- Australian Government of Australia
- Malcolm Turnbull
- Bill Shorten
- Linda Burney
- Governor General of Australia
Royal Commission into Racism Current Legislation
" Hear our Voices , Heed our Call"
This Petition is in Relation to the following Issues Affecting First Nations People and other Minorities on Home Lands
"We the People are willing to state in this Petition the following, that we as First Nations People having been put through the past and current Laws of the land with Dramatic Consequences being, Segregation , Dispossessing of Home Lands, Continued Stolen Generations, Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Loss of Precious and Spiritual Heritage Sites"
" We require that law makers and politicians should have a greater and compulsory need to spend time with elders and or participate in Appropriate Training to be more culturally aware and sensitive to the positions in which they hold"
(I) On going Deaths in Custody for First Nations People:
We require that law makers and politicians should have a greater and compulsory need to spend time with elders and or participate in Appropriate Training to be more culturally aware and sensitive to the positions in which they hold.
Between 2003 and 2013, the Aboriginal rate of incarceration has soared 11 times faster than the non-Aboriginal rate. Prison rates for Aboriginal women have increased by a third between 2002 and 2007, and the number of Aboriginal men by one-fifth , while police custodial rates remain as high as before.
First Nations People have learnt to fear for the lives of family members who end up in police cells or jail.
—The Saturday Paper
There have been 340 Aboriginal deaths in custody since the end of the royal commission. Most could have been prevented if the [commission's] recommendations were all implemented.
—Peter Boyle from Australia's Green Left Weekly newspaper, in 2014
History shows that "covert" insidious racism is more difficult to detect. Institutions such as Police Services can operate in a racist way without at once recognising their racism. (Stephen Lawrence Enquiry)
Community pressure was being brought to bear on the government in relation to the disproportionate numbers of Indigenous men and women dying in custody. As a result a Royal Commission was established. In 1991 Commissioner Johnston release the report along with some 300 recommendations.
The question that can be asked here is has anything changed from the past? Superficially there have been great changes. We now have recruiting strategies and units, liaison, community participation and representation. But on the whole there are not a lot of dramatic differences. We still had to have a Royal Commission to tell us these things are needed.
As if the royal commission never existed, the Northern Territory in December 2014 introduced ‘paperless arrest laws’.
The words 'Aboriginal problem' now begins to emerge in writings from this era. Indigenous people were starting to be seen as one big homogeneous problem. The solution to the problem was to control by containment.
Although statistics show the acceleration of of Indigenous incarceration increased after the 1950's, the general consensus is that after the 1967 referendum, the intense policing policies changed (Biskup 1973, Elder 1988, Reynolds 1992, Finnane 1996). Far from being inclusionary, many policing practices became covert and exclusionary. Without specific legislation there was an increase in arrests and incarceration for offences that non-Indigenous people would be unlikely to be arrested for. This was and still is colloquially known as the offence of 'being Black in a public place' and encompasses the notorious trifecta legislation of offensive language, resist arrest and assault police.
Whilst there has been some change from the days of the Native Police, there is not a dramatic difference. There is no collective want or need to change within police organisations and this is reflected by the government who dictate policy. Lip service is paid to most initiatives yet there is no real support behind them. In most organisations there is a vision of whose face 'fits' and this is especially true of policing when the dominant police culture sees Black as the 'other', that 'other' equals criminal. As a result many Indigenous police are made to feel they don't fit.
Our system of policing has its genesis in the control and enforcement methods from England. This form of policing was transplanted to Australia and followed closely along the lines of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) (O'Malley 1983, Northam 1986, Reiner 1986, Finnane 1994, Blackler 1996). Recruits to this model of policing were single, had some military training, were posted to areas with no family or friends; and were frequently transferred to prevent fraternisation with the local population. The rationale was that policing of the population was more effective if the population was alien (Hill 1986:127).
[The deaths in custody report] paints a horrific portrait of the state of indigenous criminal justice.
—Inga Ting, journalist, Sydney Morning Herald
I am constantly stunned when many senators tell me that they are not aware of Australia's death in custody record.
—Gerry Georgatos, Human Rights Alliance, Perth
One of the fundamental lessons of the royal commission was that Aboriginal people die in custody too often because they’re in custody too often and we need to stop locking up people for minor offences, particularly things like public drinking.
Aboriginal Australians have learnt to fear for the lives of family members who end up in police cells or jail.
There has never been a successful prosecution against any police or prison officer in that they contributed an unnatural hand in a police or prison custodial related incident. Let us remind ourselves that it took confrontational protests and the burning of the Palm Island Police Station to bring to the light of day the death in police custody of Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee and yet justice has not been done, Officer Craig Hurley is yet to atone while Palm Island councillor Lex Wotton was sent to prison
—The Saturday Paper
The commission’s recommendations:
The conclusion was that too many Aboriginal people are in custody too often. In its report the commission made 339 recommendations, for example
87. Arrest people only when no other way exists for dealing with a problem.
92. Imprisonment should be utilised only as a sanction of last resort.
161. Police and prison officers should seek medical attention immediately if any doubt arises as to a detainee’s condition.
339. Initiate a formal process of reconciliation between Aboriginal people and the wider community. Council for Reconciliation
Aboriginal Juvenile Justice in Darwin Australia.
Warning: Strong language) Read the story: ab.co/2amFPuR
‘All good people must stand solidly against racism. It’s very important to do this publicly.’
Football Federation of Victoria
(II) Dispossession of Home Lands.
In the past colonials were actively dispossessing Indigenous people of their lands but without the guise of prescriptive legislation. Subsequent legislation was enacted to make dispossession 'legitimate' and to 'protect' Aborigines from unscrupulous whites and themselves (Bennets and Castle 1979). The system was founded on the premise that Indigenous people were not the equals of non-Indigenous people. This premise was reflected in all government policies.
The Labor government came to power in 1972 and with it a promise to legislate land rights. The first Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the precursor to ATSIC was established. A land fund was established to buy land for communities. Consultation featured heavily and an Aboriginal elected advisory council advised the government on Indigenous matters. Land Councils were also implemented. In 1975 there was another change of government and Indigenous funding was cut by 30%. Yet the Prime Minister of the day, Malcolm Fraser, was denigrated by members of his own party for being pro Aboriginal (Parbury 1988).
In 1983 Labor was elected. Labor's land rights policy was seen as political suicide. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Clyde Holding said "we would like to recognise your rights but our white constituents won't let us" (Parbury 1988:137). It is against this background that our contemporary policies are founded. High Court decisions such as Mabo and Wik acknowledge the need for serious redressing of earlier atrocities as well as RICADIC and the Stolen generation enquiries.
"We have native title … and we've been forced to negotiate with mining companies like Cameco over the Kintyre uranium project, and Reward Minerals over Lake Disappointment (Kumpupirntily): both mining projects we don't want on our country but we have no rights to say no to mining under native title. When will Australia start talking about changing the Native Title Act and getting real land rights for Indigenous people?"
(III) Segregation and the Stolen Generation.
Queensland enacted the 1897 Protection Act which was the model for Northern, Western and Central Australia. These policies concentrated and segregated the community according to the amount of Aboriginal 'blood' a person possessed. 'Full bloods' were removed to protected reserves. Those of 'mixed blood' were removed to missions and subjected to scrutiny and control (Finnane 1996). As a result, Indigenous people were being made criminals by virtue of their race. In Western Australia a 'half-caste' male could obtain an exemption certificate which gave him the status of a full blood white man. To obtain this he had to renounce his Aboriginality and not associate with any Aboriginal people again (Biskup 1973).
The dog licence act of Western Australia was another piece of legislation designed to make Indigenous people criminals. This included:
NSW passed the 1909 Aborigines Act which legitimised a series of State controls. The aim of this Act was to break up centres of Aboriginal population. Further powers obtained in 1915 allowed wholesale welfare intervention, resulting in the removal of children from their families, to be relocated into institutions, missions or non- Indigenous families (Finnane 1994).
No Indigenous person (other than a half caste male who had renounced his Aboriginality) could move from one place to another without the permission of the Protector
parents did not have custody of their own children
the property of a minor was automatically managed by the Protector
Aborigines could be ordered out of town or ordered to a reserve or mission and confined there
the Commissioner of Native Affairs could object to any marriage (Elder 1988)
(IV) Lack of our Civil Rights.
In NSW in 1938 Aborigines could not vote, obtain alcohol, receive a pension if their Aboriginal blood was dominant, obtain cash payments for family allowance - only orders for goods and any other restrictions in accordance with the Act (Elder 1988).
Obtaining work was also a problem. Indigenous work was associated with domestics or labouring. Work was hard to come by and wages were lower than those of non-Indigenous people in the same employment and social status was low, lower than the working classes. The Vagrancy legislation of the 1820's meant that police had substantial powers over the working classes and poor yet the amount of power delivered into the hands of police by virtue of the protectionism legislation was phenomenal. In 1932 in Moree NSW, lobbying by hostile rural whites on health grounds, resulted in the removal of ALL Indigenous people, including those in local employment, to the banks of the Moree River. This act of policing earned the local constabulary great praise from the Chief Protector (Finnane 1996).
Social control was all pervasive and administrative. It gave absolute power to police with little scrutiny by the courts. Yet in 1932 Queensland Police were instructed not to make notes of the orders issued for the removal of Aboriginal people as these orders may be called upon to be presented in court (Queensland Police Circular Memo 2 Feb 1932, A/36282 cited in Finnane 1996:123).
The words 'Aboriginal problem' now begins to emerge in writings from this era. Indigenous people were starting to be seen as one big homogeneous problem. The solution to the problem was to control by containment. Although statistics show the acceleration of of Indigenous incarceration increased after the 1950's, the general consensus is that after the 1967 referendum, the intense policing policies changed (Biskup 1973, Elder 1988, Reynolds 1992, Finnane 1996). Far from being inclusionary, many policing practices became covert and exclusionary. This was and still is colloquially known as the offence of 'being Black in a public place' and encompasses the notorious trifecta legislation of offensive language, resist arrest and assault police.
( V ) Government Fail to follow Recommendation’s.
Domestic and International Policy Ignored
Although the last of the protectionism era's policies were not repealed until 1984 in Queensland, by the 1960's pressure was being placed upon the government in relation to Indigenous policies. Our own hypocrisy was being questioned in International forums. Australia was publicly challenging South Africa in relation to apartheid whilst covertly enforcing the same policies here (Tatz 1979). Australia had been a voting member of the United Nations (UN) since its inception but until 1961 had a policy of dissenting or abstaining from UN motions condemning apartheid. During the protectionism era, Australia was in direct violation of 9 of the Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This convention was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1948 (see Articles 9,10, 13, 16, 17, 21, 22, 25, 26).
In 1949 Australia was openly questioned by the international community in relation to protectionism policies. The Kim Beazley Snr wrote to the Prime Minister requesting special Indigenous representation in parliament and the States to relinquish Aboriginal control to the Federal government as:
"Commonwealth representatives at international conferences are constantly being held responsible for Aboriginal policies pursued in Australia by State governments" (cited in Tatz 1979:101).
In 1965 Australia was a signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). This convention came into effect in 1969 (Report of National Enquiry into Racist Violence 1991). In August 1978 the Australian delegate to the World Conference on Racism condemned apartheid and racism saying;
"We are utterly opposed. Australia (coyly) recognises that Aborigines have been particularly disadvantaged in the past. However our contribution to this the anti-Apartheid Year of 1978 and to the decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (which began in 1973), is the Racial Discrimination Act" (Cited in Tatz 1979:101)
The frustration continued. In response to the Liberal government's Aboriginal Affairs Policy a tent embassy was established on the lawns of the then Parliament House. There the Aboriginal flag was raised for the first time. Prime Minister William McMahon claimed in the policy that land rights would 'threaten the security and tenure of every Australian' (Parbury 1988:133).
Since the election of the coalition government in 1996 we have seen a gradual erosion of the advances made during the past decade. Funding cuts and a desire to denigrate anything seen as 'politically correct' has given rise to a form of respectable racism.
The re-emergence of the white superiority argument and the misguided belief that Indigenous people receive more in the way of pecuniary advantage than the average non-Indigenous person are enjoying support from sections of the community. Western Australia established a special cabinet committee on Aboriginal /police relations after several racist incidents (Skull Creek 1974, Laverton 1975). This committee was generally regarded as unable to provide any lasting impact. The Ruddock Report (1980) stated;
"Although the committee provides a forum in which Aboriginal people can express their views, it is continued to an advisory role and the police department is under no compulsion to implement its recommendations" (in Hazelhurst 1985:53).
At the 1985 Justice Programmes for Aboriginal and other Indigenous Communities Seminar, Dr Roberta Sykes argued recruiting Blacks to the ranks of aide and liaison officer would achieve very little. She went on to state;
"While the authorities pretend to us that they are acting in our best interest, very little can be achieved regardless of motivation. We recognise when we are being patronised and do not like it. Patronisation is not a relationship which exists between equals. It carries with it the continuation of a power relationship which is mean to keep one part powerful and one part powerless" (in Hazelhurst 1985:24-25).
. Consider the submission of the Metropolitan Police Black Police Association to the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry in 1999;
".... institutional racism .... permeates the Metropolitan Police Service. This issue above all others is central to the attitudes, values and beliefs, which lead officers to act, albeit unconsciously and for the most part unintentionally, and treat others differently solely because of their ethnicity or culture"
"The term institutional racism should be understood to refer to the way the institution or the organisation may systematically or repeatedly treat, or tend to treat, people differentially because of their race. So, in effect, we are not talking about the individuals within the service who may be unconscious as to the nature of what they are doing, but it is the net effect of what they do"
"... the majority of police officers are white, tends to be the white experience, the white beliefs, the white values. Given the fact that these predominantly white officers only meet members of the black community in confrontational situations, they tend to stereotype black people in general. This can lead to all sorts of negative views and assumptions about black people, so we should not underestimate the occupational culture within the police service as being a primary source of institutional racism in the way that we differentially treat black people. Interestingly I say we because there is no marked difference between black and white in the force essentially. We are all consumed by this occupational culture. Some of us may think we rise above it on some occasions, but, generally speaking, we tend to conform to the norms of this occupational culture, which we say is all powerful in shaping our views and perceptions of a particular community". (Inspector Paul Wilson Part 2, Day 2, p 209):
Australians to counter racism
The National Anti-Racism Strategy aims to build the capacity of individuals, organisations and communities to prevent racism and to respond safely when it occurs.
Police have a duty of care no matter what [offenders] have done.
—Recruits episode 11 on Australia's Channel 10
We stole this land with murder and mayhem … and we have to reconcile the matter someday, either by acknowledging the fact that we’re bloody handed thieves and being proud of it, or giving back what we stole, and not as an act of charity, but of downright humility.
Jeremy Delacy (Xavier Herbert expresses through this character in "Poor Fellow My Country".
Poor Fellow never lets us forget that our material wealth has come at the cost of Aboriginal Australia’s dispossession.
Issues affection Another Minority Group on Home Lands
To all those who post ignorant anti-Muslim posts in social media here's some things to consider. The first mosque in Australia was built in 1861 at Marree, South Australia by Muslim cameleers who supplied white Australians with their needs. The first probable contact between Muslims and Aboriginal people was about 200 hundred years before whitefellas arrived when Muslim Macassan fishers arrived on... See More
Hear our Voice
Muslim Families and Communities are now being made to feel accountable due to the fact that ISIS and other hate groups are causing Mayhem and Destruction in other Countries, while a majority of Australian's are spreading HATE
Hear our Voice
People are dying all over the World due to terrorist Act's, while the Majority blame the masses and not the Minority of those that are doing the Damage.
Hear our Voice
High Profile figures here in Australia are now calling for a Ban on Muslin Immigration and this Ideology is being taken up by the Masses here in Australia.
As one former editor of a major daily recently remarked, “Ten years ago, even five years ago, no-one would have reported the Sonia Kruger story. Not because we’d be trying to silence her; just because no-one thought that the random thoughts of TV celebrities could be considered news. It would be like making a headline from something an opinion columnist had written in your own, or another, newspaper “Opinion columnist has opinion
Hear our Voice
For those who misunderstand Islam and Muslims, ISIS has increasingly become synonymous with a religion being practised peacefully by 1.6 billion people globally, despite numerous condemnations, of atrocities claimed by ISIS, by leaders of Muslim communities around the world. Those who do understand Islam and those who follow this religion peacefully must stand in solidarity with and speak out against all forms of oppression being carried out towards all minority communities, including the Muslim community. Those who understand the value of social cohesion must extend their minds and hearts towards those being attacked for no other reason than their apparent choice of faith. We live in a multicultural country and, indeed, globe. Let's learn to share our home with our brothers and sisters in humanity.
We are being targeted online and, increasingly, in the "real world" by people who would see fit to allow their fears to overtake their common sense, their common humanity. Without pause, without shame, some people will lash out at Muslims both verbally and physically. With little condemnation from our leaders of this violence that's brewing, the social fabric of our society is at stake.
Hear our Voice
Pauline Hanson, Sonia Kruger and anybody else that is filled with ignorance and no tolerance i know you want Muslims to leave. We aren't going to as our history in this country may even go beyond your own ancestry.
Here is a picture of my great grandfather Shadi khan that was leaving to visit his family in what was then known as India prior to the partition.
His father Adalat Khan first came out in 1896 known now as the first cameleers to help build the rail work system and roads. They were courageous and strong, transported goods on camels, helped build this nation with their bare hands and were made of steel.
Their work conditions were horrific and under White Australian policies their families weren't allow to migrate. Eventually he left and then sent his son Shadi Khan out.
Shadi Khan under the same policies wasn't allowed to bring any family member out so hence married a white anglo woman in the country and settled and had a family.
They seperated and he went back to what was now Pakistan.
If you stopped working in those days and decided to go back you were allowed to send your son out only because it was all about equal rights (sarcasm).
My grandfather Abdul Jabbar came out in the 1950's. His brother salim married an Aboriginal woman and moved to Darwin. So now we have Aboriginal relatives too.
For my mother and her siblings to "fit in" to society they all had "christian" names. They were all Bruce, Brian, Joe, Phyllis, Cynthia (my mum) and Barbara. My grandad was Jimmy. Even the Greeks and Italians would have to change their names.
Mum has cousins married to people of many cultural backgrounds. From greeks to lebanese and asians.
To add to my families diversity my 8th great grandfathers name was Ami Chand. He was a hindu that converted to Islam and called himself Negayah Khan. Which is why parts of my family still practise many hindu cultural traditions especially during wedding celebrations.
20 years ago we met Hindu family members in Sydney who's great grandfathers were brothers of Negayah Khan. They had us over for dinner and invited us to their Diwali event.
So next time someone says "go back to where you came from?" Id think twice.
I almost feel like there is an identity crisis we face. Here in Australia I get asked "Where are you from?"
When I visit overseas and try to walk the walk and talk the talk still the same question "Where are you from?".
I don't share my families diversity, history and personal details much but I'm just fed up with the fear being instilled in peoples hearts.
My family has worked extremely hard and contributed towards so much to what makes this country amazing and beautiful.
So please quit while you are ahead as we wont tolerate this Islamaphobia.
Nazia Khan Sadia Samreen Khan Hamzah Khan Shaai Rana Asadullah Khan Sayf Khan Uzma Rana
BlackCard Courses and Training:
We invite you to learn from our elders at the BlackCard course and check out the the Racism Stops with Me campaign by the Australian Human Rights Commission for more helpful information. We are pushing for the cultural awareness training to be made compulsory for all serving police, politicians and justice system officials etc. This can be obtained through the BlackCard course.
The Australian BlackCard Pty Ltd (BlackCard) is a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated business certified with Supply Nation.
BlackCard provides training and consultancy services to enable people and organisations to work effectively with members of the Aboriginal community.
Working with people, not for people, with the genius of Aboriginal Knowledge.
Connect here: http://www.theblackcard.com.au/blackcard-consultancy/
Something all Australians must keep in mind:
Reference: Paper presented at the History of Crime, Policing and Punishment Conference. Written by: Jo Kamira
former Manager of the AFP, ATSI Unit, ACT
- Prime Minister of Australia
- Australian Government of Australia
- Malcolm Turnbull
- Bill Shorten
- Linda Burney
- Governor General of Australia
Royal Commission into Current Legislation
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