A Contributing Life: the reality of Australia's first people

A Contributing Life: the reality of Australia’s first people

“… people with mental health problems want the same thing as everyone else. Even the disadvantaged should be able to lead a contributing life. This can mean many things. It can mean a fulfilling life enriched with close connections to family and friends, good health and wellbeing to allow those connections to be enjoyed, having something to do each day that provides meaning and purpose – whether it be a ...

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The rule of law and the democratic process

The rule of law and the democratic process

“No-one ever argues that governments should have less integrity, that elected officials should not be accountable, or that public servants should behave unethically. Broad statements of the value of integrity, transparency, accountability and ethics gain general agreement from all sides of politics and from all participants in public debate. But government integrity demands more than general expressions of goodwill. Enhancing transparency and accountability requires supportive structures as well as declarations ...

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Promises and passages - it's all an illusion

Promises and passages – it’s all an illusion

  Promises and passage, that what’s they were sold. A truth not realized, the loss of all that was family and home. The South Sea Islanders who came to Australia in the 1800s and early 1900s were referred to as Kanakas. Many were kidnapped by ‘blackbirders’. As the descendents of Anglo-Celtic migrants, those sugar-cane farmers in Queensland may well have listened and danced to tunes such as Sharon Shannon’s jig ...

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The Medusa – the price we all pay for political corruption

The Medusa – the price we all pay for political corruption

Let us venture to advance another truth, a truth useful to the Minister himself. There exists among the officers of the Marine, an intractable esprit de corps, a pretended point of honour, equally false and arrogant, which leads them to consider as an insult to the whole navy, the discovery of one guilty individual. This inadmissible principle, which is useful only to insignificance, to intrigue, to people the least worthy ...

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Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus

Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus

Words Like Freedom There are words like Freedom Sweet and wonderful to say. On my heart strings freedom sings All day everyday. There are words like Liberty That almost make me cry. If you had known what I know You would know why. Langston Hughes (p. 38 of Poetry For Young People: Langston Hughes) Lectori Salutem of Blak and Black, many will recognise the title of this post as being ...

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West Papua: Remembering 51 years of oppression

West Papua: Remembering 51 years of oppression

Dusk is falling across Melbourne and West Papua, but not over the dreams of the Papuan people. Today, remembering 51 years of oppression having been denied the right to self-determination, the West Papuan people gathered in Melbourne to celebrate their national day and raise awareness of the human rights abuses the people of West Papua still endure since the departure of the Dutch colonial governors. And on this day of ...

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Nemo nisi Nomen

Nemo nisi Nomen

…believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man…Men are born and remain free and equal in rights… These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression… Declaration of the Rights of Man and the ...

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Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation Media Statement

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation Media Statement

YINDJIBARNDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION MEDIA STATEMENT—Thursday 29 November 2012 http://yindjibarndi.org.au/   YINDJIBARNDI WANT SOLUTION TO FMG DEBACLE   Yindjibarndi Elder Bruce Woodley joins Sue Singleton, Brad Goode and Kerry Savas in telling the ‘inconvenient’ truth about Fortescue’s (FMG) behind-the-scenes tactics to divide Yindjibarndi society and destroy our culture. We thank him for his courage, as we do the others, and all those who might follow. We especially hope that Bruce’s peers ...

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Right versus religion

Right versus religion

Last week one comment on twitter to some of the Blak and Black crew resulted in considerable discussion about the underlying intent of this wee blog. The commenter, apparently thinking that Bakchos was proselytizing in his post A Hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a Hypocrite for a Chief Minister, fired off this somewhat surprising reply:   Some of the crew were online at the time and promptly replied to the ...

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Destroy the Joint, schmoozing and the hypocrites

Destroy the Joint, schmoozing and the hypocrites

The announcement of a Royal Commission into child abuse by clergy is as big an issue as was the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption, if not bigger. This is no ordinary review of process or legality, but a direct attack on the primacy of religious and canon law over that of the state. Such a thing would never have happened a century ago, because the place of the church ...

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A hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a hypocrite for a Chief Minister

A hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a hypocrite for a Chief Minister

Each man reaches perfection by doing his own duty; he worships god – from whom all beings come, by whom this universe was stretched forth – by doing his appointed work, with no desire for reward. You must do the work for its own sake and not for anything that it may bring to you. When pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat are the same to you, ...

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Ain't I a woman?

Ain’t I a woman?

If I could share a meal at a table with a small group of people from any time in history, Isabella Baumfree would be one of them. Perhaps, just perhaps, she could tell me how to help find justice for the Indigenous women ignored by the Australian Federal Police in Australia’s capital, Canberra. Isabella was born the daughter of slaves, enslaved herself from the moment of conception. Sold at the ...

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The self and the selfish - Sydney's homeless

The self and the selfish – Sydney’s homeless

Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff, oh! Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea And frolicked in ...

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Sisters, will the real misogynist please stand up?

Sisters, will the real misogynist please stand up?

Misogyny is a nasty word. It implies much more than sexism; it indicates a hatred of women. That’s why, in the overall view of the current political debates I must rise to the defence of the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. I do not perceive that he hates women, although his views on gender equality and marriage rights may not align with mine. Alan Jones, similarly, I do not believe to ...

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Sir Gawain, moral accountability and the UN Security Council

Sir Gawain, moral accountability and the UN Security Council

Make we mery quyl we may, and mynne upon joye,  For the lur may mon lach when-so mon lykes Make we merry while we may, and think about joy,  For a man may have sorrow whenever he likes The Gawain poet Most readers of Blak and Black will be aware that the in March 2008, the then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Australia would run for a non-permanent ...

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Anna Elisabeth Schmieg and the narrative structures of society

Anna Elisabeth Schmieg and the narrative structures of society

How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known? Orhan Pamuk, snow Anna Elisabeth Schmieg of Hurden from the old County of Hohenlohe had a bad reputation with her fellow villagers. Anna’s reputation for drinking and brawling in taverns and for ...

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Monkey see, monkey do

Monkey see, monkey do

“Behead all those who insult the prophet!” So read the banner in Sydney on Saturday, in a protest ignited by a film released in the United States. Really, the lack of respect shown by the creators of the video and by the protestors are equally abysmal. One group insults another, the other feels it acceptable to damage the property of the place they have immigrated to and chosen to call ...

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YINDJIBARNDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION MEDIA RELEASE

YINDJIBARNDI ABORIGINAL CORPORATION MEDIA RELEASE

  FMG ‘DECLASSIFIED’ THEN DESTROYED YINDJIBARNDI HERITAGE SITES Recent reports that, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is pushing ahead with the “low-cost Firetail deposit” at its Solomon Project, while scaling back other operations, have raised fears of a ‘heritage holocaust’ as FMG scrambles for cash flow to weather the freefall in iron ore price. These fears follow confirmation in documents released by the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA), under the Freedom ...

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Kristallnacht: Why human rights is everyone’s business

Kristallnacht: Why human rights is everyone’s business

Tell me who you are, what you stand for what you mean Tell me what the lines and whirls upon your hand do mean Show me plain the markings of the Jew, the black, the slave Then march in regiment formation ‘til the end of time and days. Mix not the seed of black with white or brown with yellow tones Lest men become confused and think that each is ...

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Too little, too late

Too little, too late

… What folk is this, which seems by pain so vanquished?” And he to me: “This miserable mode Maintain the melancholy souls of those Who lived withouten infamy or praise. Commingled are they with that caitiff choir Of Angels, who have not rebellious been, Nor faithful were to God, but were for self. The heavens expelled them, not to be less fair; Nor them the nethermore abyss receives, For glory ...

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