Parliament House, Canberra.
Parliament House, Canberra.

Parliamentary report endorses moving forward on Constitutional change

June 25: A referendum on Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution is a step closer with the tabling today of a report in Federal Parliament. The joint parliamentary report, backed by Coalition, Labor and the Greens, 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. Further, it says a referendum should consider including a provision to recognise that Australia was first occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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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.

Beanie Festival under way in Alice Springs

One of the beanies at the festival.
One of the beanies at the festival.
Friday, 19 June 2015 12:00 pm

Alice Springs’ annual four-day Beanie Festival starts today (Friday). Thousands of beanies will be on display and for sale during the festival, held at the town’s Araluen Arts Centre. Workshops, stalls and more are also on a packed program program.

Kiwat win Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award

Nancy Kiwat’s winning artwork Ilan Pamle.
Nancy Kiwat’s winning artwork Ilan Pamle.
Friday, 19 June 2015 5:28 am

June 19: Nancy Kiwat, represented by Erub Arts, has taken out the ninth annual Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award, the premier Torres Strait and North Peninsula Area art honour. Ms Kiwat won the $7000 award for her ceramic work Ilan Pamle, depicting her grandparents and cultural connections with Papua New Guinea. Runner-up was Bob Kaigey, of Thursday Island, for his painting Apu Ra Ee.

Inglis scores record 16th State of Origin try

Queensland’s Greg Inglis charges for the line to score his record 16th State of Origin try.
Queensland’s Greg Inglis charges for the line to score his record 16th State of Origin try.
Thursday, 18 June 2015 9:11 am

The State of Origin rugby league series is tied up at one all after NSW downed Queensland 26-18 in Melbourne on Wednesday night. The tough encounter featured a record 16th Origin try by Maroons Indigenous star Greg Inglis. Queensland fielded five Indigenous players – there were none in the Blues lineup. The deciding Origin game will be played next month in Brisbane.

Native Title Conference in Port Douglas

Cape York Land Council chair Richie Ahmat speaking at the official opening of the conference.
Cape York Land Council chair Richie Ahmat speaking at the official opening of the conference.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 11:21 am

More than 700 delegates from around Australia are in Port Douglas, north Queensland, for this year’s AIATSIS National Native Title Conference. They are discussing a range of items, including the future of the native title system, governance and Indigenous leadership. The conference concludes on June 18.

NT imprisonment rate hits new high

Prison wire 2
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 3:50 pm

June 16: The Northern Territory is jailing more people than ever, according to new figures. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that for the first time, the NT’s imprisonment rate has passed 900 people per 100,000. The majority of inmates are Indigenous. The national rate is 194 people per 100,000. North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency chief executive Priscilla Collins says the NT Government is “going for broke” with skyrocketing incarceration rates.