Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

The Olympic profile puts Aboriginal issues on the international stage: let's resolve them in that light

By Geoff Clark - posted Friday, 15 September 2000


I imagine with the Olympics upon us there will be very few slow news days before October.

Interest in, and support for the games, is strong within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The ATSIC board is mindful of this. As a result we have a clear and publicly articulated policy on the games.

Advertisement

The board has publicly wished all of the Australian athletes the very best in their quest for honours. Our fervent hope, not surprisingly, is for black gold.

The ATSIC board is also unanimous in its view that, in this instance, sports and politics do mix.

The games provide an invaluable opportunity for our people to lay the facts before the assembled international and domestic media about the appalling economic and social conditions in which many of them live.

When I come to Sydney I do so in the knowledge that it was the place of our first dispossessions, the first punitive raids, and the first child removals. By 1789 half of Sydney’s Indigenous population had succumbed to disease.

But here too was the first resistance … the first demonstration of our will to survive. We live with that legacy today. It inspires our continuing fight for recognition. That is why the board of ATSIC has called on our people to seize the Olympic moment.

Proper recognition is yet to be given to the legitimate aspirations of our people and their unique place in Australian history and society.

Advertisement

Fundamental reforms are necessary to secure and underpin those rights and to ensure they can be exercised and enjoyed by Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. We will highlight these matters during the games.

That is why the board recently re-affirmed its support for the right of people to protest during the games should they wish to do so. It has called on organisers and those planning to participate to take great care to ensure the protests are peaceful and orderly. The rights of others to engage in the Olympic spirit, as they might wish, should be fully respected.

We are conscious of the need to keep the media spotlight on the issues and to ensure that spotlight is kept on the federal government. As you are aware, another UN human rights treaty body has just announced its concern over the Howard government’s treatment of our people.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

This article was originally presented as a speech to the Foreign Correspondents Association in Sydney on September 7, 2000.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Geoff Clark is a former Chair of ATSIC.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Geoff Clark
Related Links
ATSIC Homepage
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
Photo of Geoff Clark
Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Deals from Sponsor
Flipit.com Australia
Photobook Australia voucher code: Get 56% off on all products
Get $10 off all Singapore packages at iVenture card using this coupon code
Use this Native Box coupon code to get 12% off a $104 spend
Use this Mosmann voucher code to get 25% off on your Christmas presents
Use this ClearlyContacts coupon code to get two pairs of frames for $99
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy