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Fraser defended and spoke up for the core Australian social and political values of a ‘fair go’ for all. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

We wore ‘Shame Fraser’ T-shirts – but his passing is a genuine shame

In 1975, people wore Shame Fraser Shame badges and demonstrated in support of the sacked prime minister, Gough Whitlam. Today, those same protestors feel powerful emotions at the passing of Malcolm Fraser. Why?
Using the image of the most famous 19th-century land rights activist may be a backhanded tribute. Peter Bennetts

Melbourne’s new William Barak building is a cruel juxtaposition

Melbourne’s new landmark building celebrates the Indigenous leader William Barak. But what should we make of the overt association between its luxury apartments and Barak's lifelong struggle over land?
We need policies that meaningfully include Aboriginal people in ways forward. AAP Image/Amnesty International, Chloe Geraghty

Aboriginal lifestyles could fix the hole in the heart of Australia

Recently, Tony Abbott asserted the government couldn't afford to fund the "lifestyle choices" of remotely-based Aboriginal people. But such communities could be key to meeting the demands of our future.
Culture hardly rates a mention in the current Intergenerational Report, or those that preceded it. Mark Roy

Speaking of future generations … let’s not forget culture

Culture is barely mentioned in the latest Intergenerational Report – as was the case with the three preceding it. But we need strong policies to support cultural heritage, and we need them urgently.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her deputy, Jackie Trad, head up a new cabinet with eight female and six male ministers, including the state’s first Indigenous woman MP. Dan Peled/AAP

A day of firsts for women in politics, and one in particular

It’s a historic day for politics and women in Australia – and even more remarkable for one woman minister, who is also Queensland’s first ever Indigenous woman MP. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s cabinet…
Real and sustained engagement with Aboriginal people should be the starting point in rethinking Indigenous welfare policy. AAP/Marianna Massey

Income management doesn’t work, so let’s look at what does

In recent years, Tangentyere Council Research Hub has undertaken data collection in Alice Springs town camps as part of a longitudinal study of income management. The final report of around 300 pages was…
In an otherwise fraught policy landscape, ‘cheapness’ has been one of the cold hard facts of Indigenous affairs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Cheap in the deep sense: the sorry business of Indigenous affairs

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a bold move in September when he ran the country for four days from a tent at Gulkula in far northeast Arnhem Land in remote Australia. While there, he observed that although…
Mick Gooda has urged policymakers to learn from their mistakes and adopt a consultative and inclusive approach to Indigenous policy. AAP/Alan Porritt

‘Work with us not for us’ to end the Indigenous policy chaos

Deep funding cuts and uncertainty about government plans have created one of the largest-scale upheavals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. That is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander…
A people’s convention could be the circuit-breaker that constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians needs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

A people’s convention can make Indigenous recognition a reality

Important steps have been made in 2014 in the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution. Prime Minister Tony Abbott affirmed his commitment to hold…
Aunty Gayle Rankine, chairperson of the First Peoples Disability Network, is the subject of a portrait from Unfinished Business, a photographic project by Belinda Mason. Belinda Mason/Unfinished Business

Indigenous Australians can take pride in disability policy gains

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), December 3, is important for commemorating the successes and efforts of the disability rights movement. The theme this year is Sustainable Development…
Indigenous Australians see spirituality as central to their wellbeing. Rusty Stewart/Flickr

Indigenous Australians offer a broader concept of wellbeing

The United Nations Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently conducted an assessment of the wellbeing of people around the world. The results indicate that Canberra is a world…
Archie Roach performs at the funeral of Indigenous boxing champion Lionel Rose at Festival Hall in Melbourne, 2011. AAP/Julian Smith

Indigenous Australia’s diverse memorialisation of the dead

Beliefs and ceremonies associated with death in Indigenous Australia are diverse. Death and the deceased are sacred to Indigenous Australians and ceremonies differ between communities. They may involve…
South Australians turned out in numbers to hear the 2008 apology to the Stolen Generations, but a bill before the state parliament fails to live up to the promise of that day. Wikimedia Commons/edna-photos

Australian states can do better for the Stolen Generations

A bill before South Australian parliament would make it the second Australian state to compensate Stolen Generation survivors and their children. Tangible recognition of their suffering is overdue, but…
Convicted sex offender and former Marist Brother Gregory Sutton (left) tries to hide his face while leaving a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse hearing. AAP/Dean Lewins

Breaking the silence about white Australian men’s abuse of children

I have seen firsthand how child sexual abuse is rife in every part of the Australian community – but only sometimes is that abuse reported in full colour. It probably won’t surprise you if I say that I’ve…
Cathy Freeman’s racial background is Chinese, English and Aboriginal. AAP/ Dean Lewins

Culture, not colour, is the heart of Aboriginal identity

All too often the matter of Australian Aboriginal identity is decided superficially – by looking at a person’s face and general appearance. Colour is often the measure of Aboriginality, since the original…
Tony Abbott keeps appointing businessmen like Andrew Forrest, who have limited expertise in analysing evidence and developing social policy, to advise the government. AAP/Nikki Short

Forrest report ignores what works and why in Indigenous policy

The Creating Parity report on Indigenous employment and welfare, released last week by mining magnate Andrew Forrest, is in much the same vein as Tony Shepherd’s recent Commission of Audit. Forrest and…
In recent years, the service of troops from France’s then-colonies in both world wars has been the object of sustained presidential attention. EPA/Philippe Wojazer

Reconciliation or récupération? Indigenous soldiers in WWI

In vogue among the political left during the events in Paris in May 1968, the French term récupération refers to the danger of “the Establishment”, be it the government or a political party, seizing on…

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