In the hours before the recent long weekend, when most people’s thoughts turned to families, holidays and grand finals, Labor’s political spin machine was still running on high rotation.

What's the hold up?

And it appears that even the bipartisan goal to close the gap on indigenous disadvantage by providing clean and safe housing for indigenous Australians is not immune to Labor’s political tactics.

On Friday, 28 September, Minister Jenny Macklin wrote to Queensland Housing Minister Bruce Flegg in response to Mr Flegg’s correspondence regarding the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing; a seemingly routine matter.

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  • Ian Matthews says:

    06:40pm | 11/10/12

    Mackiln has shown herself to be just another empty vessel; more interested in retaining power than exercising it for good. Read more »

  • jess says:

    06:16pm | 11/10/12

    No one Aboriginal will unite all Aboriginal people. The language and cultures across the country are too diverse. Read more »


Niina marni.

Every colour represents a different Aboriginal language

That’s “hello” in the Kaurna language of the Adelaide Plains.

And isn’t it a travesty that none of us learnt it in school. Of the 250 Aboriginal languages spoken across Australia before white settlement, only 15 (or six per cent) are still spoken fluently across all age ranges.

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    09:06am | 06/06/12

    kPLsHz ihxlasqznwdb, evlcqyqtzjdb, [link=]ldagsyflaokm[/link], Read more »

  • Catherine says:

    08:52pm | 11/05/12

    Stephen, you know little about Aboriginal languages. Professor Zuckermann is absolutely right. Ergativity, agglutinativity, 15 words for the same concept. The opposite of what you say, Stephen. Read more »


The prominence of the story about AFL player Liam Jurrah in the national media was interesting. Yes, here is a man who many in central Australia hold up as a vision of hope and this dream has for the time being been destroyed.

More grass-roots input is required, but any program that cleans up sites like Hoppy's Camp, Alice Springs, is a start. Pic: Chris Crerar

But Jurrah, as many have noted, is a man with feet in both worlds. These worlds do not often cross paths in a way that is palatable to white people on the East Coast.

One very un-sexy story that doesn’t involve football stars or machetes but is going to have more impact on Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory is the extension of the Intervention.

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  • Fi says:

    11:26pm | 22/03/12

    What and be responsible for themselves like the rest of Australian society, whether it be Anglo, Asian, African and all the rest? Let’s face it, whatever ‘white’ Australia and the government try to do, it will either be too much or not enough. Is the government just supposed to give… Read more »

  • Cynicised says:

    10:34pm | 22/03/12

    It wasn’t my inference,Jason, it was yours. However, we can discuss all we like about what Aboriginal people should or should not do. Although it does seem that your first option is the inevitable path to better outcomes for them, and as much as I understand the frustration felt by… Read more »


Recent bad press about Aboriginal programs in NSW might make you think that all programs designed to help Aboriginal people are failing. But this is not the case.

Try doing this at 6am

A boxing program, “Clean Slate without Prejudice”, has delivered great results since it first began in June 2009. 

An initiative of Redfern Superintendent Luke Freudenstein and Aboriginal leaders, the program involves police training alongside local Aboriginal youth three mornings a week. Accompanying the ducking and jabbing is some good natured ribbing as the police and young Aboriginal people get to know each other.

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  • amy and scott says:

    09:14pm | 24/02/12

    So much emphasis has been placed on the Redfern indigenous youth whilst other youth is neglected.  Lets face it, the Aboriginal population only makes up a very small minority of the area however, there are personal agendas and ladder climbing not to mention self absorbed egos to content with. Read more »

  • Carlos says:

    08:11pm | 10/02/12

    Really eeonyjd the metaphors! However, a motorway may not be the best answer. Some decent guidebooks and maps may be a less invasive way of making the forest’s beauties more apparent and appreciated, as would trade missions for getting the forest’s products out into the marketplaces of the surrounding countryside…I… Read more »


It was only Day 13 of the New Year, 2012. And on this day, I attended the funeral of the eighth South Australian Aboriginal person to die – the eighth death in our small community this year. And it was only Day 13.

Illustration: Sturt Krygsman

These eight deaths are not of Aboriginal people who have lived to a ripe old age. The funerals were not celebrations of long and productive lives. No, they were all premature deaths, some of them violent, all premature and preventable.

Aboriginal people are always at funerals. We attend out of respect for our people and community. We give our condolences and cry for our loved ones.

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  • Crerreque says:

    07:09am | 19/07/12

    Yayayayay! Mine came from the mail some days ago and first thing I did was go through and pick out my much-loved Awesome Items. And i quickly wrote an email inside cover as well as gave the item to my personal boyfriend. But now i’m wishing I would bought 2… Read more »

  • shep says:

    04:14pm | 20/01/12

    @Emel What an ignorant and uneducated rant.  Nasty bloody sheep farmers and neglected small business.  A hell of a lot of shit pour from the pens of the completely self-absorbed. Do you really feel that you’re capable of contributing a lucid and throughful response to such a fraught issue so… Read more »


True story: At an important function a while back an Aboriginal elder gave a traditional welcome to country. The audience looked suitably solemn, if a little glazed.

Nothing wrong with a little respect, and remembrance. Pic: AP

The elder said: When you give me my country back, then I’ll welcome you to my country.

Oblivious to the subversion, a succession of politicians and dignitaries took to the microphone and thanked them for the welcome.

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  • ChrisW says:

    11:42am | 24/05/11

    @truthfully should understand that hormonally-propelled emotional outpourings may offer relief but that something more factually based is necessary for stable government.  Movement of cultures and peoples has gone on since time immemorial driven by invasion, religion, economic power.  The expectation that a Stone Age culture can remain unchanged, other than… Read more »

  • truthfully says:

    04:26pm | 23/05/11

    This has to be the most hateful, horrible comments site to ever be put out, never known so many people to be so ignorant and stupid regarding an issue they would normally not have a clue about, only because they, in their so called wisdom, feel it is their right… Read more »


Are you feeling offended? Put out? Insulted? You’re not alone.

A bridge with some people getting over it. Pic: Chris Pavlich

He Who Almost Always Offends, Andrew Bolt, offended some people a while back. Then their lawyer offended him. Then one of the offended turned around and offended a third party, who offended her right back. Youch.

Surely it’s time to start building some bridges – of the reconciliatory, conciliatory, and the ‘get over it’ kind.

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  • Sam says:

    07:13pm | 27/11/11

    From an Aboriginal view point all the waste of money is from the employment of non-aboriginal workers who sponge off the disadvantaged marginalised minority that is traditional owners (all aboriginals), the dominate controlers must first sort out thier issues as to avoid imposing more failed programs that we have come… Read more »

  • DJ says:

    11:59am | 03/05/11

    Heh… Yeah thanks on behalf of my Communities for defining our people… Was trawling the net for research and came across your posts… As an Indigenous man I’m offended by what Bolt says, writes and portrays - so I choose - my family chooses not to watch / read /… Read more »


When it comes to waste and mismanagement, Julia Gillard’s Building the Education Revolution debacle is recognised as the gold standard, but it has a new challenger in the form of the Labor government’s Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP).

Alarm bells are ringing in remote communities, where's the housing they were promised?

However, federal Labor – like its state Labor counterparts who gave themselves glowing reports for their management of the BER – has insulted our intelligence by their boasts in early January that it has exceeded its 2010 targets for building houses in remote Indigenous communities.

The reality is the government has blown the same amount of taxpayers’ money on administration costs and inflated salaries for consultants under SIHIP as the disastrous schools halls project, in relative terms.

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    04:22pm | 15/12/12

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    08:33am | 14/12/12

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Competition in corporate Australia has always been fierce.  Everyone wants the best people, systems, products and services.

Photo:Ian Currie.

But behind the smiles and claims to the contrary, everyone from the Chairman down wants to get one up on their direct competitors on every metric that matters. 

At stake are bonuses, bragging rights and most important of all, continued survival in the corporate jungle.

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  • Hazera says:

    07:05pm | 07/02/12

    2500 dallors seems like a small sum of money to be owed for forced labour.  It should not only be about the value of the labour performed but the loss of human dignity as well.Of course they only want to give those that are dead a headstone.  What they refuse… Read more »

  • Sam Wylie says:

    02:01pm | 14/10/10

    Glen I enjoyed you post, and I agree.  Competition is most acute, and works best, when the objective is clearly defined.  In sport the objective is crystal clear, competition is all there is between teams, co-operation is within teams and there is no hiding from failure.  Teams that don’t innovate… Read more »


Albert Namatjira is an indigenous Australian who died almost half a century ago but his life has recently become the subject of a play at Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre and “Namatjira” should be required watching for anyone ready to hold a mirror up to their own face and take a equanimous approach to our cultural divide.

Quite aside from the extraordinary skill, energy and physicality of the two main actors’ brilliant performances - they carry ten characters and about five accents between them- the narrative tells us as much about Namatjira’s ultimately tragic life as it does about Australian history in the early 20th century and it’s an awesome journey.

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  • Sherridan Broadfoot says:

    02:24pm | 25/09/11

    I live in Coffs Harbour, a friend of mine told me I had to go and see this play as it was great. She lives in Wollongong and went to Canberra especially to see it. I’ve read where it is supposed to be doing a national regional tour, so I… Read more »

  • Brent says:

    10:47am | 13/10/10

    I cant wait to see it im going with a group of my friends next Tuesday. I spent a week up in Darwin last year and was able to sit my self down next to some elderly Aboriginal women. They were very confused why I wanted to talk to them… Read more »


I was heartened last week to note the launch of the GenerationOne project to address Indigenous disadvantage in Australia and in particular, the approach the campaign has taken towards reaching out to the younger generation to “make a difference in our lifetime”.

Helping to make a difference in

It is certainly not the first time such a grand plan to address the gap between non-Indigenous Australians and Indigenous has been announced, however the backing of high calibre celebrities and notable businesspeople goes a long way towards bringing this idea to the attention of mainstream media – something many similar projects have failed to achieve.

This is an issue that requires the attention of all Australians, however individuals can often feel powerless in the face of such an immense and longstanding disparity, not knowing how one person can make a difference. 

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  • Adam Diver says:

    10:12am | 31/03/10

    No details as to how aor where just new jobs created for a single race. (No racism there). And you don’t have to be solely left and right wing in your ideolgies. Clearly when it comes to one big happy nation of diverse races that get equal opportunity and results… Read more »

  • Eric says:

    12:17pm | 29/03/10

    I think it’s just fine, showing that programmes and money directed to indigineous people are non-racist, and can be applied to white people too! Yay for GenerationOne! It helps everyone! (except maybe asians) Read more »


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