ANTaR ACT Newsletter – January 2022

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2022. Our focus for this edition is on the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on 26 January. We also cover other local news, including our next meeting.

50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

Fifty years ago, four men under a beach umbrella protested for land rights. ANTaR ACT recognises the ongoing strength of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy (ATE) and the important role they have in holding our nation’s leaders to account.

Background: these two recent articles reflect on the significance of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy:

Information and events: More about the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and what is happening on and around 26 January.

Funding: You can provide financial support for the anniversary through the ATE 50th anniversary crowdfunding page at chuffed.org/pay/campaign/88103.

Site preparation: Huge tidying-up process is well underway. If you have time in the lead up period, you are welcome to drop by and see if you can lend a hand.

Protests at Old Parliament House: ATE has condemned the action of protestors who damaged property at Old Parliament House – see this statement: www.atesovereignty.com.au/post/official-statement and other updates on the ATE website.

Other ACT news

Ngurra: The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct

The Australian Government has announced its commitment to establish a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural precinct in the heart of the national capital, Canberra (see the AIATSIS website: aiatsis.gov.au/ngurra). The Ngurra precinct will comprise two key elements:

  • A National Resting Place to house and care for repatriated limited provenance ancestral remains and any associated cultural material on their journey back to Country.
  • A Culture and Knowledge Centre where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia tells its own stories and celebrates the 65,000-year history of this nation. It will include education, exhibition and gallery space in a new fit-for-purpose home for AIATSIS.

Protection of culturally significant sites impacted by development

Two local sites subject to development have been in the news recently, with good news for one and not for the other.

Raise the Age Coalition

At the very end of last year our coalition collectively won a Yogie!  Check out the citation at: www.youthcoalition.net/yogieswinners/act-raise-the-age-coalition/. There is no way the ACT would be the first (and only) jurisdiction drafting legislation to Raise the Age if not for all of the coalition partners, including ANTaR ACT, working together. The feedback from MLAs is that it has been so effective having the sector speak with a unified voice.

From here, the responsible ACT government departments are working on practical implementation plans of how to raise the age including draft legislation. You can still help to make sure we get Raise the Age over the line: for example, use changetherecord.good.do/raisetheage/ACT/  to email your local MLA and share among your networks and social media .

Next ANTaR ACT meeting

Our first ANTaR ACT meeting for the year will be Monday 14 February, where we will plan our activities for the year, including following up on our advocacy with the ACT government and opposition. If you would like join us, please email us on info@antaract.org.au and we will send you the details. It is likely this meeting will be via Zoom rather than in person.

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