A new report from the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) casts doubt on the ability of current government and corporate policy to meet its goal of “closing the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal unemployment. The CAEPR report looks at the goals and achievements of two private-sector initiatives: the Australian Employment Covenant and Generation One.
“A structural revolution in the Northern Territory is dismantling the whole infrastructure of self-determination”, Australian Workers Union national legal officer Zoe Angus said on November 15. Along with Sean Marshall from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU), Angus was reporting back on a recent trade union delegation to investigate working conditions for Aboriginal people living under the NT intervention. She spoke at a public meeting organised by the Stop the Intervention Collective, Sydney.
In Green Left Weekly #861, Solidarity’s Paddy Gibson addressed a debate that from time to time comes up among activists opposing the NT intervention: whether an assimilationist agenda or mining interests are behind the intervention.
Mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest had an opportunity on ABC’s November 1 screening of Q&A to defend his record on Aboriginal employment. He didn’t do very well. “You can see that through Generation One, a real challenge to fill those jobs, because we've proven for all time that corporate Australia — in fact every Australian — isn't racist”, Forrest said. “We do love our first Australians. We do want to help them as much as we can but we can do it without just throwing money, and I believe I could do more.”
My Name is Rachel Corrie is a play based on the letters and diaries of the US peace activist killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. The play will run in Melbourne over November 3-14. This follows a sellout season at the 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival. In January 2003, Rachel Corrie travelled to Palestine as part of the International Solidarity Movement. She was part of a nonviolent protest against the State of Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian housing to expand Jewish settlement in the Occupied Territories.
Anti-corporate activists will target the second day of the $US8000-a-head Forbes Global CEO Conference, calling for the needs of people and the planet to be put ahead of the interests of the billionaires. The “Billionaire Pirates” will make an appearance, targeting the conference's theme of “Full Sail Ahead”, and demanding entry alongside their corporate pirate mates.
On September 10, the commercial television regulator, Commercials Advice (CAD) withdrew approval for the screening of a pro-euthanasia ad by Exit International on September 12. Exit International condemned the decision as an attack on free speech. According to its website, Exit International is ”a leading end-of-life choices (voluntary euthanasia/ assisted suicide) information and advocacy organisation”.
Equality of access and outcomes in Indigenous education was a key demand at the 2010 Garma Festival, held over August 6-10. Up to 1200 visitors from around Australia and the world joined 2-3000 Yolngu people for the famous festival in north-east Arnhem Land. Each afternoon, clan groups from across Arnhem Land, Kunnunurra, Groote Eylandt and Central Australia performed traditional song and dance. Evenings featured Aboriginal bands from across the Top End, and films by and about Aboriginal issues. The mornings were dedicated to forums and workshops.
Review: Vale Kwementyaye Ryder — a photo essay Bob Gosford, The Northern Myth
Read letters of support to UNSW staff. On July 7, members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) started receiving letters from the university that said they had been stood down without pay for imposing a ban on the recording and transmission of student results to the university. The union imposed the bans after negotiations with university representatives failed to make progress on improving job security, pay and other conditions for UNSW staff.