Interview: Life After Keating
Industrial: That Friday Feeling
Bad Boss: Begging to Work
Organising: Project Pilbara
Unions: Off the Rails
International: Brazil Turns Left
Environment: Brown Wash
History Special: Learning from the Past
Corporate: Will the Bullying Backfire?
Technology: Danger Lurks For The Passive
History: In Labour�s Image
Politics: Without Power Or Glory
History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Culture: Blood Stains the Wattle
Satire: Iraq Pre-empts Pre-emptive Strike
Poetry: The Executive Pay Cut
Review: Time Out
Month In Review
The Locker Room
Why The User Should Pay
More Bali Feed Back
Clean Election Laws Now!
And Now, Some Fan Mail!
The Sea of Hands
I come here today with two hats on. NIYMA to let you know that there are some amazing young black leaders emerging in this country who are ready. Ready to embrace the ideas of a movement of peoples, ready to engage again with those who have always stood by Indigenous Peoples-that is why I am here. We.... Remember it was the unions who supported Vincent Lingiari in his walk off at wave hill all those years ago.
I also come as a member and worker of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation or as we are more often know as ANTaR Sea of Hands.
5 years ago 2 members of ANTaR stood in this very spot and asked for support for the first Sea of Hands of Parliament House - protesting the Native Title Amendments. Today I've come here to do the same for our 5th Anniversary.
In the last 5 years over 300 000 people have signed the statement in support of Indigenous Rights - each statement representing an individual hand.
This year marks some significant anniversaries in the consciousness of broader Australia about the plight of Indigenous People. It is 5 years since the Bringing them Home Report was launched to a shocked and disbelieving Australia. It is 10 years since Paul Keating delivered his watershed speech at Redfern Park in which he said
"We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here through 50 000 years or more, who then survived two centuries of dispossession and abuse, will be denied their place in the modern Australian nation. We cannot imagine that. And with the spirit that is here today I am confident we will succeed in this decade".
In this decade.
We have watched in the last 5 years as the government buries reconciliation and stifles any voice on rights - now is the time to let them know that we have not forgotten.
There has been a refocus on the future for a long term strategy and we are asking you to stay as long term partners.
With the combination of the war on terror, the bali bombing, the refugee assault and a government that has put the first people and the last to people under the same minister we see a heightened sense of us and them being blatently exposed. But as a conservative shift progressively trys to divide and push us to the right we look to the moral courage that you here in NSW particularly have shown.
The agenda is about dividing, our president Phil Glendenning says he knows it's true cos 'Alan Jones is afraid. I know that the unions will not allow us to succumb to that ugly political ploy.
We need you again - we need you to remind your constituency that these difficulties and issues have not been resolved.
That Treaty and Negotiations are firmly on our agenda.
We need you to make submissions to the Senate inquiry into Reconciliation about the governments blind refusal to engage with Indigenous People and implement the recommendations of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.
That is what you CAN do.
I come because I know that Now is the time when we have to show solidarity - In a time where there is a void in leadership at the national level. We want to acknowledge that true moral leadership comes from those who stand up for the rights of their brothers and sister.
True moral leadership comes from those 300 000 people of the Sea of Hands, who not only turn up but embodying the ethos of justice for Indigenous peoples.
True moral leadership comes from the solidarity of the Peoples movement, which started with the unions and has lent its force to organisations like ANTaR.
We come here because we know that this solidarity could not be possible without the ongoing support of the unions who have stood with Indigenous People and their right to determine their future from the beginning.
I know that you will make your presence know, to celebrate the symbol of the continuing Peoples Movement for Indigenous rights on the Saturday.
At this time - it is not only the celebration of ANTaRs Sea of Hands but a celebration of all of us who are fighting to make our contry fair.
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