Articles on Indigenous people

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Eddie Koiki Mabo (left) and Jack Wailu on the Torres Strait Island of Mer during the High Court challenge. AAP/National Archives of Australia

Advocates or activists: what can lawyers learn from Mabo?

Australians have just celebrated Mabo Day – this year marking the 20th anniversary of the landmark High Court decision that changed the course of land rights in Australia The case has special resonance…
Non-Indigenous Australians should say sorry because they feel sympathy for the plight of the Stolen Generations, not because it was their fault. butupa

‘Sorry’ isn’t the hardest word, so say it for the Stolen Generations

As we are about to mark the 14th National Sorry Day and the fourth since the National Apology was delivered by former prime minister Kevin Rudd, I can’t help but wonder if much has changed since the days…
Indigenous community jobs aren’t part of the mainstream economy, but they fit the needs of the community well. Kayt Davies

Closing the gap, or making it wider? Putting a value on Indigenous jobs

Among all the school payments and defence cuts, last week’s federal budget also quietly committed an additional $5.2 billion to the government’s Closing the Gap program. It’s a vote of faith from the government…
Melbourne footballer Liam Jurrah returns to Melbourne after being charged with attacking a man in Alice Springs. AAP/David Crosling

What if Indigenous Australians didn’t play footy?

Imagine if the indigenous people of this country didn’t play Australian football, the only truly unique sport this continent country has ever created. As a percentage of the population, indigenous people…
It’s essential that we get it right when it comes to changing our constitution to recognise Aboriginal Australians. Flickr/Rusty Stewart

Indigenous recognition: we can’t afford to water down constitutional reform

Earlier this year, the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians gave its final recommendations to the government. Recognition would acknowledge the unique place of Aboriginal…
The Treaty of Waitangi reminds us that indigenous people must be treated honourably before the law. Sids1

A matter of trust – what we can learn from the Treaty of Waitangi

Much is made of the Treaty of Waitangi as the vehicle for the recognition of Maori in New Zealand’s legal system. Australia lacks a treaty, the argument goes, and therefore is constitutionally disabled…
We know Aboriginal fires affected Australian vegetation, but now we have evidence they altered the monsoon too. ciamabue/Flickr

How Aboriginal burning changed Australia’s climate

For thousands of years, Aboriginal Australians burned forests to promote grasslands for hunting and other purposes. Recent research suggests that these burning practices also affected the timing and intensity…
Many Aboriginal people, like boxer Anthony Mundine, look to Islam as a way of re-connecting with their roots. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Long history with Islam gives Indigenous Australians pride

Muslim conversion is growing in Indigenous communities. In the 2001 national census, 641 Indigenous people identified as Muslim. By the 2006 census the number had climbed by more than 60% to 1014 people…
It’s time to recognise the first Australians in our constitution. Flickr/Rusty Stewart

It’s time to recognise Indigenous Australia in our constitution

Last week, the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples concluded its deliberations on reform proposals. While we wait on the release of their final report…
Indigenous Australians systematically burnt grasslands to reduce fuel and stop fires raging out of control. Flickr/pietroizzo

The biggest estate on earth: how Aborigines made Australia

Aboriginal people worked hard to make plants and animals abundant, convenient and predictable. By distributing plants and associating them in mosaics, then using these to lure and locate animals, Aborigines…
Government data shows Aboriginal people are twice as likely to have a core activity limitation as non-Aboriginal people. AAP Image/Karen Michelmore

Changes needed to close the gap for Indigenous Australians with disabilities

Alongside high rates of incarceration, unemployment, homelessness and some of the poorest health outcomes in Australia, Indigenous people’s access and use of disability services is under-representative…
Indigenous Australians under 18 will not be included in the sample collection components of the Australia Health Survey. k-girl/Flickr

Failing to close the Indigenous data gap with the Australian Health Survey

The Australian Health Survey’s (AHS) exclusion of data from the Indigenous population raises questions about how serious we are about closing the health gap. It’s generally accepted that clinical care…
Acknowledging and honouring the humanity of others is the first step to a high-expectations relationship. AAP/Tony Bartlett

Indigenous policy: be compassionate, be brave

Why do we keep spending billions of dollars in Indigenous communities with so few results? It’s because we don’t have a high expectations relationship between both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians…
Indigenous people traditionally eat kangaroo, but they’re worried about the scale of the hunting. AAP

Food fight – Aboriginal elders take on the kangaroo industry

Last month, an alliance of Aboriginal elders announced their intention to bring a constitutional law challenge against Australia’s kangaroo industry. The announcement follows efforts by the Federal Government…
While we do things to people, not with them, Indigenous policy won’t move forward. sidkid/Flickr

Effective Indigenous policy reform: closing the right gap

AFTER THE INTERVENTION: Chris Sarra from the Queensland University of Technology says white Australia must address its relationship with Indigenous people to truly close the gap. There has never seriously…

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