National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services chair Shane Duffy.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services chair Shane Duffy.

Government reverses some funding cuts to legal services

MARCH 26: 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. “The announcement means that we can get on with what we do best, which is providing culturally competent legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. However, 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. The Productivity Commission’s recent report said $200 million more was required just to address urgent need and we call upon the Government to take heed of this recommendation.”

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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.

Victorian Elder Dr Alf Bamblett dead at 71

Ab flag etched HALFMAST
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 5:16 am

Victorian Elder and community leader Dr Alf Bamblett has died. He was 71. A Yorta Yorta, Bangerang and Wiradjuri man, Dr Bamblett was Victorian Aboriginal of the Year in 1994, and inducted to the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll in 2011. He served as Victoria’s commissioner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission from 1991 to 1995. Among many achievements, Dr Bamblett was instrumental in establishing the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, and helped to secure the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

 

Wanderers down St Marys in NT football grand final

Wanderers savour their grand final victory.  Picture: Peter Argent
Wanderers savour their grand final victory. Picture: Peter Argent
Monday, 16 March 2015 5:34 am

March 15: Wanderers have won the 2014-15 Northern Territory Football League premiership, defeating heavy favourites St Mary’s by 34 points. Leading from the opening stanza, the Eagles were already 20 points ahead at the main break. The final score was Wanderers 11.17 (83) and St Mary’s 7.7 (49). Thomas Motlop won the Chaney Medal, blanketing former St Kilda goal sneak Stephen Milne and keeping him off the goal kickers sheet. In  another upset, the Tiwi Bombers snatched victory from St Marys in the NTFL youth girls grand final.

PM condemned for ‘lifestyle choice’ comments

Prime Minister Tony Abbott at last month's Close the Gap announcement.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott at last month's Close the Gap announcement.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 9:45 am

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has come under fire for comments about the Federal Government’s decision to cut funding to remote Aboriginal communities. “What we can’t do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have,” Mr Abbott said. The Prime Minister has been criticised for his comments by Aboriginal leaders, the Opposition, the Greens, his own Indigenous Advisory Council and many other sources. Twitter lit up under #lifestylechoice

Government announces $1.4b for Aboriginal health

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) chairperson Matthew Cooke.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) chairperson Matthew Cooke.
Thursday, 5 March 2015 9:18 am

THE Federal Government has announced $1.4 billion in funding for 112 Aboriginal community controlled health organisations over the next three years. National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) chairperson Matthew Cooke said the new agreements meant that crucial primary health care services would be sustained and that Aboriginal health services could now provide job security to their doctors, nurses and health workers.

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.