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…]

Frenetic activity, bugger-all progress: the art of bureaucracy


Old Timers town camp, on the edge of Alice Springs.

Old Timers town camp, on the edge of Alice Springs.

THERE are at least two truisms in Aboriginal affairs. The first is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I’ll come back to that one. The second is that the road through Aboriginal affairs, while often paved with good intentions, is sometimes paved with bad ones. [Read more…]

BRINGING BACK THE BROUGH: 10 of the worst things Mal did in office


Mal Brough has won Liberal National Party pre-selection for the seat of Fisher, virtually guaranteeing him a seat in federal parliament in 2013… unless voters find out about his past performance, of course.

THE best predictor of someone’s future behaviour is their past behaviour. Which means that with Mal Brough winning pre-selection for the federal seat of Fisher, parliament is in for a sideshow the likes of which it hasn’t seen since… well, the last time Brough was there.

Brough’s win in the Liberal National Party’s pre-selection for the seat of Fisher means he’ll almost certainly be back in federal parliament by 2013.

But contrary to widespread media reports, Fisher is not a safe seat. It holds a margin of less than eight percent, way down on the glory days of 20-plus percent in 2004 which it enjoyed under Peter Slipper. [Read more…]

BAD AUNTY: The truth about the NT intervention and the case for an independent media


THE Northern Territory intervention was extended last month by the Gillard government for another decade with the support of the Liberals and Nationals, despite the fact the policy is failing badly. And it couldn’t have happened without the support of the nation’s media, one institution in particular. The ABC, also known as Aunty. [Read more…]

Abbott recruits Karen Klein abusers for 2013 election


New York bus monitor Karen Klein, whose abused by a group of school children was pasted onto YouTube.

THE LEADER of the Australian Opposition, Tony Abbott has recruited four young boys who bullied a New York school worker to stand as Liberal Party candidates in the 2013 election.

In a story that has swept the internet, Ms Klein, a 69-year-old bus monitor from Rochester, NY was subjected to 10 minutes of extraordinary abuse by four students, aged 12 and 13. [Read more…]

Making black policy: The HOP, skip and dump


Former Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough.... his plan to transform home ownership on Indigenous lands has been a policy failure.

Former Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough… his plan to transform home ownership on Indigenous lands has been a policy failure.


EVERY now and then, a story comes along that sums up Aboriginal affairs perfectly. The floundering Home Ownership on Indigenous Lands program – and in particular the media’s coverage of it – is one such yarn, writes CHRIS GRAHAM. [Read more…]

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