Joseph Boston has grown up between both the UK and America, and currently lives in Australia. His father was an African American serviceman and his mother a child of Jamaican immigrants to England. He writes and blogs at josephboston.wordpress.com.
He joins Amy McQuire to discuss Black Lives Matter.
Thalia Anthony is an Associate Professor of Law at University of Technology, Sydney, and an expert in criminal justice, focusing specifically on Aboriginal justice issues.
She joins Amy McQuire on the programme to talk about Aboriginal deaths in custody, pre-sentencing reports, Aboriginal child removal, and the way Aboriginal women are treated in the criminal justice system.
Clair Andersen is a Yanuwa and Gunggalida woman currently living in Tasmania. She works at the University of Tasmania, and previously was Head of Riawunna Centre for Indigenous Education at UTAS from 2006 to 2013. She has more than 30 years experience in Aboriginal education. She joins Amy McQuire to discuss a new, innovative project – an interactive Aboriginal map of Tasmania, launched by UTAS.
To scroll through the map, click here.
Claire Coleman is a Noongar writer and recent recipient of one of the prestigious 2016 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships. She joins Amy McQuire to discuss the piecing together of her Noongar heritage, unraveling the black history in her own country, and the future of Aboriginal literature.
Claire’s winning manuscript – Terra Nullius – a speculative fiction novel – will hopefully be published next year.
Dr Chris Matthews is a Quandamooka man, a mathematician and chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA). He joins Amy McQuire on the programme to talk about why its important to open up a new conversation about how we teach maths and science to our kids, and how Aboriginal people had our own sophisticated system of mathematics.
You can find out more about ATSIMA and its upcoming conference here.
Prof Jon Altman is a research professor at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne and an emeritus professor at the Australian National University in Canberra. He has also worked in Aboriginal policy over the past three decades and is one of our foremost experts on Indigenous policy.
He joins Amy McQuire on the programme to talk about where Aboriginal affairs stands after the re-election of the Turnbull government, what may happen in the Senate and Nigel Scullion’s record in Indigenous affairs.
He also discusses the recent WA government ‘roadmap’ which looks to close down up to 150 remote communities in the state.
Luke Briscoe is a Kuku-Yalanji man and the co-founder of Indigilab, which you can find more about here.
He joined Amy McQuire to talk about the vital importance of recognising Indigenous sciences and knowledges, and how they are fundamental to the survival of humanity.
We also discuss his association with the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network, and you can find more about that here.
Luke also discusses the upcoming symposium at the Sydney Science Festival in August. There will be a gathering of First Nations academics, tehorists, researchers, designers, engineers, educators and students. It is hoping there will be a series of recommendations around “knowledge protocols and actions to advance partnerships, information sharing, research and development.”
The symposium will be held from 13 August – 14th August. Click here for more details.
Ursula Yovich is one of Aboriginal Australia’s most talented actresses. She is also an accomplished singer/songwriter. She is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Balnaves Foundation’s Indigenous Playwright award.
She joined Amy McQuire to speak about her award-winning screenplay and the themes revolving around it, which stemmed from the cultural protocols and sensitivities she had to navigate following her mother’s death.
For more information on the Balnaves award click here.
Wathaurung woman and researcher Carol McGregor and Taungwurrung-Yorta Yorta woman Glennys Briggs join Amy McQuire to talk about the significance of possum skin cloaks to our mobs, and how revitalising the ancient art of making them could aid in healing our peoples.
Carol and Glennys have an exhibition – ‘The Art of Skins’ – currently showing at the State Library of Queensland. For more information click here.
And to see a video recording of the interview, click here.
Amy McQuire broadcasts Let’s Talk live from Musgrave Park’s NAIDOC Family Fun Day with guests Leesa Watego and Vernon Ah Kee.
Leesa Watego is a prolific First Nations writer and blogger, while Vernon Ah Kee is one of our most awarded and critically acclaimed Aboriginal artists.
They also run a business – Dark and Disturbing, where you can find T-Shirts with slogans like ‘Aboriginal all the time’ and “Australia Drive it Like You Stole it”. You can find their online store here:
Emelda Davis is a South Sea Islander woman and the president of the Australian South Sea Islanders Project Jackson. She joined Amy McQuire to discuss her own family history, and the other black history in Queensland and New South Wales.
The Qld government has records of 62,475 Pacific Islanders who came over as indentured labourers from 1863-1904. Their hard work helped build the economic base of the colony. Although it was termed as ‘indentured labour’, South Sea Islanders widely view it as slavery. Throughout the ‘labour trade’ there were allegations of kidnapping and slavery.
For more information check out ASS-PJ’s website, which has information sheets and articles on Australian South Sea Islanders.
Martin Hodgson is a Yuin man, activist and writer who works on death penalty and human rights cases from all around the world, all from his home in Bega, south-east New South Wales. He joins Amy McQuire to discuss a recent case he has been working on – that of Rodney Reed, an African American man on death row in Texas, convicted about 20 years ago for the murder of a white woman. But DNA and forensic evidence points to his innocence, and that there may be another alleged perpetrator – the woman’s fiance, who was a police officer at the time and is currently serving a prison sentence for the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman who he assaulted while on duty.
Martin discusses the ins and outs of the case, and talks about his concerns that there may be innocent Aboriginal people in jail in our own country, and how this helps drive him in his work.
Irene Watson is a Tanganekald and Meintangk woman from the Coorong region and the south east of South Australia, and one of the first Aboriginal people to graduate with a law degree. She has a long history in examining the legacy of colonialism, and the enduring doctrine of terra nullius in this country. She joined Amy McQuire to discuss the current political environment, and her thoughts on constitutional reform and treaty. Prof Watson also discusses the problem with native title, and why we have to start revitalising our connection to country, because there is no future in the Western idea of ‘progress’.
In April 1770, Captain Cook landed on the Gweagal clan’s traditional lands on what is Kurnell on Botany Bay. His arrival signaled the dispossession and massacre of thousands of Aboriginal people from varying nations. It is now known as the first encounter. And like so many other encounters after that, it was bloody. Two local warriors approached the Europeans, shaking their spears to warn them off. This resulted in a musket being fired from the ship, and one warrior – Cooman – was wounded in the leg. He retreated to get his shield.
Joseph Banks, a botanist, wrote in his journal – “Defensive weapons we saw only in Sting-Rays (Botany) bay and there was only a single instance – a man who attempted to oppose our Landing came down to the Beach with a shield of an oblong shape about three feet long and one 1/4 broad made of the bark of a tree; this he left behind when he ran away and we found upon taking it up that it plainly had been pierced through with a single pointed lance near the centre.” But the Gweagal say that hole is most likely the result of a gun shot.
Captain Cook and his men stole that shield, as well as every hunting and fishing spear from the camp. It is now held in the British Museum, who refuse to give it back, unless it is on loan. Rodney Kelly is a direct descendant of the warrior Cooman, and first saw his ancestor’s shield at the controversial Encounters exhibition. He is now fighting to get it returned to his mob.
Rodney is running a crowdfunding campaign to support him to get over to Britain to meet with the British Museum. You can help out by donating here, or even sharing the story.
Gamilaroi man Ivan Sen is one of Aboriginal Australia, in fact, Australia’s most talented filmmakers. He is famed for films like Beneath Clouds, Toomelah and Mystery Road. He has just released his fourth feature film – Goldstone, which follows on from Mystery Road. It stars Aaron Pedersen, who continues his role as Indigenous detective Jay Swan, this time entering a remote mining outpost to search for a missing Chinese woman.
The film raises a number of themes around mining on Aboriginal lands, and the complicated relationship it poses to our communities.
As Sen says: “individual gain through positional advantage is eating at the core of Indigenous communities, perhaps like never before. Since first contact, Indigenous people have always been tempted by the trappings of the white world. Today, the stakes have never been so high, with billions of dollar sin play, and cultures facing destruction from the modern world. It is a time where culture and spirit is being challenged like never before.”
The film also stars David Gulpilil, Ursula Yovich, Tom E Lewis, Jackie Weaver and Alex Russell. It is being released in cinemas on July 7.
To see the video of this interview, click here.
Aboriginal affairs has been completely missing from the eight-week election campaign – from both major parties. That’s despite Labor having a real opportunity to provide a point of difference from the disastrous reign of the Abbott and Turnbull governments. Prof Jon Altman is a research professor at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne and an emeritus professor at the Australian National University in Canberra. He has also worked in Aboriginal policy over the past three decades and is one of our foremost experts on Indigenous policy.
He joined Amy McQuire to talk about the Coalition’s Community Development Programme – a ‘human rights abuse’ – that has lead to an exponential rise in penalties for Aboriginal jobseekers. Aboriginal people who have had serious breaches of the programme’s requirements are missing out on welfare payments for up to eight weeks.
We also spoke about the Minister for Indigenous affairs Nigel Scullion’s attack on NT land rights and his role in undermining the land councils.
Eva Cox is a renowned feminist, public commentator and social and political researcher. She is currently working on evidence bases for social policy with Jumbanna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS. She joined Amy McQuire to discuss the assault on the welfare state by successive Australian governments, and how it will affect the most vulnerable. The discussion also talks about the idea of a universal basic income.
For more on Eva’s work, see her articles here.
Gomeroi man and NITV journalist Danny Teece Johnson joins the programme to talk about the stories he is chasing – one of which is the troubling and tragic case of Theresa Binge, an Aboriginal mother-of-three murdered in Boggabilla in 2003. Her murder has never been solved. He also discusses treaty talks in Victoria, welfare form and the cashless welfare card, and the state of black media.
Koori Mail General Manager and Bundjalung woman Naomi Moran and Koori Mail editor Rudi Maxwell join Amy McQuire in the studio to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the paper – the only national Indigenous newspaper in the country.
Dr Liz Conor is a lecturer at Monash University, and describes herself as a Visual Historian. She is the author of a new book, a decade in the making, called ‘Skin Deep: Settler impressions of Aboriginal women’.
Dr Conor outlines in her book how the dehumanisation of Aboriginal women contributed to the racist colonial project – and how these repeated tropes in Australian and European print media – that Aboriginal women were victims of ‘bride capture’, that they engaged in infanticide, that they were hypersexualised beings for example – have seeped into Australia’s racist modern day.
Dr Conor tells Let’s Talk that these racist perceptions of Aboriginal women did two things, it reinforced that Aboriginal women were “Incapable of two things – incapable of agency, and Aboriginal women and men are incapable of any kind of love… romantic love, familial love, love for their children… and that’s the biggest constant in all of this is that Aboriginal people are incapable of love. And if you take that away I don’t know how you could dehumanize a person more to be honest.”