NIRS NEWS STORIES 6am-9am 23 January 2014
The newly appointed National Director at ANTaR Andrew Meehan says there should be a national holiday that all Australians can celebrate, instead of Australia Day, known as Survival Day or Invasion Day.
Mr Meehan says he will attend Yabun Festival in Sydney and believes such festivals are a great reminder of the resilience of Australia’s First Nations people.
A large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events will be held this weekend around the country.
As Cassandra Tim reports, our mob has a long history of marking the 26th of January each year as a celebration of survival.
The Yolngu Nations Assembly is in talks with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion to work on programs that link school attendance to culture by integrating members of the community into the school system.
Reverend Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra says it is important Indigenous children learn to live in two cultures and is advocating the employment of local teachers to teach local knowledge to the kids.
Dr Gondarra says Minister Scullion will work with the community to tackle school attendance.
The spokesperson of the Yolngu Nations Assembly Dr Djiniyini Gondarra has questioned the celebrations on the 26th of January, known as Australia Day and Survival day.
Dr Gondarra says he is subject to two laws, his traditional law and the Australian law and a public holiday should celebrate all Australians.
The Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Indigenous Affairs, Alan Tudge, says the Indigenous unemployment rate is rising because the number of people employed hasn’t kept up with population growth.
The Australian reports new figures will reveal the Indigenous employment rate fell from 48.2 per cent to 45.9 per cent between 2008 and 2012-13.
That’s despite 28 thousand more First Nations people being in full employment.
Mr. Tudge says it’s positive there are more of our mob working today, but is concerned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will remain disadvantaged compared to the rest of the country.
The Girramay people of northern Queensland have been awarded freehold title over more than two hectares of land by the State Government.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Crips says the Girramay people now have to responsibility to manage and use the land.
To North Queensland, Townsville police have reported an 18-year-old Murri woman has died as a result of a crash involving a stolen car. Police say she died at the scene.
A 14-year-old Murri teenager is in critical condition in Townsville Base Hospital.
Unconfirmed reports suggest there were seven occupants in the car, all from the local Cleveland Youth Detention Centre.
While investigations continue, Biri-South Sea Island social justice advocate Professor Gracelyn Smallwood says the tragic event points to a wider issue at the Youth Detention Centre.
First Nations boxer and Olympian Damien Hooper has alluded to a culture of racism in defending himself against accusations of assaulting a taxi driver in Toowoomba in southern Queensland.
Hooper appeared at the Toowoomba Magistrate’s Court this week and will contest the serious assault charge arising from an incident last month.
It’s alleged the boxer struck the driver in the side of the head with an open hand after a verbal argument and police have also laid obstruction and public nuisance charges from their attempts to arrest him.
But in a post on Facebook, Hooper says the argument arose from his attempts to make a complaint against the driver and strongly denies striking him, and accused police of excess force when making the arrest.
He says police didn’t make an attempt to hear his side of the story.
First Nations organisations that display exceptional governance will be honoured at this year’s biannual Indigenous Governance Awards.
Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Leah Armstrong says they’re calling for nominations for the awards, which were first held in 2005.
Ms. Armstrong says the awards have attracted increasing interest as more of our organisations practice outstanding governance.
A spokesperson for Western Australia’s Deaths in Custody Watch Committee has praised First Nations man Kevin Spratt for taking police officers who unlawfully Tasered him to court.
Two officers, Aaron Strahan and Troy Tomlin, were found guilty in the Perth Magistrate’s Court of three charges of assault in relation to the use of a Taser on Mr. Spratt in a Perth watch house in 2008.
Committee Chairperson Marc Newhouse says the ruling should send a clear message to police about the use of Tasers.
Both officers received eight-month prison sentences suspended for six months and were also fined over three thousand dollars each.
A grassroots campaign is urging Indigenous youth to learn about the land, in a bid to tackle soaring suicide rates across the country.
Uncle Max Harrison is Project Leader at Culture is Life, a project that is promoting community led solutions to Indigenous youth suicide.
Uncle Max says the problem is big in many communities and says bringing kids out to land and teaching them about country will help close a cultural gap and alleviate trauma.
To South Australia, human rights lawyer Patrick Byrt says there’s a rising swell of support in the state for a Treaty and the movement is the strongest it’s ever been.
Mr Byrt says elders from across the state recently gathered to challenge the Government to engage in a public conversation on Treaty and held a meeting with Premier Jay Weatherill.
Mr Byrt says legally, the rights of the state’s Aboriginal peoples are protected by the 1836 Letters Patent Act and the Government has no choice but to settle on a Treaty.
The Australian Medical Association is calling for concerted national action on the harm caused by alcohol.
The doctors’ group says it wants to build on measures introduced this week in New South Wales to curb alcohol fuelled violence.
The New South Wales Premier is proposing a 1.30am lock-out and a 3am drinks cut-off in the city precinct.
AMA President Dr. Steve Hambleton says drunken violence is a national problem and requires a national summit.
Weeks before Tim Wilson takes on his role as next Human Rights Commissioner, he stands by his controversial plan to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Mr Wilson says racism and racial discrimination are abhorrent and should be stamped out, but currently the act limits free speech, a human right he believes should be defended.
Michelle Tuahine | News Director
NIRS | National Indigenous Radio Service
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About the National Indigenous Radio Service
The National Indigenous Radio Service Limited (NIRS) is a national program distribution service that delivers four radio channels of content produced by First Nations broadcasters via satellite distribution and via the internet.
Operating from a central hub in Brisbane, NIRS receives programs from a majority of the 180+ First Nations broadcasting services across Australia.
Arguably, the NIRS satellite footprint is the largest for a First Nations radio network in the southern hemisphere, if not the world. Given this, NIRS and its programs are unique within the Australian media environment. Over 120 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS) units, 23 Indigenous radio stations and 120 Community Broadcastes receive NIRS. To learn more about our network simply explore our new Google Map interface which show where each and every radio station is located, its website details and even includes a streaming link in some cases.
The reason why NIRS is so important to the sector is because many First Nations broadcasters haven’t the funding support to produce programs for 24/7 broadcasting or possess the funding to employ the number announcers ad producers to make enough high quality programs to support their local community audiences with the style of program that closes the gap.
So for some 15 years, NIRS has delivered its ecletic mix of broadcast programs and a national news service delivered via satellite that all major metropolitan, regional and remote communities via their Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RIMOs) can receive and add into their regional broadcast schedules.
In this way, NIRS is dedicated to facilitating First Nations voices through broadcasting and internet radio. We achieve this by a mix of programs that provides critical commentary of the strategies directed towards our communities that seek to preserve, promote and maintain First Nations arts, culture, languages and community values. Most particularly, NIRS discusses ‘Closing the Gap’ initiatives that are aimed at achieving quality of life improvements for First Nations communities across Australia.
NIRS also encourages aspirant First Nations broadcasters and RIBS to send their own programs that can be shared and thus opening a “window” to local community issues to a national audience.
For broadcasters who meet the licensing and equipment requirements but lack the funds or resources to provide a full 24-hour service, NIRS will enable them to fill any holes in their schedule with our continuous programming. For community broadcasters who access air time through a CBAA affiliate station, NIRS will provide the opportunity for these areas to hear national Indigenous issues, as well as enabling them to boost local airtime.
The Australia Indigenous Communication Association is also a great way of making contact with First Nations Broadcasters: