Indigenous rights documentary to be screened at Parliament House

3rd Feb 2012

Concern that federal politicians are about to vote on crucial Indigenous rights legislation, without proper evaluation or community consultation, has prompted an Indigenous documentary screening and discussion evening at Parliament House, Canberra, this month.

Federal parliamentarians and media have been invited to attend the screening of Our Generation on February 27, two days before Federal Parliament votes on key Indigenous Stronger Futures legislation.

Elders, who have previously appeared before the United Nations to complain of Indigenous rights violations, are flying to Canberra from remote communities to speak as part of the event. They hold fears that the proposed Stronger Futures legislation may be a continuation of racist law dressed in a different policy guise.

The screening, hosted by Australian Lawyers Alliance National President, Greg Barns, will be followed by a discussion chaired by former ABC journalist and Four Corners reporter, Dr Jeff McMullen AM, and with a panel of leading legal minds, academics and respected Indigenous leaders. These include: Family Court of Australia chief justice, Hon Alistair Nicholson AO QC; NE Arnhem Land elder and traditional lawman, Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM; Alice Springs community leader, Barbara Shaw; and ANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy and Research, Professor Jon Altman.

The Our Generation documentary details the plight of Northern Territory Indigenous people from North East Arnhem Land struggling to retain their cultural identity and self respect under the current Northern Territory Intervention, which saw the suspension of the Northern Territory Racial Discrimination Act in August 2007.

Their fears are shared by event hosts: filmmakers, Sinem Saban and Damien Curtis; the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and Amnesty International.

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR), Concerned Australians, Human Rights Law Centre, Jumbunna House of Indigenous Learning, Justice Empowerment Mission Inc, Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAIPP) and Urban Neighbours of Hope are also endorsing the event.

About 300 people are expected to attend.

Tags: Human rights Discrimination Indigenous rights Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory