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Ampilatwatja Walk-off


For Richard Downs' Speech of October 2009: please click here

For Richard Downs' Speech of 3 January 2010: please click here



September 28, 2009


Racism is not merely one sin among many; it is a radical evil that divides the human family and denies the rights of humanity. And divides us all, in the structure of our society.

Racism violates the fundamental freedoms and human dignity. Racism is the denial of the truth of dignity of each human being

I appeal to the great churches and their leaders within, who remain silent across our country, we are part of their children of god, we are part of Mother Nature's creations, and we are one voice, one people.

Do I now sense fear, uncertainty? From our leaders, is this god's wish our leaders now be silent and watch continual destruction of their black brothers and sisters, Culture, Languages, our lands taken from us at the stroke of a pen, under the NTER Measures that continue to create walls of separation? Discrimination and racism.

The principal source and centre of healing, unifier of all people and cultures, Our fathers, the leaders of our great churches across our country speak out, not only in the assemblies of the bishops, but in every diocese and parish in the land, in every chapel and religious house. Inform all gods children we must unite as one and stand for human rights

Our fathers you came to us in our peoples need in last 200 years, our needs now are much greater, our cultures, traditions and custom, are holding on by a single strand. Return to us once again and walk with us as one people, share with us our journey to stand against racist policies that create divisions.

Richard Downs
Spokesperson for Alyawarr people
[email protected]


September 14, 2009

Appeal to Indigenous leaders

On behalf of my elders and leaders, I urge all Indigenous leaders across Australia, men and women, to consider the following.

We are at the cross roads of change; do we unite, do we reconnect to our past, present and future, our traditions, customs, languages, land and our young people. Our next generation of leaders; young men and women are caught up in the cycle of destruction through, alcohol, drugs, and abuse; locked in gaols, away from their homelands, their families, spiritual journeys, and their roles and responsibilities.

These are our lost generation, caught in a time warp - no way forward, no way back.

I urge that we, as leaders, show true leadership in Aboriginal ways to bring our people together as one, or are we too far assimilated that we cannot put aside our differences and can no longer think in the traditional way?

Do we now have fear and uncertainty of each other?

Do we continue to stay silent, and watch the continued destruction of our people, our culture, and our land taken away?

Do we watch our people forced from homelands into hub centres to create Ghettos, where there will be abuse, drugs, fights, jealousies, murders?

Have we forgotten we are the caretakers of our lands, animal species, trees, waters, mountains, and of our people?

Do we shut our minds and thoughts in the hope that all our troubles may go away?

Do we look at our people, our young, and pretend everything is fine?

Do we bring our white brothers and sisters together with us, to share our journey of unity, a common aim towards bridging the gap, and with humanity, to stand as equals and show respect towards each other? to stand against evil

Now is a turning point for all Aboriginal people: do we sit back, to leave a history for our next generations of doing nothing? Do we leave them with shame and embarrassment of a history where we, as leaders, were too divided with self interest, and we stood back with fear and uncertainty of the unknown?

Do we stand strong and reconnect the link in the chain again with our brothers and sisters who long ago walked off WAVE HILL, who showed leadership, determination and a path of unity and recognition, and reconnection with land and people as one.

Our future is in our hands.

We are the ones to bring change.

We cannot be divided and be lone voices in wilderness anymore, but join those voices into one chorus

Our younger generation, our people and our white brothers and sisters are watching and waiting for us; for our direction and action.

Do we have the ability to come together, to unite and show them the light and direction? Are we going to show that leadership?

Let us stand united against the federal governments' Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation and other racist policies,and the Northern Territory governments' homeland policies by (sending statements to govt and media, walking off communities, signing on to support groups, attend a gathering) don't let the flame die down

Richard Downs, Alyawarr Spokesperson
[email protected]

Reproduced with the kind permission of Richard Downs