Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT chief executive Phil Naden.
Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT chief executive Phil Naden.

Petition calls on Government to reverse cuts to Aboriginal Legal Services

MARCH 2: Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) NSW/ACT has started a petition to reverse funding cuts of nearly 20% to frontline legal services. ALS NSW/ACT chief executive officer Phil Naden said he was hopeful the Federal Government would reverse the decision to cut funding from the ALS because of the damaging effects it would have on Aboriginal families. “Everything we do at the ALS is frontline, so a 20% cut to our annual budget is a 20 per cent cut our frontline services,” he said. “If our frontline services are cut, there will be terrible ramifications for Aboriginal children and their parents and carers.” Other state ALSs have also raised concerns about funding cuts. To sign the petition go to change.org

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Cricketer Gardner in Shooting Stars squad

Ashleigh Gardner batting at last month’s Imparja Cup tournament in Alice Springs. Picture: Getty, courtesy Cricket Australia
Ashleigh Gardner batting at last month’s Imparja Cup tournament in Alice Springs. Picture: Getty, courtesy Cricket Australia
Tuesday, 3 March 2015 4:17 pm

March 3: Ashleigh Gardner has been named in the Australian Shooting Stars cricket team to tour Dubai next month. The NSW Imparja Cup women’s star is the only Indigenous player in the squad. The tour will run from March 31 to April 13 and will include four 50-over and two T20 matches. The Shooting Stars is made up of emerging women cricketers. Gardner, 17, has been a regular in the NSW Imparja Cup women’s team for a number of years, where she has dominated. She also has captained the winning NSW under-age girls’ teams for the past few seasons at national championships.

Yolanda Lowatta wins Bangarra fellowship

Stephen Page, Yolanda Lowatta and David Page.
Stephen Page, Yolanda Lowatta and David Page.
Thursday, 26 February 2015 10:15 am

YOLANDA Lowatta, a 22 year-old Geide woman from the Torres Strait Islands, has joined Bangarra Dance Theatre as a trainee dancer, with a place in the company supported by the Russell Page Fellowship. She recently graduated with a Diploma of Performing Arts from Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts. Bangarra artistic director Stephen Page said Ms Lowatta was “one of those dancers who you’re instantly drawn to”. The fellowship is named after Mr Page’s late brother, a greatly-respected dancer.

New Freedom Riders back in Sydney

The 50th anniversary Freedom Ride march in Moree.
The 50th anniversary Freedom Ride march in Moree.
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 4:17 pm

THE 2015 Freedom Riders have wrapped up their 50th anniversary reenactment after following in the footsteps of the original Freedom Ride in 1965. The Riders, made up of original members and family as well as students from The University of Sydney, visited communities including Kempsey, Moree, Dubbo, Coonamble and Walgett on their five-day trek. Unlike 50 years ago, they have been made welcome wherever they stopped.

Entries now open for Telstra art awards

Last year’s Telstra Prize winner Tony Albert with his winning work We Can Be Heroes.
Last year’s Telstra Prize winner Tony Albert with his winning work We Can Be Heroes.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 3:31 pm

ENTRIES are open for the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA), now in its 32nd year. The top prize is $50,000, with five other categories – general painting, bark painting, works on paper, youth, and the three-dimensional award – offering $5000 each. The award is again being hosted in Darwin by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The deadline for entries is March 20, with the winners announced later this year. For details, visit www.nt.gov.au/natsiaa

New Qld MP to serve as minister

New Queensland minister Leeanne Enoch
New Queensland minister Leeanne Enoch
Monday, 16 February 2015 8:47 am

February 16: First-time Queensland Aboriginal MP Leeanne Enoch will serve as a minister in the new Labor Government. The Nunuki/Nughi woman is the state’s Minister for Housing, Public Works, Science and Technology in the Palaszczuk Government. Treasurer Curtis Pitt will also be Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

WA men, NSW women winners at Imparja Cup

The all-conquering NSW women's side with their Imparja Cup trophy.  Getty Image
The all-conquering NSW women's side with their Imparja Cup trophy. Getty Image
Sunday, 15 February 2015 4:39 am

February 14: Western Australia have won their second consecutive Imparja Cup, defeating Queensland by three runs in the last over of the men’s final at Traeger Park in Alice Springs this afternoon. And earlier the NSW women’s cricket side claimed their eighth straight Faith Coultard-Thomas Trophy, beating Victoria in the final by 75 runs. Just as they did last year, it took WA until the final ball of the game to claim the men’s cup in what was a thrilling competition decider.

All Stars league will move to Brisbane for 2016

Indigenous player Justin Hodges celebrates with fans.
Indigenous player Justin Hodges celebrates with fans.
Saturday, 14 February 2015 5:33 am

FEBRUARY 17: Rugby league’s All Stars event will move to Brisbane in 2016 following another successful contest between the Indigenous All Stars and the NRL All Stars on the Gold Coast last Friday night. The Indigenous All Stars defeated the NRL All Stars 20-6, watched on by 23,177 people at Cbus Super Stadium. In partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland, the NRL will now stage the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars in Brisbane in 2016.

National Apology to the Stolen Gens remembered

Michael O'Loughlin and students at the Adelaide Apology event.
Michael O'Loughlin and students at the Adelaide Apology event.
Friday, 13 February 2015 1:44 pm

February 13: Events are being held around the nation today to mark the seventh anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. Many organisations and individuals are calling for more support for the Stolen Generations, among them the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation which has urged governments to take further action to support national healing.

2015 NAIDOC theme announced, entries open

2015 NAIDOC award entries are now open
2015 NAIDOC award entries are now open
Thursday, 12 February 2015 4:41 pm

THIS year’s National NAIDOC Week theme will be We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate. The theme, announced today, celebrates Indigenous Australians’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. Entries are also open for the National NAIDOC National Awards, to be presented in Adelaide, as well as the National Poster competition, which carries a $5000 prize. Poster entries close on March 27, and awards entries close on April 24. For entries and more information, go to  www.naidoc.org.au

Challenge as Close the Gap report delivered

Close the Gap campaign co-chair Mick Gooda speaking in Canberra.
Close the Gap campaign co-chair Mick Gooda speaking in Canberra.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 9:15 am

February 11: Close the Gap campaign co-chair Kirstie Parker has challenged the nation to prove its commitment to improving life expectancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She was speaking as the annual Close The Gap report was delivered today in Canberra. It revealed slight improvements in life expectancy for Indigenous men and women, but showed there was still plenty of room for improvement.