True Blue Aussies

True Blue Aussies

There are numerous groups working to assist the homeless in Sydney. Most nights you can find a food van behind St. Mary’s Cathedral or in Wentworth Park. There’s people who beg on the streets daily and others sleeping rough in doorways or alleys, all dependent on the compassion of those more fortunate for a meal each day. Australian Muslim Youth (AMY) are one group trying to address the needs of ...

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#WalkTogether to end #racism

#WalkTogether to end #racism

The sign says it all. Since when should people need to rally to welcome others, to offer a helping hand? The annual #Walktogether held in both capital cities and regional locations attracted people of all ages, calling for an end to the marginalization of refugees through policies such as off shore detention, as well as to promote inter-faith and community harmony. All ages of the community were represented, carrying multi-coloured ...

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The "Unsettled" Great Southern Land

The “Unsettled” Great Southern Land

Where to start … where to start … After a protracted hiatus, Blak and Black is back! There’s so much to write about, so much in the news and the world at large. We’ll get to much of it over time, but there’s really only one place to restart for a blog that revolves around discrimination, in particular indigenous racism and that’s Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most recent foot-in-mouth ...

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Treaties, lies and the Morning Star Flag

Treaties, lies and the Morning Star Flag

“The West Papuans have become the victims of Australia’s regional foreign policy arrangements that prop up the anti-refugee policies of Operation Sovereign Borders.” Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition. Fifty-two years ago on this day, the Morning Star flag otherwise known and Bintang Kejora, was first raised in West Papua, (formerly known as West New Guinea and to Indonesia, Irian Jaya), marking the unofficial independence of the small province as the ...

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Australia’s Racism Problem Just Won’t Go Away

Australia’s Racism Problem Just Won’t Go Away

This post has been proferred by Imogen, a reader of Blak and Black. As South Korean-born Dami Im’s X-Factor win in Australia is celebrated with a number one single it’s a shame that this demonstration of a multi-cultural country is also accompanied by an expression of that country’s darker side. While Im won on a public vote, her victory was also accompanied by that dispiriting modern phenomenon, an outbreak of racist social media posts ...

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Impossible dream and a not so imaginary foe

Impossible dream and a not so imaginary foe

The day began with a comfortably low temperature of 17oC before rising to a high of 28oC. In the crushing crowd outside the Lincoln Memorial, it would seem unbearably hot to many. But fevers were raised by more than the beat of sun and thirsts were quenched by words more invigorating that the water of the Reflecting Pool on August 28, 1963. And on the very day that Martin Luther ...

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#Misogyny and #sexism - Australian political rhetoric

#Misogyny and #sexism – Australian political rhetoric

Before launching into this post, Blak and Black wishes to congratulate its good friend Mr. Julian Moti QC on his admission to the Fiji bar and imminent return to the legal profession, where he had previously been a longterm champion of indigenous rights. Now, to the post … I’m going to raise ire and I’ll bet more than a few negative comments with this post. Because I’m tired of the ...

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Life on the street - no fixed address

Life on the street – no fixed address

I trudged a well worn path from Melbourne’s La Trobe Street to Flinders Street in my youth. Sydney has its fabulous Harbour, but Melbourne had arcades that drew me in and wide streets that seemed full of life, people, buskers, fruit sellers. I could browse the wares and stay under the cover almost the full distance, with never thought for the rain. Melbourne’s arcades still draw me, my favourite being ...

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#Racism: Time to cease emulating the ostrich

#Racism: Time to cease emulating the ostrich

“He was a remarkably effective prime minister for a while. The most difficult time was in 1997 and, to give credit to the government, they tightened the supervision over the banking system. The thing I recall (however) is the introduction of race and racist attitude into the body politic, especially over refugees.” Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, commenting about one his successors, John Howard, The Australian, 20 April 2013. Malcolm ...

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A fish rots from the head

A fish rots from the head

The most recent public airing of a racist attack on a Korean man and his aunt visiting from his homeland has prompted another round of self-reflection on the Australian psyche. Waleed Aly published his point of view a few days ago and whilst I agree that all nations battle issues of racism, the difference is that they acknowledge the problem exists, unlike Australia. The Israelis, Palestinians, Americans, Canadians, Kiwis and ...

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West Papua - time we were #idlenomore

West Papua – time we were #idlenomore

“We recognize international law …” Every country that is a member of the United Nations recognizes international law, Bob, at least as far as it serves their purposes. It seems to me that every nation also ignores any aspect of international law that puts some aspect of their own commercial or national value at risk. Every nation has at its heart not the rest of humanity, but it’s own nationalistic ...

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"May it ring for justice and change"

“May it ring for justice and change”

I like to learn how to say people’s names properly. Not that I have a particularly good memory for pairing names with faces, but I believe it is a sign of respect when you pay enough attention to learn to say – and spell – someone’s name correctly. Perhaps it’s a legacy of those elocution lessons at primary school … Mrs. Edie would be amused. I also like to learn ...

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#Indigenous self determination and alcohol

#Indigenous self determination and alcohol

The news of the week in #Indigenous Affairs is the annual report card on Closing the Gap. Julia Gillard states that she is disappointed with the progress is addressing #indigenous disadvantage; I’m certain that anyone who shares their life with an #indigenous person or organization will disagree with those sentiments. But who is to the blame for this lack of progress? Successive governments have failed to place positive actions in ...

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Pourquoi les coiffeurs or Wingnut v The Ranger

Pourquoi les coiffeurs or Wingnut v The Ranger

We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls – has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped ...

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Statistics, lies and the #AFP

Statistics, lies and the #AFP

Thus Friend comforted me. I took great comfort from his counsel, and it seemed to me, indeed that he knew at least more than Reason did. But before he had finished his argument, which agreed strongly with me, Sweet Thought, and Sweet Talk came back, and from then on they stayed close to me and hardly ever left me afterward. But they did not bring Sweet Looks; I did not ...

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David Hicks and Lex Wotton – it’s all black and white

David Hicks and Lex Wotton – it’s all black and white

David Hicks and Lex Wotton, two of Australia’s notorious. No I’m not suggesting that they are members of that Sydney based pseudo-outlaw bikie gang allegedly connected with the Ibrahim family, rather I’m suggesting that these men have been outlawed for a very different reason, they challenged Australia’s systemic and entrenched culture of corruption. While Messers Hicks and Wotton may share a certain degree of notoriety based on their past actions, ...

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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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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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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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