Welcome to our 53rd Quarterly Newsletter and our third one for 2017!
This newsletter focuses on what the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker Project of Uniting Communities has been up to since 1st July 2017. We give an update on the key areas that we have been advocating and lobbying about, and provide links to recent Anangu Lands Paper Tracker radio shows.
News flash: Exciting developments for Ernabella/Pukatja Dialysis Facility
After years of lobbying and hard work from Anangu Elders and The Purple House as well as many other organisations, plans are underway to establish a community-based dialysis facility in Ernabella/Pukatja. This means that people with kidney disease who need dialysis will be able to choose to go home. In order to make this a reality, more funds are needed to run the Centre for the first 12 months, before SA Health begins providing financial support.
There’s a big fundraising drive happening! Artists from across the APY Lands have painted and donated their works for an art auction which is being held at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute (253 Grenfell Street, Adelaide) on Sunday the 15th October from 12:30 – 3:30pm. Everyone’s invited to come along to support the auction and see all the wonderful art on display. For more information and the catalogue of artwork, check out this link: https://www.westerndesertdialysis.com/
Key developments in advocacy and lobbying
The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker has been advocating and lobbying about a number of issues and government policies, programs and services that affect Anangu communities. In particular, we have focused on:
- The trial of the Cashless Debit Card
Trials of the Cashless Debit Card were set up by the Federal Government in the Ceduna and Far West Coast communities and in the East Kimberley. Everyone on welfare benefits (except the Aged Pension) in these locations has had 80% of their welfare money quarantined – they can only get 20% of their money in cash. This is supposed to stop people using their welfare money for alcohol, drugs and gambling.
The Paper Tracker prepared a submission to the Senate Inquiry about the Social Services Legislation (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017. The Bill proposes that the trials of the Cashless Debit Card are extended and that new trials can be started in more communities.
Our submission opposes the extensions and expansions of the Card because Government has not consulted properly with the communities that are affected and it does not have reliable evidence to show that the Trials are helping people with drug, alcohol or gambling problems.
- The Community Development Program (CDP)
There’s currently a Senate Inquiry into the CDP and how it’s affecting communities. The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker wrote a submission which you can read here. We were invited to present to the Senate Inquiry Committee at a public hearing.
- Funding for an Interpreting Service in SA
The Paper Tracker was pleased to see that the 2017 State Budget allocated money for a South Australian Aboriginal interpreting service. On 23rd June 2017, we wrote to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, asking him about the service delivery model that is envisaged for the establishment of an Interpreting Service in SA. We look forward to receiving a response from the Minister’s office.
- The amendments to the APY Land Rights Act
In May 2017, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister Kyam Maher, introduced the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights (Suspension of Executive Board) Amendment Bill 2017 into Parliament, to amend the APY Land Rights Act. These amendments grant the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the power to dismiss the APY Executive Board for whatever reason he/she thinks fit. The amendments to the APY Land Rights Act were accepted by both houses of Parliament. It is understood that there is currently a High Court challenge regarding these amendments to the Act.
Paper Tracker Radio Shows
Here are the links to some of the radio shows that we have broadcast since our last e-newsletter. If you’d like to listen to any of these programs, click on the links below.
This week’s radio show is all about sugar! We talk with Damon Gameau, an actor and the filmmaker behind a movie called, “That Sugar Film”. Damon talks about setting up the Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation and things that we can do to cut down how much sugar we eat.
Program 286: Ombudsman visit to APY Lands
In this program, we talk about the work of the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman and their planned visit to the APY Lands.
Program 287: APY students talk about school and keeping language alive
In this show, we talk with two students from Indulkana Community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands who are studying at Westminster School in Adelaide.
In this program, we find out about whether people on the Community Development Program (CDP) are protected under the Fair Work Act and have fair and safe working conditions. We talk with Corey Ah Chee, an organizer with the Australian Services Union who is involved in the First Nations Workers’ Alliance.
Program 289: Aged care services on the APY Lands
In this show, we talk about the importance of looking after the older people in our community and we focus on elder services and aged care. We talk with Graham Aitken who is the Chief Executive Officer of Aboriginal Community Care SA.
Program 290: Bikes Palya! Bikes are great!
In this show, we find out about a great project called, ‘Bikes Palya!’ – meaning, ‘Bikes are great’! We chat with Joey Fagan from Bicycle SA, and Deirdre Tedmanson from the University of South Australia.
Program 291: Ara Irititja holds Anangu stories
This program focuses on history and on ways to keep history and people’s stories alive. We find out about the work of Ara Irititja – meaning, ‘Stories from a long time ago’ – and we talk with John Dallwitz, Project Manager of Ara Irititja.
If you’d like to listen to previous Paper Tracker radio shows, you can visit our website at https://www.papertracker.com.au/category/radio-programs/, and then click on the program or interview you’d like to listen to.
Facebook and website
Our Facebook page is gaining more support and people’s interest every week! We currently have 1,665 ‘friends’ and our reach per week ranges from 3,000 to 15,000! Please ask your friends to ‘like’ our page and keep posting your comments – we love hearing from you!
Since our last e-newsletter at the end of June, the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker website has been visited by 2,200 individual users engaged in more than 2,800 sessions.
Farewell to Yami Lester OAM, Yankunytjatjara leader and anti-nuclear campaigner
Sadly, the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker would like to acknowledge the passing of Tjamu Yami Lester OAM. We send our condolences to his friends and family, more particularly to his daughters, Rosemary and Karina, who have been involved with the Paper Tracker Project from its very early days.
We miss our phone conversations with Yami – just chatting about everyday things and how communities were being affected by developments or changes in legislation and policies that impacted on their lives. We feel the loss of his calm guidance and support, as well as his wicked sense of humour.
Mr Lester was farewelled at a state funeral held on his country at Walatina Station, where many people paid their respects and celebrated him as a land rights campaigner, a survivor and advocate for the victims of the nuclear tests, and as a champion for Anangu culture and language. His inspiration and strong presence is sorely missed.