‘concerned Australians’ MEDIA RELEASE 10th March 2016
Supporting Yingiya Mark Guyula & Yolŋu Nations Assembly
With an update on the Victorian Context
Yingiya Mark Guyula will be addressing audiences on the 11th of March in Geelong and the 12th of March in Melbourne CBD, in the lead up to the significant forum
Mr. Guyula is the endorsed candidate of the Yolŋu Nations Assembly (YNA) for the upcoming Northern Territory elections, running as an independent candidate in the seat of Nhulunbuy, NE Arnhem Land. Mr. Guyula is currently touring within Australia broadening conversations around Treaty and to garner support for his campaign platform, Treaty Now!
Mr. Guyula has worked successfully as a cross-cultural adviser, interpreter, mediator, air pilot, and as the senior lecturer at Charles Darwin University in Yolŋu studies. He is highly regarded and has earned the title of “Djirrikaymirr” making him a judge amongst his people.
Working within Yolŋu traditional system of law, Maḏayin law and the Ŋärra’ institution, a parliamentarian-esque system, Mr. Guyula continues a proud traditional legal structure that has maintained peace, justice, and harmony in Arnhem Land for millennia; disrupted and destabilised only by the ongoing effects of colonisation and compounded dramatically in recent years by imposed, backward and disempowering policy directions of exclusion, control and denial of Aboriginal self-determination.
The 2006/7 Intervention and then the Stronger Futures policy; together with NT government takeover of Community Councils, various NT Government English only education policies (today it’s Direct Instruction), and CDEP and Homeland de-funding are all policies that represent the newest forms of take-over.
In Geelong, Mr. Guyula will be speaking on the disempowering impacts of living under the ongoing intervention policies, the need of a Treaty for Arnhem Land and his contributions towards the book The Intervention: an Anthology (2015) that was launched by the Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Professor Gillian Triggs, in Sydney last year.
Mr. Guyula will be first be introduced by Terry Mason, of the Awabakal language group and Institute of Koorie education Deakin University, Geelong. Mr. Mason will provide a brief update on the Victorian and broader calls to treaty/ies, recognition of sovereignty and latter will also travel to, and speak at the Sydney forum, on Monday, 14th.
In Melbourne, Mr. Guyula will be speaking on Maḏayin law and how his platform Treaty Now! will work, stating:
We want treaty. We want a partnership. We want a dialogue in decision-making. We want diplomatic talks with the government - the Yolŋu government and the Balanda [non-indigenous] government.
Furthermore, Adam Frogley, Taungerong man of Healesville, will be reporting on the February open meeting hosted by the Victorian Office of Aboriginal Affairs,that resonated across indigenous Australia. Speaking of it, Mr. Frogley reports that:
The Victorian Aboriginal people have stated unequivocally that Constitutional Recognition is not an appropriate path to follow. A Treaty or Treaties with sovereign peoples of south eastern Australia is the first step toward true self-determination.
Jon Altman, long engaged in Indigenous policy, will also be speaking in Melbourne. He has serious concerns for current policy directions:
The latest report from the Productivity Commission last December makes it statistically clear how badly indigenous people, particularly in remote Australia, are travelling in socio-economic terms. Some gaps are not closing but widening. Indigenous people in remote Australia are being poorly served by both federal and State/Territory governments with a clear agenda of normalisation, code for assimilation. As major parties fail to recognise Indigenous diversity and difference and to equitably support disadvantage it is time for new Indigenous representative voices to be heard.
*Five highly respected Aboriginal men will be speaking at the Sydney 14th forum, TIME FOR TREATIES: Men Speak Out for Treaty, which follows last year’s meeting when Aboriginal women spoke out for treaty. (See attached Sydney 14th flyer).
Yingyia Mark Guyula via Kendall Trudgen (campaign manager) 0428 402 929
Details of Victorian Meetings
Friday 11th March -Geelong (please click here)
2-3.30pm, Wesley Centre, 100 Yarra St, Geelong
Saturday 12th March- Melbourne (please click here)
2-3.30pm, Wesley Uniting Church- Upper School Hall, 148 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Monday 14th details and media contacts-phone Cathy Gill 0422 385 852
For details about Mr. Guyula’s Treaty awareness tour, see the attached flyers or information below.