So Prime Minister Julia Gillard has shoehorned Nova Peris onto the ALP Senate ticket, thus illustrating that her cackhandedness is no passing fad.
The former Olympian will be set to become the first Federal indigenous Labor representative, and the first indigenous female Federal pollie. About bloody time.
It is shameful it has taken this long – and it’s also a shame that it will be a tainted appointment.
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Racism is particularly horrendous and shocking when it comes from within.
You’d put Anthony Mundine’s questioning of Daniel Geale’s Aboriginality down to some weird sort of self loathing if you thought there was a speck of self awareness about the man.
Geale is an Aboriginal boxer from Tassie, and Mundine’s opponent. Mundine, in a trash talking barrage, said Geale didn’t deserve to sport an Aboriginal flag, that there ought to be some sort of “cut off” for Aboriginal people after which they’re presumably declared white, and said:
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Another year; another Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s report. More statistical improvements at the margins but the core issues evaded and unaddressed. For the next ten years we could deliver the same speeches with little material change on the ground.
That’s because three things remain unaddressed. Australia fails to apply activity requirements for work in remote Australia like we do everywhere else. We also fail to apply state law and prosecute parents who refuse to send their children to school. Last, our welfare reforms have hobbled into the third wave of ‘trials and pilots’ because Canberra prefers talking tough over being tough on welfare.
Australia has struggled for decades with Aboriginal exceptionalism; the argument finessed by John Altman which casts any move to stimulate a real economy as a western assault on the romanticised traditional life. This view insists on an impossible world of welfare without work, on the grounds that First Australians are fundamentally different to the rest of us.
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Human rights abuses happen everywhere, including Australia. Amnesty International has today released a report on human rights, which is critical of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and Aboriginal people. Claire Mallinson discusses the report’s findings and takes a look at the effect of digital media on the fight for human rights.
When Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released after 15 years under house arrest late last year, one of the first things she commented on was how she had missed the digital revolution.
That may be so, but the digital revolution did not miss her. When she stepped out on to the balcony of her home she was greeted by a sea of supporters, mobiles phones held aloft and eager thumbs pressing buttons. Within seconds her picture could be seen on web sites, the internet and 24-hour news channels around the world.
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