I am Bakchos Glass; Wiradjuri; member of the Stolen Generations, writer, artist human rights activist and former Senior Executive Service (SES) level bureaucrat. My experience as a high level policy advisor and branch director leaves me well placed to offer insights into the perfidy, racism and self-interests which are all pervasive in today’s public service. Rather than the modern bureaucracy being about public service, it is now solely about ‘self service’ where the environment of merit has given way to cronyism and ‘frank and fearless advice’ has given way to sycophancy. Your average bureaucrat is now almost fully focused on their next promotional opportunity with integrity coming a very poor second.
In this environment of self interest, where spin and obfuscation rule supreme, where hype passes for policy and ‘grandstanding’ for action, is it any wonder that ordinary citizens are slowly having their basic rights and freedoms eroded on a daily basis in order to bolster the fiefdoms of the Manchu’s in Canberra. While my current focus is on Indigenous Australians, the wider community needs to remember that what happens to one section of the community can happen more broadly.
I have called my site Blak and Black to symbolise the oneness of all people with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander blood in our struggle for recognition, equality and justice. No matter the actual pigmentation of our skin, we are all brothers and sisters in our struggle for recognition.
Blak represents those of us with mixed ATSI ‘white’ heritage, while black is the colour of our true selves prior to the invasion of our lands and violation of our people.
While this site will be primarily dedicated to my research into human rights violations committed against ATSI people by Australian police officers and government officials who are invariably drawn from the dominant culture from within Australian society, I will also be traversing the positives of our relationship with the dominant culture and more broadly our relationships with our traditions. We, the original inhabitants of Australia, have a vibrant and living culture now beginning to rise from the ashes of our torment; as more and more of us connect with our Dreaming our torments will lessen by degrees.
In December 2005 while sitting in a cafe in Civic, ACT with Australia’s most senior Indigenous female bank executive we were approached, verbally and physically assailed and racially vilified by an ACT Department of Treasury official who had previously been the subject of numerous complaints regarding his racist and misogynistic attitudes and conduct.
This assault was witnessed by three other people including an Anglican minister of Religion.
The following was included in a contemporaneous Statutory Declaration provided by Mr. Darren Bloomfield, who witnessed the incident and attempted to report it to the Australian Federal Police:
In late November or early December 2005 I was walking past the Waldorf Cafe in Civic at around lunch. When passing the cafe I heard a verbal exchange and the following words were said “… you’re nothing but a fucking boong cunt … Further I heard the same voice say “… you’re a whore who fucks boongs …”
Mr. Bloomfield, the Anglican minister and the third witness accompanied me and the lady concerned to the nearest Australian Federal Police station to report the incident. The officer on duty would not take our complaint because:
Your alleged assailant is a former high profile ACT…identity and friend of the ACT Treasurer [Mr. Ted Quinlan].
Even though the lady concerned had her glasses broken, her dress ripped and her right eye blackened by her assailant in an unprovoked racially motivated attack, we as Aborigines were denied our rights, because our assailant was white and a so called ‘identity’. The Commonwealth Ombudsman looked for every excuse not to investigate and to this date has failed to take any action. AFP internal affairs excoriated themselves even though they took no statements and made no approaches for statements to the victims or the witnesses.
Subsequent to this assault my house was broken into and my dog and cat were killed which was followed by a message indicating that it was in retaliation for making a complaint to the AFP regarding the assault. A contemporaneous grievance was raised about these issues by the bank executive who was one of the victims of the Waldorf Cafe assault, with a then member of the ACT Legislative Assembly. Although sympathetic, no action was taken.
This encounter and the stonewalling we as victims were meet with from Australian, ACT and AFP officialdom spurred me to investigate the full extent of entrenched and systemic racism within Australia’s police services and government departments. I was particularly interested in identifying incidents where serving police officers had refused to investigate crimes committed by ‘white’ Australians against ATSI Australians.
This web site contains the data I have collected to date including links to publically available information detailing other crimes committed by serving police officers against ATSI and other Australians.
While the incident in Civic might seem trivial, it is the underlying conditions which allow incidents of this nature to occur that should be of concern to all Australians. The logical extension of this type of conduct is the flagrant breaches of human dignity and rights which ‘white’ Australia afforded to Mulrunji Doomadgee from Palm Island in Queensland, Kwementyaye Ryder from the Northern Territory and Mr Ward from Western Australia.
I believe it to be in the interests of all Australians that this information be made available for public comment and reflection and am working on a PhD titled Corruption and Racism in the Australian Federal Police and the death of Australia’s democracy, to bring further attention to the issues. Further information is available on the page Racism – the facts.
Regardless of authorship, all posts published on Blak and Black will be done under the generic name Bakchos and Watershedd. Blak and Black publishes out of Utah in the United States of America and has no representatives in Australia.