At the conclusion of the New Way Summit in Melbourne over July 1-4, a proposal was adopted stating that: “Aboriginal people be encouraged to take possession of unoccupied and Crown lands, including abandoned buildings, to assert their ownership and original title.” This was the third New Way Summit on Indigenous rights to be held. The New Way Summit was initiated by Euahlayi man Michael Anderson from far-western New South Wales. The first summit was held in Canberra in January.
55 people attended a June 11 forum with Peter Inverway, a Gurindji worker from Kalkaringi, who said Gurindji people are being forced to work up to 30 hours a week for Centrelink entitlements. Inverway said: "I was working on [a] construction site. Working hard for up to 30 hours per week and maybe just getting $4 an hour on Basics Card. But just like working for ration like our people done in the past. If we don't work then they'll cut our Centrelink."
100 people picketed the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs on June 18 to protest the third anniversary of the Northern Territory intervention. Kevin Bracken from the Maritime Union of Austrlalia said “The intervention has turned the clock back 50 years to when people were working for rations.” The rally also heard from Alistair Nicholson, former Chief Justice of the Family Court, the Greens, the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union and local indigenous activists Richard Kennedy, Sharon Firebrace and Robbie Thorpe.
MELBOURNE — On May 25, about 50 people attended a forum on Burma's election, which is due to occur this year. The forum was addressed by Debbie Stothard, coordinator of Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, who noted the many undemocratic structures set up by the military junta. She said: “The 2008 constitution will guarantee military control over the election and resulting parliament. Election commissioners are handpicked by the regime, political parties must exclude ‘convicted persons’ such as Aung San Suu Kyi and there is severe censorship and restrictions on campaigning.
When word started spreading that the far right wanted to relive the 2005 racist Cronulla riot organised an April 9 “mass rally against migrants and Islam” in Melbourne, anti-racist groups started organising a counter rally, to show that migrants were welcome and racism was not.
About 30 people rallied outside the office of Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Peter Batchelor, to demand “climate jobs not new coal” on March 29
On February 9, around 70 people attended the book launch of Will They be Heard.
“Governments making new laws all of the time Try to tell 'em that being young's not a crime” — Area 7
Fast food workers have lost a promised rise in Sunday penalty rates, and nightly overtime for retail staff will be cut, after a ruling by Fair Work Australia.
It seems Australian hip-hop act The Herd are not the only musicians under attack from conservatives for standing by their principles. In September, the Herd pulled out of a coal industry-sponsored concert in Mackay, Queensland to the anger of big coal (but to the delight of their climate-conscious fan base).
The Ampilawatja walk-off national speaking tour is spreading the word about life under the Northern Territory intervention and the Aboriginal elders who have walked off their community in opposition.
On September 15, 1500 firefighters and supporters marched through Melbourne, chanting “more firefighters, not less”.