Utopia: An inside story


CEO of the Ampilatwatja Health Clinic Dave Smith is interviewed by internationally renowned journalist John Pilger, for the film Utopia, which premieres in Australia in January 2014.

CEO of the Ampilatwatja Health Clinic Dave Smith is interviewed by internationally renowned journalist John Pilger, for the film Utopia, which premieres in Australia in January 2014.

IN JANUARY 2014, the nation’s most famous ex-pat journalist John Pilger will launch his latest film in Australia. Two years in the making, Utopia is a feature length documentary that chronicles the ongoing plight of the First Australians and their fight for justice.

The film has a number of important themes. First, it serves as a testament to the struggle of Aboriginal people, and the truth that there has been a long resistance to the effects of invasion despite mainstream Australia’s determination to sanitize its past. Second, the film lambastes Australia for its failure to not only come to grips with its brutal history, but its frequent refusal to even acknowledge it. Thirdly, the film seeks to show that very little has changed since Pilger made his first film about Aboriginal Australia – Secret Country – in 1985. Utopia shines a light on the denial of justice to Aboriginal Australians – the withholding of basic rights like treaty and self-determination – but also the denial of basic services which all Australians expect as a right of citizenry. [Read more…]

Freestyling Tony goes a pledge too far


Top-end-Tony_1WHEN Tony Abbott, a month out from the 2013 election, decided to ‘riff it freestyle’ during a speech at the annual Garma Festival, it’s reasonable to assume that the hearts of his advisers were in their mouths, writes CHRIS GRAHAM*. [Read more…]

VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE: How black Australia rejected Tony Abbott


Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott... he wants to be the 'Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs'.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott… he wants to be the ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’.

TONY Abbott is the new ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’. One problem: no-one bothered to ask Aboriginal people if they even wanted him. It turns out they didn’t, if the most in-depth analysis of Aboriginal voting intentions ever conducted is anything to go by. CHRIS GRAHAM explains. [Read more…]

Election 2013: The daze of our lives


Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd... or is that Prime Minister Abbott and Opposition leader Kevin Rudd.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd… or is that Prime Minister Abbott and Opposition leader Kevin Rudd.

Memory is always selective, particularly when it comes to politics. I’ll demonstrate.

I can only recall five decent things John Howard did during his time as Prime Minister.

1. The gun buyback.

2. The Do Not Call register.

3. That ‘delivery’ in Pakistan during an impromptu game of cricket with Australian soldiers.

4. His subsequent attempt to catch the ball and bowl another one.

5. Losing his seat in 2007. [Read more…]

You can lead a nation to slaughter, but you can’t make it think


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anzac Day ceremony, to coincide with NAIDOC Week 2013 in Sydney.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anzac Day ceremony, to coincide with NAIDOC Week 2013 in Sydney.

POLITICS is all about the timing, so this column might initially seem a little out of place. But stick with me. [Read more…]

A poor man’s treaty: the ‘con’ in constitutional reform


Sir Humphrey Appelby (left) and Bernard Woolley (right) with Jim Hacker from the popular BBC series Yes Prime Minister.

Sir Humphrey Appelby (left) and Bernard Woolley (right) with Jim Hacker from the popular BBC series Yes Prime Minister.

CONSTITUTIONAL recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples seems to have captured the imagination of many white Australians, writes CHRIS GRAHAM. But are the motives really all pure? [Read more…]

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM: There’s a sucker born every minute


I DON’T normally agree with anything George Brandis says, but in this piece in The Australian last week it finally happened.

The story was on the likely failure of a 2013 referendum to amend the Australian Constitution to recognise Aboriginal people in the preamble, and to remove racially discriminatory powers. [Read more…]

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