fire is the constant, regulating presence that shapes country,
The world heritage answer is that north Australia is one of the planet's last great wildernesses and any further loss of its biodiversity would damage its value.
17 Jul 09
Brilliant blog re conservation in Australia and elsewhere. Fascinating reading.
19 Jun 10
More links on everything to do with Australia.
19 Jun 10
What I need on the memorial or burial poles - wonderful.
19 Jun 10
Comment on problems of showing indigenous art in mainstream galleries. Interesting comments here worth exploring further. (See my highlights)
Thus, Australia has the problem of indigenous art, which, despite or because of, political correctness, is usually treated in a half-hearted manner. The report from the latest edition of the Sydney Biennale, curated by David Elliott is a clear proof of such problems. “Some of the biennale works by Australian artists dealing with history are disappointing in their simplicity and execution. The most beautiful ustralian work here is the art produced by indigenous artists: a striking installation at the MCA of intricately decorated burial poles by Yolngu artists from North East Arnhem Land. It says much about prevailing hierarchies in the art world that Elliott felt it necessary to justify the inclusion of the burial poles at the biennale press conference. “You can’t help showing indigenous art in Australia,” he said, adding: “It’s good. It measures up.” The poles, once an integral part of Aboriginal funerary rites, are now produced as sculptures;
19 Jun 10
What an amazing blog! - and equally amazing photos. Readings, reviews, and reflections by an American observer of Australian Indigenous art, culture, politics, anthropology, music, and literature.
Starts with - The Kiwirrkura Flood Recovery Project website offers links to an excellent article, "Kiwirrkura: the flood in the desert," from the Australian Journal of Emergency Management (vol. 24, no.1, February 2009) as well as to a series of Fact Sheets that detail the history of the community, its place in art history, the story of Native Title recognition (awarded in October 2001 in the midst of the diaspora), as well as the flood and the response to it.
26 Mar 11
A stone arrangement known as Wurdi Youang in Victoria between Melbourne and Geelong raises questions about what Aborigines observed and knew about the night sky. The arrangement of stones with respect to the sun's position at the solstices suggests to some researchers that Aborigines has an advanced and very early knowledge of the movement of objects in the sky. Robert Cockburn reports.
Audio and transcript from the ABC's Science Show.
13 Jun 11
The Aboriginal Memorial is an installation of 200 hollow log coffins from Central Arnhem Land. It commemorates all the indigenous people who, since 1788, have lost their lives defending their land. The artists who created this installation intended that it be located in a public place where it could be preserved for future generations.
13 Jun 11
I“The Aboriginal Memorial is one of the most important art works ever produced in this country”.
n another time creative spirits wandered the earth in many forms including human, animal and climatic. As they travelled they created the features of the land, rivers, seas, hills, waterholes and rock formations. They created and controlled the movement of the sun and moon, stars, rain clouds and the tides. They also established sacred laws and customs.
12 Dec 11
Amnesty International remains concerned that considerable elements of the original Intervention have been kept intact.
The parts of the Intervention that were defined as Special Measures under the Racial Discrimination Act will continue.
“Special Measures are designed to be of positive benefit for people affected and are targeted with time limits. This is not the case for Special Measures introduced under the Intervention and to be continued under Stronger Futures. This is in breach of international law and the impacts remain discriminatory,” said Marland.
Minister Macklin's emphasis on improving service delivery is welcomed however it is imperative that government efforts reflect where Aboriginal People actually live in the Northern Territory.
“The Stronger Futures legislation aligns with other government plans for the Northern Territory and ignores 30 percent of Aboriginal People who live on their traditional homelands.
“We know that Aboriginal families living on traditional homelands are stronger and healthier but because the Government is targeting funding elsewhere these tangible benefits are at risk.
22 Feb 12
"In the area of legal education, ARDS has been working in assisting Indigenous people with legal difficulties and attempting to dispel some of the misconceptions about the legal system. Many of these misconceptions occur due to the use of complex legal language, which often cause a major difficulty for indigenous people who have english as a second or even tenth language.
An example of one of these misconceptions is the term "Guilty". In conversations with lawyers, many Indigenous people hear lawyers saying, "if you just plead guilty, you'll get through real quick." This has caused a misconception about the term "Guilty" meaning to "get through real quick". Such misconceptions can have disastrous consequences for Indigineous people and we are constantly striving to give Indigenous people a real understanding of the way the legal system works, comparing the system to their own traditional law. "
The research overwhelmingly demonstrated a massive communication gulf operating between Yolŋu and non-Indigenous legal personnel. The most damning finding was that the problem is still regularly unidentified or unacknowledged.
22 Feb 12
"In 1992, the Mabo case led to the development of the Native Title Act (NTA) and Tribunal. In February 1994, the Yorta Yorta people were one of the first Indigenous groups in Australia to make a native title claim:
Our mob knew we were taking a chance trusting the system of the white man...but this is like an annihilation of our culture.
– Monica Morgan, Yorta Yorta group coordinator"
05 Apr 12
"The NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker officially launched the Strengthening Aboriginal Wellbeing Toolkit on 14 March 2012. It is a software-based support tool designed to help Aboriginal community groups to assess their current level of wellbeing and develop goals to improve wellbeing.
Aboriginal people have lived in NSW for more than 40,000 years. There's evidence of this everywhere, in rock art, stone artefacts and sites across the state.
If you thought Aboriginal heritage was just about rock art, think again. Aboriginal culture is much bigger than this. It's a living, ongoing thing. It's deeply linked to the entire environment - plants, animals and landscapes. "
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