indigenous affairs

indigenous affairs August 6, 2022

What happens next for the Voice?

Curiosity and impatience for referendum detail is unsurprising. This is the second decade of the constitutional recognition journey in Australia, and it is Australia’s first referendum since 1999. It is worth pointing out, however, that much of the...

indigenous affairs July 30, 2022

Putting a statement into action

More than any other figure in our democracy, a prime minister can influence the direction of the nation. Anthony Albanese knows it, and he is not allowing the most difficult economic and strategic circumstance in more than three decades to deter him...

indigenous affairs January 22, 2022

The forever war

It’s January already. Here I am, writing yet another opinion piece about the 26th day of this month, the day on which the nation celebrates the invasion and genocide imposed on my people and my sacred Noongar Country and all other Aboriginal people...

indigenous affairs August 28, 2021

The politics of the greater good

It’s taken a long time but the concept of the “greater good” – the sense of a shared destiny, of shared interests, collective purpose, a common future – is finally returning to our politics. Largely this is the result of the need to build community...

indigenous affairs June 5, 2021

The white business of Aboriginal art

It’s been almost 20 years since I wrote “Bell’s Theorem”, an essay about Aboriginal art and the Western systems that make it a white business. The essay finished with a simple observation: “There is no hope.” Well, have a look around us. The planet...

indigenous affairs May 29, 2021

The Uluru statement, four years on

This year marks the beginning of the second decade of constitutional recognition. Who could’ve known when Julia Gillard created the expert panel, at the urging of the Greens and independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, that 10 years, seven...

indigenous affairs April 10, 2021

Lessons from a decade as an Aboriginal cop

Content warning: this piece contains the names of Aboriginal people who are deceased. I spent 10 years as a police officer, working in Queensland. My book, Black and Blue , recounts my time in the police as an Aboriginal woman, and my life as a...

indigenous affairs January 23, 2021

How political fear erodes Indigenous rights

Recently on Twitter – although it wasn’t the first time and surely won’t be the last – former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed responsibility for delivering marriage equality. In reality, he did nothing of the sort: what he delivered was a...

indigenous affairs November 21, 2020

Colonisation and disease

As a remarkable year nears its end, it seems a once-in-a-century opportunity to reflect on the most traumatic event in modern Australian history has been squandered. In 2020, Australians have become more conversant with the ravages of the Spanish...

indigenous affairs September 19, 2020

The destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves

Here is a fact about life in Australia in 2020: the material and geographical manifestations of Aboriginal cultures developed over more than 65,000 years are being rapidly destroyed by mining companies, urban settlement, road and infrastructure...

indigenous affairs July 18, 2020

Remaking our newsrooms

Australia is in the midst of a realisation, long overdue. It is a process, galvanised by the Black Lives Matter movement, that has revealed how deeply ingrained what could be called “unconscious” racism is in this country. Seemingly to the surprise...