Manny Ross, between Torres Strait Islander identical twins Arthur and Paul Ahwang, at the Stolen Wages meeting in Townsville in January.
Manny Ross, between Torres Strait Islander identical twins Arthur and Paul Ahwang, at the Stolen Wages meeting in Townsville in January.

Stolen Wages breakthrough in Queensland as Labor moves to set up fund

THE Queensland Government has committed to paying outstanding Stolen Wages to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander claimants from a $21 million compensation fund it will create. Around 7500 Indigenous Queenslanders still have Stolen Wages money owing from when they worked as virtual slaves. Some have been paid a part of their Stolen Wages claims but all are now elderly and many frail, fearing they may die before the remainder is forthcoming. Before the recent State Election Labor candidates pledged to pay the money. On April 16, the Koori Mail received a message from Curtis Pitt, Queensland Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, promising to honour their pre-election commitment.

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Medical services still waiting on paperwork

NACCHO chair Matthew Cooke.
NACCHO chair Matthew Cooke.
Thursday, 23 April 2015 2:55 pm

THE National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has called on the Federal Health Department to urgently provide formal funding agreements to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, as promised more than a month ago. NACCHO chair Matthew Cooke said the three-year funding commitment made by Health Minister Sussan Ley and Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash in March was welcome but services were still waiting for formal paperwork and could not make ongoing commitments for staff and health service delivery without it.

Gillespie to coach Adelaide Strikers for Big Bash

Jason Gillespie with a bronze statue of himself at its unveiling at the Adelaide Oval in 2010.
Jason Gillespie with a bronze statue of himself at its unveiling at the Adelaide Oval in 2010.
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 12:21 pm

FORMER Test cricketer Jason Gillespie has been appointed coach of the Adelaide Strikers for next two T20 Big Bash League seasons. Gillespie, a veteran of 71 Tests for Australia and the current coach of English County Championship division one side Yorkshire, accepted the position to return to his home state of South Australia for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 summers. “An opportunity to coach in my home town is an exciting opportunity,” the 39-year-old former fast bowler said.

Thousands show support for remote communities

Protesters at Belmore Park, Sydney, on Friday. Picture: Sabine Kacha
Protesters at Belmore Park, Sydney, on Friday. Picture: Sabine Kacha
Monday, 13 April 2015 11:48 am

THOUSANDS of people rallied in Sydney and Melbourne on Friday in support of remote Aboriginal communities. In Melbourne around 4000 people brought traffic to a standstill outside Flinders St Station, in the CBD. In Sydney protests marched from Belmore Park, near Central Railway Station to Redfern. On Monday, the South Australian and Federal governments announced that they had come to a funding agreement for services to remote Aboriginal communities.

Djuki Mala donates $10,000 to help after cyclones

Djuki Mala (formerly the Chooky Dancers). Picture: Sean Young
Djuki Mala (formerly the Chooky Dancers). Picture: Sean Young
Wednesday, 8 April 2015 5:54 pm

ELCHO Island dance theatre group Djuki Mala (formerly the Chooky Dancers) is donating $10,000 to remote communities affected by cyclones Lam and Nathan, it was announced today at an event in Darwin. Comprised of Yolngu men from Arnhem Land, Djuki Mala have made significant personal donations, coupled with the generous support from the audiences of their Adelaide Fringe Festival season in March, that will go to the ‘Hands Up for Arnhem Land’ appeal, which is raising money for the clean-up effort on the island.

New sculpture pays tribute to Indigenous Diggers

Yininmadyemi – Thou didst let fall, a new public artwork by Tony Albert.
Yininmadyemi – Thou didst let fall, a new public artwork by Tony Albert.
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 11:25 am

Girramay artist Tony Albert’s dramatic sculpture featuring marble and steel bullets and shell casings has been unveiled in Hyde Park as a tribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women. 
YininmadyemiThou didst let fall features four seven-metre tall, 1.5-tonne bullets and three fallen shells to represent the Diggers who returned to Australia and those who lost their lives. 

The $500,000 public artwork was commissioned by the City of Sydney as part of its Eora Journey program celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Billy Gordon resigns from Labor party

Queensland MP Billy Gordon.
Queensland MP Billy Gordon.
Monday, 30 March 2015 8:56 am

Queensland Aboriginal MP Billy Gordon has resigned from the Labor Party after revelations about his criminal history and allegations regarding domestic abuse. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called on Mr Gordon to resign from Parliament, which would bring on a byelection in the northern seat of Cook and, possibly, a change of government. “I recognise that my own personal circumstances are no excuse for my non-disclosure, however from this troubled and fractured past I’ve managed to piece together a positive and constructive life,” he said.

Government reverses cuts to legal services

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services chair Shane Duffy.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services chair Shane Duffy.
Thursday, 26 March 2015 3:21 pm

NATIONAL Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) have welcomed the announcement by the Federal Attorney-General’s Department that the announced funding cuts to the legal assistance sector have been reversed. NATSILS chair Shane Duffy said he was thrilled by the announcement. “While the announcement today is welcomed, the government also needs to know that the funding provided is not enough to meet the legal needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” he said.

Parker recognised with Peacewomen award

Kirstie Parker is one of four women being recognised for promoting peace and freedom in Australia.
Kirstie Parker is one of four women being recognised for promoting peace and freedom in Australia.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 5:00 pm

YUWALLARAI and Wiradjuri woman Kirstie Parker will be the inaugural recipient of an Australian Peacewomen award. Ms Parker, who is co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and the Close the Gap campaign and a former editor of the Koori Mail, is being recognised for her dedication to achieving health and life expectation equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The awards are being presented by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom as part of its centenary celebration.

Thousands turn out for protests

Chris Congoo, Muriel Bindol and Janine Gertz at a protest in Townsville about the WA Government's plan to close remote Aboriginal communities.
Chris Congoo, Muriel Bindol and Janine Gertz at a protest in Townsville about the WA Government's plan to close remote Aboriginal communities.
Thursday, 19 March 2015 2:53 pm

MARCH 19: Thousands of Aboriginal people and supporters have joined marches around the country today to show solidarity with remote communities and protest the Western Australian Government’s plan to force Aboriginal people off their homelands. Protests were held in capital cities and smaller towns, while others vented their frustration and anger online.

NACCHO and RAAF sign partnership

The RAAF’s Air Vice Marshall Leo Davies and NACCHO chairperson Matthew Cooke.
The RAAF’s Air Vice Marshall Leo Davies and NACCHO chairperson Matthew Cooke.
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 9:06 am

AT a Close the Gap Day breakfast in Parliament House, Canberra, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) took the opportunity to announce a new partnership. Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding to work together for the next five years on health-related initiatives. Under the first initiative, RAAF dental personnel will partner with Aboriginal health workers nationwide to provide much-needed dental care for Indigenous people. Close the Gap Day events are being held around the country.