Message of Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, on the occasion of the adoption by the General Assembly of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations marks a momentous and historic occasion for both Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations.
One quarter of a century ago the United Nations agreed that the situation of indigenous peoples around the world was so desperate and consistently exploited, that it warranted international attention. Within a few years of brief examination and assessment, the United Nations decided that a human rights standard on the rights of indigenous peoples was required.
A peak body representing 40 Aboriginal organisations from across the Northern Territory says the Federal Government’s stance on international law is contradictory.
The Commonwealth has voted against a United Nations declaration that Indigenous groups have been working on for more than 30 years. The non-binding UN declaration recognises the rights of Indigenous people to land, resources and self-determination.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma today welcomed the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB), through its Cordillera Studies Center (CSC), will hold the 1st International Conference on Cordillera Studies on 7-9 February 2008 in Baguio City, Philippines.
The Australian Commonwealth Ombudsman gave a presentation at a seminar in August this year where he reported on the government review of 247 immigration cases and outlined some lessons for public administration as a result.
The lessons are clear and concise. Following them will go a long way to reduce errors that are the consequence of systemic administrative problems.
Delivered on April 18, 2007 on the occasion of the conferment of the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of the East, Manila*
by Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, Supreme Court, Philippines
“Tomorrow begins in the East,” trumpets the motto of this venerable institution of learning. In his last moments in Bagumbayan, our national hero Jose Rizal stared at tomorrow in the eye, veered his bullet-riddled body to the right and fell lifeless on the ground — face turned towards the rising sun in the east. From the cradle to the grave, Rizal consecrated his life to fight for the human rights of our people.
In May this year four Larrakia descendants of Antonio Cubillo travelled to the Visayan island of Bohol for the Cubillo family reunion. Darwin-based artist and playwright GARY LEE was tasked with the travel arrangements. “My 76-year-old mother is going to Bohol for the first time. Her younger sister, my aunt Cathie, 64 years, visited the Philippines as a 19-year-old in the early 1960s. My brother and I are planning our presentation with didjeridu and clapsticks.” Gary introduced the Australian contingent with the story of his great grandparents Lily and Antonio.
Australia has a deep investment in its identity as an ‘island nation’. It was the sea that defined the new world, mapping and enclosing the land in a shield of deep ocean, yet also opening it up to the ebb and flow of change and mystery. Novelist Christina Stead described Australia as the island continent in the ‘water hemisphere’, unlike the other world, the old world, ‘the land hemisphere’. From the earliest days of white settlement, people and dwellings crowded the coastline, their backs firmly braced against a strange and hostile interior. In the beginning, colonial Australia faced the Pacific. It was this sea that became Australia’s gateway to the world, the sea that promised supplies, news from ‘home’, or the chance, however faint, of escape.
The Brisbane Writers Festival moved this year into the State Library of Queensland with a program of nearly 250 presenters and an army of volunteers assisting the public to navigate their way around the new SLQ building. From 12–16 September plus pre– and post–festival events, the BWF was a feast of thought and dialogue catering for the interests of pre-schoolers to adults. The KASAMA editorial team concentrated on the issues of particular relevance to our readers – immigration, diversity, reconciliation, history – and met with PETA STEPHENSON to talk about her recently published book. The Outsiders Within tells a story stretching across four episodes in the previous one hundred years of Australia’s history; from 1906 when the South Australian government outlawed the Makassan trepang trade, the federation era of legislation prohibiting Indigenous-Asian alliances, the World War II resurgence of white nation-building paranoia, and Pauline’s Hanson’s 1996 demonisation of the Asian and Aboriginal ‘Other’. Not content with just historical narrative, Stephenson extends her observations to an analysis of three main actors – the migrants as ‘residents in another’s land’, the colonist who invaded and exploited the land, and the Indigenous people ‘born in that place’. In two stimulating BWF sessions, Peta presented the themes of her research and very generously shared her text with us.
ON LINE OPINION — Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate — Wednesday, 22 August 2007
The federal government and all major political parties must recommit to multiculturalism.
In recent months we have seen the word “multiculturalism” dropped from the name of the relevant government department. We have seen the introduction of special requirements for people of Arabic descent seeking permanent residency.
This Forum was jointly sponsored by the Griffith University Multi-Faith Centre, Islamic Council of Queensland, Interfaith Multicultural Forum, with funding by the Queensland Government Multicultural Assistance Program.