest of Aboriginal people in the State of Western Australia.… Go to Article

Strange Trial of the Sacred Fire

Beginning in 1998 the Queensland Labor Government attempted, with the support of the Aboriginal Community, to build a cultural centre in Musgrave park. The government set up a deed-of-grant-in-trust dedicating the land ‘for aboriginal and for no other purpose whatsoever’. The state government made the Brisbane City Council Trustee of the land under a deed-of-grant-in-trust.… Go to Article

G20 Peoples Summit: call for presenters/invitation

Brisbane Community Action Network – G20

Visioning another world
Brisbane G20 Peoples Convergence
Nov 8-16, 2014

Global Call to action
Dear Friends,
The G20 Leaders Summit will bring the leaders of the worlds’ 20 largest economies to Brisbane in November this year. The “austerity” budget that has just been delivered to Australians is a small taste of what people around the world have been experiencing under G20 driven economic systems — systems which prioritise profit over community welfare and the environment.… Go to Article

Petition to drop the Sorry Day charges in WA

The WA Minister of Child Protection, intervene and ensure all charges are dropped in relation to the May 26 protest.

Petitioning To the Honourable Helen Margaret Morton MLC

The WA Minister of Child Protection, intervene and ensure all charges are dropped in relation to the May 26 protest.

Petition by : Grandmothers Against Removals

To the Honourable Helen Margaret Morton MLC, Minister for Child Protection, Western Australia:

The petition of the undersigned shows:

On National Sorry Day May 26, 2014, Nyoongar activists Vanessa Culbong and Isabel Brown were arrested during a demonstration at the head office of the Department of Child Protection in Perth(DCP).… Go to Article

Wretched of the Earth

Europeans, you must open this book and enter into it. 
After a few steps in the darkness you will see strangers 
gathered around a fire; come close, and listen, 
for they are talking of the destiny they will mete out 
to your trading-centres and to the hired soldiers 
who defend them.
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Quandamooka reject Newman’s mandate claims for controversial North Stradbroke Island laws

QYAC-Media Release- 12.6.14 1Senior representatives of the traditional owners of North Stradbroke Island – the Quandamooka people – have rejected claims by premier, Campbell Newman, that his government has a mandate for its North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Another Act Amendment Act 2013 (Qld), which extends sand mining on the island until 2035 without the consent of the Quandamooka people.… Go to Article

Christopher Pyne and His Attempt to Re-ignite the Culture Wars

The June 2014 meeting of the 17 Group will take place on Wednesday the 4th of June at 7 pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury StWest End. The topic is “Christopher Pyne and His Attempt to Re-ignite the Culture Wars”. The discussion of this topic will be introduced by Adrian Skerritt who has provided the following summary of his talk:

With the Review of the National Curriculum for schools, Christopher Pyne is aiming to reignite the culture wars that raged during the Howard years.… Go to Article

an r word stew, with a dash of mabo

the attached documentation from michael anderson, aka ghillar, on behalf of the sovereign rights of the traditional owners of the aboriginal lands, again highlights the problems of the invader governments in recognising our rights to our lands.

over the years there has been, and continues to be, attempts by governments to assimilate the sovereign aborigines in this land of australia.… Go to Article

This monday | take action to stop ongoing stolen generations

Momentum is gathering toward the National Day of Action on Sorry Day this Monday calling for a STOP to Ongoing Stolen Generations!!

Over 12 protests have been organised across the country and workshops have been called in Sydney on May 25 to support affected families!

Grandmothers Against Removals have issued a video call-out to urge people to get involved and mobilise affected families and supporters!!… Go to Article

Paternalism in Aboriginal child removal

[Editor’s note: WBT does not usually post academic articles. However this article by Griffith University academic, Clare Tilbury, is helpful in understanding the level of aboriginal child removal since the Bringing them home report (1997) into the Stolen Generation. The article was first published on 10 JUL 2008, not long after the Kevin Rudd apology to the Stolen Generation (13 February 2008).Go to Article

Silences in the boom: coal seam gas and neoliberalism

[Editor’s Note: Combined here is an extract from an article published in the Journal of Political Ecology and a talk given by one of the authors, Ack Mercer, at Brisbane Free Uni. The article text below originally contained some references that I have removed. Thnx to brisbane free uni who put on this talk by a group of activists and academics (drew hutton, trevor berrill, sarah lowe & ack mercer) about coal seam gas in Australia and the work of the Lock the Gate campaign.… Go to Article

“Saying ‘Sorry’ doesn’t mean you still take our children”

Sorry Day events in Brisbane
Monday, 26 May 2014
11 am Rally Parliament House, George Street
12.30 pm March to DOCS at 111 George Street
2 pm Forum & Yarning, New Farm Neighbourhood Centre
967 Brunswick Street, New Farm

Brisbane Sovereign Grannies Group
The inaugural meeting of the Brisbane Sovereign Grannies group was held at Jagera Hall on 27 Mar 2014.… Go to Article


Dear all,

National Sorry Day is less than two weeks away and Aboriginal rights groups across the country are preparing to protest!! A National Day of Action has been called for May 26 demanding an end to the ongoing Stolen Generations and for Aboriginal community control of Aboriginal welfare.

A national statement, included below, has been developed and protests/events have been called in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Alice Springs.… Go to Article

National Statement – 26 May 2014: Aboriginal Control of Aboriginal Welfare

National Statement – 26 May 2014

Say NO to Continuing Stolen Generations | Aboriginal Control of Aboriginal Welfare

Returning children must be the priority | No forced adoptions | Support and services to prevent removals

We, as Aboriginal Grandparents and parents, have called protests across the country on May 26 demanding the return of our children who have been forcibly removed by child welfare agencies.… Go to Article

Operation Stapler at Bentley Blockade in Northern Rivers

The NSW Police have a plan called Operation Stapler to break up the broad and successful Bentley Blockade, a community-based stand to stop the gorgeous farmland of Northern Rivers becoming a gasfield. It involves approx 800 police and the Blockade folk have asked me to approach  environment groups and concerned individuals with information on how they  can help prevent this police action …


[Editors Note: Far be it from me to introduce the labyrinthine mysteries of how power protects the status quo, in this case, Metgasco.… Go to Article

Thatcherism in Queensland Housing

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

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