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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Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home. Some agree, some do not. But the simple fact is that our treatment of those close to us sets the foundations for our behaviours toward others. Before we can love another, we must first learn to love ourselves. Within Buddhist doctrine is the practice of metta bhavana, or loving-kindness. It is a deeply spiritual and personal practice in which an individual progressively develops a sense of ...

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Forty years on, Indigenous women still without rights

Forty years on, Indigenous women still without rights

It was freezing last night where I slept in my travels, below freezing in fact. In Bangerang country, home of the Yorta Yorta people, Mother Nature may have frozen the water in every dog’s bowl and garden hose, but she balanced the frigidity with a crystal blue sky and gleaming sun as it rose. The breeze has remained cool enough to nip at my heels, but even a white woman’s ...

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The stories, art and dance of Arnhem Land, the longest running show in history

The stories, art and dance of Arnhem Land, the longest running show in history

NAIDOC week seems a fitting time to diverge a little from the normal themes of Blak and Black and have a peak into what was our culture prior to the British lead European invasion of our lands, which commenced in earnest on 26th January 1788. Prior to this faithful day, all 700 or so Aboriginal cultures inhabiting continental Australia had their own religion, law and lore. Those of us living ...

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Law is The Law, but not if you’re an Aborigine

Law is The Law, but not if you’re an Aborigine

Men, in general, seem to employ their reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they cannot trace how, rather than to root them out. The mind must be strong that resolutely forms its own principles; for a kind of intellectual cowardice prevails which makes many men shrink from the task, or only do it by halves. Yet the imperfect conclusions thus drawn, are frequently very plausible, because they are ...

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Standing Still

Standing Still

This post, originally posted by Cate Bolt on her blog An Ordinary Life, is reposted here with permission. Her open willingness to question the status quo and ask how best we can work together to end Indigenous racism in Australia, to acknowledge that perhaps help is not what the Aborigines want, but rather respect, is a reflection of the sort of attitude that Blak and Black wishes to emphasize. Thankyou ...

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300,000 dead West Papuan’s: a fair price for our golems?

300,000 dead West Papuan’s: a fair price for our golems?

Sydney: city of mystery, city of marvels. Sydney: its foreshores once teeming with Gadigal; now a captive city pregnant with memories, enveloped by memories of a Gadigal Atlantis. The traditional Gadigal are all but gone, however their presence remains. Though brutally murdered, their legend survives. By telling their tale, we resurrect their Atlantis. By reviving their legends, we awaken their spirits. Their souls haunt the city still. Their presence pervades ...

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Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Last weekend I took a stroll through the Mesopotamia exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. While reading the commentary attached to a number of the artefacts I realised, in a profound way, that what we call civilization is actually a reaction to and against nature. Some cultures, those we choose to call ‘primitive’, ‘savage’ or ‘uncivilized’ attempt to live in harmony with nature, or at least attempt to develop a rapport ...

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AFP racism sparks diplomatic row between Australia and Vanuatu

AFP racism sparks diplomatic row between Australia and Vanuatu

On 2nd May, 2012 the Vanuatu Daily Post reported that Private Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Clarence Marae had been arrested at Sydney International Airport by the Australian Federal Police (“AFP”) whilst accompanying Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Meltek Sato Kilman Livtunvanu to Israel on a diplomatic mission. Following his arrest, Mr Marae was charged with conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth, contrary to section 86 (1) and 29D of the Crimes ...

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Ernst and Young peddlers of falsity, destroyers of dreams

Ernst and Young peddlers of falsity, destroyers of dreams

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, Enwrought of golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would lay these cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven, W.B. Yeats. Many, ...

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West Papua and the United Nations

West Papua and the United Nations

July of 1969 was a big month. Whilst the ‘civilized’ world was focused on the deployment of three men to the moon, Indonesia was finalizing steps to wrest control of the territory of West Papua from the United Nations, the former Dutch protectorate. I do not say wrest lightly, for it was in the so-called Act of Free Choice that in fact the people of West Papua were robbed of ...

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An ‘Ethics Commissioner’ without ethics: welcome to Australia

An ‘Ethics Commissioner’ without ethics: welcome to Australia

Yesterday, Thursday I received a phone call from Captain Fred Martens, the man who spent a 1,000 days in jail, having been wrongly convicted of an offence under Australia’s Child Sex Tourism Laws. His conviction was later quashed by the Queensland Court of Appeal (“QCA”). At all times Captain Martens has maintained his innocence. Captain Martens has further maintained that he was a victim of a corrupt Australian Federal Police ...

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Australian Constitutional reform

Australian Constitutional reform

Following on from the discussion of belonging and what the Australian flag represents to many Indigenous Australians, this post gives consideration to the current debate about acknowledgement of Australia’s Aborigines in the Constitution. “The Constitution did not attempt to sum up the Australian ethos — just as well, since that has changed considerably over one hundred years. The Constitution is simply a statement of the legal terms on which the ...

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West Papua and the vote of no choice!

West Papua and the vote of no choice!

These feelings which we Cubans have already acquired will have to be shared by someday. Today it hurts us if a Cuban is hungry, if a Cuban has no doctor, if a Cuban child suffers or is uneducated, or if a family has no housing. It hurts us even though it’s not our brother, our son, or our father. Why shouldn’t we feel hurt if we see an Angolan child ...

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The symbol of belonging

The symbol of belonging

On the request of a friend, this post offers some insights as to why someone would wish to burn the Australian flag as an act of protest. The events in Canberra on the day commemorating the arrival of the first European settlers in Australia widely known as Australia Day have provided the media with no end of racial and political fodder. I spent some time reading comments on Yahoo!7, including: ...

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Operation Helpem Fren

Operation Helpem Fren

On 18 January 2012 the Solomon Star reported that RAMSI apologist and the former Solomon Islands Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for West New Georgia and Vona Vona, Peter Boyers, was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and intimidation. What is more interesting are the facts surrounding these charges. According to the Solomon Star, Boyers was engaged in a longstanding dispute with political rival Peter Boso. In an apparent ...

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What is actually the root of the problem in Papua?

What is actually the root of the problem in Papua?

The following is an extract of an interview between Bambang Dharmono, former Aceh military commander and negotiator representing Indonesia for the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), to lead the Presidential Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B) and journalist Nani Afrida which appeared in The Jakarta Post on 16 December, 2011. The question posed by Nani to Bambang was “What is actually the root of the ...

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Indonesia and Australia the illegitimate states of the Asia Pacific Region

Indonesia and Australia the illegitimate states of the Asia Pacific Region

What is self-determination? The notion of self-determination as a universal principle, whether viewed through a political, moral, or legal lens, has been and continues to be imprecise and in dire need of further clarification. U.S. president Woodrow Wilson understood self-determination to be the belief that every people had the right to select their own form of government, to “choose the sovereignty under which they shall live” and thus be free ...

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Moti one of the many victims of white Australia’s black and white concept of justice

Moti one of the many victims of white Australia’s black and white concept of justice

The following is an extract from a news article titled Keelty’s rage at Moti manoeuvres which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on October12, 2006. Mr Keelty said yesterday he was concerned about “recent developments” involving both PNG and the Solomons. “If the criminal justice system is corrupted, or otherwise interfered with, a community is left with few options, the least desirable of those options is for them to take ...

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Good Christian Souls

Good Christian Souls

Best of the Season. This post is a little delayed, but hey, it is the Yuletide! “Does this discrepancy between reality and altruistic morality yield the positive effects which are conventionally claimed? Do exhortations to self-sacrifice for other people and lofty goals make the world any better?” (Tullman J., Tullman J.,  Natural Ethics – A Confrontation with Altruism.) Over the past couple of years Channel Ten has aired the CBS ...

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