How do you all think we can stamp out Lateral Violence and replace it with Lateral Love in our Families and Communities?
How do you all think we can stamp out Lateral Violence and replace it with Lateral Love in our Families and Communities?
A culturally safe and secure environment is one where people feel safe and draw strength in their identity, culture and community.
What makes you feel Culturally Safe in your place of work?
Spirit of Uluru
“Now, gentlemen, just one more word, and I am through with this case. I do not live in Detroit. But I have no feeling against this city. In fact, I shall always have the kindest remembrance of it, especially if this case results as I think and feel that it will. I am the last one to come here to stir up race hatred, or any other hatred. I do not believe in the law of hate. I may not be true to my ideals always, but I believe in the law of love, and I believe you can do nothing with hatred. I would like to see a time when man loves his fellow man, and forgets his color or his creed. We will never be civilized until that time comes.
I know the Negro race has a long road to go. I believe the life of the Negro race has been a life of tragedy, of injustice, of oppression. The law has made him equal, but man has not. And, after all, the last analysis is, what has man done?–and not what has the law done? I know there is a long road ahead of him, before he can take the place which I believe he should take. I know that before him there is suffering, sorrow, tribulation and death among the blacks, and perhaps the whites. I am sorry. I would do what I could to avert it. I would advise patience; I would advise toleration; I would advise understanding; I would advise all of those things which are necessary for men who live together.
Gentlemen, what do you think is your duty in this case? I have watched, day after day, these black, tense faces that have crowded this court. These black faces that now are looking to you twelve whites, feeling that the hopes and fears of a race are in your keeping.
This case is about to end, gentlemen. To them, it is life. Not one of their color sits on this jury. Their fate is in the hands of twelve whites. Their eyes are fixed on you, their hearts go out to you, and their hopes hang on your verdict.
This is all. I ask you, on behalf of this defendant, on behalf of these helpless ones who turn to you, and more than that,–on behalf of this great state, and this great city which must face this problem, and face it fairly,–I ask you, in the name of progress and of the human race, to return a verdict of not guilty in this case!”
~ Clarence Darrow, Closing speech in defence of Henry Sweet, April 1926
“All will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good. All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address In the Washington, D.C.Wednesday, March 4, 1801
“There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do.” ~ Mother Teresa, Nobel Lecture, 11 December, 1979
“Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.” ~ George Washington, Farewell Address 17 September 1796
“I never forget an opportunity I had in visiting a home where they had all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them in an institution and forgotten maybe. And I went there, and I saw in that home they had everything, beautiful things, but everybody was looking towards the door. And I did not see a single one with their smile on their face. And I turned to the Sister and I asked: How is that? How is it that the people they have everything here, why are they all looking towards the door, why are they not smiling? I am so used to see the smile on our people, even the dying one smile, and she said: This is nearly every day, they are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten, and see – this is where love comes.” ~ Mother Teresa, Nobel Lecture, 11 December, 1979
ABC Open – What’s your story?
A photo gallery of parents and children separated by past policies and practices of forced adoption
Over more than half the 20th century, thousands of Australian women adopted out their babies. We now know that many of these women were forced to do so. Some mothers were subject to enormous pressure to relinquish their babies, but there is also evidence that women were actively coerced, lied to, and in some cases forced to sign their babies away.
In February 2012, a Senate committee released a report into forced adoption, which found incontrovertible evidence that forced adoption was common in Australia.
As the Federal Government prepares an apology for the harm caused by forced adoption, this photo gallery shows the human face of these policies and practices. It recognises the individual experiences of people who’ve been separated, and gives the Australian community a chance to share their stories.
If you have been separated from your child or your parents by these policies, you’re invited to add your photo and story to the gallery.
While this gallery is primarily for those affected by Australian policies, there are many people now living in Australia who experienced forced adoption outside of this country. If you’d like to contribute to this project, please be specific about which country you were living in when you were separated from your parent or child.
For more background information and support and advocacy groups visit Four Corners – Given or Taken?
Who would have said, YES Prime Minister I will take your offer if you abolish the Northern Territory Intervention?
Spirit of Uluru
Will enough be done by our collective followers now that we are committed to respect, love, healing, self-determination, cultural safety, honesty and care for the worlds’ children to make a change this year?
If the answer to our situation throughout our communities nationwide is self-determination, then why isn’t every Aboriginal and Islander (including the Torres Straits) peoples teaching every single one of our children about self-determination and what this means in regards to healing our broken families and communities and how this is necessary to build a stronger next generation?
Spirit of Uluru
Article by Gerry Georgatos – National Indigenous Times award winning journalist, PhD researcher Deaths in Custody and social justice campaigner – recently he successfully campaigned for the release of scores of Indonesian children from Australian adult prisons, and has raised the funds in shipping thousands of children’s wheelchairs to war torn countries. He has written two Masters in trying to understand and find ways forward from the ugliness of racism, and his latest book to be released in January is Climate of Death: Justice denied means more will die.
I joined the National Indigenous Times 18 months ago, after a phone call from the newspaper’s editor, Stephen Hagan, in July 2011, and here we are as we quickly march into 2013. My journey with the National Indigenous Times has been an increasingly passionate one, as a result of the voluminous ability to look into one story after another I have had the opportunity to meet peoples who have been far removed from the myriad bright merit of what is right, from what should have been their due, and for whom justice has been denied. The passion to unfold the burgeoning human rights and social justice language, and its effects, is one that the National Indigenous Times has continued to give even more rise within me. The passion burns.
Why I joined the National Indigenous Times was because of something that both the newspaper’s Editor, Stephen Hagan, and the newspaper’s founder, John Rowsthorne said to me; that this newspaper is a vehicle for the ‘voiceless’ – “to give voice to the voiceless” – no more needed to be said to me and immediately I hopped onto the National Indigenous Times news-train. There are various opportunities for continuing what work I do in contributing to the common good during 2013 and hence the possibility exists that I will not be with the National Indigenous Times from some point next year, however maybe I will remain with them throughout 2013, we’ll see, however importantly the work of this newspaper needs to continue, so as to continue to give rise to genuine through-care journalism and change agency that is sorely lacking with most other news media – There are good journalists everywhere however they are often diminished by the demands placed upon them by Boards, Chief Editors, Group Editors, and the sub-editors of their news organisation. In many news media organisations real journalism has been supplanted by ‘churnalism’ – and investigative reporters replaced by armchair critics, and balanced journalism reduced by the agenda driven demands of its owners who effectively make a mockery of their editorial policies and instead have their perceived principles and convictions mangled by cultures of favour dispensation and nepotism.
Indeed, with the opportunities presented by the latitude afforded to journalists at the National Indigenous Times to explore stories, to investigate, to feature these stories and to sustain them till all parties involved accounted themselves in terms of the public interest, some of our coverage has led to the common good being achieved. What has pleased me is the ever increasing attention paid to the National Indigenous Times during the last couple of years by other major news media – our newspaper is a source of stories for them, and this is important because it means that stories we are the first in line prepared to follow and investigate thoroughly, whom fair to write others were not prepared to follow, we gave voice to. We were prepared to give ‘voice to the voiceless’ and provide the diligence of getting the story right, digging deep, hence then other news media ride off our backs. Their backs covered, legally and otherwise, by us having walked the ground that others feared. The list of our stories that have been picked up by others in just this year alone is long, however in recent times it is fair to note that such stories include the tragic injustice that befell then 15 year old Rex Bellotti Jr on March 6, 2009, and because of the National Indigenous Times his story has been heard far and wide, and is in the Australian consciousness. This is the story of one young man and his family whose story could not be let slip. Then there is the story of the plight 800 Yindjibarndi people faced in the mess that is the Native Title Act, and the incompatibility of the National Native Title Tribunal to the intentions of the Act. There is a mining boom in the Pilbara and yet everyone else bar the Yindjibarndi are benefiting from the mineral and ore resource rich Yindjibarndi lands – the majority Yindjibarndi languish in abject poverty.
Years have passed and no-one would adequately explore and report on this story – far too many major news media said to the Yindjibarndi and to me, “We can’t touch this story.” They would not risk taking on the wealthy and the influential nor the State Government or the National Native Title Tribunal. This is not journalism. This is not democracy. This is not justice. This is not what ‘good and right’ are about. Martin Luther King Jnr once said that justice delayed is justice denied. My father, who never went to school, who worked hard all his life for the quid he made to support his family, and his brood of six children, taught me that in life you must always do what is right and let nothing get in the way of this, and furthermore that when anyone puts any question to you about your words and deeds then always be able to account for your words and deeds right there and then, on the spot.
Where no other journalist in the country, not even journalists from other Indigenous specific news media like us, were prepared to properly explore the Yindjibarndi plight I was – like any other peoples in terms of their right to be heard I was not prepared to let them down. In the last couple of months because of my coverage alone – and the National Indigenous Times with the courage to run these stories – the human and political landscape for the Yindjibarndi has changed – dramatically. The nation has heard of their plight, better understands the issues, other major news media have found the courage to highlight some of what we broke into the news, and into the Australian consciousness. I worked my media networks around the nation to get their story on the record, their voice out there. From there onwards the consciousness of humankind does begin to do its thing, and it happens that at times the good people that do exist come good all round sooner rather than later and make things happen.
No story written should ever be about revenge however it should be about righting wrongs, about remedy, about all parties opening up their eyes, hearts and minds to the other, and in coalescing as humanity to the common good. And I can tell readers of the National Indigenous Times that is definitely what is happening for and with the Yindjibarndi, that peoples and all parties are coming together in one way or another. In this year of 2012 I visited Roebourne three times, and I was touched by the truth in witnessing the plight of people far removed from the spin sold to more powerful news media however which had long sold out its will to report the truth. While investigating as best I could the issues that burned so brightly to those who were prepared to look into them however were hidden deep in the forest from the Australian consciousness – and hence people not able to distinguish the trees from the forest, I could see the darkness and the light. Roebourne represents to myself the story of much of remote Aboriginal Australia. Roebourne has a population less than 1,000, mostly Aboriginal, of whom most are Yindjibarndi. They live poor, in dilapidated homes, run down facilities and minimal services at hand. There is not even a café in Roebourne, and there are no park benches anywhere in the dusty town. However only 18 km away is Port Samson, a grafted community, and it is an oasis – right by the sea and beaches, double-storey homes, of which not one rents at less than $2000 a week, spectacular facilities and every service imaginable, it is a beautiful place – however there are no Aboriginal people there, no Yindjibarndi. And 37 kms from Roebourne is Karratha, a town built without the Yindjibarndi in mind, there are very few, if any, Aboriginal people in Karratha. It is a town built for the mining boom, for the rest of Australia to benefit from, and the town has every service imaginable and has grafted every layer of opportunity for humankind to benefit from and enjoy. Why then do the Yindjibarndi remain poor?
There are only a couple of hundred households in Roebourne and yet the layers of community development that should have been grafted into Roebourne to provide it with the opportunity to thrive, to provide its people with the right to self-determination, have not happened, none of it. We can build a suburb in any metropolis in Australia within six months and graft the full suite of services for thousands of people to enjoy. I have seen suburbs which will house 4,000 to 22,000 people go up in less than six months – and I have seen towns like Port Samson and Karratha go up in similar spreads of time however apparently it is rocket science for Governments to ensure the justice that is denied to townships and communities like Roebourne. For myself, this is clearly a racial issue -racism not only languishes wildly in Australia, racism is at the forefront of the Australian id.
What I describe of Roebourne is the story of hundreds of other towns and communities across Australia, and many of which I have seen and experienced. It is also the story of the Pilbara’s regional neighbour, the Kimberley. The Kimberley has one of the world’s highest homelessness rates – 7 per cent of its total population is homeless, it has the highest suicide rates in the nation – and most of all of this is Aboriginal. Yet, Australian Governments, State and Federal, steadfast neglect the issue of the chronic homelessness of the Kimberley and the horrific suicide rates, with Aboriginal suicide rates reaching 100 times the national average, because yes my brothers and sisters it is a racial issue. It is just accepted and subsumed and supplanted by stereotypes and other bullshit shoved down our throats. The Kimberley is a tourist mecca and resources rich and yet we have one of the world’s highest homelessness rates in this region, surpassed only by the Northern Territory. Sadly, for me I believe little will be done to address the chronic issues in the Kimberley, unless the news media cares enough to continue on highlighting the hidden tragedies and that they sour into the light of day, and hence we get the cultural waves going, and those who have scored themselves into our parliaments jump on the crest of those cultural waves. Late last year and early this year I had covered, where others had not, the extent of the rise in homelessness in the Kimberley, and furthermore had underlain my stories with my own research, extensive cluster surveys throughout the Kimberley – and my research indicated a rise in homelessness and my stories and photographs focused on giving voice to these people. No other news media adequately followed the stories, and ‘adequately’ means to sustain coverage till something was done about it all – some news media reported the contents of my investigations, however as a one-off – the news cycle is too busy often focusing on who wears what and who is making out with whom. However recently the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) concluded its five year Census and in its report included the homelessness rates in the Kimberley, etc. All the news media jumped on the ‘churnalism’ and reported the horrific statistics. However, sadly, the next time that this same news media will report on the homelessness issues that plague this country, will be in 2017, at the next round of ABS Census statistics.
Journalism should not be seen as merely reporting the news, however rather as through-care, and that there is only a fine line, as if a porous membrane, between the reporting of the news and in exacting change – there must be a can do attitude of change agency underwriting journalism – well, this is my view, and this is my way of how I go about my journalism.
If we all sit idly by and do nothing, then what we will have is the tragedy of the Northern Territory Intervention –where ignorance has allowed for its culminations to be usurped by hysteria and deport everyone into a vacuum of inhumanity.
Stories that touched our hearts in this year of 2012 include Tauto Sansbury fighting to save young lives from suicide: I wrote that suicide has crippled many Aboriginal families nationwide and only resilience born from within oppression has kept some families going. South Australian Aboriginal communities came together to hold an Aboriginal Suicide Forum in Adelaide.
“It is ‘time to talk’ about Aboriginal suicide and start conversations that will change lives,” Elder, Tauto Sansbury said.
Mr Sansbury knows the emotional toll of burying loved ones. The 63 year old rights campaigner attended eight funerals within the first 13 days of the year and these eight premature deaths sparked a resolve in him to spearhead one campaign after another calling on the South Australian Government to fund a 24 hour Aboriginal crisis centre amidst other basic services.
The South Australian Government has continued its failure in heeding the words of Mr Sansbury, and there is yet no commitment to fund a 24 hour Aboriginal crisis centre. How many more lives must be lost?
The National Indigenous Times was correct when it claimed earlier in the year from its credible sources that Chevron would pull out of the Woodside led joint venture to build the $40 billion gas hub at Walmandan (James Price Point). Walmandan Tent Embassy and Kimberley anti-gas hub protesters have made a huge impact upon the Woodside led joint venture $40 billion Liquefied Natural Gas precinct proposal at James Price Point (Walmandan). Woodside, Chevron and State Government sources to the National Indigenous Times have been proven correct by claiming Chevron would pull out of the project and those sources are now saying the remaining Woodside venture partners will probably not support the project proceeding in its current form when they make their final decision in May next year.
The sources have also claimed Chevron and Woodside directors and executives were disappointed with West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s compulsory acquisition threats and the public fallout from that action.
Goolarabooloo Elder, Phillip Roe said his peoples would not relent from fighting for Country.
“There will be no letting up, we’ve come this far to save our heritage, our Country and the future, we’ll keep on going,” he said.
Walmandan Tent Embassy protester, Albert Wiggan said the key to their successes had been they have not desisted in campaigning for the saving of the Kimberley.
“Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever, therefore we have been fighting the good fight to make sure this will not be the case,” he said.
“This land is not Woodside’s or Barnett’s.”
A well placed source said the campaign against the gas hub had been effective.
“The vigilance of protesters, the uproar within Broome, the involvement of Bob Brown and the Sea Shepherd have taken a toll on the boards and executives of not just Chevron and Woodside but all of the venture partners including Shell,” the source said.
“Some of them don’t want to be seen as killing whales and Indigenous culture, they don’t think it’s worth it, the protests have been non-stop and high profile.
“Royal Dutch Shell wants to go with a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) out of sight out of mind and just drop the whole Browse Basin precinct plan.
“The pressure was from the State Government for quite a while but they’re going quiet on it too, even Premier Barnett must be feeling his back is against the wall with protesters keeping it all in the media.
“He can’t keep up with hundreds of police turning up to the Kimberley and with an election nearing.”
The FLNG is seen as “an out of sight out of mind” solution because they can be set up far from the coastline and with less environmental impacts.
“FLNG can produce the liquefied natural gas without dredging up the coastline. It maybe that a few million less tonnes of gas is got out but it might be cheaper and less of a public issue,” the source said.
The FLNG proposal has some legs in light of the fact in August Royal Dutch Shell bought Chevron’s near 17 per cent stake and is now planning a flotilla of FLNG ships.
Even though some analysts are saying venture partners are no longer considering another option – the piping of the gas 900km south to the existing North West Shelf LNG plant –this is not true, say the sources. This option is still being considered however they believe the FLNG option is building the momentum to win out.
“However there are that many influential players within these companies that a few options are on the table, so it’s not smart to rule any or all out,” the source said.
“I can say the non-stop protests, the stunts, the arrests, the concerts, the Sea Shepherd, the Tent Embassy set up near the Browse have taken their toll all the way to the top.”
It was The National Indigenous Times that was first in with the news, before parliamentarians themselves knew, that legislation to rip off Traditional Owners of negotiating rights on various land use would be rammed through both houses of the South Australian government. When we phoned the parliamentarians it was news to them!
South Australian leaders were both despondent and outraged at the State Government’s ram raid on the Aboriginal Heritage Act and were supported by the SA Greens however the changes to the Act got through.
Mineral Resources and Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis recently rammed through parliament legislation removing negotiation rights for Traditional Owners in reference to oil and gas exploration and activity on their lands – and he did this without any consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders and groups. Once again Mr Koutsantonis is working the political landscape in favour of mining companies by pushing for changes in the Aboriginal Heritage Act that will effectively reduce a suite of Aboriginal legal rights. Earlier this year the National Indigenous Times reported the watering down of the Aboriginal Heritage Act would occur in Western Australia and two months ago revealed the
South Australian State Government planned to follow suit.
Tauto Sansbury was an Indigenous relations manager in mining, energy and engineering, former Chief Executive Officer of Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service and Chairperson of Patpa Warra Regional council and he is disappointed there has been no consultation with Aboriginal peoples. “I think it appears clear the Aboriginal Heritage Act will be watered down,” Mr Sansbury said.
South Australia’s Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement Khatija Thomas said she continues to be disappointed the South Australian Government continues to bypass consultation with Aboriginal peoples. Insiders have told the National Indigenous Times Mr Koutsantonis had “promised miners that heritage approvals for projects in the works would be “moved along” and the “red tape around Indigenous peoples claiming rights through the Heritage Act would be removed.”
Ms Thomas pointed out State Premier, Jay Weatherill first announced a review of the Aboriginal Heritage in 2008 with consultation on proposed changes closing in 2010. However no consultation has occurred since the Premier’s announcement.
“The consultations that took place back then form the basis of the drafting of the new Bill. The changes that have taken place in the legal and political landscape between Aboriginal people and proponents of development in the intervening years warrant an extended and new consultation process, even though that won’t go down well with Government,” Ms Thomas said.
“There should not be a Bill drafted until more consultation happens with Aboriginal communities. And then there will have to be a further consultation process on the draft Bill.”
SA Greens Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation spokesperson Tammy Franks slammed Mr Koutsantonis during the mining industry round table for his comments about watering down the Heritage Act so it could not be used to delay mining projects.
“If the recent parliamentary vote rushed through with unseemly haste to retrospectively abolish Aboriginal Native Title renegotiation rights in the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy (Transitional Licences) Amendment Bill is any indication, the so-called review and revamp of the Aboriginal Heritage Act will simply be a stripping back of Indigenous voices in these processes,” Ms Franks said.
“It has been nearly four years since the Premier, Jay Weatherill, then in his previous role as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, announced a review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act to better protect Aboriginal culture and heritage.
“Rather than creating better outcomes for Aboriginal people in line with the stated aims of the review to provide stronger recognition of Aboriginal ownership or custody of their heritage, the current push by Minister Koutsantonis appears to be doing exactly the opposite.
“If Minister Koutsantonis sees the freshening up of the Aboriginal Heritage Act as an opportunity for watering further down of the rights of Native Title holders he will meet strong community and Parliamentary opposition.”
However the previous Bill on Native Title rights was slammed through the two Houses of the State Parliament as the National Indigenous Times reported it would be – of 69 votes only 3 voted against it. So it would appear likely the Minister will achieve the same outcome with any proposed changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act.
“Whilst the State Government acknowledged in 2008 a framework for agreement with Aboriginal people needed to be created, I’m disappointed if this is what they have resorted to,” Ms Franks said.
In trying to quell the outrage about proposed changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act the State’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Paul Caica said the draft Bill would be out before year’s end for “consultation”. However Mining Minister Mr Koutsantonis told The Australian newspaper, “Indigenous groups and mining companies need to move into the 21st century. The existing Act is old and out-dated, it is time to catch up. I want to have legislation drafted by Christmas so both groups are happy – everyone wants certainty.”
Norwood Legal Centre lawyer, Patrick Byrt at an event with Narrandjeri Elders at historic Gum Tree reserve in Glenelg made a profound insight to the National Indigenous Times.
“What our Governments have done to Aboriginal peoples in this State and throughout Australia in terms of their legal rights is monstrous. The damage done emotionally, psychologically and physically is horrific however outweighed by the monstrous damage governments have done and continue to do to Aboriginal people’s legal rights,” Mr Byrt said.
And then there is the shame, one fraught by Governments, where the ordinary citizen is doing more for others than they are.
Clint and Deb Durham made up their minds they could no longer bear knowing toddlers and infants were sleeping hungry in the great hypocrisy that is the tourist mecca of Broome on the far north coast of Western Australia. Mr Durham is a 15 year intelligence analyst with the Western Australian police and in this time acknowledged the statistics to reality horror of many young Aboriginal offenders breaking into homes purely to steal some food or money for food, simply because they were hungry.
The National Indigenous Times earlier this year highlighted the plight of endemic Aboriginal homelessness in the Kimberley and surprisingly in Broome, with areas such as One Mile Community and Kennedy Hill blighted by homelessness and impoverished families. In 2006 the Counting the Homeless Report recorded horror figures after the Census of 638 per 10,000 Kimberley people homeless and most of them Aboriginal.
This rate is the worst in the nation and 17 times the national average.
However both the State and Federal governments and the respective Indigenous Affairs Ministers, Peter Collier for Western Australia and the Federal Government’s Jenny Macklin have turned a blind eye to the situation and other than the National Indigenous Times no mainstream news media or government department has delved into the Kimberley’s shocking homelessness rates and the impacts upon families.
However for Mr Durham it is a different story and unlike many who have turned a blind eye to the terrible situation he and his wife could not.
He made a decision to do something tangible in making a difference after completing further research into crime-ridden areas for his Master’s degree. He made the connection between juvenile property crime and poverty, neglect and hunger. Mr Durham, himself a father of two, decided he and his wife would not wait around while governments continued to let children languish without food for days and he stepped in with a way forward which clearly signifies what the solutions are. With his wife, who is a canteen manager at a local Catholic school, St. Mary’s, they started the Feed the Little Charity in February this year.
“A lot of the children come from dysfunctional families. It is just circumstances beyond their control in many of the cases,” he said.
“There is nothing deliberate in what parents and families do who are trapped by acute poverty.”
They started the charity work from their home. Using industrial sized pots, Mrs Durham started cooking up enough food to feed more than 100 children, including babies. Such is the extent of the problem in Broome and surrounding communities – the neglect by governments is shameful. However Mr Durham, with a striking humility, does not have a bad word to say about anyone, including government departments and agencies.
Volunteers distribute food packages complemented by donations of orange juice and snacks from local businesses. Families are grateful for the helping hand.
In the beginning to keep the Feed the Little Children going the Durhams dipped into their own pockets – the weekly cost for 100 food packages was about $150 per week with $50 of this donated by their church each week.
Word spread of Feed the Little Children and the Health Department offered the Durhams the use of a commercial kitchen and with a small grant they secured cooking equipment and supplies.
After a while they moved kitchen to St Mary’s Catholic School which has allowed them to do more. More people have come on board to cook and distribute, hence more children are being fed.
They are working to a dream of seeing a 24 hour, 365 a year emergency food service for children in need put into operation.
“Deb would cook Saturday mornings and we’d get to the children late afternoon,” Mr Durham said.
“After a while they knew we were coming and they’d be there every Saturday afternoon. However since a couple more cooks and more volunteers we are now are about to start cooking and delivering on Wednesdays as well.”
They go to the areas with acute homelessness like One Mile Community and Kennedy Hill however also to specific homes and into the parks where the children wait.
Donations have increased to ensure the Durhams have been able to offset costs however if more sponsors and donors get behind Feed the Little Children more children will be nourished and families helped and lives mended.
The actions of the Durhams and Feed The Little Children charity have put the State and Federal governments to shame. If anyone would like to assist Mr Durham can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
And then are the deaths in custody, which just continue. My PhD research is in Australian Custodial Systems and Deaths in Custody – and reading one tragic case after another, assisting families with various advocacy and representations have given me insights into levels of pain that people should not have to be burdened with, and furthermore my personal witness and experiences evidence that the system so to speak, the establishment has isolated them, disenfranchised them into grieving alone with the near unbearable weight of the pain.
At the 29th John Pat Memorial Day, Western Australia Deaths in Custody Watch Committee chairperson, Marianne Mackay said, “I know that we are sick of it all, it comes with being Aboriginal however we have to stand up so we make the big changes for our people. The Pat family, this is a family that has not got justice, none of our families have ever got it. There is not enough support out there for us to get lawyers and protection.” Marianne lost the father of her eldest son as a death in custody.
The Reverend Sealin Garlett read the ode to John Pat by the late Elder Dr Jack Davis and the gathering sat silent, taking in every word and the landscape each word fills – Mother Mavis with head bowed, brother Glen with shoulders lowered, both staring to the earth – “Write of life, the pious said. Forget the past, the past is dead. But all I see, in front of me, is a concrete floor, a cell door, and John Pat. Agh! Tear out the page, forget his age. Thin skull they cried, that’s why he died! But I can’t forget the silhouette of a concrete floor, a cell door, and John Pat. The end product of Guddia (white man’s) Law is a viaduct, for fang and claw. And a place to dwell, like Roebourne’s hell, of a concrete floor, a cell door, and John Pat.” The Reverend’s crackling voice rose more, and resonated John Pat alive with all of us, “He’s there – Where? There in their minds now, deep within. There to prance, a long sidelong glance, a silly grin, to remind them all, of a Guddia wall, a concrete floor, a cell door, and John Pat.”
When John Pat died Harvey Coyne was a young man in prison, at Fremantle Prison, now a museum, and where the memorial for John Pat is held every year. Harvey said, “I was inside here in this prison when news of the death of John Pat came. Our heads went down – we all felt an insecurity in the system and by the forces demanding cultural assimilation. What happened to John we knew more of it would come and it has. I have seen in many, many people around me, in prison and outside prison the mental collapse of my brothers and sisters and how we are punished for this by the very system that makes this happen. 40 years later I would have hoped things would change however they have not, the fear is still there that the system is still letting us down and shutting heavy metal doors on us.”
And then there is the story of courage by whistle-blower and Aboriginal Visitors Scheme Officer Joyce Capewell – after no-one else would touch the story The National Indigenous Times stood alongside Ms Capewell’s right to be heard. The West Australian State Government’s Department of Corrective Services has continued to delay in reinstating the Aboriginal Visitors’ Scheme (AVS) despite suicide attempts by two brothers within 12 hours at Greenough Prison at Geraldton in the north of the State. The failure to reinstate the scheme has drawn stinging criticism from an AVS officer of 20 years, Joyce Capewell who has put her career on the line as a whistle-blower by revealing the Department had effectively closed the Scheme down.
“I want to return to work and to Greenough Prison where the people need me but I can’t, not until they have reinstated the AVS and not until they fix what is wrong with AVS,” she said. “It’s a disgrace what is happening in there and throughout the region. With no AVS in place our people are suffering. If there is death in Greenough it will be blood on their hands,” Ms Capewell said.
Ms Capewell contacted the State Minister for the Department of Corrective Services, Murray Cowper to inform him the Scheme had not been in operation for at least two years in most of these towns and that it was not in place at Greenough Prison.
“This is racism at its worst, inadvertent bias and outright biases and prejudices culminating as racism shovelled at us by a system that is not listening to all the experts and to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADC),” Ms Capewell said. “Without AVS, the government and the DCS are failing Aboriginal prisoners. Ninety per cent of Greenough Prison is Aboriginal people.”
“The whole thing is begging for an independent inquiry and if it doesn’t happen then something stinks. This is why I am speaking out despite the risks to my career.”
“Greenough has had three deaths in custody during the last four years and suicide attempts and people in terrible conditions. We don’t need out of sight of out mind games.”
Ms Capewell said she had been stunned by a response from the State Minister, Murray Cowper who wrote the AVS was “not a primary counselling scheme and that other non-Aboriginal programs are adequate”.
A recently released inmate from Greenough Prison, Tim McIntosh told the National Indigenous Times Mr Cowper’s depiction of “robust counselling programs” in Greenough was not the case and that Aboriginal prisoners were not adequately supported by these other schemes. Mr McIntosh said Ms Capewell was desperately needed and she was “the only beacon of light we had in there. The people in there need Aunty Joyce.”
“There are Aboriginal people in there from the desert who don’t speak English and they need our people only and Aunty Joyce is the only person many of us had to help us,” Mr McIntosh said.
“Whatever problems with the AVS nowadays, it is requisite for our people and this is why it was recommended way back in 1988,” said Ms Capewell. “The majority of Aboriginal prisoners are not comfortable with non-Aboriginal people and in Greenough with prisoners from remote communities, from the desert and the Kimberley, they come from cultures that non-Aboriginal peoples are not in a position to engage well with.”
Mr Cowper has declined to meet with Ms Capewell. Yamaji State Parliamentarian, Ben Wyatt has risen to the occasion to demand Mr Cowper meet with Ms Capewell and senior members of Geraldton’s Yamaji community. Mr Wyatt wrote to Mr Cowper: “the management of Greenough Prison is of concern to the wider Yamaji community” and “the welfare of Aboriginal prisoners are matters that need to be further investigated.”
The following passage from an article I wrote earlier this year sums up many of the underlying issues for me -President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Ray Jackson said he was a toddler when he was forcibly removed from his Aboriginal mother after his father was killed during the Second World War.
“I have lived with so much hate and still do because I was removed from my mother,” Mr Jackson said. “You do not take children away from their parents. Our people cannot continue to be oppressed when rather they should be entitled to what everyone is to.”
Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Wongi Reverend Geoffrey Stokes said governments did condone Aboriginal families and children living in “abominable squalor and in homelessness” whereas they would not condone such a situation for non-Aboriginal families.
“They know about it but turn a blind-eye. The appalling conditions many of our people live in would not be permitted for non-Aboriginal Australians,” he said.
As my PhD research into Deaths in Custody progressed and through this research visiting and studying Australian custodial systems and their effects with the worst culminating in deaths in custody – the major component of my research was in understanding the disproportionately high levels of Australian deaths in custody (prison, police, immigration custodial related) however all the researching led me back to the incarcerated souls and what located them into prison and many in losing their lives pre-release and many more within the first year post-release – everything led back to trauma – various trauma; situational trauma, predicaments in which people find themselves, the abyss of various traumas, multiple, that are causal to various directions we take in life or are guided to – this is the trauma or the negative social conditions to which many are born in, and not all these conditions are the by-product of familial breakdown and dysfunction however they are the by-products of conditions imposed by the State – so there is a determinism that is long manifest, before our first breath on this earth that for many folk denies them equal opportunity in life from the very beginning of life. These contemplations have led me to inculcate into my research into Australian custodial systems and the study of the effects that culminate in deaths in custody the whole concept of trauma; how the custodial systems – especially prison and police related – are underlain by the need for trauma to induce vicarious circumstance and predicament and various malicious patterns of behaviour and the subsequent responses (reactive) by the various authorities and their management systems.
Healing is a major step in the intervention of trauma, however as a society legislatively we need to move to prevention, in that we reduce, preferably eliminate, hard traumas from the social conditions imposed on many folk by the State, for instance indeed with the Emergency Response Actions in the Northern Territory – I have come to the considered understanding that the majority of Aboriginal folk in the Northern Territory are in a prison like custodial jurisdiction and hence the subsequent trauma, causal, situational, inter-generational, compounded daily by their discrimination, exploitation (be it inadvertent; however authority is hierarchical and its presence is exploitive in terms of the relations of power), and hence the stripping, the erosion, the diminution of peoples’ identities; historical, cultural, contemporary and as human beings – there is the impost of inequality.
The Northern Territory Intervention and Stronger Futures are custodial predicaments and hence the premise to the arguments by many that they are racist occurrences. Statistics indicate that everything since the Military Emergency Response in the Northern Territory have got worse and not better, and similarly with those in the acute localised custodial predicaments of juvenile and adult prisons and immigration detention people upon release from the custody of the State leave worse compared to when they went in.
Not just one, however twelve Northern Territory Elders, twelve out of twelve, said to me that the Intervention is a prison, and that they do not just live in prison-like conditions however in an actual prison, in that they see the warden, the guards, and in that they can see the walls, the bars, and the heavy metal doors. One said that when he sees his community’s youth drift, their aimless roam, the suffering from the despair of inebriation, when they scream back at the State and for those that sometimes displace anger on their own folk, when they see them die young in the confrontational personal witness of community or in the isolation of various custody such as a police or prison cell that it is no different to being in a built prison, in a locked cell, during lock-down which is generally twelve hours a day, and hearing fellow inmates crying out from other cells, in various meltdown, and then the next morning a guard finding one of the prisoners dead – similarly with the brutality of the Northern Territory Intervention, youth is found dead or in the abyss of despair and there is little than can be done because the brutality to the human identity, in stripping people of their right to be equal among everyone, in the forbidding of Aboriginal advancement by Aboriginal peoples, is a horrific contemporary brutality. The trauma of the Intervention shall eventually be much studied, sadly and patronisingly so, by the ensuing generation of academics and it will be found equivalent in trauma and damage to the Stolen Generations, and the Stolen Wages tragedies, to the Apartheid that many Aboriginal peoples lived in this country more than one and a half centuries.
An Elder said to me, “We are not boss of our people, we are not boss of us, our ways are looked down and young people and rich people come in here and tell us we are nothing, we are no good and that they know better.”
Another Elder said, “They tell us all these things that have happened in our town that we never saw happen not till they came and told us so. There were not these bad things they said but now there are. Our people are getting sick because of them and our young don’t care anymore. They have come here and caused so much trouble.”
And another Elder said, “They keep us poor for so long, no electricity, no nothing, houses they would not live in, they always refused us funding for anything we applied for and now they come here to show us like we are children how to do what they never gave us a chance to do.”
And another Elder said, “They are killing our children, look at our suicides, the numbers make the heart cry, can they not see what they have done? They are not doing any good just bad.”
And another Elder said, “They want our land, and they take it, they move our people to prisons inside prisons. All Northern Territory is a prison, and the towns prison in prison.”
The Aboriginal population of the Northern Territory is 80,000 out of a total population of 230,000, and therefore comprises just shy of 30% of the total population, however Aboriginal peoples make up 84% of the total prison population of the Northern Territory – the Northern Territory’s Aboriginal peoples are the world’s most incarcerated peoples. The Emergency Response has been not only a total failure, however an abject disaster with a litany of youth suicides, community breakdown, increasing youth unemployment, trauma and multiple traumas many of which shall encumber folk life-long, many irrecoverable and many which will contribute to self-harm by one destructive means or another and in far too many instances shall manifest flagrant suicide attempts.
2012 has brought more ups and downs for myself, and hopefully some of my journalism, my preparedness to run with the stories that no-one else was prepared to cover is some sort of contribution in making come true John Rowesthorne’s and Stephen Hagan’s urge to give ‘voice to the voiceless.’ In the end we are all brothers and sisters, and the coalescing of humanity is pivotal in unfolding the comprehensive vocabulary of the human rights and social justice languages. I was heartened this year by various invitations to work alongside my brothers and sisters – one such group was a 12 member Critical Reference Group reporting down the line to the Attorney-General’s Office in securing the funding to put together healing and yarning circles and programs in our prisons – in other words radical prison reforms that work to reduce reoffending and in saving lives by rebuilding them and subsequently those lives within the families and communities around them – in giving rise to the certainty of paths in people’s lives. My invitation to this group was through an Aboriginal body – the group works in line with Aboriginal Terms of Reference (ATR) and has 10 Aboriginal members and two ‘non-Aboriginal’ members in its family. Along the way an external question arose about the two ‘non-Aboriginal’ members on an ATR underlain Aboriginal critical reference group. I stepped back from the group to ensure that its reference remained intact however was brought into the fold after every member of the group insisted, and these two excerpts hearten much wisdom for the coalescing of humanity and our unfolding hopes and aspirations:
“My reasoning to include two non-Aboriginal people as members of the group was based upon the expertise, and professional integrity they hold within the Aboriginal community at a national (Gerry) and State (Alec) level.”
“Gerry has had many years of engagement and involvement in Aboriginal affairs through the work he does in the field of justice and at State and local Aboriginal affairs particularly in WA. I know it has taken years of hard work on your part to be where you are today within the Aboriginal community and accepted into various groups as a family member.”
“I can’t wait to have you and your family included in the invitations to my own families for our big family reunion next year. My brothers are so looking forward to ‘catching up with the brother’, particularly my brother who is down in Redfern.”
When I read this I just could not, and still cannot, put into words how touched I was, and what it made me feel and understand. I sometimes cannot believe the power of the reach we can have, the connections we can make, and the change agency that is within our capacities. I too look forward, deeply so, in catching up with my brothers.
The kind lady who wrote this to me continued, “The Aboriginal Noongars, mainly brothers who I keep in contact with, one of them who is mine and my children’s Elder, and my skin Mothers, whom I consulted regarding your inclusion in the Critical Reference Group, all spoke of your clear and definite understanding of Aboriginal Terms of Reference evidenced by the ‘the way his stories yarn about our business’ was the way it was put to me by one of them. Gerry, you work at times for the National Indigenous Times as a journalist and it was your writing in this national newspaper that was pointed out to me as evidence of your knowledge of ATR, particularly in the area of ‘black deaths in custody’, Aboriginal imprisonment, juvenile crime, family, child protection and the list went on.”
I thank this very prominent Kabi Kabi Elder from Queensland – her words are etched in my soul.
Another member from the group, Darwin based, wrote, “Being Aboriginal does not mean you know everything Aboriginal because as an Aboriginal person we are always learning about each other (many nations). Additionally, our culture is like a second skin, it is infinite and fundamental to us as an Aboriginal person (race), it defines who we are, where we come from, who we know, what our responsibilities and obligations are to each other and with each other. And with many Aboriginal nations across Australia, there comes many rules and protocols that do not need to be explained, but must always be respected.”
“For this project – it is because we are all experts in the ATR field that brought us all together, it was not because we were Aboriginal (which we are) or that we were Aboriginal experts (which we all are) and funny enough it is this ATR expertise that has kept us all motivated because we come from different spaces and concerns. If we were brought together just on Aboriginality then yes Alec and Gerry have sorely missed the boat, and need to go out and get a tan! But, from everything I have read and what (we) have stated – we were all brought together based on our ATR expertise and our legal, justice, rehabilitation, retribution and other skills, for our networks and experiences. Our role and responsibility for this project is to produce the best ATR product that we can from the Aboriginal community which both Alec and Gerry are and which the Aboriginal community have vouched for them, and for the Aboriginal community.”
“I believe we must accept that (our sponsors) have put forward the best team sourced from within the Aboriginal community from around Australia, therefore it is not our right to judge, rather it is our right to ensure we get the best from everyone by sharing, solving and championing ATR through our own networks and through this project.”
“As (our sponsors) proposed to the Attorney-General’s Department as part of their strategy that they would establish and be guided by a National Aboriginal & Islander Critical Reference Group, this is exactly what (our sponsors) have produced. Do we have to define and label us individually as being Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members, including all our expertise? No, we should not.”
“To date, Gerry’s and Alec’s contributions to this project have been invaluable and in the end result, they should be acknowledged as being members of the National Aboriginal & Islander Critical Reference Group and not written off as non-Aboriginal experts/contributors.”
With the support of those I stand alongside with and work with hence I am guided by.
I would like to finish this Big Read, the last one for 2012, with a quote from our good friend for all times, Plato – “Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Taken in its entirety from Indymedia at http://www.indymedia.org.au/2012/12/11/the-national-indigenous-times-%E2%80%93-%E2%80%98voice-to-the-voiceless%E2%80%99
How will the Australian Government bring on the Referendum to change the Constitution when the colonisation orders by the British have not been cancelled?
The order for the colonisation of Australia was the same as the colonisation of all other countries around the world.
The first principal of colonisation is the conquering of the inhabitants, usurp and destroy the culture of the people of the land and kill off any semblance of resistance from the Aboriginal peoples.
Lateral Love Australia is a movement devoted to bringing Lateral Violence, particularly for Aboriginal & Islander peoples of Australia, into the public arena.
We aim to share information about the true history of Australia, highlighting the deliberate impacts of colonisation, and the damage made to the human spirit regardless of race, due to the manifestations of unchecked Lateral Violence. In doing so we hope to connect and share with many other colonised First Nations peoples around the world and share their histories, stories and successes to encourage a world view, enabling a universal healing.
We are Brian Butler and Nicola Butler, the individuals behind the ‘Lateral Love & Spirit of Care for all Humankind Campaign’ and ‘The Decade of Lateral Love Around the World 2012 – 2022’.
This campaign is a product of the culmination of our life works, William Brian Butler spanning over 60 years and Nicola Butler spanning 25 years. Lateral Love Australia provides an ongoing, living, breathing environment for positive discussions, development of resources and suggestions for change that will have the potential for a lasting impact to the Social Inclusion, and the Spiritual, Social and Emotional Wellbeing for all Aboriginal and Islander peoples in this country, and indeed all of Humanity right around the world.
The primary focus of the ‘Decade of Lateral Love Around the World’ is to bring about equality for all of humanity through Caring and Sharing which are 2 of the key principles to Aboriginal and Islander culture here in Australia. To achieve this in our country, we must unpack all of the manifestations of Lateral Violence that have come about due to the impacts of colonisation. This means acknowledging and addressing all of the transgenerational and intergenerational traumas that have been passed down and impinged upon each generation since contact in 1788.
The movement is based on the healing power of love as opposed to focusing solely on the difficult issues that are Lateral Violence. We are also talking specifically about the types of violence and contemporary negativities that have a direct root in colonisation processes and the divide and conquer rule of thought. We do not attempt to go into traditional lore that governed Aboriginal and Islander cultures before colonisation, nor do we believe that there was no need for justice or that violence did not exist before the white man arrived.
From the beginning of this Campaign on the 23rd January 2012 we initially tried to explain all of the complexities of Lateral Violence as it relates to colonisation and found that because of the severe negative connotations it was a lot harder for people to come on board and start to address the issues of Lateral Violence in our families and communities.
Late one night we were talking on the telephone at 2am in the morning, something we do quite often, just toing and froing about what could be done to change the situation, and we decided then, that what we needed to do was to approach things from another angle, so we came up with the idea of focusing on Lateral Love and since then have continued to receive encouraging support and positive feedback along with a firm calling throughout the Nation to address Lateral Violence right across the country. People are talking and wanting to know about Lateral Violence and the ways in which we can all turn things around by creating Lateral Love for our families, communities and children for the future.
Our website www.lateralloveaustralia.com is a blogging site that we are using to get as much information out about Lateral Love and Lateral Violence as we can. We are also using the website to highlight the many positive programs and services that already exist around Australia, many of which operate from the primary focus of Lateral Love. We hope to create a network whereby people who are looking for positive services to improve their social and emotional wellbeing, can find resources in their local or intrastate area or at least access the information they need through our website. We encourage everyone to get on to the website and have a look around. If individuals know of programs and services in their areas that should be on our site, then please contact us, we welcome all recommendations either through our email address which is email@example.com or both Brian and Nicola are always available and up for a yarn.
We set up the Lateral Love Australia email network where people can sign on and have direct email access to both of us. We are getting email responses daily for all kinds of reasons, questions to clarify if certain behaviours would be classed as Lateral Violence or Lateral Love, distraught individuals seeking legal advice for all kinds of things including children that continue to be removed by the departments to things like parents and grandparents worrying about their young people dealing with depression and mental illness and trying to stave off the potential for suicide within their families.
One of the really important aspects we feel differentiates Lateral Love Australia from many other organisations is that we are focused on being an independent entity. We are structuring ourselves around business models whilst maintaining an Aboriginal Terms of Reference (ATR) perspective. We do not want to come under the control of Government in regards to funding so in a sense we are trying to be a fully self-determining organisation.
Whilst initially this movement came about because of the dire situations surrounding our immediate families regarding youth suicide and Lateral Violence and the serious need for healing within our communities, what we have found through this journey over the past six months is this; we are dealing with an issue that is relevant for all people regardless of race; these behaviours and this deliberate undermining of culture is not present only within Aboriginal and Islander culture, we are finding that the issues are relevant right around the world. People all over the globe have been contacting us and concurring with our sentiments, stating that the issues and topics we talk about at Lateral Love Australia and via our Facebook Group and Pages are relevant for them in their parts of the world too. Currently we have had over 40,000 views from 124 countries, and on the 23rd December 2012 we had our busiest day to date with 1,596 views in one day although we average 200 views per day and counting.
One of main questions people ask us is what exactly is Lateral Love? And, of course the ever complex, what then is Lateral Violence? Really when you get to the bottom of it, Lateral Love is about caring for self, caring for family, love for spirit, land and country, love for our fellow human beings and love most importantly for our children. So how this translates into the doing is bout each and every one of us developing a sense of respect and making sure that we give our children the knowledge about our respective cultures and teach them about how important it is to care for one and other. One of the easiest things we can do to contribute to the Lateral Love movement is to genuinely listen to the people around us, especially the people that count, our family and loved ones are all too often on the blunt end of our moods and treatment, we must boost them up, not cut them down, and practice encouragement at every opportunity. Each and every soul needs to strive to become all that they can possibly be. Let them know that everything they aspire to be is in their reach and in doing so can maximize their full potential. For too many this sense of aspiration needs to be nurtured back to a place where it is actually acceptable to succeed or want things that are good, positive and loving in our lives.
Our Definition of Lateral Violence comes from the Elders Wisdoms of Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian: Lateral violence is the power and control used by a dominating authority to disconnect and decimate a peoples or persons nationhood birthrights, to their spiritual and cultural heritage, self and cultural identity and ‘sense of being’, by means of colonisation processes that institutionalise systems of violent intimidation, manipulation and deception politically, religiously, legitimately , governmentally and socially. Yavu-Kama-Harathunian 2010-2012.
There are many definitions describing Lateral Violence and this in itself can be problematic. Even for ourselves we see a couple of different views depending on the context so we will share them both.
1. Historical Context
- contributing to intergenerational and transgenerational trauma
Lateral Violence in its overarching all-encompassing form is in the negative ethos that has been created through colonisation. When we look at the seven or more generations since colonisation we see the first wave of destruction with the slaughter of our men and boys at the hands of colonizers right across our land.
In the second wave we saw women left to fend for themselves and the children without the important presence of our men to maintain their roles within the community. Throughout this time many women and young girls were physically assaulted and sexually abused by the colonizers, the police officers, missionaries, station owners and many different people who came to this land.
This abuse paved the way for a new destruction bought about by the race of ‘half caste’ children as they were called at the time producing the third wave of colonisation and this is where we had the Government in all its wisdom believing that the removal of children of mixed blood from their Aboriginal mothers was going to ensure a smooth and trouble free assimilation, a deliberate ethnic cleansing (no language, no culture) to transition their potential disaster into mainstream white society, and so the Assimilation Policy kicked in.
Children were rounded up and deposited into detention camps, Missions right across the country with blood family members and siblings split up, separated with say one being deposited in Mallala in South Australia and another sent to Cootamundra in New South Wales for example. This physical distance was deliberate in the hope that they would never reunite in the belief that this total disconnection from family, culture, land and language would make for easier assimilation into white mainstream society and thus creating an easier race to contain.
Once you remove a generation from love, care and nurturing of family and community, we then see a generation with the scars of torture, trauma, isolation, exclusion, love and the deprivation and all things Aboriginal, growing into adults and bringing children of their own into this world, not having the knowledge of love and nurturing needed to ‘raise’ the next generation.
2. Contemporary Context
- Manifestations of the ‘Historical Context’, creating the current, all too identifiable bullying and violence bandied about under the guise of true ‘Aboriginal Culture’
What this means in effect, is that the current surviving generations we see now, are behaving in a way which not only feels like the historical oppression of the past stemming from transgenerational trauma, but also has new contemporary elements entwined with learned behaviours creating intergenerational trauma. This learned behaviour, this oppression we perpetuate onto our siblings, relatives and community leaves us behaving in a way that a) now comes completely naturally, and b) is widely accepted as a part of the norm for Aboriginal and Islander peoples in this country, and c) is broadcast around the world through media which enforces a stereotype into an International perspective of who we are and what we believe.
Many generations surviving today find themselves acting in a certain way or having views and opinions about certain things and we may not necessarily know why or how these attitudes or beliefs have come to be. One thing we do know is that the emotions and feelings attached to these beliefs are very strong and most times sensitive and raw when dragged into the limelight, and they are very real for each and every one of us.
We both remember the 70’s and 80’s, there was always the threat of welfare coming to take kids away and Nicola personally remembers grandparents and parents along with other elders in the community using this threat to control a wayward child’s behaviour. This form of control or manipulation might not feel like violence because it is just words but verbal statements such as ‘If you don’t cut that out I’m gonna flog you’ or ‘come here and I’ll give you something to cry about’ and the dreaded, ‘I’ll ring welfare myself and they will come and take you away if you don’t stop that’ or ‘Do you want me to ring welfare?’ this type of behaviour is just another form of Lateral Violence and one we are sure will resonate with many, I know we have both repeated some a few times ourselves out of pure desperation or exhaustion.
So what we actually see now in 2012 is what constitutes a working reality of Lateral Violence and the detrimental impact it has had on Aboriginal and Islander culture in this country. It is about the ‘manifestations’ of Lateral Violence. Now, the manifestations of Lateral Violence described in Contemporary Context # 2, comes from the overarching negative ethos that we talked about firstly in Historical Context # 1. This was where we have had our ancestors behaving in a certain way, by force, in an attempt to survive. Now in 2012, we have our children maintaining much of this behaviour which has unwittingly been handed down via transgenerational and intergenerational trauma, through behaviours and interactions. Our children are behaving in certain ways, without having the background, historical context or knowledge around how and why these behaviours were necessary though-out history and more importantly how they have come to enact, possess, display and exercise the same behaviours, patterns and reactions.
So, what we need to do is understand and explain the true painful reality of our history to our children. We see our Elders passing away at an alarming rate, having not been able to tell their stories because there is still so much pain, many of our old people are taking this pain with them to their graves because we are yet to come to a point where we have a culturally safe respectful place in this world equipped with the necessary support mechanisms to help in the sharing of these devastating traumas, historical truths that must be released to enable the healing that must occur if we hope to allow our children to move forward free of our survivalist past.
If we as adults and the remaining elders of our culture, do not make the shift in consciousness right now, and expose ourselves to the raw nerves, the brunt of this pain and suffering, then this ‘Lateral Violence’ is going to continue to the next generation and the next generation and this vicious cycle is going to continue to be the self-perpetuating genocide of our children.
To follow we want to share with you the speech that was said to have been delivered by Willie Lynch on the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712. It is claimed that Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies who was invited to the colony of Virginia in 1712 to teach his methods to slave owners there. The principles explained herein are similar to the principles adopted by colonizers right around the world, and regardless of the authenticity of this letter, the divide and rule tactics contained within it are most definitely deliberate, the tactics work, and unfortunately, are evident here in Australia still today. The difference, we feel, is that the strategies employed in this letter are more closely linked to current contemporary divisions and concerns but nevertheless, the Australian strategy is that of a silent stealthy killer, undetectably twisted and entwined into policies which form the basis of an insidious, undermining, divide and rule society, which can get away with racism and denigrating human spirit so well to the point where we are not able to identify when we, the oppressed, have become the oppressors, perpetrating Lateral Violence onto our own.
Outing this historical, negative, strategically rooted behaviour is one of the aims of the ‘Decade of Lateral Love’, we must be honest and truthful when we look in the mirror to uncover the realities of our sordid history, and then openly share the truth with all First Nations cultures so that we are all able to make decisions about our future in an informed way. Once we know the truth, our lives can be made through our own design (self-determination based on Aboriginal Terms of Reference), until such a time, whereby we can confidently say that ALL people know and understand where and how their morals, attitudes and beliefs have come about, we remain operating under a guise, a lie, a smoke screen brought about by the forced genocide of our cultures which is like a slow spreading gas that we cannot hear or see that eats away at our souls, disintegrating Aboriginal culture until it is no more.
Please be aware that the articles quoted below are in their original language and format and contain language that is not acceptable and may be extremely offensive to some readers.
So now to the infamous Willie Lynch Letter from 1712:
Gentlemen. I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest, and still the oldest, methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasions. I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree, a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed. Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES. I guarantee every one of you that, if installed correctly, IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSES. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is “AGE,” but it’s there only because it starts with an “a.” The second is “COLOR” or shade. There is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZES OF PLANTATIONS, STATUS on plantations, ATTITUDE of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don’t forget, you must pitch the OLD black male vs. the YOUNG black male, and the YOUNG black male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE, and the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have white servants and overseers [who] distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. IF USED INTENSELY FOR ONE YEAR, THE SLAVES THEMSELVES WILL REMAIN PERPETUALLY DISTRUSTFUL. Thank you gentlemen.”
LET’S MAKE A SLAVE
It was the interest and business of slave holders to study human nature, and the slave nature in particular, with a view to practical results. I and many of them attained astonishing proficiency in this direction. They had to deal not with earth, wood and stone, but with men and, by every regard, they had for their own safety and prosperity they needed to know the material on which they were to work, conscious of the injustice and wrong they were every hour perpetuating and knowing what they themselves would do. Were they the victims of such wrongs? They were constantly looking for the first signs of the dreaded retribution. They watched therefore with skilled and practiced eyes, and learned to read with great accuracy, the state of mind and heart of the slave, through his sable face. Unusual sobriety, apparent abstractions, sullenness and indifference indeed, any mood out of the common was afforded ground for suspicion and inquiry. Frederick Douglas LET’S MAKE A SLAVE is a study of the scientific process of man-breaking and slave-making. It describes the rationale and results of the Anglo Saxons’ ideas and methods of insuring the master/slave relationship. LET’S MAKE A SLAVE “The Original and Development of a Social Being Called ‘The Negro.’” Let us make a slave. What do we need? First of all, we need a black nigger man, a pregnant nigger woman and her baby nigger boy. Second, we will use the same basic principle that we use in breaking a horse, combined with some more sustaining factors. What we do with horses is that we break them from one form of life to another; that is, we reduce them from their natural state in nature. Whereas nature provides them with the natural capacity to take care of their offspring, we break that natural string of independence from them and thereby create a dependency status, so that we may be able to get from them useful production for our business and pleasure.
…”A Must-Read For Any Truth Seeking Reader..”
CARDINAL PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING A NEGRO
For fear that our future generations may not understand the principles of breaking both of the beast together, the nigger and the horse. We understand that short range planning economics results in periodic economic chaos; so that to avoid turmoil in the economy, it requires us to have breadth and depth in long range comprehensive planning, articulating both skill sharp perceptions. We lay down the following principles for long range comprehensive economic planning. Both horse and niggers [are] no good to the economy in the wild or natural state. Both must be BROKEN and TIED together for orderly production. For orderly future, special and particular attention must be paid to the FEMALE and the YOUNGEST offspring. Both must be CROSSBRED to produce a variety and division of labor. Both must be taught to respond to a peculiar new LANGUAGE. Psychological and physical instruction of CONTAINMENT must be created for both. We hold the six cardinal principles as truth to be self-evident, based upon following the discourse concerning the economics of breaking and tying the horse and the nigger together, all inclusive of the six principles laid down above. NOTE: Neither principle alone will suffice for good economics. All principles must be employed for orderly good of the nation. Accordingly, both a wild horse and a wild or natur[al] nigger is dangerous even if captured, for they will have the tendency to seek their customary freedom and, in doing so, might kill you in your sleep. You cannot rest. They sleep while you are awake, and are awake while you are asleep. They are DANGEROUS near the family house and it requires too much labor to watch them away from the house. Above all, you cannot get them to work in this natural state. Hence, both the horse and the nigger must be broken; that is breaking them from one form of mental life to another. KEEP THE BODY, TAKE THE MIND! In other words, break the will to resist. Now the breaking process is the same for both the horse and the nigger, only slightly varying in degrees. But, as we said before, there is an art in long range economic planning. YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EYE AND THOUGHTS ON THE FEMALE and the OFFSPRING of the horse and the nigger. A brief discourse in offspring development will shed light on the key to sound economic principles. Pay little attention to the generation of original breaking, but CONCENTRATE ON FUTURE GENERATION. Therefore, if you break the FEMALE mother, she will BREAK the offspring in its early years of development; and when the offspring is old enough to work, she will deliver it up to you, for her normal female protective tendencies will have been lost in the original breaking process. For example, take the case of the wild stud horse, a female horse and an already infant horse and compare the breaking process with two captured nigger males in their natural state, a pregnant nigger woman with her infant offspring. Take the stud horse, break him for limited containment. Completely break the female horse until she becomes very gentle, whereas you or anybody can ride her in her comfort. Breed the mare and the stud until you have the desired offspring. Then, you can turn the stud to freedom until you need him again. Train the female horse whereby she will eat out of your hand, and she will in turn train the infant horse to eat out of your hand, also. When it comes to breaking the uncivilized nigger, use the same process, but vary the degree and step up the pressure, so as to do a complete reversal of the mind. Take the meanest and most restless nigger, strip him of his clothes in front of the remaining male niggers, the female, and the nigger infant, tar and feather him, tie each leg to a different horse faced in opposite directions, set him afire and beat both horses to pull him apart in front of the remaining niggers. The next step is to take a bullwhip and beat the remaining nigger males to the point of death, in front of the female and the infant. Don’t kill him, but PUT THE FEAR OF GOD IN HIM, for he can be useful for future breeding.
THE BREAKING PROCESS OF THE AFRICAN WOMAN
Take the female and run a series of tests on her to see if she will submit to your desires willingly. Test her in every way, because she is the most important factor for good economics. If she shows any sign of resistance in submitting completely to your will, do not hesitate to use the bullwhip on her to extract that last bit of [b----] out of her. Take care not to kill her, for in doing so, you spoil good economics. When in complete submission, she will train her offsprings in the early years to submit to labor when they become of age. Understanding is the best thing. Therefore, we shall go deeper into this area of the subject matter concerning what we have produced here in this breaking process of the female nigger. We have reversed the relationship; in her natural uncivilized state, she would have a strong dependency on the uncivilized nigger male, and she would have a limited protective tendency toward her independent male offspring and would raise male offsprings to be dependent like her. Nature had provided for this type of balance. We reversed nature by burning and pulling a civilized nigger apart and bullwhipping the other to the point of death, all in her presence. By her being left alone, unprotected, with the MALE IMAGE DESTROYED, the ordeal caused her to move from her psychologically dependent state to a frozen, independent state. In this frozen, psychological state of independence, she will raise her MALE and female offspring in reversed roles. For FEAR of the young male’s life, she will psychologically train him to be MENTALLY WEAK and DEPENDENT, but PHYSICALLY STRONG. Because she has become psychologically independent, she will train her FEMALE offsprings to be psychologically independent. What have you got? You’ve got the nigger WOMAN OUT FRONT AND THE nigger MAN BEHIND AND SCARED. This is a perfect situation of sound sleep and economics. Before the breaking process, we had to be alertly on guard at all times. Now, we can sleep soundly, for out of frozen fear his woman stands guard for us. He cannot get past her early slave-molding process. He is a good tool, now ready to be tied to the horse at a tender age. By the time a nigger boy reaches the age of sixteen, he is soundly broken in and ready for a long life of sound and efficient work and the reproduction of a unit of good labor force. Continually through the breaking of uncivilized savage niggers, by throwing the nigger female savage into a frozen psychological state of independence, by killing the protective male image, and by creating a submissive dependent mind of the nigger male slave, we have created an orbiting cycle that turns on its own axis forever, unless a phenomenon occurs and re-shifts the position of the male and female slaves. We show what we mean by example. Take the case of the two economic slave units and examine them close.
THE NEGRO MARRIAGE
We breed two nigger males with two nigger females. Then, we take the nigger male away from them and keep them moving and working. Say one nigger female bears a nigger female and the other bears a nigger male; both nigger females—being without influence of the nigger male image, frozen with a independent psychology—will raise their offspring into reverse positions. The one with the female offspring will teach her to be like herself, independent and negotiable (we negotiate with her, through her, by her, negotiates her at will). The one with the nigger male offspring, she being frozen subconscious fear for his life, will raise him to be mentally dependent and weak, but physically strong; in other words, body over mind. Now, in a few years when these two offsprings become fertile for early reproduction, we will mate and breed them and continue the cycle. That is good, sound and long range comprehensive planning.
WARNING: POSSIBLE INTERLOPING NEGATIVES
Earlier, we talked about the non-economic good of the horse and the nigger in their wild or natural state; we talked out the principle of breaking and tying them together for orderly production. Furthermore, we talked about paying particular attention to the female savage and her offspring for orderly future planning, then more recently we stated that, by reversing the positions of the male and female savages, we created an orbiting cycle that turns on its own axis forever unless a phenomenon occurred and reshifts positions of the male and female savages. Our experts warned us about the possibility of this phenomenon occurring, for they say that the mind has a strong drive to correct and re-correct itself over a period of time if it can touch some substantial original historical base; and they advised us that the best way to deal with the phenomenon is to shave off the brute’s mental history and create a multiplicity of phenomena of illusions, so that each illusion will twirl in its own orbit, something similar to floating balls in a vacuum. This creation of multiplicity of phenomena of illusions entails the principle of crossbreeding the nigger and the horse as we stated above, the purpose of which is to create a diversified division of labor; thereby creating different levels of labor and different values of illusion at each connecting level of labor. The results of which is the severance of the points of original beginnings for each sphere illusion. Since we feel that the subject matter may get more complicated as we proceed in laying down our economic plan concerning the purpose, reason and effect of crossbreeding horses and niggers, we shall lay down the following definition terms for future generations. Orbiting cycle means a thing turning in a given path. Axis means upon which or around which a body turns. Phenomenon means something beyond ordinary conception and inspires awe and wonder. Multiplicity means a great number. Means a globe. Crossbreeding a horse means taking a horse and breeding it with an ass and you get a dumb, backward, ass long-headed mule that is not reproductive nor productive by itself. Crossbreeding niggers mean taking so many drops of good white blood and putting them into as many nigger women as possible, varying the drops by the various tone that you want, and then letting them breed with each other until another circle of color appears as you desire. What this means is this: Put the niggers and the horse in a breeding pot, mix some asses and some good white blood and what do you get? You got a multiplicity of colors of ass backward, unusual niggers, running, tied to backward ass long-headed mules, the one productive of itself, the other sterile. (The one constant, the other dying, we keep the nigger constant for we may replace the mules for another tool) both mule and nigger tied to each other, neither knowing where the other came from and neither productive for itself, nor without each other.
Crossbreeding completed, for further severance from their original beginning, WE MUST COMPLETELY ANNIHILATE THE MOTHER TONGUE of both the new nigger and the new mule, and institute a new language that involves the new life’s work of both. You know language is a peculiar institution. It leads to the heart of a people. The more a foreigner knows about the language of another country the more he is able to move through all levels of that society. Therefore, if the foreigner is an enemy of the country, to the extent that he knows the body of the language, to that extent is the country vulnerable to attack or invasion of a foreign culture. For example, if you take a slave, if you teach him all about your language, he will know all your secrets, and he is then no more a slave, for you can’t fool him any longer, and BEING A FOOL IS ONE OF THE BASIC INGREDIENTS OF ANY INCIDENTS TO THE MAINTENANCE OF THE SLAVERY SYSTEM. For example, if you told a slave that he must perform in getting out “our crops” and he knows the language well, he would know that “our crops” didn’t mean “our crops” and the slavery system would break down, for he would relate on the basis of what “our crops” really meant. So you have to be careful in setting up the new language; for the slaves would soon be in your house, talking to you as “man to man” and that is death to our economic system. In addition, the definitions of words or terms are only a minute part of the process. Values are created and transported by communication through the body of the language. A total society has many interconnected value systems. All the values in the society have bridges of language to connect them for orderly working in the society. But for these language bridges, these many value systems would sharply clash and cause internal strife or civil war, the degree of the conflict being determined by the magnitude of the issues or relative opposing strength in whatever form. For example, if you put a slave in a hog pen and train him to live there and incorporate in him to value it as a way of life completely, the biggest problem you would have out of him is that he would worry you about provisions to keep the hog pen clean, or the same hog pen and make a slip and incorporate something in his language whereby he comes to value a house more than he does his hog pen, you got a problem. He will soon be in your house. Additional Note: “Henty Berry, speaking in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1832, described the situation as it existed in many parts of the South at this time: “We have, as far as possible, closed every avenue by which light may enter their (the slaves) minds. If we could extinguish the capacity to see the light, our work would be complete; they would then be on a level with the beasts of the field and we should be safe. I am not certain that we would not do it, if we could find out the process and that on the plea of necessity.” From Brown America, The story of a New Race by Edwin R. Embree. 1931 The Viking Press.
Willie Lynch Letter: The Making of a Slave – http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Perspectives_1/Willie_Lynch_letter_The_Making_of_a_Slave.shtml
Frederick Douglass Narrative: Life as a slave in America (Virginia.edu) – http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/dougnarrhp.html
Historical Document: The 1865 Mississippi Black Code (GMU.edu) – http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/recon/code.html
Neo-slavery in the American South (FCN, 07-27-2010) – http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_7151.shtml
The Cotton Pickin’ Truth: Still on the Plantation (FCN, 07-13-2010) – http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_7125.shtml
The Disappearing Black Community: How We Can Get It Back, The Movement for Reparations and the Need to Repair our People – http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Minister_Louis_Farrakhan_9/article_7746.shtml
Reading the Willie Lynch letter and subsequent articles, in the conceptualising an understanding of Lateral Violence gives us a clearer picture of the colonisation mentality and enables the reader to easily see the way in which we, as a colonised peoples, have come to accept certain contemporary behaviours and attitudes, without question, without having the strength and conviction to go up against the status quo, to challenge our rights when we feel, deep down in our stomach, that things are not right and something really should be challenged.
The most damaging thing about all this is that not only do we have others to fear, strangers to our culture and ways of being, but we must also fear ourselves, our own people who become defensive and threatened when we talk about these topics, and with all due respect it is because we have all been victims, perpetrators or instigators of Lateral Violence and Racism at some point in our lives and trust is something precious and sometimes very hard to find or regain. In this day and age we see all the hurt, pain, trauma, drama and confusion as a normal part of our dysfunctional existence and that sounds just like what the colonizer ordered now doesn’t it?
We believe we have a unique opportunity right now in 2012 to bring these issues to the fore and attempt to uncover the many layers of wounds, start our own healing, and attempt to halt Lateral Violence dead in its tracks, here at home in Australia, and arm in arm with our brothers and sisters throughout the world on an international scale.
By doing this we are immediately improving the future for our children, our grandchildren and every generation to walk in our forefathers footsteps. We invite you all to walk with us on this monumental spiritual journey!
Yours in Unity through Lateral Love & Spirit of Care for all Humankind,
Brian Butler & Nicola Butler
Co-Founders & Directors at Lateral Love Australia www.lateralloveaustralia.com
Email Us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A special message from our International Ambassador the wonderfully inspiring Mr Ben Vereen as posted on the 1st July 2012 – “This is so needed in this time, in this space, in this world now. Yes do join up for Love is in need of your love today to make change in all things unlike itself. One by one they will come for they will hear, they will see, they will rejoice to know love lives within them as it has lived within us all waiting to be awakened again . This is the Decade of the call to action for love to free us all from violence. Join up now for the world is in need of lateral love in our homes in our communities, in our hearts … spread the word, [and] spread the LOVE …” Ben Vereen 2012
“The Decade of Lateral Love 2012 – 2022″ – “Lateral Love & Spirit of Care for All Humankind”
“We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Islander peoples of Australia as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their intrinsic connection to Land, Waterways, Islands and Communities. In this Journey we strive for Cultural Knowledge to be shared with all Australians to provide the platform for equality of Rights for all Humankind. We do this by sharing knowledge, listening, empowering people, creating confidence, self-esteem and the genuine possibilities for a brighter future for our children, our grand-children and all future generations that walk in our fore father’s footsteps.”
“We subscribe to Zero Tolerance to Lateral Violence”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article the personal views of the authors and the authors alone.
Is this the year that we can expect to see our children experience a reduction from abuse and deprivation and be given the love and care that is needed to grow and carry on the culture of Aboriginal and Islander (including the Torres Straits) peoples?
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” ~ Morrie Schwartz
“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive.”~ Orlando Aloysius Battista
Friday 4th January 2013
The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Sing along with the Hollies
The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
If I’m laden at all
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another
It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy he’s my brother
He’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
The Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) is a national Indigenous science and technology not-for-profit organisation. CAT was established in 1980 and is incorporated under the Northern Territory Associations Act. CAT is governed by an Indigenous Board.
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CAT has 120 staff. Thirty percent are Indigenous.
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“Proper community control in all Aboriginal Organisations is needed. Too many of our old people are suffering because control freaks are playing god. Bring back true democracy and practice proper governance so that all our peoples get a fair share of the resources. People have died as a result of being refused help from Organisations who are getting monies from the government to provide services and support to ‘ALL’ Aboriginal and Islanders including the Torres Straits peoples.” ~ Brian Butler
“The time is always right to do what is right.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr