indigenous affairs

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...

indigenous affairs July 4, 2020

Relocate the Captain Cook statue

To: City of Sydney c/o City Arts Program GPO Box 1591 Sydney NSW 2001 Re: Relocation of Captain James Cook statue (1879) by Thomas Woolner (1825-1892). We, the undersigned, are writing to request the relocation of the statue Captain Cook (1879) by...

indigenous affairs June 13, 2020

Why we organised Melbourne’s Black Lives Matter rally

As Black, Brown, Indigenous people and allies in the United States and across the world collectively rise up to end systemic racism and violent police practices, it was necessary for us here in Australia to also rise. This is a global movement, and...

indigenous affairs June 6, 2020

Morrison dragged into Trump’s mire

As if Scott Morrison hasn’t got enough on his plate, now he has been dragged into the quagmire of Donald Trump’s increasingly ugly campaign to cling to office. The invitation to attend the September summit of G7 world leaders in the United States...

indigenous affairs May 30, 2020

Collaboration on Closing the Gap

It was only three months ago that the prime minister stood up in parliament to make his latest report on the progress of Closing the Gap. Just two of seven targets, he revealed, are on track to be met by 2025. The gap itself is a difficult concept...