“No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” ~ Nick Vujicic
Love is amazing!
“No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” ~ Nick Vujicic
Love is amazing!
Monty Panesar – Image, http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Picture this: The Australian Cricket Board Chairman’s XI is playing against the visiting English team. The match is being played in Alice Springs. A spinner who has played for England 48 times in test matches, 26 times in One Day Internationals, and taken 188 wickets in these matches comes in to bowl his left arm spinners. The spinner is a 31 year old born in Luton in England. The ground announcer is David Nixon, a hitherto unknown individual.
David Nixon announces the spinner in a fake mocking Indian accent. Why? The spinner is Monty Panesar. Panesar’s parents are of Sikh religious faith and of Indian ethnic origin. Ironically the announcer is also the person who is required to remind spectators of the International Cricket Council’s Racism code which says in part: “anyone making “racially abusive comments and actions” will result in ejection from the ground”. Nixon then justifies his actions on Twitter that he is a fan of Panesar. Cricket Australia, on the other hand, does not tolerate the nonsense and stands down the announcer.
Really? I love Monty P – cult hero. He should bat 3. My style didn’t fit theirs. That’s all. RT@sjrohweder: ABC’s David Nixon stood down
I commend the actions of Cricket Australia. The scenario that played out herein reminded of two other incidents that I dealt with in recent times. The first of these was one that involved Nic Naitanui from the West Coast Eagles. What transpired on that occasion was that Tim Clarke then at WA Today Sports Department, contacted me at the then peak ethnic advocacy agency in this area to say that he had discovered a video that had been uploaded online that portrayed the footballer as a spear waving tribesman. After making the requisite enquiries I tracked the producers of the video to Tasmania where a trio of young school teachers and football enthusiasts admitted to having put together the offending video. Concurrently I had contacted the hierarchy of the West Coast Eagles who indicated that they had had a conversation with the footballer and he was offended by the portrayal in the video. Accordingly I spoke to the people who had uploaded the video and interestingly their response was also along the lines of that advanced by Nixon above and that they “were huge fans of Naitanui”. To their credit, the boys in Tasmania did not attempt to justify putting the video up and pulled it off the websites as soon as they could. They then issued public apologies to Naitanui. However, newspapers all around the world ran the story close to or at the front page as an example of the racism that exists in this country. Details of some of the news coverage can be found here:
The second incident that occurred that I was involved in related to the WA Parliament. As I recall it Margaret Quirk and Peter Watson on the Labor side of state politics chose to mock Michael Sutherland about his South African accent. Details of that incident are here:
I wrote to the local newspaper pointing out that the mimicking of other’s accents was racist. A number of agencies involved in the area of assessments of racial vilification and discrimination have examined this issue. The University of British Columbia is one of those that has examined the issue and this is their analysis that I have used in the past. They define racial harassment in these terms:
I hasten to add that in the case of the state politicians my letter emphasised that I found it quite out of character for someone like Margaret Quirk to have done what is claimed herein. I had had the good fortune to work with her when she was the Minister for Multicultural Interests in the state government. At a later date she went to great lengths to indicate to me personally that she had been suitably chastened by my letter to the editor.
The latest incident that occurred over the weekend in Alice Springs is simply further proof that we have much to learn in so far as these issues are concerned. The mimicking of people’s accents and styles of speech is something that is unacceptable. It is far from funny and can be considered offensive by many. Somehow, I have never understood the justification that because the perpetrator is a “fan” of the victim the actions are somehow acceptable. As a fan I would consider it completely inappropriate to mock my idols. So why would it be acceptable for others to do so?
If there is a lesson that we can learn from the events of the weekend, it would simply be that we need to be mindful of our comments and actions when dealing with anyone. A second thought as to what the impact of our comments are going to be, would be a worthwhile thing.
Dennis Eggington – Image, http://www.caama.com.au
The Aboriginal Legal Services Western Australia (ALSWA) has endorsed a recent report by a parliamentary inquiry committee into police services and custodial situations. ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington however said that endorsement is one thing and implementation of the recommendations another matter. If the recommendations are not followed through then the report is more waste.
Earlier this year, ALSWA presented its own findings to the Community and Justice Standing committee. ALSWA’s legal services director, Peter Collins criticised not only the police, whom he accused of disproportionate arrest rates and maltreatment when it came to Aboriginal people, but also slammed Government legislation – mandatory legislation, move on orders, curfews, three strike behaviour policies – and described cultures of rampant racism.
“There is no doubt in my experience that Aboriginal people are policed far more harshly in this State,” said Mr Collins.
Mr Collins is correct – WA arrests, sentences and incarcerates Aboriginal people at the nation’s highest rates. Mr Collins criticised police for arresting Aboriginal people for something as benign as swearing.
“It is hard not to think that similar language used by a non-Aboriginal person would go through to the keeper,” said Mr Collins. He was disgusted by the Government’s push for a law that would punish repeat offenders by “naming and shaming them.” He said if this “insidious legislation” was passed it would be a racist disgrace.
Mr Collins described the Prohibition Behaviour Orders Act 2010 as “a form of ethnic cleansing” targeted at Aboriginal peoples. He said that orders of this nature were not behaviour management strategies but an obvious agenda to remove Aboriginal peoples from various precincts.
The In Safe Custody report made 22 recommendations from replacing ageing infrastructure (some of the watch houses should be condemned) to enforcing requirements for a minimum two police officers and 24/7 medical staff at watch houses, and that a number of cultural training programs should be implemented for police.
Mr Eggington said that the report merely validated many of the concerns that had been held for many years by the ALSWA.
“We endorse the findings and recommendations, along with those from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC).” He said that the RCIADIC findings, now 22 years old,
“need to be implemented once and for all.”
“There are such simple steps that can be taken, such as providing ALSWA with a properly funded phone service for Aboriginal people to contact for legal advice if they’ve been taken into custody.”
“It also makes good sense that the WA Police expand their cultural training for recruits and sworn police officers.”
Mr Eggington said that the Aboriginal Visitor’s Scheme needs to be supported with access to all Aboriginal people in all lock-ups. According to a former 20 year AVS officer, Joyce Capewell, the AVS has been neglected by police and prisons services and far too many towns and communities have no AVS.
Mr Eggington pushed that no time is wasted in implementing the report’s recommendation 17, that amendments are made to the Inspector of Custodial Services Act 2003 to enable the Inspector to assume oversight responsibility for all police lock-ups. Mr Eggington also supports that amendments should be made to the Criminal Investigations Act 2006 to ensure that detainees in lock-ups receive timely access to legal services, and in particular ensure there is immediate notification of, and access to, legal services by Aboriginal detainees. He said that evidence should be made inadmissible in court where a detainee’s right to legal access has been deliberately suspended.
One of the report’s recommendations urged for the State Government to supplement Federal Government funding to ALSWA given the unmet demand (of Aboriginal detainees).
Mr Eggington said State Premier Colin Barnett should expedite the implementation of the recommendations and that he should “resource the development of a national Indigenous interpreters framework through Western Australia.”
Mr Eggington said that if common sense prevails there is “the capacity to put to an end unnecessary injury or loss of life within police lock-ups.”
“Caring, Sharing, Nurturing, Love and Respect, these things need to take front and centre in all of our thought processes, actions, conversations and everything we do. Each and every person within our immediate circle needs to feel loved, valued and appreciated for the shift in consciousness to occur and create the ripple effect out into our societies. When we do this and our motivations are for nothing more that the betterment of human condition, the sky really is the limit.” ~ Nicola Butler 2013
“Aboriginal People are the skeleton in the cupboard of Australia’s national life …. outcasts in our own land.” ~ Sir Doug Nicholls, National Day of Mourning speech, 1938.
“All we want is to be able to think and do the same things as white people, while still retaining our identity as a people.” ~ Sir Doug Nicholls
Sunday 1st December 2013
Today is the 36th Anniversary of the term of Sir Douglas Nicholls as Australia’s First Aboriginal Governor
Sir Douglas Nicholls (Pastor)
“Aboriginal People are the skeleton in the cupboard of Australia’s national life …. outcasts in our own land.”
… Doug Nicholls, National Day of Mourning speech, 1938.
“All we want is to be able to think and do the same things as white people, while still retaining our identity as a people.” … … Doug Nicholls
Sir Douglas Nicholls (Pastor) was born on December 9, 1906 on the Cumeroogunja mission in NSW. His mother worked as a domestic helper and his father as a farm hand. However, unemployment was a regular occurrence. Schooling was provided to grade 3 standard and strict religious principles were emphasised. As a supplement to government rations, Doug and the other mission children would collect tiger, brown and copperhead snakes for sideshows organisers, who would pay them 1 shilling (10 cents) per snake.
When he was eight, he saw his 16 year old sister Hilda forcibly taken from his family by the police. The Government had decided she would be sent to the Cootamundra Training Home for Girls. His mother, Florence, threw herself into the car and refused to get out. The police drove her 20 kms from the mission and dumped her on the roadway, making her walk back to the mission, heartbroken. This brutal invasion of his family by the authorities left Doug with a deep fear of the police.
At 13 he worked with his uncle as a tar boy and general hand on sheepstations, and he lived with the shearers. He worked hard and had a cheerful disposition. This annoyed one of the shearers so much that he challenged Doug to a fight, with the loser to hand over one weeks pay (30 shillings – $3). After six rounds the shearer who challenged him conceded defeat.
He was a natural athlete and played Aussie rules football. During one match, a Carlton football talent scout encouraged Doug to shift to Melbourne and try out for the Victorian Football League to play for Carlton. Club officials allowed him to train but the players didn’t want an Aboriginal playing on the team. He overheard some of the players saying he smelled. He left Carlton and joined the struggling Northcote team. Players were given 10 to 15 shillings per game. In 1927 he played before a crowd of 9000 people and was a huge success. The club paid him a 2 pound ($4) bonus for the match. He played for the club for 5 years and was a member of their 1929 premiership team. In 1932 Doug joined Fitzroy where he remained until on-going problems with a knee injury forced him to retire in 1939. In 1940 he was back at Northcote as a non-playing coach. In 1935 he was the first Aboriginal player to be selected to play for the Victorian Inter-state Team.
Playing football provided Doug with employment during the winter months but during summer he had to find an alternative income. This is he did by joining Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Troupe, a travelling sideshow in which Sharman offered his fighters for challenge against all comers. Boxers were paid up to one hundred pounds a day ($200) and challengers were offered five pounds ($10) if they could last four rounds with one of his fighters. He also made money in running races and in 1928 won the Waracknabeal Gift netting him a sash, cutlery valued at 21 pounds ($42) and a 100 pound cheque. Following this race organisers paid him a 10 pounds appearance fee, board and expenses just for entering races, such was his popularity with the fans.
His mother died and Doug’s interest in religion was rekindled. In 1935 he was conducting church and hymn services as a lay preacher at the Gore St. Mission Centre in Fitzroy. In 1941 he received his call-up notice and he joined the 29th Battalion. In 1942, at the request of the Fitzroy police, Doug was released from his unit to assist with problems in the Fitzroy Aboriginal community. This commenced his career as a social worker. He cared for those who were trapped in their alcohol abuse, gambling and other social problems. He helped those who were in trouble with the police. Indigenous people gathered to him and eventually the group was so large that he became the pastor of the first Aboriginal Church of Christ in Australia. He was only paid one pound per week and so he had to do other work to support himself.
People began to approach him about the plight of his people throughout the country. In 1957 he became a field officer for the Aboriginal Advancement League. He edited the AAL’s journal Smoke Signals, and helped draw Aboriginal issues to the attention of Government officials and the general public. He pleaded for dignity for Aboriginal people as human beings. Support for the AAL grew rapidily. In this same year he was awarded a Member of the British Empire (M.B.E.). He helped set up hostels for Aboriginal children, holiday homes for his people at Queenscliff and was a founding member and Victorian Secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI).
In 1962 he was chosen by the Father’s day Council of Australia as Victoria’s Father of the Year. The award was given for “outstanding leadership in youth and welfare work and for the inspired example he set the community in his unfailing efforts to further the cause of the Australian Aborigine”. In 1968 he received an Order of the British Empire award (O.B.E.) and in the same year became a member of the new Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs in Victoria. He was inaugural chairman of the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation. He met the Pope at the Ecumenical Conference held in Melbourne and was among Victoria’s invited guests to greet the Queen on her 1970 visit to Australia.
In 1972 he became the first Aboriginal person to be knighted and he and his wife Gladys travelled to London to receive that honour. Then on December 1, 1976, Sir Doug Nicholls was appointed as the 28th Governor of South Australia.
In 1977 he suffered a severe stroke and he was forced to retire. He did not regain good health and was often in and out of hospitals. He died in 1988 after another stroke. A State Funeral was held for him and he was buried in the cemetery at Cumeroogunja, the place were he was born.
Sir Douglas Nicholls
|28th Governor of South Australia|
1 December 1976 – 30 April 1977
|Monarch||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Preceded by||Sir Mark Oliphant|
|Succeeded by||Sir Keith Seaman|
|Born||9 December 1906
Cummeragunja Reserve, New South Wales
|Died||4 June 1988 (aged 81)|
|Profession||Athlete and Pastor|
|Religion||Church of Christ|
On the 23rd January 2012, Uncle Brian asked 2 questions of the Facebook community across the country.
1. All of you who know what lateral violence really is please LIKE – 110 responses and counting.
2. Now all of you who know what the opposite of lateral violence is…Please LIKE – 36 responses and not counting quite so well.
The point of this exercise was to gage the community response regarding the awareness and understanding of lateral violence.
The legal definition of Lateral violence as found via USLegal is: Lateral violence happens when people who are both victims of a situation of dominance, in fact turn on each other rather than confront the system that oppresses them both. Lateral violence occurs when oppressed groups/individuals internalize feelings such as anger and rage, and manifest their feelings through behaviors such as gossip, jealousy, putdowns and blaming.
And another one taken from Paul Memmott’s Community Based Strategies for Combating Indigenous Violence 2001 ‘unresolved grief that is associated with multiple layers of trauma spanning many generations’. Some of these ‘layers of trauma’ include: colonial aggression; genocide; racism; alienation from tribal lands; breakdown of social structure; loss of spirituality and languages; removal of rights and responsibilities; labour exploitation; and large-scale removal of Aboriginal children from their families (‘stolen generations’). These and other factors have contributed to the erosion of social structures and traditional values, and a range of social problems in current Aboriginal communities’ (Memmott et al. 2001).
The Frequent manifestations of lateral violence which we all understand too well include:
• nonverbal innuendo (raising eyebrows, face-making), • bullying, • verbal affront (overt/covert, snide remarks, lack of openness, abrupt responses, gossiping), • shaming, • undermining activities (turning away, not being available, social exclusion), • withholding information, • sabotage (deliberately setting up a negative situation), • infighting (bickering, family feuds), • scapegoating, • backstabbing (complaining to peers and not confronting the individual), • failure to respect privacy, • broken confidences, • organisational conflict, • physical violence.
In a moving email received from Cheri Yavu Kama Harathunian proud Kabi Kabi, Gurang Gurang, Terabalang Bunda Elder, Lateral violence is perfectly described in a way that resonates with us and the definition we are talking about.
Cheri states that “Lateral violence is more than behaviors such as gossip, jealousy, putdowns and blaming, resentment, spite, envy, suspicion, distrust, protectiveness, bitterness, hatred, antipathy, racial superiority, taking on of another cultural expression – the Americanisation of Aboriginal youth – because of self shame, offence, umbrage, anger, acrimony, animosity, hostility, enmity, and other negative expressions is the fact that these expressions often have their basis in oral histories, those negative stories of our past that are handed down to us and that are projected into our present living’, she also goes on to talk about the types of violence we know a lot more about and the way that Lateral violence is often ignored because of this…’the strategies that are making a difference with regards to ‘domestic violence; personal violence; community violence and corporate violence have very little if any impact upon ‘lateral violence’.
Often, the symptoms are or can be considered to be expressed as one of the above. But the motivators for lateral violence are embedded deeper in the psyche of Aboriginal and Islander peoples than behavior or cognition. What is missed is the spiritual scars that motivate the cognitive systems to the connection that is demonstrated in the behavioral outcome.’
Every behavior and situation is tarnished by Lateral violence, we need to understand this.
What to do about the situation?
Well we have started the process. The process in place to be followed is to call together learning circles/yarning circles within your communities, families and networking groups.
Create these from the absolute grassroots level and continue them all the way through to all levels of society.
Come together as a group and openly discuss the realities happening for each and every one of you. Then with an open mind embrace the concept of lateral violence and how this has shaped the world as we know it in this space and time.
Then move towards discussions about what we can do to improve our situation by eliminating this negative practice through education, understanding and the emergence of mutual respect.
Resources are light on the ground, primarily because society has brushed this issue of lateral violence under the carpet for 200 years plus in this country.
Nobody has written about the damage that is done to families right throughout the Nation, and because of this, lateral violence has become the norm and generations have grown up with this as a normal part of life. So much so that the people who are doing the most damage to each other are mostly unaware of the causes and the long term repercussions of their actions.
We have dysfunctional families unable to cope with or find the answers to deal with the destructive nature of this type of violence.
We do not believe lateral violence is a new western sabotage or smoke screen, not the type of violence we am talking about.
Accepting, understanding and sharing is the key to us moving forward as a strong and healthy Nation and to do that we MUST examine lateral violence. It is not acceptable to keep blaming others for how we treat our own.
Understanding how we all got to this point is important for the healing to begin.
Some people have questioned the way to approach this topic when addressing Elders within their communities. To each and every one of you I say this, by tackling this taboo topic we are trying to alleviate lateral violence which is showing the highest respect for our Elders.
Every single Elders abuse case that we know of is derived specifically from unchecked trans-generational lateral violence. We need to encourage greater respect for Elders by the elimination of this negative practice and to get there we are all going to have to participate in some very open, confronting and frank discussions along the way.
Every single individual in our society has a role to play. Lateral violence is very personal and we need to start getting personal in eradicating lateral violence.
What have we tried to date?
In our opinion, we have failed miserably in our attempts at Cultural Awareness Programs throughout this Nation. We need to focus on educating and understanding the true meaning of lateral violence. By ‘true meaning’ we will share with you once again the wisdom of Auntie Cheri,‘the violence born from the outcomes of the manner in which our parents and their parents learned to survive, the historical violence perpetrated upon our ancestors from so called settlement, through the policies of the past and too you and to me in this present time. Our families’ oral histories are filled with smatterings of ways and means of survival that carried over from one generation to the next’. Every single issue we face today is underpinned by this negative collective consciousness and the well-known manifestations of this lateral violence. The effects are devastatingly apparent.
All of the millions of dollars poured into Cultural Awareness have not worked because lateral violence is on the increase.
Our young people have the right to live life to the full, not carry victimisation, or survival techniques that they watch their parents use and once again perpetrate the cycle of lateral violence upon themselves and others.
Please take the time to seriously consider lateral violence and what it means to you and your families.
Talk about it, talk to everyone and participate in this monumental shift, join your ancestors in this Spiritual Awakening.
If we want to seriously address the issues of youth suicide in this country, lateral violence MUST be acknowledged, understood and addressed!
Lateral violence knows no love, understanding or compassion!
NANA Australia is pleased to announce that they have formalised a teaming relationship with Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation.
The Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation represents its people in matters associated with their native title claim, which includes all negotiations and business dealings. Over many years the corporation has shepherded mining companies across its land and has also involved itself in a range of commercial opportunities.
The members of the Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation are the Nyiyaparli people, whose country is traditionally located south of Marble Bar in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
NANA Australia Pty Ltd., in partnership with Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation, has been granted an award to proceed to tender to develop a Mixed Business Precinct in the Newman town center.
The NANA Australia- Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation partnership is the preferred tenderer to develop the precinct. A final decision on the tender will be made at a future time by Landcorp.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ Mother Teresa
Driving in the car on the way to kindergarten listening to Mum and Dad talking about intellectual property and land rights, a young man pipes up from the back seat “You can’t just take things from people, it’s just not right” ~ Lateral Love Ambassador, Tyler Davis aged 3 and a half!
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle 2,300 years ago
Wednesday 30th October 2013
On this day in 1975 The Racial Discrimination Act came into effect (Lateral Love Australia’s Co-Founders & Directors William Brian Butler (aged 49) and Nicola Butler (aged almost 1 year) before this Act even came into effect).
The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 aims to ensure that people of all backgrounds are treated equally and have the same opportunities. The Act also makes discrimination against people on the basis of their race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin unlawful.
What is racial hatred or racial vilification?
Racial hatred (sometimes referred to as vilification) is doing something in public based on the race, colour, national or ethnic origin of a person or group of people which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate.
Examples of racial hatred may include:
- racially offensive material on the internet, including eforums, blogs, social networking sites and video sharing sites
- racially offensive comments or images in a newspaper, magazine or other publication such as a leaflet or flyer
- racially offensive speeches at a public rally
- racially abusive comments in a public place, such as a shop, workplace, park, on public transport or at school
- racially abusive comments at sporting events by players, spectators, coaches or officials.