Indigenous victim still waiting for justice

Saturday, June 11, 2011
By Chris Jenkins, Perth

Photo: Alex Bainbridge.
Since March 2009, it has been unclear whether promising footballer Rex Bellotti Junior will need to have his leg amputated after he was run over by a police four wheel drive in Albany, Western Australia.

The Indigenous boy, then 15, was leaving a wake when the police vehicle, driving on the wrong side of the road, struck him with sufficient force to drag him under the van, breaking his right femur and inflicting lacerations to his legs.

Though severe, Bellotti Jr’s injuries did not compel the officers involved to stop and assist. They instead left the boy in the care of family and passersby. Fortunately, among them was an off-duty medic who gave him immediate attention.

Thirteen hours passed before Bellotti Jr arrived in surgery, in which time irreparable damage to his legs had already been done.

He was then transferred for treatment in Royal Perth Hospital, where he was subjected to a “random” strip search after medications went missing in his shared ward.

His family has since moved to Perth to be close to their son and campaign for justice from the state government and against the racial discrimination that permeates the justice system in Western Australia.

Neither Bellotti Jr nor other key witnesses were even interviewed by police until April 2009, more than a month after the incident — and this only after The Sunday Times had published an article on the whole debacle.

An Albany newspaper article published four days after the incident quoted police officers saying “it appeared the teenager had deliberately walked in front of the ongoing car” which they claimed had “slowed down to 40km/hr”.

For more than a month, local police involved in the incident seemingly saw no need to add further testimonies to their own. But statements taken since from other witnesses have refuted the version of events given by police.

An internal inquiry performed by the Western Australian Police Force in October 2009 concluded that while errors in police handling had occurred, it was “satisfied that every effort had been made by the WA Police to undertake a thorough and transparent investigation into these matters”.

However, the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) slammed these “satisfying” conclusions in November 2009. It said: “Given the injuries suffered by Rex Jr, it would be hard to accept that the lack of obtaining statements is merely ‘an oversight’.”

However, the CCC fell short of acknowledging the racist motivations behind this sickening case of injustice.

Rex Bellotti Senior told the National Indigenous Times in June 2009 that no internal inquiry would achieve justice for his son. “Police investigating police again,” he said. “At the end of the day they can exonerate each other … they’ve got each others’ backs.”

Accusations of racial discrimination to Indigenous people are hardly new for the WA police and the justice system.

Other recent scandals include the charging of a then-12-year-old Indigenous boy with receiving a 70 cent chocolate as “stolen property” in November 2009 and the ongoing Deaths in Custody Watch Committee campaign seeking justice for the family of Mr Ward, who died in horrendous circumstances in 2008 in a prison transport van.

Alongside these stands the tragedy inflicted on Rex Bellotti Jr and his family, who have been left until now without counselling services, without compensation and without a formal apology or recognition of guilt on the part of the state government or the WA police.

For Bellotti Sr, there is no doubt about the role institutional racism played in the treatment his son and family had suffered.

He told Green Left Weekly: “If I was driving a four wheel drive, like the one that I own, and ran over a young white child while driving on the wrong side of the road … and you can ask any of our Indigenous people here or in the eastern states as well … we would be considered guilty until proven innocent.

“My son and my family didn’t ask for any of this. We feel like we’ve gotten nowhere yet, but this is only the beginning.”

Supporters of Rex Bellotti Jr have demonstrated outside state parliament twice so far this year in a campaign that is expected to win wider support in the coming months.

From GLW issue 883

Global warming N climate change

“Climate change is variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It encompasses temperature increase (global warming), sea-level rise, changes in precipitation patterns and increased frequencies of extreme events. Each of these phenomena can impact on biological diversity. In fact climate change is one of the major threats to biodiversity.” The Convention on Biological Diversity

whether you believe it or not global warming is happening.  Find out what the causes are and how to do your bit. Just for future generations we should be more careful to walk more gently on the planet, taking only what we must, take responsibility to get the facts and if we care enough, do what we can to undo our mistakes so far.

– scientist all agree on the Basic Facts of Global Warming

– Science community confirms global warming is happening – and people are the cause.

– The only real debate is about how fast warming will occur, and how much damage will be done, as a result of human activities that produce heat-trapping CO2 and other greenhouse-gas emissions

– Make no mistake: Science has given us unequivocal warning that global warming is real. The time to start working on solutions is now.

– chemist Svante Arrhenius first proposed the idea of global warming in 1896.

– Carbon dioxide, he knew, traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. He also knew that burning coal and oil releases carbon dioxide (CO2).

– Arrhenius speculated that continued burning of coal and oil would increase concentrations of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, making the planet warmer. It’s called the “greenhouse effect.”

– What warms the Earth? There are essentially three factors that could be responsible for recent rapid global warming.  
The sun
Earth’s reflectivity
Greenhouse gases

– Which of these is causing our current global warming? All the evidence points to greenhouse gases,   Source: NASA Earth Observatory

– Historic CO2 Levels: The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in measurable history, and predicted to increase dramatically this century.

– An increase of 25% more CO2 than the highest natural levels over the past 800,000 years.

– Additional CO2 in the atmosphere comes mainly from coal and oil, because the chemical composition of the CO2 contains a unique “fingerprint.” 

– case closed: human activity is causing the Earth to get warmer,  through the burning of fossil fuels, with a smaller contribution from clearing forests. All other scientific answers for why the Earth is getting warmer have been knocked out.

– World View of Human Impact on Temperature Since 1900
Continental and global temperatures modeled with and without human influence show the impact of human activity on global warming

– Glaciers are Melting and Contributing to Sea Level Rise

– Between 1961 and 1997 the world’s glaciers lost 890 cubic miles of ice. ( even though some get bigger, its not enough)

– melting ice caps and glaciers accounted for about 25% of sea level rise from 1993 to 2003. Over the 20th century sea level worldwide rose by 6.7 inches, and the 2007 IPCC report concludes it is now rising faster.

– Greenland’s massive ice sheet could soon reach a tipping point that would trigger an irreversible meltdown and an eventual sea-level rise of over 20 feet.

– Melting sea ice can accelerate warming

– Since 1979, Arctic sea ice has declined by 11.2 percent per decade

– Scientists believe the polar ocean, including the geographic North Pole, could be entirely ice-free in the near future. Their predictions range from as early as 2013 to as late as 2100.

– Global Warming and Increased CO2 will Harm

– CO2, warming in just the middle range of scientific projections would have devastating impacts

– Rising seas would inundate coastal communities, contaminate water supplies with salt and increase the risk of flooding by storm surge, affecting tens of millions of people globally. Plus, extreme weather events, including heat waves, droughts and floods, are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity, causing loss of lives and property and throwing agriculture into turmoil.

– Even though higher levels of CO2 can act as a plant fertilizer under some conditions, scientists now think that the “CO2 fertilization” effect on crops has been overstated

– We live in a global community. The idea that there will be regional “winners” and “losers” in global warming is based on a world-view from the 1950’s.

– Many Communities Won’t be Able to Adapt to Rapid Climate Change

– Dramatic coastal erosion is forcing residents of Shishmaref, Alaska to relocate.

– The current warming of our climate will bring major hardships and economic dislocations — untold human suffering, especially for our children and grandchildren

– Climate has changed in the past and human societies have survived, but today six billion people depend on the earths systems.

-there is much greater risk to today’s larger population and infrastructure.

– unless we limit the amount of heat-trapping gases we are putting into the atmosphere now, we face continued warming and even larger climate changes than we already see today.

– If action isn’t taken, 100 million people worldwide could be flooded by the sea each year in the 2080s.

– In what appears to be the first forced move resulting from climate change, 100 residents of Tegua island in the Pacific Ocean were relocated by the government in 2005 because rising sea levels were flooding their island.
Some 2,000 other islanders plan a similar move to escape rising waters.

– In the United States, the village of Shishmaref in Alaska, which has been inhabited for thousands of years, is collapsing from melting permafrost. Relocation plans are in the works. On the Torres Strait Islands a high tide during wet season can mean disaster for the towns electri and waste systems.  Main streets can be seen under water at king tides.  See n search tides Torres Strait Islands.

– Even if people find a way to adapt, the wildlife and plants on which we depend may be unable to adapt to rapid climate change. While the world itself will not end, the world as we know it may disappear.


In closing, hopefully i have shown that from the latest information available, global warming is really happening and is a real threat to humanity and wildlife.  I believe it important to do everything we can to find out how we can do our part to reduce the rate and effect of this global problem.  To find out what we can do, you can start by logging onto:, or watch the video the inconvenient truth at

“Aborigines from across the country will fight nuclear dumping”

This is serious business, THIS IS OUR BUSINESS!!!


Yours in UNITY
Sharralyn Robinson

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council


Ph: 42 26 3338

Fax: 42 26 3360

M: 0410 125463

I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land I work on as the first people of this country.

Subject: “Aborigines from across the country will fight nuclear dumping”

“Aborigines from across the country will fight nuclear dumping”

Media Release

Goodooga, northwest NSW, 24 February 10 – Aboriginal people will be called from all over Australia to protest in the Northern Territory against any movement of nuclear waste across their traditional lands, an Aboriginal activist says.

Michael Anderson, chairman of an Aboriginal Summit Task Force recently elected in Canberra (pictured at right), says in a media release: “Nothing will move down the former American Vice-President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton railway line from Darwin to Alice Springs.”

Mr. Anderson was responding on behalf of a majority of traditional land owners to an announcement by Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, that the Federal Government will pursue the first Australian radioactive waste repository at Muckaty Station, about 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek.

Mr. Anderson condemned the Bureau of Northern Land Council for “ignoring the majority of the traditional land owners who do not want their country, Muckaty Station, used for nuclear waste dumping”.

He said the general Australian public fails to understand how much influence the federal government has over organisations such as the Northern Land Council, whose CEO is appointed by government. 

“Aboriginal people are under siege from the tyranny of a Labor government who have no consideration whatsoever for our rights,” Mr. Anderson charges.

“What we have here is a repeat of the Ranger uranium mine agreement fiasco. The arrangements that are being made are illegal and the government and the Northern Land Council know full well that the traditional owners have little to no chance of fighting against this dictatorship.

“But don’t underestimate our resolve as a resistance group. It is time the Australian government woke up and understands that they are pushing us into a corner and we will come out fighting with all that we have.

“Our communications thus far with the traditional owners suggest that a fight is looming, and maybe then the Australian public will get the picture.”

Mr Anderson, the last survivor of the four Black Power activists who set up the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra in 1972, says he is pleased that the unions are offering support.

“The New Way Summit Task Force has been asked for their support to bring this matter to the attention of the public. The Task Force puts the Australian government on notice that like Noonkanber in Western Australia in 1979, we will call upon Aboriginal people to come from every part of this country and protest any movement of nuclear waste across our people’s traditional lands.”

“If the Europeans, Americans and China along with the rest of the world want to use nuclear power, then dump your rubbish on your own soil. You take it from us against our will and you now want to return it against our wishes.”

Muckaty Station is the country of the mother of Barbara Shaw (pictured left), Alice Springs camps activist and a member of the Summit Task Force. Ms Shaw commented on uranium mining in the Northern Territory at the Canberra summit from 30 January to 1 February.

She said only some people agreed to the dump “because they saw the dollar sign”. Although Elders had long warned that the radiation is dangerous, a lot more awareness needed to be created in the area. Listen to the extract at

The Taskforce can be contacted through Michael Anderson at 02 68296355 landline, 04272 92 492 mobile, 02 68296375 fax, ngurampaa@…


Mr Anderson’s release in full:

As Chairman of the recently elected Aboriginal Summit Task Force, I condemn the Bureau of Northern Land Council for ignoring the majority of the traditional land owners who do not want their country, Muckaty Station, used for nuclear waste dumping.

What the general Australian public fails to understand is how much influence the Federal Government has over organizations such as the Northern Land Council. In the first instance the CEO of the Northern Land Council is a Government-appointed person as per the Federal Northern Territory Land Rights Act. This does not fare very well for its perceived independence. Aboriginal people are under siege from the tyranny of a Labor Government who have no consideration whatsoever for our rights.

What we have here is a repeat of the Ranger uranium mine agreement fiasco. The arrangements that are being made are illegal and the Government and the Northern Land Council know full well that the traditional owners have little to no chance of fighting against this dictatorship. But don’t underestimate our resolve as a resistance group.

The public must now realize what this Labor Government are doing to Aboriginal people, blackmailing them to sign over their lands for infra-structure development and housing, but the real issues are now coming to a head and this is just one example of what is coming.

We do have rights and freedoms and it is time the Australian Government woke up and understands that they are pushing us into a corner and we will come out fighting with all that we have.

It is pleasing to see that the unions are offering support and our communications thus far with the traditional owners suggest that a fight is looming and maybe then the Australian public will get the picture.

The New Way Summit Task Force has been asked for their support to bring this matter to the attention of the public. The task force puts the Australian Government on notice that like Noonkanber in Western Australia in 1979, we will call upon Aboriginal people to come from every part of this country and protest any movement of nuclear waste across our people’s traditional lands. Nothing will move down the former American Vice-President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton railway line from Darwin to Alice Springs.

“If the Europeans, Americans and China along with the rest of the world want to use nuclear power, then dump your rubbish on your own soil. You take it from us against our will and you now want to return it against our wishes. No, the energy-hungry consumers need to look to a better way of doing business, and in this case bury your own nuclear waste in your own back yards; if you believe what you are told by your leaders that it is safe then you have no fears.

Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:05 am

Anonymous – Revolution is here, stand up cyber warriors

Part 1: First video:

It’s time to stand up. Anonymous is the idea that we are all one sharing the same idea of freedom and in that idea we are many. WE ARE LEGION! It’s time to take the power back! Spread the word, spread this message. Comment, Like, SHARE! Lets help ANONYMOUS HELP US!

Part 2:

People of the world, allow me to introduce myself as Anonymous and only as anonymous for I am nothing more than an idea. An idea of a free world, void of oppression. Void of poverty and murder by the hand of tyrannical rule. Void of hopelessness and genocide. A world where the true purpose and priority in life is to live freely and without restraint by corrupted regimes. This is the second address in a series. If you have not made yourself familiar with the current course of actions, please direct yourself to the following video prompted by the link on yourscreen.

You may be asking yourself what Anonymous is about after hearing the rumors and blatant lies the media has associated with Anonymous. Allow me to simply inform you that Anonymous is and or are not terrorists much like the powers that be would have you believe. Anonymous has been demonized by these regimes simply because we have brought justice to the oppressed. When freedom is jeopardized, Anonymous will avenge the oppressed. We do not forgive. We do not forget. We are many. And for the record, Anonymous was not behind the Playstation Network fiasco. Game on!

We have defended Julian Assange and other members of wikileaks when they were persecuted for releasing information that provided evidence to the corruption within our government and militarys. We restored the internet to the people of Egypt when the egyptian government tried to silence their voice to the world. We have defended and supported countless peoples in their pursuits for freedom. And now we will assist in the bigger struggle. It is timeto rejuvenate the human spirit. 
Allow me to ellaborate on the previous video to eliminate any misunderstandings. 

We are issuing a calling to all cyber warriors to join with us as we turn the tables on the regimes who are oppressing their people across the globe. At this very moment, courses of action are being taken to restrict the voice of the net. The net is the last bastian of true freedom for the human race. We have begun sharing our stories and all the gritty details with one another no matter where we may be on this planet. This is worrysome for those who seek to control us. They want us silenced and this is the final straw. Digital supremecy will be the selective targeting of all organizations guilty of treason against the people, guilty of restraint from freedom. Any party who has violated and continues to violate the will of the people and the voice of true freedom will become a priorty for a cyber assault unlike anything this world has witnessed.

It is the duty of the rest of the people to continue their pursuits for these freedoms by any means necessary. It is time to escalate your actions of spreading the word and reaching out to our neighbors and communities. Protest must become more frequent and grow in strength and size. Peace is our priorty, but resistance will be met with a fierce and sharp defensive. Our voice and cause is our weapon. Our vigilance is our offensive. Begin your flyer campaigns, protests, art, music, literature and video campaigns now. Paint the walls in every city. Banksy, this means you, my friend. Gather the street artists as a new canvas has been layed out before you. The time for evolved tactics has begun. The resistance is here.

As the voices are attempted to be silenced by the oppressors, the guardians will be here to shut down these priorities and turn the tables on the digital landscape. Through this physical resistance we will grow stronger as our friends maintain the defensive on the digital realm. We are one. We are many…we are the resistance.
Freedom begins now.
Translate and spread.



For most parents it is impossible to understand or decipher what the ingredients in some of chil-dren‘s products actually are:

Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on your baby care and children‘s products and wondered what they are?

Have you ever researched what the ingredients are and what their purpose is?

Do you believe the ingredients are safe for your kids?

Are you aware of the effects the combination of some these ingredients may have on your baby and children‘s health and wellbeing?

Do you believe that products advertised or labelled ‗natural‘ or ‗organic‘ are safe to use?
Raise Questions, Seek Answers
When you know the truth about the chemicals in your baby and children‟s products you may be shocked at what you find!

Because you make ALL the choices and decisions for your children from birth to their formative years, it is vitally important that you make wise and informed choices for them.
You will decide: What products they are exposed to What medications they will take What food they eat Where and how they will live
Are you aware of the toxins they may be exposed to from their baby products and in their every-day environment?
What is that you require to help you understand the impact of toxins on your child‘s health and wellbeing now and for the future?
What do you think they would ask you in the future about the choices you are making for them today?
If your child had a choice, what would they choose?

Copyright © 2009 Niche Finders. All rights reserved.
Healthy Living
We have all lathered and pampered our kids with all sorts of potions, lotions and concoctions so they feel soft and smell good. Most people intrinsically believe that companies would not inten-tionally promote or sell products that would harm our babies or children.
Is this really true?

“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better”
Albert Einstein

Inner Alchemy
The alchemists of ancient times were aware that the human body works in harmony with mother nature. They used her secrets in a form of natural chemistry, free from synthetic chemicals using only ingredients derived from plants, minerals, flowers and nature.
This fact is what makes natural substances more powerful than any synthetic substance created by man. Most modern men and women have detached themselves from nature. We now live in a world where every aspect of our environment is saturated with synthetic chemicals. Sad but true…
We have been fooled for decades into thinking that ‗synthetics‘ are the way of the future and that they are safe and superior to nature. Given the massive increases in cancer and other im-mune related diseases since the beginning of the chemical revolution in the 1930‘s and the cur-rent global environmental issues of our planet, we can see that this may not be the truth.

Bi lingual learning NT petition

tuesday, december 16, 2008

Bi lingual learning NT – Please sign and distribute
Published date: 3/12/08

Petition For Bi-lingual Learning


This petition of citizens from Australia and overseas, both Indigenous
and non-Indigenous, draws the attention of the House to the announcement on October 14th 2008 by the NT Government that from 2009 the ten remaining bilingual programs in the Northern Territory would be effectively closed down.

We believe that:
• The NT Government’s decision is educationally unsound, and that it will
hinder, rather than help, the children’s chances of learning good English. It goes against the strong evidence that using a child’s first language fosters greater cognitive development and proficiency in learning through all curriculum areas.

• The decision is demoralising for Indigenous communities who have put
effort into promoting and developing teaching methodologies that suit
bilingual and bicultural Indigenous children. Our NT bilingual and bicultural programs have provided real jobs, real work and real incentives for Indigenous educators to train and work in these schools.

• The decision will prejudice the survival of Indigenous languages. The use of the child’s first language also fosters pride in the students’ self esteem and Indigenous identity as recognised in the “Little Children are Sacred” Report.

• The decision goes against the recognition by the United Nations of
the right of Indigenous people to provide education in their own languages.

We therefore ask the House to:

Ratify the UN Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in particular to direct the NT Government to comply with Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Article 14.1:

Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.




Principal Petitioners:
Names: Kathryn McMahon and Yalmay Yunupingu
Address: 58 Tiwi Gardens Road, Tiwi, Darwin. NT 0810

Eleven Facts about NT Bilingual Schools

FACT 1: Bilingual schools teach English and an Australian Indigenous language
Literacy in the ‘mother-tongue’ is taught while a child is learning to hear and understand English. Over the 12 years of schooling about 70% of teaching will be in English.

FACT 2: A small percentage of Indigenous students attend bilingual school
16% of remote Indigenous students (7.8% of all students) attend nine bilingual schools. The remaining 84% of remote Indigenous students do not attend bilingual schools.

FACT 3: Bilingual schools out perform non-bilingual schools
Previous NT studies in the 1980s and 90s have shown that bilingual schools out perform non-bilingual schools in key English literacy and numeracy areas. See Fact 3.1 references on page 2.
Both national and international studies strongly indicate that teaching literacy in the mother tongue is the better way to support the development of English literacy. See Fact 3.2 references on page 2.

FACT 4: No evidence against bilingual schooling
There has never been a formal independent published report showing that bilingual programs have been anything but successful.

FACT 5: Bilingual program achievements were noted
The achievements of bilingual schooling were noted in the Department’s Indigenous Languages and Culture Report.
See Fact 5 reference on page 2.

FACT 6: Bilingual schools produce more Year 12 or NTCE graduates
Of the 31 Year 12 graduates in 2007, 70% came from bilingual schools. This means that a student is almost 9 times more likely to graduate from Year 12 if they come from a bilingual school. See: NTDET 2006 Poster: You Can Do It.

FACT 7: More teacher graduates from bilingual schools
There are more teacher graduates from bilingual schools than non bilingual schools. Up to 1998, 75% of all graduates (Ass Dip and Dip Teaching) from BIITE came from bilingual schools, or up to 1998 a graduate teacher was about 20 times more likely to come from a bilingual school. See comment on page 2.

FACT 8: Indigenous ESL students have double the student/teacher ratio as migrant ESL students. Migrant children from non-English speaking backgrounds attend intensive English classes with a teacher/student ratio of 1 to 10. Indigenous students with low or no English proficiency attend classes with a teacher/student ratio of 1 to 22.

FACT 9: Labour’s broken election promise on Universal Human Rights
Labour has forgotten its 2007 election promise to honour Australia’s commitments to the Universal Human Rights
Declaration, to which Australian became a signatory in 1948. See Fact 9 reference on page 2.

FACT 10: Labour’s broken promise to endorse the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights
Labour’s pre-election (2007) platform endorsing the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights Article 14 (below) has been
ignored. See Fact 10 reference on page 2.

Fact 11: Labour ignores Australia’s obligations under UN Convention of the Rights of Child 1989
Australia’s obligations under this convention talk about discrimination on the basis of language, ethnicity andidentity. See Fact 11 reference on page 2.
Page 2 15/12/2008 Email comments to:
Eleven Facts about NT Bilingual Schools – References

FACT 3.1 references:
3.1.1 Devlin, B. (1995). The evaluation of bilingual programs in the Northern Territory, 1973–1993. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 113, 25-41.
3.1.2 Christie, M., Gale, K., McClay, D., and Harris, S., (1981) Academic achievement in the Milingimbi bilingual education program TESOL Quarterly, 297-314

FACT 3.2 references:
3.2.1 Greene, J. (1998). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of bilingual education.[WWW document.] Retrieved
December 4, 2008 from
3.2.2 Meyer, M. & Fienberg, S. (Eds.) (1992). Case of bilingual education strategies. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
3.2.3 Ramirez, J.D. (1992). Executive summary of longitudinal study of structured English immersion strategy, early exit and late exit transitional bilingual education programs for language minority children. Bilingual
Research Journal, 16 (1&2), 1-61.
3.2.4 Willig, A. (1985). A meta-analysis of selected studies on the effectiveness of bilingual education. Review of Educational Research, 55, 269-317.

FACT 5 reference:
NT DEET (2005) The Indigenous languages and culture in NT schools report (2004- 2005). Pages 35-37, Retrieved
December 4, 2008 from:

FACT 7 comment:
Up to 1998 there were more bilingual schools, but as 3 out of every 4 teacher graduates came from a small number of bilingual schools (which in 2008 represents 16% of Indigenous students), then calculations show that up to 1998, a graduate teacher was approximately 20 times more likely to come from a bilingual school.

FACT 9 reference:
Universal Human Rights Declaration:
Article 26.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

FACT 10 reference:
UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights
Article 14:
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providingeducation in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
Article 15
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information.
2. States shall take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society.

Fact 11 reference:
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 29.1
“… education of the child shall be directed to (c) the development of respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate and for civilizations different from his or her own …”

Save our languages (please read and take action)

Save our languages (please read and action)
Published date : 10-11-2008
Indigenous Languages Petition
TO THE HONOURABLE SPEAKER,MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESThis petition of citizens from Australia and overseas both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous draws to the attention of the House that we are alarmed at the rate of unchecked language loss in Australia. Over 250 vigorous and vibrant languages on record at the time of European arrival in Australia have been reduced to just 17 which are being transmitted naturally to younger members of their communities. Some other languages are still spoken fluently but the vast majority are in varying states of decline and disrepair. There are also vigorous efforts across the country to maintain and revive languages, in some cases to re-introduce them after many decades of non-use.In the debate and activity addressing indigenous disadvantage indigenous languages have been overlooked. Language should be seen as a pathway to education, to healthier and wealthier communities, not as a separate subordinate issue.We therefore ask the House to develop a National Indigenous Languages Policy and a National Indigenous Languages Institute in order to strategically and coherently support the:
Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages (including creoles and Aboriginal Englishes)
Documentation and development of Indigenous Languages
Development of programs at all levels of Education
Development of numeracy and literacy targets in Indigenous Languages
Provision of interpreting and translation services (and training interpreters)
Expansion of employment options that recognise and utilise language knowledge and skills
Development of measures to increase the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in the public domain (including music industry, TV, radio, press, public art and signage).


PRINCIPAL PETITIONERName: Paul Herbert (Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages)To post or fax your vote print this form and post or fax to:Address: 295 King Street Melbourne VICPostcode: 3000Email: Telephone: 03 9602 4700Fax: 03 9602 4770

To vote online click button.,com_joomlapetition/Itemid,/catid,1/func,viewcategory/ If You Have Any Problems Signing the Petition1) The Security-Code May Not Display. Please Try Again.2) There May Be A Typo In Your Email Address OR Security Code. Please Try Again.3) Don’t Receive A Confirmation Email? Please Check Your Junk Mail. If Still Nothing, Please Try Again.4) Anything Else? Please Email Us at:

The Barunga Statement

Attachment A – The Barunga Statement
We, the Indigenous owners and occupiers of Australia, call on the Australian Government and people to recognise our rights:
to self-determination and self-management, including the freedom to pursue our own economic, social, religious and cultural development;
to permanent control and enjoyment of our ancestral lands;
to compensation for the loss of use of our lands, there having been no extinction of original title;
to protection of and control of access to our sacred sites, sacred objects, artefacts, designs, knowledge and works of art;
to the return of the remains of our ancestors for burial in accordance with our traditions;
to respect for and promotion of our Aboriginal identity, including the cultural, linguistic, religious and historical aspects, and including the right to be educated in our own languages and in our own culture and history;
in accordance with the universal declaration of human rights, the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, the international covenant on civil and political rights, and the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, rights to life, liberty, security of person, food, clothing, housing, medical care, education and employment opportunities, necessary social services and other basic rights.
We call on the Commonwealth to pass laws providing:
A national elected Aboriginal and Islander organisation to oversee Aboriginal and Islander affairs;
A national system of land rights;
A police and justice system which recognises our customary laws and frees us from discrimination and any activity which may threaten our identity or security, interfere with our freedom of expression or association, or otherwise prevent our full enjoyment and exercise of universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We call on the Australian Government to support Aborigines in the development of an international declaration of principles for indigenous rights, leading to an international covenant.
And we call on the Commonwealth Parliament to negotiate with us a Treaty recognising our prior ownership, continued occupation and sovereignty and affirming our human rights and freedom.

Attachment B – Statement of Reconciliation
Learning from the Past As Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians seek to move forward together in a process of renewal, it is essential that we deal with the legacies of the past affecting the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, including the First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis. Our purpose is not to rewrite history but, rather, to learn from our past and to find ways to deal with the negative impacts that certain historical decisions continue to have in our society today.
The ancestors of the First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis peoples lived on this continent long before explorers from other continents first came to North America. For thousands of years before this country was founded, they enjoyed their own forms of government. Diverse, vibrant Aboriginal nations had ways of life rooted in fundamental values concerning their relationship to the Creator, the environment, and each other, in the role of Elders as the living memory of their ancestors, and in their responsibilities as custodians of the lands, waters and resources of their homelands.
The assistance and spiritual values of the Aboriginal peoples who welcomed the newcomers to this continent too often have been forgotten. The contributions made by all Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s development, and the contributions they continue to make to our society today, have not been properly acknowledged. The Government of Canada today, on behalf of all Canadians, acknowledges those contributions.
Sadly, our history with respect to the treatment of Aboriginal people is not something in which we can take pride. Attitudes of racial and cultural superiority led to a suppression of Aboriginal culture and values. As a country we are burdened by past actions that resulted in weakening the identity of Aboriginal peoples, suppressing their languages and cultures and outlawing spiritual practices. We must recognise the impact of these actions on the once self-sustaining nations that were disaggregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of self-sustaining nations that were desegregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of Aboriginal people, and by some provisions f the Indian Act. We must acknowledge that the result of these actions was the erosion of the political, economic and social systems of Aboriginal people and nations.
Against the backdrop of these historical legacies, it is a remarkable tribute to the strength and endurance of Aboriginal people that they have maintained their historic diversity and identity. The Government of Canada today formally expresses to all Aboriginal people in Canada our profound regret for past actions of the federal government which have contributed to these difficult pages in the history of our relationship together.
One aspect of our relationship with Aboriginal people over this period that required particular attention is the Residential School system. This system separated many children from their families and communities and prevented them from speaking their own languages and from learning about their heritage and cultures. In the worst cases, it left legacies of personal pain and distress that continue to reverberate in Aboriginal communities to this day. Tragically, some children were the victims of physical and sexual abuse.
The Government of Canada acknowledges the role it played in the development and administration of these schools. Particularly to those individuals who experienced the tragedy of sexual and physical abuse at residential schools, and who have carried this burden believing that in some way they must be responsible, we wish to emphasize that what you experienced was not your fault and should never have happened. To those of you who suffered this tragedy at residential schools, we are deeply sorry.
In dealing with the legacies of the Residential School system, the Government of Canada proposes to work with First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis people, the Churches and other interested parties to resolve the outstanding issues that must be addressed. We need to work together on a healing strategy to assist individuals and communities in dealing with the consequences of this sad era in our history.
No attempt at reconciliation with Aboriginal people can be complete without reference to the sad events culminating in the death of MÚtis leader Louis Riel. These events cannot be undone: however, we can and will continue to look for ways of affirming the contributions of MÚtis people in Canada and of reflecting Louis Riel’s proper place in Canada’s history.
Reconciliation is an ongoing process. In renewing our partnership, we must ensure that the mistakes which marked our past relationship are not repeated. The Government of Canada recognizes that policies that sought to assimilate Aboriginal people, women and men, were not the way to build a strong country.
We must instead continue to find ways in which Aboriginal people can participate fully in the economic, political, cultural and social life of Canada in a manner which preserves and enhances the collective identities of Aboriginal communities, and allows them to evolve and flourish in the future. Working together to achieve our shared goals will benefit all Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike.
On behalf of the Government of Canada
The Honourable Jane Stewart, P.C, M.P. Minister for Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P. Federal Interlocutor for MÚtis and Non-Status Indians.

Attachment C – Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa
We, the people of South Africa,Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to – Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person;and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations. May God protect our people. Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seen Suid Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi Katekisa Afrika.

A Call from The Wild: How today’s children need nature and how the future depends on it By Ian Cleary

A Call from The Wild: How today’s children need nature and how the future depends on it

I received Richard Louv’s new book the day I received the news that I was to become a father for the first time. The book, Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, is a timely reminder of the challenges that lie before all parents, but an equally powerful recognition that my work as an environment educator has more purpose than ever!

Louv’s fascinating book highlights the broken relationship we have with our environment which stems from spending less time physically in nature. He links this separation from the natural world to many problems facing children today, including, diminished use of the senses, attention problems, and increased emotional and physical diseases including higher levels of childhood obesity and depression. Through a combination of compelling anecdotes and research, Louv argues a strong case for more focused studies, pointing out that no other generation in human history has had such levels of disconnection with nature. He suggests causes in the current crisis include a reduction of easily available open spaces, parental fear of injury or abuse, and, of course, the modern lures of being indoors.

Any adult who has experienced the delights of natural experiences knows the benefit. But sadly, Louv believes we may have ‘scared children straight out of the woods and fields’ and given in to a litigious culture that promotes organised sports as outdoor activities over unsupervised play in nature. In addition, he believes our fear of violent crime is based on a perceived risk exaggerated by biased media coverage.

Turning our attention to indoor technologies such as TV, computer games, home computers and the Internet, we find that these have had a double impact on child development. First, they take from available time that previous generations spent outdoors and, secondly, they only allow partial development of the senses and impede physical development. A line from Richard Louv’s book really drives home the challenge ahead, when he quotes a small boy saying. ‘I like to play indoors cause that’s where all the [power] outlets are.’

The book stresses the need to see play in nature not as leisure time but as something that is as crucial for our children’s development as a balanced diet or a good night’s sleep. He uses the term ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ not to describe a medical condition but to describe the symptoms experienced when children are cut off from direct nature experiences. Louv’s examples tend to have an American focus, but in my ten years as an environmental educator I have come to believe it also exists in Australia and the UK and probably in most developed countries. It’s a symptom of a larger social problem that has children (and adults) spending less time in nature than in the past and developing more of a ‘virtual’ relationship with it.

So why is building cubby houses and catching tadpoles more important than computer skills and soccer? Studies into the effects of reduced nature experiences are limited, partly because no one took note of how much time children of the past spent outside. It was probably assumed that it would always be that way, and that it was only natural for kids to want to play outdoors. It would appear that for many this is no longer the case.

So what IS the impact of a less nature-based childhood?

The Biophilia Theory, championed by Harvard Professor E.O.Wilson, suggests that we actually have a biological need to be outdoors. We develop and thrive through the sensory input from the natural world and its absence can cause all manner of problems. A branch of psychology known as eco-psychology also supports this. Of particular interest is the work done on the apparent links between outdoor play and ADHD. Studies at Illinois University have shown that time spent outdoors in ‘green spaces’ can actually reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Louv wonders whether a lack of nature might also be a cause of such attention problems.

Nature seems to operate on a more relaxed timetable than our own. Something as simple as a walk on the beach or through a rainforest tends to have a calming effect on most people. Louv would argue that this calming effect is crucial in healthy childhood development.

Inspiring the environmentalists of the future

Of the many points Louv raises in his book, I would like to focus on one aspect that particularly concerns my profession. How do we as teachers and parents, teach about ‘the environment’ and what priority should we place on experiencing the real thing?

I believe environmental education in primary schools today should concentrate on physically getting into local forests and mangroves — learning to listen for and identify the calls of local birds, or to wander local bush land smelling, touching, tasting, listening to, and generally feeling an intimate connection with what sustains us.

Try this. Think of the term ‘environmental education’ and feel what comes to mind or what should be taught under this field. For many it gives rise to ideas of global warming, protecting rainforests and oceans, animal extinction, stopping whaling, conserving water and other catastrophes. All of that is certainly critical information for society to take on. But it’s just that — information. To change people’s actions they first have to associate the environment with something worth saving — something seen in terms of awe, wonder, beauty, vastness, inter-relationships, precious moments, complexity beyond knowing and love. With this firmly anchored in their hearts through direct experience, only then should we teach about the broader issues facing the environment. The problem is that without such direct experience of nature our kids get an imbalance of information; we risk focusing on the negatives before children develop an appreciation of the positives. It’s a little like learning about the deadly snakes before learning that most snakes are harmless and all have a crucial part to play in our environment.

How then do we relate to snakes? Are we motivated to protect them?

I often get asked the question, ‘At what age is it best to start teaching about major environmental issues?’ The answer is always the same — not until the child has had plenty of years experiencing, exploring and developing a fascination for what’s around them; not dinosaurs or Madagascan lemurs, but ‘their’ environment — real experiences. I believe the love of skinks in the backyard — not the panda bear in Asia — is more likely to drive children to live responsible environmental lives as adults.

Studies of the great environmentalists of the last hundred years show two things they have in common. First, they had a childhood rich in contact with nature, and secondly, a close relationship with an adult who was enthusiastic about the environment. These two options are becoming less available, at a time when the world actually needs more committed environmentalists. The role of teachers and parents in this equation is obvious.

A virtual relationship with nature

Ironically we live in a world where children know more about the earth, but less about their own backyard. The huge increase in information available online or through nature documentaries has almost taken the place of direct nature experiences for some. Kids will excitedly tell you of last night’s Discovery Channel documentary on monkeys, alligators, emperor penguins or lions of the Serengeti. But ask what bird just called and there are blank faces.

These amazing nature shows can perhaps do more harm than good by giving people an unreal expectation of nature. I often think back to a night walk I once led. We had been out for about an hour and in that time we had seen an echidna, a platypus, heard two types of owls calling, seen several species of frogs, a small snake and to top it off, we watched a yellow-bellied glider (a possum-like animal the size of a small cat) leap from a tall tree and, spreading flaps of skin between its legs, soar over our heads and land in a tree over 50 metres away!! At the end of the night when I asked what people thought, to my surprise several of the group, adults and children alike, were disappointed. On further questioning, they admitted they didn’t quite know what to expect, but thought they would see more ‘stuff’.

I often question younger children about animals they know. Invariably it is the tigers, lions, giraffes and elephants that first come to mind, demonstrating that their knowledge is primarily virtual, not built on experiences with their local fruit bats, frogs, gliders, possums, kangaroos, snakes and lizards. I would encourage parents to choose from the great range of children’s books available today that have an ‘Australiana’ focus.

Schools are doing an amazing job but maybe the environmental education that’s really needed goes beyond the remit of schools. In the past it has taken place on weekends and after school, in the backyard, down at the local creek or forest. It was spontaneous and unsupervised. Anecdotally, this time nowadays seems to have been taken up by other activities. Many of these nature experiences seem to be beyond formal schooling but not beyond family activities. I see huge potential here for parents to both generate environmental awareness and spend valuable time with their kids. Parents are in the best place to be that enthusiastic adult who can stimulate an interest in nature. Ultimately it will have a far greater impact on the planet than any household recycling or compost scheme.

A few years ago I worked as an Education Officer for the Oxford University’s Botanic Garden and I was asked to run kids activities once a month. It may surprise you, but I cringed at the thought of it. Not that I don’t love working with children, but I had done the ‘Kids Club’ gig at so many nature resorts and national parks, spanning a decade of school holidays and long weekends. They tended to turn into baby-sitting sessions, while the parent took a break or went off to explore on their own. It seemed like such a wasted opportunity for families to explore together. I felt for the kids and the parents as well. And so I modified the weekends from kids activities to family learning days.

The new activities I developed drew from the fascination that comes from exploring nature and from an observation that it’s often the parents who are unsure of how to ‘play’ in nature. It was a huge success and amazing to watch. Families shared the experience of learning and exploring, and parents eagerly took on the role of ‘Tour Guide’ for the day with the information I had primed them with. The activities challenged the adults to relax and enjoy their surrounds and they were often also inspired by their own child’s sense of awe. The adults soon had a ‘childlike’ fascination for what was before them. These creative and simple activities helped bring about a wonderful connection between parent, child and nature.

Over the years I have seen how many adults and children struggle being in nature. This disconnection creates a feeling of discomfort and sometimes even fear. But it never occurred to me that they may physically struggle too. The role that nature can play in the physical development of children hit me one spring morning in England. I took a school group of nine-year-olds walking through a beautiful wildflower meadow. These were kids from a rough estate who had had very few ‘outdoor’ experiences. As I watched them walk, I noticed that amongst all the laughter, they were struggling to walk over the uneven ground. Their teacher said that for many it was the first time that they had experienced uneven grass. Their brains were actually telling them, from past experience on the ovals and sidewalks, that grass is flat.

After these experiences, and now back in Australia I decided to write a book compiling all the years of activities that I have used to reconnect families with nature and with each other. I want to share beautiful ways to generate the awe and inspiration that nature provides, as well as the benefits that seem to follow.

From these activities comes a fascination for nature, confidence in being outdoors, the valuing of all life forms, improved self-esteem, imagination and creativity and a general honing of all the senses.

The activities also draw on another lesson that being in nature gives us and is particularly vital nowadays — the ability to slow down and ‘be’ at a more natural pace. Being in nature also gives us the gift of experiencing a place where there is no judgement. It is a place that eases our stresses while increasing our creativity. It has been beautiful to watch these activities heal what Richard Louv calls the ‘broken relationship with the earth’, while strengthening the bonds within the family.

Can we ever reconnect with nature?

I’ve thought a lot about whether an activity can ever actually ‘reconnect’ us with nature. It seems to me that we are never really disconnected. We breathe, we eat, we drink and in turn feed the earth with our waste and eventually our bodies. We are always connected as we ARE nature. We just live and behave as if we are not. So these so-called ‘reconnecting with nature’ activities actually help us to change our awareness of our place in nature; helping us to realise how deeply connected we always are.

It’s an exciting time to be alive and raise kids. I’m inspired by the incredible environmental movement, its dedicated teachers and rich spiritual traditions that are reawakening our awareness of our earthly origins. I want my children to live in a world rich in biodiversity and have a deep respect for others and nature, and see the role I played in helping them achieve it. It does take a commitment of time and energy, and often it feels like a movement against the tide. But I have a quotation on my office wall that I often look to for encouragement.

‘Some people know what they do. Others know why they do what they do. But nobody knows what they do, DOES.’

Hopefully through the work of enthusiastic parents and teachers, enough kids will develop an intimate love of their nature so that they will help drive us in a new direction — towards a life-sustaining society instead of our industrial growth society that is failing our children and our environment.

And so my thoughts turn from environmental educator to parent. How best to raise my child? I know the adult I am today is a result of my childhood. I cherish my memories of the outdoors, of camping, fishing, swimming, walking and, best of all, exploring. As a father-to-be, I know that I will be guided by that nostalgic view of a carefree childhood, and will make it a priority to give my child those opportunities. I also realise I will be challenged by the clash of past and present. I am not immune to the media messages about unsupervised play. The question is ‘Will I let my children explore on their own?’ I recognise the importance of nature and the harm caused by its absence, so the answer is ‘absolutely’. Not that I intend to disregard the potential dangers, it’s just that I will assess them against the risk to my child’s mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of not having a nature-based upbringing.

Advice from me as an environmental educator is to be cautious about what we are teaching about the environment; push for school outings; fight to save the local bushland; meet your ‘neighbours’ (the birds, reptiles and frogs); read Louv’s book and most importantly, get out there. Merely being in nature will benefit you and your kids and … their kids. 

Published in Kindred issue 22, June 07

Ian Cleary is a passionate educator and speaker, whose environmental vision has taken him around Australia and the world. Now, as co-founder of True Nature Guides, he inspires people to experience and celebrate their profound connection with their inner and outer nature, their True Nature. To receive regular fun family activities, or updates on future workshops or publications, email Ian.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

A little about page admin Kaiyu Moura (Bayles)

Now living in QLD raising her children on their traditional country, gathering food, learning the old art of building shelters, dance and the local language. For the past 20 years with her late Grandmother Maureen Watson and a dance group with 6 of her sisters Kaiyu travelled schools, festivals, events etc sharing the beauty of First Nations Culture through song and dance, stories, art, theatre, nursery rhymes, poetry etc and engaging all ages in different projects that inspire positive change. Also a poet, documentary maker, songwriter, artist, event organiser, media consultant, testing the waters of micro social enterprise by starting her own tshirt and sublimation printing business and with her own label, Kaiyu creates what she calls Freedom Threads.

After building their own home on Tribal Sovereign land, Kaiyu is now homeschooling and teaching the kids about making our own tinctures, learning about bushtucker and mushrooms, growing food, building with aircrete, setting up wind turbines, composting toilets and ram water pumps... Really learning what it truly means to thrive. This is our Group where we share alot of what we do

Kaiyu and the Tribe