NIRS NEWS STORIES 6am-9am 06 FEBRUARY 2014
The Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, says there’s never been a better opportunity to achieve a Treaty.
Mr Mundine says he was greatly disappointed by the Hawke Government’s backdown on Treaties.
But he’s told National Indigenous Radio the nation now has a second chance to make the push.
He says within four or five years, Australia will be well-positioned to achieve Treaties with each of the nations of the First Peoples.
In a ground breaking decision, a former CEO of a New South Wales Aboriginal Medical Centre has been ordered to pay over $1.2 million dollars in fines.
Damien Matcham, former head of the Katungul Community Medical Service is now banned from being involved in the management of any ATSI corporation for 15 years.
Mr Matcham now owes seven hundred thousand dollars in compensation to the service, which narrowly escaped insolvency under his watched, has gone on to thrive.
The organisation which launched the case against Mr Matcham says Katungul, which offers health services to Koori’s in the far south coast of the New South Wales now operates at a surplus.
ORIC head Anthony Beven says Katungul has gone on to thrive the ordeal.
An initiative by the Cape York Institute’s Noel Pearson to make improvements in Indigenous spending has had its first official meeting this week.
The Empowered Communities Committee involves 16 prominent First Nations community figures, business leaders and public servants.
They include Mr. Pearson as Co-Chair, Sean Gordon from the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, Ian Trust from the Wunan Foundation and Karyn Bayliss from Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships.
The Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary, Alan Tudge, has told The Australian the steering committee, backed with five-million-dollars of Federal funding, would address key problems that caused waste instead of service delivery.
The latest report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows ear health among Indigenous children and adults has improved over the last six years.
Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman is the author of the report and says it’s a prevalent problem that impairs people’s hearing abilities and often results in children dropping out of school.
Dr Al-Yaman says 72% of those examined had some form of otitis media or middle-ear condition and two thirds of those had hearing loss.
The new Co-Chair of the Empowered Communities Committee, Noel Pearson, says the initiative brings together leading figures in the public service, business and Indigenous communities.
Mr. Pearson will lead the Committee, which will aim to reform spending to get more funding on the ground in our communities, alongside Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet associate secretary Liza Carroll and 14 other members.
The initiative is being backed by the Federal Government to the tune of five-million-dollars.
Mr. Pearson told The Australian the high level of public servants involved highlights the seriousness with which both levels of government are treating Empowered Communities.
The out-going Chief Executive of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance has identified carbon abatement projects as among the most important works undertaken while he was in the position.
Joe Morrison leaves the role after 10 years and will become CEO of the Northern Land Council.
Mr. Morrison says his primary aim in the role was to see more First Nations people employed in the environmental management of their land.
The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion says he doesn’t support the possibility of a permanent Indigenous seat in the Senate, despite calls from some advocates.
Minister Scullion told Bumma Bippera Media the recent trend in politics already shows an increased representation of First Nations politicians, especially in the Northern Territory.
A former Indigenous Australian of the Year says our community is less inclined to listen to our people when they’ve not been chosen to represent them.
Professor Mick Dodson, the recipient of the 2009 award, is a life-long advocate for Indigenous rights and Social Justice.
He told NIRS News that the appointments are a re-hash of former failed experiments.
A sacred burial ceremony that has never been performed off country is set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of AIATSIS – the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra next month.
Bill Neidjie was instrumental in establishing Kakadu as a National Park, and he received an Order of Australia Medal for his work in 1989.
His remains have already gone through the first stage of traditional burial.
Kakadu Elder Ronald Lamilami says that while traditionally, Mr. Neidjie’s remains would have been held in a cave; AIATSIS will now serve as the leader’s new traditional burial home.
To Western Australia,
Noongar traditional owners have urged the Rottnest Island Authority to put back up a fence that protected a mass burial site.
Richard Wilkes, from the Rottnest Island Deaths Group, says the area contains the country’s biggest mass grave where at least 370 Aboriginal men are buried.
The West Australian reports a 14-year-old fence was removed in 2007 and island visitors can now ride or cycle across the burial grounds.
Mr. Wilkes says he rejects claims from the Authority that the fence was removed with approval from Noongar elders.
He says the Rottnest Island Deaths Group was appointed by the Noongar community to be the chief consultative group and they want the fence re-erected.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is calling on political parties in the state to support community-controlled cultural tourism.
State Secretary Ruth Langford says she’s concerned by the heavy focus on economic development by politicians at the expense of Tasmania’s environment and heritage.
Ms. Langford says tourism offers an avenue to development while also protecting sites of cultural and ecological significance.
A Noongar man jailed for terrorism offences in Saudi Arabia has arrived back in Australia, after being granted clemency.
Shayden Thorne, originally from Perth was serving a four-and-a-half year prison term for supporting and encouraging terrorism.
He was arrested in November 2011 after a laptop, which his family says he had borrowed from a mosque, was allegedly found to have terrorist material on it.
NITV’s Craig Quartermaine was at Perth airport when Mr Thorne plane touched down.
A prominent Nyungar community worker and recent recipient of an Officer of the Order of Australia say racism continues to hamper community development.
Ted Wilkes, Chair of the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee and Associate Professor at Curtin University, says he receives the award on behalf of his people.
He told Koori Radio’s Blackchat he’ll use the acknowledgement to extend his work in public health.
The Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council says our mob won’t live in equality as long as they aren’t on par proportionately with the rest of Australia in numbers of professional jobs.
Warren Mundine is currently travelling through remote northern and central Western Australia with Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion to promote school attendance.
Mr Mundine says thousands more highly-qualified professionals are needed, such as teachers, accountants, doctors and lawyers, before there can be any claims to equality.
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: