Beeliar wetlands custodian Corina Abraham to stand in WA election

Corina Abraham is a Bilboolmirn Yorga, and recognised custodian of the Beeliar Wetlands.
February 11, 2017

 

Corina Abraham is a Bilboolmirn Yorga, and recognised custodian of the Beeliar Wetlands in the lands of the Whadjuk people in the south-west of Western Australia. She is running as a Socialist Alliance WA candidate in the upcoming state election for the lower house seat of Willagee.

She spoke to Chris Jenkins about why she is standing in the election.

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Aunty Corina, what inspired you to run as a candidate?

I've worked in a lot of different areas throughout my life. Working to pay off the mortgage and also community volunteering kept me busy. But I also learnt a lot about the various forms of injustice that my people face on a day-to-day basis and how the government system is flawed when it comes to Aboriginal affairs.

The government uses and abuses Aboriginal people and communities for their own goals. It’s about time we had a voice because no one else is going to speak for us and the issues we face across Australia.

What are the main issues you want to raise in this election?

I want to tackle the ongoing hardships my people face.

I want a proper investigation not only into the high incarceration rates for my people but also the sexual abuse, particularly of young people, in government and non-government institutions.

I'm running to make sure our cultural heritage rights get heard and our sacred sites aren't deregistered and destroyed as is happening down at the Beeliar Wetlands. I want to make sure we have a good and safe environment for us and our kids to enjoy.

I've seen, both professionally and personally, the policies and approaches by government that have failed our people. I want to stop the government from giving Aboriginal funding to non-Indigenous organisations. I want to ensure that my community is looked after, that racism is overcome within government and the broader community.

These are just a few of the issues our community faces, not just Aboriginal peoples but everyone.

Socialist Alliance is still a small party. Why did you choose to run with them and not one of the larger, more established parties?

I'm sick and tired of both the Liberals and Labor. Socialist Alliance is still a small party, but they actually look at the issues that Aboriginal peoples and communities face. They stand up for minorities and campaign against racism and discrimination within the wider community.

Socialist Alliance has the same morals and values as I do as a First Nations person. They don't have false pretences. You can believe what they say and they stand by you, no matter what your background. Their slogan of “For the Billions not the Billionaires” pretty much sums up how I see things changing in a way that’s good for everybody.

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