The scene at Sunday’s official NAIDOC opening ceremony in Perth. Picture: Tash Nannup
The scene at Sunday’s official NAIDOC opening ceremony in Perth. Picture: Tash Nannup

NAIDOC Week celebrations are under way around the nation

Monday, July 6: NAIDOC Week celebrations are officially under way around Australia. The annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and people continues until Sunday, with hundreds of events planned around the nation. The focus city this year is Adelaide, where the national ball and awards ceremony will be held on Friday. More details on events at naidoc.org.au

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Constitutional recognition talks later in the year

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with Indigenous leaders at the meeting.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with Indigenous leaders at the meeting.
Monday, 6 July 2015 4:59 pm

People will be invited to have their say on constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians in a series of community conferences scheduled for later this year. The move follows a meeting in Sydney today between Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and about 40 of the nation’s most influential Indigenous representatives at Kirribilli House in Sydney.

PM to spend week in the Torres Strait

Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Monday, 6 July 2015 8:31 am

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will spend a week next month in the Torres Strait as part of his commitment to spend a week every year in a remote Indigenous community. Mr Abbott said he was responding to a joint invitation from the Torres Strait Regional Authority, the Torres Shire Council, Torres Strait Island Regional Council and the Northern Peninsula Regional Council. He said that during the week the region and its people would be the prime focus of his attention.

ALS Custody Notification Service funding runs out

No funding for the NSW/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service Custody Notification Service is likely to lead to more Indigenous people being incarcerated.
No funding for the NSW/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service Custody Notification Service is likely to lead to more Indigenous people being incarcerated.
Wednesday, 1 July 2015 3:28 pm

THE NSW and ACT Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) has issued a last-minute plea to the Federal Government for funds for the life-saving custody notification service (CNS). Funding runs out today, with the ALS using emergency bridging funds. In NSW and the ACT police must contact the ALS if an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person is arrested. There have been no Aboriginal deaths in custody recorded in NSW or the ACT since the CNS was rolled out in 2000.

Preparations for NAIDOC Week in full swing

Jess Beck from Pirra, one of the bands that will perform at NAIDOC in the City.
Jess Beck from Pirra, one of the bands that will perform at NAIDOC in the City.
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 5:55 pm

THINGS are gearing up for NAIDOC Week, which runs from July 5-12. In Sydney, four-piece band Pirra, led by Jess Beck, will be one of the acts at the free NAIDOC in the City event, at Hyde Park on Mondy, July 6. The event includes musical performances, foods stalls, traditional and contemporary dance, children’s entertainment and an arts-and-crafts market, from 11am–3pm.

Parliamentary report endorses moving forward

Parliament House, Canberra.
Parliament House, Canberra.
Thursday, 25 June 2015 2:18 pm

A referendum on Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution is a step closer with the tabling today of a report in Federal Parliament. The report strongly endorses moving forward with a vote on proper recognition. It recommends repealing Section 25 of the Constitution, which allows the states to disqualify people from voting on the basis of race, and also calls for repeal or amendment to remove reference to race. It says a referendum should consider including a provision to recognise that Australia was first occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Legal service welcomes WA justice moves

Prison wire 3
Thursday, 25 June 2015 3:33 am

The Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia has welcomed State Government moves to address deaths in custody and over-representation of Aboriginal people in the justice system. Revealing his Government’s new strategy, WA Premier Colin Barnett says there are three areas of focus including the creation of safer custody environments, avoiding incarceration for low-level offending, and supporting prevention and diversion initiatives. He said a ministerial working group will be formed to tackle the issues.

65 finalists for this year’s Telstra Art Award

telstra art
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 2:35 pm

SIXTY-five entries have been selected as finalists for this year’s Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Winners of the rich art award, featuring a top prize of $50,000 and five others of $5000 each, will be named at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory on August 7. Only NSW and Tasmania are not represented in the list of finalists this year, with 12 from South Australia’s APY Lands.

Scale Busters win NSW Knockout Health Challenge

The winners: The NRL’s Laurie Daley with Challenge winners, from left, Kelly Jones (Dead or Deadly), Ivan Goolagong (Eurobodalla Scale Busters) and Trevor Archibald (Healthy, Black and Deadly).
The winners: The NRL’s Laurie Daley with Challenge winners, from left, Kelly Jones (Dead or Deadly), Ivan Goolagong (Eurobodalla Scale Busters) and Trevor Archibald (Healthy, Black and Deadly).
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 4:28 pm

June 23: The Eurobodalla Scale Busters, from Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast, have taken out the first round of the statewide NSW Knockout Health Challenge, aimed at tackling obesity in Indigenous communities. They won from Healthy, Black and Deadly, from Newcastle, and Dead or Deadly, from Nowra. They were among 33 teams to take part in the George Rose Challenge, the first stage of this year’s challenge. The weight-loss campaign is a joint initiative of NSW Health and the NSW Rugby League.

No more Qld Stolen Wages payments until next year

Stolen Wages Sign
Monday, 22 June 2015 4:21 pm

Queensland’s Stolen Wages claimants will have to wait until next year at the earliest for any payment of outstanding money. The State Government has pledged $21 million in a new fund for Indigenous people denied their wages last century, but it will not act until its receives recommendations from a task force which will not be established until August at the earliest. Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt has confirmed he does not expect a reparations scheme to start until 2016.

Australia v Japan in Women’s World Cup

Kyah Simon celebrates after scoring the winner against Brazil.
Kyah Simon celebrates after scoring the winner against Brazil.
Monday, 22 June 2015 8:55 am

June 24: Australia will play Japan in a quarter-final of the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament on Sunday morning local time. Japan downed The Netherlands to set up the clash. It follows brilliant World Cup performances from Australian Indigenous players Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams.