Australian News

AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE COURT REPORT: Experts say Torres Strait may become ‘unliveable’ without action on Climate Change


GlobalWarming & ClimateChange News Desk – Legal and climate experts say inaction on climate change may cause a “cultural genocide” for First Nations people of the Torres Strait Islands and have likened rising sea levels and climate harms to “colonisation”.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Nov.09: 2023: ABC Climate Change News: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

Aerial view of Boigu community surrounded by the ocean to the top, green vegetation and water holes below
Traditional owners have travelled from Saibai and Boigu Islands to make their case. (Supplied)none

Proceedings for the Australian Climate Case resumed on Wednesday in the Federal Court in Melbourne where Guda Maluyligal Traditional Owners are fighting for their communities, culture and existence in the first class action on climate harms brought by Indigenous Australians.

“When we lose everything, when our islands will go underwater, there’ll be no culture. We will be climate refugees in our own country,” plaintiff Guda Maluyligal man Uncle Paul Kabai told the ABC in Melbourne on Wednesday.

“Erosion is impacting our communities very rapidly because we’re losing a quarter of the islands where our townships are, so that’s a main worry for us because as sea levels [are] rising, this is happening so rapidly.”

 man in a suit stands in front of microphones in front of the torres strait flag banner
Uncle Paul Kabai has said he fears becoming a climate refugee. (Image: ABC News)

The uncles are suing the Commonwealth, arguing it has neglected its duty of care to take proper steps to protect their communities against the impacts of rising sea levels and climate change.

Uncle Paul has travelled more than 3,000 kilometres from Saibai Island with his countryman Uncle Pabai Pabai, from Boigu Island, for a crucial next step in their case, which was launched in 2021.

Before court resumed, executive director of Grata Fund Isabelle Reinecke, who is helping the uncles with their case, said they are seeking orders from the court that would require the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with the best available science.

“If we don’t achieve those emissions reductions in time … we’re talking about what people are describing as a cultural genocide waiting to happen, where people may be forced permanently to move off their homelands because they become unlivable,” Ms Reinecke said.

Two indigenous men in suits and caps smile into the camera.
Uncle Paul Kabai and Uncle Pabai Pabai arrived in Melbourne this week for the next stage of their court case. (Image: ABC News )

She added that sea levels in the Torres Strait are rising at double the rate of the rest of the world.

“There’s been significant ongoing impacts of colonisation and it is deeply unfair that the emissions produced by effectively large colonising countries are ultimately potentially going to cause people to be finally dispossessed from those homelands.”

Australia’s climate targets not enough to stop disaster, experts say

While experts have used the term “cultural genocide”, the European University Institute defines the phrase as “the systematic destruction of traditions, values, language, and other elements that make one group of people distinct from another.”

The plaintiff’s legal team argues the Guda Maluyligal people risk losing their culture if rising sea levels, caused by climate change, push them off their island homes.

The Australian government currently has a 2050 ‘net zero’ emissions target, which experts say will not be enough to prevent disaster in the Torres Strait.

Scientists on the Climate Targets Panel calculate that Australia’s greenhouse emissions need to be reduced by 74 per cent by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and to net zero by 2035 to keep global heating to below 1.5C and prevent the Torres Strait Islands from becoming uninhabitable.

Jonathan Barnett, a professor in the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Melbourne University, said, at the moment, Australia is not doing its part to reduce emissions.

“I think it is another form of colonisation, actually,” said the professor, who is not giving evidence in the case.

“There’s multiple colonisations with climate change. One is people are more vulnerable because of the effects of colonisation. The emissions that go with that whole modernisation process of colonisation create additional processes of dispossession for Indigenous people.

“But there’s almost a third one, which is that when we talk about the future of Indigenous populations, we talk about them, but not with them.”

Erosion, intense flooding and loss of sacred landmarks 

The Federal Court visited the islands of Boigu, around 6 kilometres from the shores of Papua New Guinea, and Badu in June 2023 as part of the ongoing landmark climate case to see firsthand what is impacting Uncle Pabai, Uncle Paul and their communities.

The court heard that extreme weather events were causing erosion, changes to shorelines and intense flooding. Guda Maluyligal communities are also dealing with climate-related property damage, erosion of gravesites and sacred cultural landmarks, and disruption to food sources.

Climate science experts began giving evidence on Wednesday, with Professor David Karoly, a world leader in atmospheric climate science, first to take the stand.

Before court began, Guda Maluyligal Traditional Owner Uncle Pabai Pabai spoke about the prospect of losing the case, which is scheduled to conclude next year.

“We don’t want to be the climate change refugees, because who you are will be lost,” he shared.

“This is why we are fighting for our community to stay, that we are the people of the culture, from the land to the sea as well.

“So this is very important for us to hold on to our land.”

A spokesperson for Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said the government is committed to working with First Nations people on climate change, but that regarding the case, it would be inappropriate to comment while it is before the Federal court.

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Australian News

AUSTRALIA NT INQUEST COURT REPORT: Anti-violence campaigner remembered by loved ones at coronial inquest examining domestic violence


AceNewsDesk – Kumarn Rubuntja was a “good and kind woman”, who was “really smart” and “liked to go out bush … taking all the children out to the swimming holes”, the Northern Territory coroner has heard.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Nov.07: 2023: ABC News: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

Looking down from Anzac Hill across the Alice Springs downtown area.
Kumarn Rubuntja was killed in the Northern Territory town of Alice Springs.(ABC News: Neda Vanovac)none

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article contains the name and image of an Indigenous person who has died, used with the permission of their family………….It also contains details of domestic and family violence some readers may find distressing.

But the much-loved Western Arrernte woman and outspoken anti-violence campaigner, was murdered in 2021 and her death is now one of four domestic violence-related killings under Coroner Elisabeth Armitage’s microscope.

Kumanjayi Haywood, Ngeygo Ragurrk, Miss Yunupiŋu and Ms Rubuntja’s names and stories were largely unknown, until the series of coronial inquests began in Alice Springs in June.

R Rubuntja, looks at the camera with a neutral expression, while standing outdoors. Behind her is a clearing and trees.
Kumarn Rubuntja campaigned to raise the issue of First Nations family violence before her death.(Supplied)

Ms Haywood was killed by her partner Kumanjayi Dixon, when he poured fuel on the door of the bathroom she was hiding in and set it alight.

Ms Ragurrk died after a long, brutal, and very public violent attack was carried out by Garsek Nawirridj.

Miss Yunupiŋu was killed by Neil Marika, after he stabbed her in the heart, just days after being released from prison for another attack on her.

And Ms Rubuntja was murdered by Malcolm Abbott, who already had an earlier conviction for the manslaughter of another woman.

He repeatedly ran over Ms Rubuntja with his car just metres from the Alice Springs Hospital emergency room.

Each woman’s story was equally horrific.

But none garnered national attention for very long, if at all.

A black and white photo of a young Aboriginal woman with short hair, smiling
The inquest has examined the death of Ngeygo Ragurrk, who was killed by her partner in 2019. (Supplied)

“ I see domestic related homicides on the eastern seaboard that are horrific and mainstream media gives them airtime,” Senior Constable Bradley Wallace, of NT Police, told the coroner on Tuesday.

“We see domestic homicides in the Northern Territory, and you just see a small article in the local newspaper or a small segment on the nightly news.”

He told the coroner he believed there was an “acceptance” of violence happening in the NT across society.

“I’ve worked on some jobs in the Northern Territory that I’ve expected there to be a very strong media and community response and there’s been nothing,” Senior Constable Wallace said.

“The silence sickens me.

“Our community has to take some responsibility and I think there’s acceptance that we’re in the situation we are, so there isn’t that radical response to another woman being killed.”

two male police officers in uniform exiting court
Senior Constable Bradley Wallace (left) says he has never seen violence like that in Alice Springs.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

The Northern Territory has the highest rates of domestic, family, and sexual violence in the country and the rate of DFSV related murder is seven times the national average.

Throughout almost eight weeks of evidence, over the past six months, the NT coroner has heard the sheer volume of DFSV emergency calls is overwhelming for frontline services, including police.

“I think the police response to any crime within the community is to deal with the pointy end of the issue,” Senior Constable Wallace said.

“Domestic violence needs to be addressed from the ground up. It’s health, education, education, housing … it’s a bigger issue than a policing issue, it’s a social issue.”

Senior Constable Wallace, an Arrernte man who polices on his own Country in Alice Springs, told the coroner the “frequent” and “high level” of violence he saw in the community was like nothing he had seen before — even after policing in Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Melbourne and Sydney.

“When you police and you don’t know people, you’re responding to jobs and you’re building relationships that can be difficult,” he said.

“When you’re responding to an aggravated assault and it’s your sister, it’s got a different level of impact.

“When you’re arresting your own family members, it’s got a different level of impact on you.”

A large white sign showing a coat of arms and the words "local court".
The inquest’s last sittings are being heard at the Darwin Local Court. (ABC News: Hamish Harty)

He told the coroner that despite the personal difficulties, it was important to have Aboriginal police officers on the ground.

“I don’t think there’s enough emphasis put on the cultural competency and education that Aboriginal people bring to roles in government and NGOs,” Senior Constable Wallace said.

“Going to university is hard work … but developing cultural competency in my community takes years (too).”

Cultural awareness key to addressing violence

The sentiment was reiterated by Ms Rubuntja’s niece, Cecily Arabie, who told the coroner that local solutions were central to solving the domestic violence crisis gripping the NT.

“Aboriginal women may not have the formal qualifications, but are qualified in their own right,” Ms Arabie said.

Her aunty, Ms Rubuntja, was her “inspiration” and Ms Arabie became a voice for victim-survivors after her death.

She told the coroner there were a series of changes she wanted to see to tackle DFSV, including better cultural training, particularly for police, more officers in remote communities, a 24-hour police front counter in Alice Springs and on-country support for men.

Woman sits on a camping chair at dusk and smiles ahead with a light shining on her face
Cecily Arabie called for more support for Aboriginal men after prison.(ABC News: Xavier Martin)

“ When Aboriginal men come out of prison … there’s no support and no programs in their [remote] communities,” Ms Arabie said.

She suggested support programs and short-term accommodation for those released from prison, could help men reintegrate into their communities and teach them respect for women, before they returned home.

Another close relative of Ms Rubuntja, who cannot be identified, agreed, telling the coroner she wanted “more social workers” for men upon their release, “so they stop killing their wives and families”.

“I miss [Ms Rubuntja]. I wish she was still here with me … because right now we are still thinking of her,” the loved one said.

All DV deaths ‘an indictment’ on society

Dr Luke Butcher, an acting regional executive director at NT Health, outlined a string of changes the department planned to make, or had already implemented, to address DFSV.

He told the court second-hand mobile phones and clothes would be given to victim survivors, while a dedicated “family centred” and “culturally safe” space in the emergency ward was also being looked at.

The coroner heard a “women’s only” waiting area was also being considered at hospitals.

“If we have a victim of violence in a busy waiting area, there may be people intoxicated, deregulated … it can be very re-traumatising for victim-survivors,” Dr Butcher said.

But Dr Butcher, like many witnesses before him, told the coroner the department faced funding constraints when it came to properly responding to the level of demand it saw.

He said there were not enough social workers in Territory hospitals, nor enough community-based mental health support staff.

While the coroner heard unfilled nursing positions and other jobs had been “re-purposed” to redirect clinical staff into prisons.

“The death of any woman from domestic violence is an indictment on us as a community … it is entirely, entirely unacceptable,” Dr Butcher said.

The inquest continues……….

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Australian News

AUSTRALIA QLD FIRST NATIONS MUSIC REVIEW REPORT: Heavenly music from the man who gets his inspiration from the outback


AceNewsDesk – William Barton’s didgeridoo playing is hauntingly beautiful and he teams up with his partner and his mum to present the cross-cultural work Sky Songs at QPAC’s Clancestry festival.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Nov.07: 2023: Clancestry 2023, November 8 – 12, QPAC This article is republished from InReview under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article……..TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link


Music: Monday November 06, 2023

William Barton’s knack of combining the ancient sound of the didgeridoo with more contemporary music has made him world famous.

And you can hear the renowned Queensland musician and composer perform with a modern orchestra when he brings  his concert Sky Songsto Brisbane for the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Clancestry festival, which runs from November 8 to 12.

This didgeridoo virtuoso from, as he describes it, “the Kalkadunga Mob in far-north western Queensland, out Mount Isa way” has long dreamt of creating a work in which cultures meet in sound and music evoking the timeless Australian landscape.

Barton drew on more than 25 years’ experience performing with orchestras all over the world when composing Sky Songs.

He remembers walking for hours on end, to connect himself to Country while visualising how to pull this show together.

“I would do a lot of walking and still do a lot of walking,” Barton says. “I walk the land for myself, but also for the music and for my people.

“I want to connect to people in the audience from all walks of life, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous. We’re going back to the ceremony, the ceremony of healing, where in that moment, when people are hopefully engaged with the music, it becomes a spiritual journey that we want to represent in the most culturally appropriate manner.

“Some works were composed a long time ago, some are new arrangements specifically for the orchestra.”

The Sky Songs concert on November 9 mixes these ancient and modern compositions, with a symphonic landscape provided by John Foreman’s 45-piece Australian Pops Orchestra. It will include recitations from William’s mother, songwoman Aunty Delmae Barton, and contributions from Australian music legend Iva Davies, along with violinist and composer Veronique Serret, Barton’s partner in life and music.

The work Barton created with Serret is particularly close to his heart.

“It’s called Bushfire Requiem, which is one of the feature pieces of SkySongs,” he says. “It’s a space where I want mum to share her wisdom.

“She will be reciting her poem as a call and response. Veronique and I, we wrote the music for Bushfire Requiem, but my mum, she created this. It’s an acknowledgement of country but also acknowledgement of the landscape through the trying times of the bushfire for – not only the human life – but also the animals sacrificed in that journey of nature.”

Barton says Clancestry, QPAC’s annual First Nations festival, is the perfect venue for Sky Songs.

“It’s so important to have events like Clancestry,” he says. “It brings mobs together from different parts of our Songlines in Australia and it’s where we can express ourselves through that western form of expression inside of a western venue, the Concert Hall at QPAC.

“We’re reaching out, sharing our gift of our nation and that provides a space for other First Nations Indigenous brothers and sisters and Aunties and Uncles to tell their story and tell the story of truth, whatever that might be.”

Other Clancestry events include Song Circle, and Emily Wells’ poignant theatre work Face to Face.

There are free events at the Festival Ground, South Bank Cultural Forecourt. The Mob Music Stage will come alive as the sun goes down with First Nations music from the Andrew Gurruwiwi Band, J-MILLA, Cloe Tarere, Tjaka, BIRDZ and Fred Leone. 

Festival Ground will also host afternoon weaving workshops and a heartwarming children’s theatre show, Merindi Schreiber’s BIRMBA, a fun piece about three cockatoos.


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Australian News

BREAKING AUSTRALIA REPORT: Surviving Aboriginal workers & relatives win $180m settlement from WA government for stolen wages

Group photo of Kimberley Indigenous stockmen
Indigenous stockmen (from left) David Newry, Alec Ward, Robert Lumai, Jeffrey Newry and Cecil Ningarmara. David Newry gave evidence at a hearing.(Supplied: David Newry)none

AceBreakingNews – The WA government will pay nearly $200 million to settle a class action brought on behalf of thousands of Aboriginal Australians who had their wages withheld while subject to onerous legislation.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Nov.01: 2023: ABC Kimberley News: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

Group photo of Kimberley Indigenous stockmen
Indigenous stockmen (from left) David Newry, Alec Ward, Robert Lumai, Jeffrey Newry and Cecil Ningarmara. David Newry gave evidence at a hearing.(Supplied: David Newry)none

The class action was brought by Kimberley stockman and acclaimed artist Mervyn Street, 72, who worked on stations for most of his life and was not paid a wage until he reached his 30s.

Mr Street’s complaint was regarding a policy in place between 1936 and 1972 that allowed the state government to withhold up to 75 per cent of an Aboriginal person’s wage.

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Shine Lawyers confirmed the government had agreed to settle.

Subject to Federal Court approval, the government will pay up to $180.4 million to eligible Aboriginal workers, their spouses and children, including $15.4 million in legal costs.

A man in a hat smiles at the camera
Mervyn Street, a Gooniyandi traditional owner, is the lead applicant in the Federal Court case.(ABC Kimberley: Stephanie Sinclair)

Acknowledging the suffering

Shine Lawyers joint head of class actions Vicky Antzoulatos said the decision was a significant victory.

“Workers and their descendants suffered inter-generational disadvantage because of the legislation in place in Western Australia over many decades,” he said.

“Financial compensation is one way to acknowledge the suffering of First Nations people.

Aboriginal children branding a calf at Moola Bulla Station in Western Australia's Kimberley in the 1910s.
“It doesn’t correct the past, but it offers a way forward.”Aboriginal children branding a calf at Moola Bulla Station in Western Australia’s Kimberley in the 1910s.(Supplied: State Library of Western Australia)

If the settlement is approved, the Federal Court will determine the amount given to each impacted family.

According to Shine Lawyers, Mr Street is looking to ask the court to pay a greater amount to those who worked under the policy the longest.

The state government will also issue a public apology to the workers impacted by the policy, in WA parliament later this month.

The settlement is the culmination of months of work behind the scenes for Shine Lawyers and the Federal Court, which travelled around the state hearing evidence from impacted workers.

‘Basically treated like slaves’

For Miriwoong elder David Newry, the decision is a complicated feeling of relief.

“I’m happy in one way, but in the other way I’m sad to know my people, my parents deserved this [news] more and they’re gone now,” he said.

Mr Newry gave evidence during the class action on behalf of members of his family who lived and worked on Ivanhoe and Newry stations in the east Kimberley, something he said was incredibly difficult.

A composite image of an Aboriginal man showing him young, on the left, and elderly on the right.
David Newry (left, as a younger man, and right, today) worked on stations around WA, and offered his testimony when the Federal Court came to Broome.(ABC News)

“ One of the hardest parts for me was talking about my family and how they’ve been treated,” he said.

“One of my father’s brothers got tied to a tree and got whipped for not hopping on a horse that morning because he was really sick in the stomach.

“That sort of information was really hard to tell.”

The news of the settlement ultimately felt to him like recognition.

“It’s a worthwhile thing to really point out that people were the backbone of the cattle industry,” he said.

“It’s all to do with the effort our people have put in, through hardship. Our people were basically treated like slaves.”

Headshot of Tony Buti standing at a podium
WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti says the government worked with the applicants.(ABC News: James Carmody)

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Tony Buti said in a statement the settlement was a recognition of the past.

“This settlement is also an opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made to our state, both past and present,” he said.

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Australian News

BREAKING AUSTRALIA BUSINESS REPORT: Row breaks out over Aboriginal design for JackJumpers Indigenous Round jersey


AceBreakingNews – It was supposed to be a celebration of First Nations culture during this weekend’s Indigenous round in the National Basketball League.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Nov.01: 2023: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

A photo of a basketball jersey laid out on grass.
The jersey design by Reuben Oates will not be worn or sold at the NBL’s Indigenous Round.( ABC News: Luke Bowden )none

But the Tasmania JackJumpers team have confirmed they won’t be wearing their Indigenous jersey during Saturday’s game following criticism of the consultation process and chosen design.

Tulampanga pakana man Rulla Kelly-Mansell, who is a JackJumpers fan, was the first to raise concerns about the jersey, describing the design as a “misappropriation of culture … of our palawa pakana culture from the island lutruwita”.

Mr Kelly-Mansell said the dots in the design do not represent traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal culture — and said the club should have been better informed.

“To have an internal process to select Aboriginal artwork that’s going to represent your organisation and not have any Aboriginal representatives as a part of that process is really problematic,” Mr Kelly-

Three Tasmania JackJumpers basketball team players in Indigenous design uniform.
Mansell said.JackJumpers players in the Indigenous Round jerseys as seen in social media promotions for the upcoming Indigenous Round.(Tasmania JackJumpers)

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) shared its concerns.

“They’ve completely excluded the Aboriginal community from any decision making over their selection,” TAC’s campaign manager Nala Mansell said.

“It’s vital that the Tasmanian Aboriginal community are part of any planning or any processes in the lead up to ensure that it is authentic and is a proper representation of our people and culture.”

The TAC said the dots used in the design originated on the mainland.

“Tasmanian Aboriginal people haven’t used dot paintings, that is something that derives from different Aboriginal communities on the mainland, but not here in Tasmania,” Ms Mansell said.

A man sits in a garden environment with a basketball uniform across his knee.
Tasmanian artist Reuben Oates says he understands the team had a difficult decision to make, but is still disappointed.( ABC News: Luke Bowden )

Artist Reuben Oates, who designed the jersey, said he was proud of the artwork and his heritage, which is recognised by some Tasmanian Aboriginal organisations — but not the TAC.

“I am a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal man, the seventh great grandson of chief Mannalargenna,” Mr Oates said.

“[In the jersey design] the ant itself represents our community, the dots and the nest representing the culture we have to protect, and the culture, I guess, we are reinventing.”

Three people pose for a photo.
Tasmania JackJumpers chief executive Christine Finnegan, with coach Scott Roth (left) and chief operating officer Darren Smith.( ABC News: Maren Preuss )

JackJumpers chief executive Christine Finnegan said the consultation process could have been better.

“If we have upset some elements of the community, we want to understand that, we want to grow from that, we want to learn from that and we want to improve that,” Ms Finnegan said.

“Could the process have been improved? Absolutely and I will certainly be working with them in the future to make sure that is the case.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, the JackJumpers said “it was never the club’s intention to cause division within the broader Tasmanian Aboriginal community and it apologises if members of the community have been affronted by the artwork’s style”.

“The Tasmanian JackJumpers have decided the club will not wear the jersey this weekend and it will not be available for sale.

“The JackJumpers will proceed with other Indigenous Round activities and celebrations before and during the game.”

The club said it “acknowledges there should have been further consultation with the Aboriginal community throughout the selection and artistry process, and it will continue to work closely with the TAC and broader Tasmanian Aboriginal community moving forward”.

Rulla Kelly-Mansell looks at the camera.
Rulla Kelly-Mansell says he welcomes the team’s decision.(ABC News: Marco Catalano)

Rulla Kelly-Mansell said he welcomed the decision.

“This signifies that the club listened and it takes humility to acknowledge when you’ve done the wrong thing and it takes leadership to rectify it,” he said.

Artist Rueben Oates said he was disappointed by the decision.

“I think it’s ridiculous, there is such a majority in Tassie and Australia that are supportive of what I do and the culture I represent,” he said.

“It’s a minority community with the TAC and they only represent who they want to represent.

“Nothing against the JackJumpers, they are doing everything legally and in their best interest, but it sort of leaves me between a rock and a hard place.”

A man with a basketball uniform over his shoulder.
Reuben Oates with his jersey design.( ABC News: Luke Bowden )

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and comment thank you