Stronger Futures film and consultation at Parliament House today

27th Feb 2012

WHAT: Our Generation Indigenous film and Stronger Futures Consultation Evening.

WHO: About 120 Indigenous elders, academics, lawyers, parliamentarians and their advisers.

WHERE: Parliament House theatrette, Canberra.

WHEN: 6pm tonight, Monday 27 February 2012.

WHY: 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, tonight.

Federal parliamentarians, Indigenous elders, academics and media have been invited to attend the screening of Our Generation followed by a panel discussion and debate, on the same day Federal Parliament will consider proposed Stronger Futures legislation in the House of Representatives.

Elders 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 and its 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 Yolngu woman, Dhanggal Gurruwiwi; Alice Springs community leader, Barbara Shaw; and ANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy and Research, Professor Jon Altman. The film will be introduced by, Les Malezer, Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First People.

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, and event partners Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Amnesty International and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission.

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.

Photo opportunity: Parliament House lawn, 5.30pm, today, with Indigenous leaders and discussion panel.

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