First Nations people and organisations have continued to propose solutions and call for genuine consultation between affected communities at all levels of government. But, as Jacob Andrewartha reports, they are being sidelined.
The following is a statement issued by participants of the StandUp2017 conference that concluded with a rally in Mbantua (Alice Springs) on June 26.
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Rosalie Kunoth Monks: “You better believe it, when the Intervention first hit in 2007 community councils were decimated.”
Matthew Ryan: “Trying to get the government to listen to us, is like a brick wall.”
I had a call from Rosalie Kunoth-Monks the other day. Rosalie is an elder of the Arrernte-Alyawarra people, who lives in Utopia, a vast and remote region in the "red heart" of Australia. The nearest town is Alice Springs, more than 300 kilometres across an ancient landscape of spinifex and swirling skeins of red dust. The first Europeans who came here, perhaps demented by the heat, imagined a white utopia that was not theirs to imagine; for this is a sacred place, the homeland of the oldest, most continuous human presence on earth.