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Canberra Convergence -- Public Forum: The NT Intervention – Living with a Racist Policy

7pm Monday February 2nd, 2009

Albert Hall, Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla, Canberra


Barbara Shaw - Mt Nancy Town Camp, Mparntwe - Alice Springs
Harry Jakamarra Nelson - Yuendumu community
Elaine Peckham - Iwupataka Land Trust
George Newhouse - Human Rights Lawyer
Jon Altman - Australian National University

And other residents from NT Intervention 'prescribed communities'

The Racial Discrimination Act remains suspended to allow the operation of the Northern Territory Intervention in Aboriginal communities, despite the recommendations of the government appointed Review Board.

One year since Kevin Rudd's apology, which promised to "never repeat past wrongs", many people from areas 'prescribed' under the Intervention talk about a feeling of return to the 'ration days' and 'welfare board days', as they suffer tight controls and discriminatory restrictions.

Far from improving child or community welfare, the Intervention is driving communities into further poverty as people struggle to negotiate the Income Management system and unemployment increases with cuts to the Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP).

And there have been many new challenges to community life since the Intervention - a serious withdrawal of resources from outstations and homelands is planned, bi-lingual schools are being told to stop teaching in Aboriginal languages, only 16 of the 73 'prescribed
communities' are being offered any new housing and told they must give up control of their land for between 40-90 years if they are to receive anything.

The past year has also seen a strengthening of a campaign led by people from 'prescribed areas' calling for an end to the government's racism.

Come along to this forum to hear the strong voices of people living under a racist policy - and demanding change.

These speakers will be supported by Jon Altman, from the Centre for Economic Policy research, who will share his analysis of recent policy changes that are taking place alongside the Intervention in the NT.

Also speaking will be George Newhouse, a human rights lawyer who is assisting people from Prescribed Areas take their case before the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

For more information about the forum please contact:

Barbara Shaw 0401 291 166; Ellie Gilbert: 0421 795 639 ;Paddy Gibson: 0415800586

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