Seen For Myself

I was in Australia recently when an Aborigine man died in horrendous circumstances in a  truck being driven by private prison transport.

The man was driven 250 miles across desert in 47 degrees with no air conditioning or water.

The officials in the front of the van had both air conditioning and drinks and although they saw that the man had fallen to the floor in the back they carried on driving.

The man died with severe burns on his body.

There is lots more to this story (can Google whole story) and all horrible and very racist.

The media reporting was limited and to date (as far as I know) the security guards have just been suspended

I feel sick and disgusted!



Orangetas Orangetas
51-55, F
30 Responses Sep 1, 2009

i have a few facts you guys might be interested in<br />
<br />
the NT intervention breaches 25 of the 46 articles of the UNs "rights of aboriginal peoples"<br />
the worst being the abolishment of the Racial Descrimination Act....yes in order to conduct this intervention and sieze aboriginal land for mining and nuclear waste...they abolished the act in the NT......<br />
<br />
macklin has placed gag orders on the interventions administrators ....refusing to allow community consultation meetings to be recorded by anyone other than her cronies..<br />
bullying independant film-makers, journalists and black radio<br />
<br />
millions of dollars given to the australian crime commission to target paedophilia...has not resulted in the capture of a single paedophile...a fact acknowledged by the ACC that peadaphilia is not rampant in aboriginal communities.<br />
<br />
child health care checks have not been followed up<br />
studies have found that children in remote communities are healthier than those who live in towns<br />
<br />
schools have banned the aboriginal language only english is to be spoken <br />
<br />
income management has devastated communities ...they dont have money to pay their bills ....they have to travel 100s of miles to shop waiting hours for their cards<br />
<br />
the housing scandal...govt claims a billion dollars has been spent on housing and infrastructure...yet not one house has been built where has that money gone???<br />
<br />
govt seized aboriginal land...when aboriginal communities refused to sign 40 yr leases.... <br />
there is so much more but ill let you take in this first<br />
this intervention is such a sham , and destroying the hearts of the aboriginal people...all the experts are saying it ...the UN is saying it and has called on the govt to rectify the situation....yet the australian media ...government and the people continue to deny it and ignore the underlying agenda of the govt

Thank you jinda .. I will

tasmin go to the National Indigenous times it is very informative newspaper you can buy this in your newsagent ...which is better than online cos you also see a lot of cultural stuff it covers the positive as well as the negative

Thank you BV .. I feel so encouraged that you will be teaching soon .. and I hope hundreds of other young teachers with your clear sight and unbiased views.

I am learning more all the time <br />
<br />
Over ten years ago I interviewed a photographer who was very affected from the time she spent with an Aborigine community<br />
<br />
She was disturbed by the alcohol but also the lack of opportunities and resources available for change

I think The Intervention applies mainly to the Northern Territory. You need to remember that there is a real diversity in circumstances of Aboriginal communities across Australia, from outstation communities in NT to Redfern in Sydney, and many country towns in-between.

The above reads as if the goverment OWN the Aborigine people ..<br />
<br />
Off now to find out what the Rudd goverment has done to change things in the last two years ..

Found this ..<br />
<br />
These measures, which were passed into law in August 2007, were established in response to the Little Children are Sacred report, and included:<br />
<br />
banning liquor in prescribed areas, although bans on alcohol existed in many of these communities prior to the intervention; <br />
introducing a system of compulsory income management for welfare payment recipients; <br />
introducing causes in legislation allowing for intervention measures to be deemed “special measures” according to the Racial Discrimination Act, and therefore — in the eyes of the government — not discriminatory; <br />
compulsory acquiring five-year leases over Aboriginal land and abolishing the permit system to “common” areas; <br />
appointing government business managers who have a broad range of new powers over local organisations and service providers; <br />
banning possession of explicit *********** in prescribed areas; and <br />
replacing Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) with mainstream employment programs and “real jobs”. <br />
A $587 million budget was approved for all these measures for the 2007–2008 ‘”stabilisation” year, and a further $740 million has been allocated for longer-term measures to provide extra policing, housing, child health checks, jobs and follow-up activities. The intervention also provides for 700 new public service positions in the Northern Territory.<br />
<br />
The Rudd Government has promised to undertake a 12-month review of the intervention. It has already introduced legislation to revoke the changes to the permit system, and has placed the phasing out of CDEP on hold, with a view to reforming, rather than abolishing, it.<br />
<br />
Oxfam Australia is supporting a number of Aboriginal organisations in the Northern Territory to monitor the effects of the intervention and to hopefully feed into the 12-month review.<br />
<br />
Our interaction with these groups reveals that while many Aboriginal people and organisations in the Northern Territory welcome the promise of more resources to help with policing, alcohol control and improved housing, there is also considerable disquiet and anger. <br />
<br />
This resentment relates to some of the measures — which are seen as unrelated to the report or simply discriminatory — and to the way the intervention was planned, designed and implemented. <br />
<br />
For example, in December 2007 the Central Land Council reported: “Aboriginal people remain overwhelmingly opposed to the process followed in the roll-out of the intervention. This largely stems from the lack of consultation around the intervention, and the lack of accurate information provided to people around the intervention measures. <br />
<br />
“These process concerns have influenced greatly people’s response to the intervention measures. The [council] is of the opinion that if the roll-out of the intervention had been handled more appropriately, a dialogue with Aboriginal people about how aspects of the intervention would work in their communities would have been possible. Accordingly, some of the concerns, anger and fear expressed by people ... may have been greatly reduced.”<br />
<br />
There is also growing evidence that some measures, in particular, income management and the ending of CDEP, are having unintended consequences. For example, the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory report that quarantined income cannot be used to repay some loans and fines and this is leading to people defaulting and being put on blacklists. <br />
<br />
The Mayor of Alice Springs suggests that “small business is hurting because Centrelink is issuing cards that can only be used at major retail outlets”. <br />
<br />
Several agencies in Alice Springs report that these store cards are becoming the new currency and are being used for gambling and traded for cash. In Darwin, Larrakia Nation, and in Alice Springs, Tangentyere Council, have seen significant increases in people moving from traditional lands to under-resourced town camps. This is leading to increased pressure on service providers, and a spike in reported crime.<br />
<br />
Researchers working for the Central Land Council also noted that the end of CDEP in some communities has diminished community control as well as leaving more people dependent on complex welfare payments without access to work.<br />
<br />
Oxfam Australia and other agencies are calling for the Rudd Government in its 12-month review to not repeat the mistakes of the past and to ensure it is working with Aboriginal communities affected by the intervention and really listening to their voices; it must also examine the process as well as the outcomes. <br />
<br />
Ideally the review will provide the opportunity and process for Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory to hold the government to account for the positive commitments it has made, as well as to provide feedback on those aspects of the intervention that are simply not working and need to be stopped or radically transformed.

thanks rojblake <br />
<br />
*off to Google The Intervention*

Gawd Tasmin. You'd better read about "The Intervention"...

jinda, I knew nothing about the nuclear waste dump.<br />
I hope all the Austalians and others on here who care about this will tell everyone they know and raise their voice in loud protest.<br />
<br />
I also did not realise that drinking laws are different for Aborigine people <br />
<br />
Everthing stinks!!!<br />
<br />
And that is not hating Australia. The group was started by an Australian and supported by many. It is hating laws of the land that are discrimatory and downright cruel.

wow it is just wonderful that you guys are discussing this ...<br />
id just like to say to madison that no one here is hatin on australians...this is a story in support of blackfellas whitefellas dont live hundreds of kilometres away they live in the big dont crap on to me that whitefellas suffer the same conditions and treatment that blackfellas endure<br />
mr ward was arrested for drink-driving...but the majority of arrests are for just having a drink ...its against the law for them to drink.....they will be drinking in the scrub miles from anyone and the police hunt them down and arrest them ...they confiscate any unopened grog and tip out the rest.......whitefellas are allowed to drink their guts out...there is just no comparison here....<br />
<br />
things are much worse for aboriginal people especially in the the govt tries to quiten the voices of our aboriginal leaders who protest against mining and nuclear waste dumping in our countries heartland....<br />
this is a huge concern for all australians as we are about to become the worlds nuclear waste dump...the methods used are high-risk contamination ...banned everywhere else in the world ...but our govt is letting them dump all their waste here..<br />
the NT aboriginal people will not hand over their land for this purpose ....the govt is blackmailing them ...if they want housing and better services and their money back....they have to sign over the land for 40 years.....<br />
<br />
its only the blackfellas and a handful of whitefellas that actually give a damn about our future generations quality of life....if rudd gets his way ...we will all be wallowing in toxic waste in 20 years<br />
white australia just doesnt get it water air all contaminated....

If you read the link from Owl you will see there was much much more to the story than the transport.<br />
From the time Mr Ward was taken into custody procedures were not followed as they should have been.<br />
This is not a story hating Australia.<br />
It is about Aborigine people being treated as second class citizens and how incidents are kept quiet whenever possible

let me tel u they dont hav special white fella black fella transportation everyone gets the same bus even if ur green.i kno this i live in oz.if theres any racism goin on its on the other foot i get called i white c:)@t atleast weekly living in my area.white people die all the time in police custody here but i don't stumble across people hatin on australia 4 that

Thank you everyone for your comments and contributions to this story <br />
<br />
datura, that sounds like a wonderful film

I just watched a show on the National Geo channel about the aboriginal people. It told about their rich culture and spiritual heritage, their love for the land, their dance and song. I was in awe of the beauty of their lives and their connection to the earth and to spirit.<br />
<br />
It is so sad to think they endure such treatment.

Once again EP is an educator. I had no idea this was happening. You would think with all the media we are exposed to that word would be getting out. Thanks for the info Tasmin.

Thanks for the links Owl .. I hope everyone who comes here reads the whole story.<br />
<br />
datura, these incidents are not reported outside the country and I only got to know about it because I was there watching the local news.<br />
<br />
BettyValentine, I agree that education will make a huge difference for the new generation and I hope there will be lots of teachers with your beliefs and energy.<br />
<br />
But right now there is a generation of Aborigine people 'disarmed' powerless in their own country.<br />
<br />
From my personal experience with Australian family and friends it seems that many Australians are used to how things are (having never known any different) and they don't see the situation as serious.<br />
<br />
Thirty five years ago a group of Aborigine dancers came to London to the Commonwealth Institute.<br />
I was bowed over by their dancing and how exotic and dignified they looked.<br />
<br />
I don't know why I added the above except maybe as a total contrast to how I saw some Aborigine people in their own country recently.

Thank you for this important story, Tasmin. I heard nothing about it on our news.<br />
<br />
And thanks for the links, Owl.

thank you LillyLou, there are ofcourse many many Australians battling to improve things (my Australian cousins not included)<br />
I just want to add my voice to them as I think they need all the support and publicity they can get

thank you for your comment rojblake, <br />
<br />
I agree with you and want more people to discuss and be aware of the current situation.

Hi Tasmin,<br />
I agree with your general sentiments but do think that things have changed quite a bit since the 1970s - for the better in some ways, for the worse in others. The general population has a much better attitude now (you wouldn't have had the PM saying 'sorry' in 1970) but the relative living standard and engagement into the community has gone backwards. Part of the change in attitude has simply been growth in population - fewer people these days come into contact. Where it happens, there is much more friction.<br />
A few observations for you, anyway<br />
<br />

The Coroners report into the death of Mr Ward is very damning of several institutions and individuals, and can be read here:<br />
<br /><br />
<br />
What can we do about it? Your support may prevent a re occurrence <br />
<br />

Hi jinda,<br />
I will tell anyone who wants to listen about the way the Aborigine people are still treated in Australia.<br />
As this group is specifically about the treatment of Aborigines in Australia I don't think this is the place or relevent to talk about situations in other countries<br />
But I will say that I was in Kenya in the seventies when many white immigrants treated black Kenyans dispicably. Things have changed considerably in Kenya since then.<br />
Despite the whitewash from the Australian goverment things have NOT changed in Australia for the Aborigine people<br />
And in this day and age when we are supposed to be educated and horrified at past injustices it makes it all far worse and a mockery of so called enlightened people and the goverments promises.<br />
The goverment has , as you say,, no problem in using the Aborigine culture as a tourist attraction . Mr ward, the man who died the dreadful death in the van ,was in a film many years ago as a baby, showing Aborigine family life.

hey tas, its just how blackfellas feel eh....they are never heard just like airborne did he went on about muslims and indians totally ignoring your story... geez we know all about the iraqiis thats pumped down our throat every day by the media<br />
we need to talk about this and what is happening in our own land these stories are swept under the carpet of mainstream media....<br />
a few weeks ago a young aboriginal man was walking home when 4 whitefellas in a 4wd stopped got out and bashed him to death for no apparent reason...didn't here about that in the news ones been charged yet ....i will right this story up when i get a chance ....<br />
the northern territory intervention is an atrocity...they have abolished the anti-descrimination act in the NT for starters...<br />
thanks tas for your support and bringing this story to others attention, most will ignore it but there will be the few who will hear what your saying<br />

I have travelled widely and witnessed discrimination and abuse in many countries , particularly Africa.<br />
<br />
But I have written about the above incident here because that is what the group is about and I wanted to show my support.<br />
<br />
The said incident happened very recently when things are supposed to be a lot different now.

It's sad but true that life is this way. It's not restricted to any one country or people, and the discrimination has many faces. The bottom line is that whenever one group of people puts themselves above another,whenever someone thinks their way is right so another's way is wrong, or one group has different morals than another, this is what you get.<br />
<br />
You have a good point, AirborneDevil, it's everywhere, no one is above it. So called civilized Americans called them savage because they had different morals and a different way of life;what would we call them today...

his name was Mr Ward he was a respected aboriginal leader, activist dancer and artist, and father of 4...<br />
the prison transport system is despicable is privately owned the ploice dont even transport is just another of australias shames....nothing has changed

Hmm .. similiar I would imagine

Im guessing you mean degrees Celsius and not Fahrenheit or he would of needed a heater... I don't know how hot 47 cel is.