Open Letter to the Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd - from Yolngu of the Laynhapuy Homelands
3 February 2009
"Yolngu clans of the Laynhapuy Homelands support the Rollback the Intervention message to the Prime Minister and Parliament this 3rd of February 2009.
While we support the Government's elevation of the issues of chronic Aboriginal disadvantage in remote communities, and welcome investment to address years of neglect, we cannot agree that the continuation of the Intervention is the best way to move forward.
The vision of our old people - comes with responsibility, to maintain our land, the wanga and our culture. Our clans want to develop their own different economic future, and find employment opportunities that support their dreams and aspirations, which keep control of our land and resources in our hands. This is our vision for economic development.
We agree that there is nothing dignified about existing in housing with 30 family members. There is nothing dignified about substance abuse and family violence. But there is certainly nothing dignified about losing your rights as a human being, based on being an Aboriginal citizen. We as a people have merit. We have worth. We have incredible knowledge and culture. And most of all we have courage and hope for our future.