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Welcome to the STICS website!

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney) is an open collective of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people committed to the repeal of the NT Intervention and the struggle for Aboriginal self-determination.

We meet every first and third Monday of the month to discuss the campaign and plan for actions and awareness-raising. 6pm Monday nights, Federation Conference Centre, Level 1, 23-33 Mary Street Surry Hills (turn off Elizabeth st at Albion St and left onto Mary street) -,+surry+hills&sll=-24.686952,135.703125&sspn=61.631455,97.207031&ie=UTF8&z=17&iwloc=A. Everyone is welcome. Should you require further information and would like to attend, please call Jean: 0449 646 593 or E-mail: [email protected]


Say NO to continuing Stolen Generations

STOP the DOCS Friday snatch
STOP Goward's new laws
Support and opportunity for families NOT child removal

Rally Friday April 11 - 12pm Tamworth DOCS office
14 - 16 Bourke st Tamworth

Speakers include:

+ Aunty Hazel, Grand-mothers Against Removals, Gunnedah

+ David Shoebridge, Greens NSW MP


+ Karen Fusi, Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy



Facebook event:

For the flyer: please click here

For the double-sided-leaflet: please click here

For the Media release: please click here



21 March 2014 - 6.30pm for 7pm start


Marking the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

REDFERN Town Hall, 73 Pitt St, Redfern

Speakers include:

John Pilger, Utopia filmmaker
Marianne McKay, Nyoongar activist
Dianne Stokes, Muckaty Traditional Owner
Aunty Hazel, Grand Mothers Against Removals Gunnedah

STICS Forum on 21 March 2014: please click here

For the Poster: please click here


Speakers on Child Removal

Monday, 3 March at 6 pm,

Federation Conference Centre


Olivia Nigro, who played a central role organising the Child removal rally outside parliament on 13 Feb, will speak on developments in Gunnedah, as a way of starting some collective discussion about how we can take the struggle forward.

Bear, is a First Nations man from Canada taken and adopted out in Australia. He is currently working to change national and international adoption practices and laws, so that the abuses of the past are not repeated.

For the flyer
: please click here

Plus discussion about an upcoming forum on 21 March 2014.

STICS Forum on 21 March 2014: please click here

Background Info:

Respect and Listen - Excerpt from the Q&A session where John Pilger talks about the present child removals and the planned new adoption legislation - 20 Feb 2014

The Guardian - Tony Abbott’s cuts directly hurt Aboriginal children - 20 Feb 2014
Indigenous specialist services have been slashed by a tidal wave of cuts. This has a direct impact on the health and safety of thousands of Aboriginal children ...

The Stringer - Stolen Generations continues but worse than ever - 15 Feb 2014
Grandmothers Against Removals was formed by NSW regional Gunnedah grandmothers who
have been broken by the record number of removals by our State Governments - yes by
Governments - of their grandchildren from their Mothers. According to grandmother Hazel
Collins, the Stolen Generations continues and in numbers never-before-known. Ms Collins
travelled from regional Gunnedah, with affected families from across the State and from interstate
to NSW Parliament to raise awareness of the record number of children being removed, and the
cycle of devastation this is causing to the communities of First Nations peoples....

NITV - Gunnedah grandmothers rally against removal of Indigenous kids - 13 Feb 2014
On the sixth anniversary of the Australian government's apology to the Stolen Generations, grandmothers from Gunnedah have protested against what they say is a new generation of stolen children. ...

Canberra Times - Fears over rise in Canberra's indigenous children in care - 13 Feb 2014
Canberra's indigenous children risk becoming part of another ''stolen generation'', the head of Australia's peak Aboriginal childcare body says.
The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care is demanding answers from the ACT government about large numbers of local indigenous children who have been taken from their families by social services.
Secretariat CEO Frank Hytten said unconscious prejudice and a lack of support for families could be contributing to the large numbers of indigenous children in care across Australia.
The latest report on government services published by the Productivity Commission found that on June 30 last year at least 140 of the 559 children in out-of-home care in Canberra were indigenous. ...

Media Release: Grandmothers demand DOCS return stolen children on anniversary of apology - 13 Feb 2014: please click here
Related flyer: please click here

ABC - Too many Aboriginal children in state care in NSW admits Family Services Minister Pru Goward - 13 Feb 2014
The New South Wales Minister for Family and Community Services has conceded the number of Aboriginal children in care around the state is too high.
Pru Goward has made the admission ahead of a rally of Aboriginal grandmothers at State Parliament today.
It is six years since the Federal Parliament's apology to the Stolen Generations, but for Aunty Hazel it has meant nothing.
She says her grandmother and aunt were forcibly removed from their families and now four of her grandchildren are in care. ...

The Guardian - Aboriginal mothers like me still fear that our children could be taken away - 21 Jan 2014
Indigenous women have been told for the better part of two centuries that we're not fit to raise children. Time and time again, we have borne the brunt of racist and cruel policies  ...

WGAR News - Background to 'Keeping Them Home': Campaign against Forced Aboriginal Adoption in the NT, Australia


Keeping Them Home

The most recent data shows that the number of children being moved into out-of-home care in the Northern Territory has just about doubled since 2007. Two-thirds of these children are being placed with non-Indigenous families away from their communities.

Elder Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, as spokesperson for Yolngu Makarr Dhuni calls for this trend to be reversed by increasing family support services in communities. He has written to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Adam Giles, asking him for his support. If you would like to support Dr Gondarra, please read the campaign letter below.

Letter from Dr Djiniyini Gondarra to Adam Giles: please click here

Campaign Letter: please click here

Background document: please click here

Stop the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families: please click here

Media Releases

STICS: please click here

'concerned Australians': please click here

ACM Sydney: please click here

Further Background Info/Articles:

NITV newsclip of 20 May 13 - about 6 mins into the video: please click here

WGAR Newsletter of 18 May 2013: please click here

SMH - Jeff McMullen - 15 March 2013: please click here




On the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination and
'National Close the Gap Day'


Thursday March 21

12:30 @ office of Tanya Plibersek MP
150 Broadway, opposite Broadway shops

STOP 'Stronger Futures' - NO to 10 more years of NT Intervention
STOP the expansion of income management: Not in the NT, not in Bankstown not anywhere
STOP Black Deaths in Custody - Justice for Kwementyaye Briscoe and all victims

On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and National Close the Gap Day

Speakers include:

Rosie Pearson, Yirrkala NT
Sue Gillett, Bankstown Aboriginal activist and STICS member
Ray Jackson, Indigenous Social Justice Association

For the poster: please click here

For the media release: please click here

The NT Intervention has been a disaster - but the government is set to expand 'income management' to cover even more people from July this year, including in Bankstown.

Government statistics show that since 2007 in the NT incarceration has increased 75%, reported rates of attempted suicide and self harm are up almost 600%, child removal rates increased 70% and there is more alcohol related domestic violence (sources below).

In 2012, the Labor government passed new legislation, Stronger Futures, that extends the main measures of the NT Intervention for another 10 years.

Stronger Futures legislation also extended income management to five new "trial sites" around Australia, including Bankstown in Sydney. But a strong campaign uniting Aboriginal people, community organisations, migrants and trade unions has stopped income management in its tracks. Virtually no one has been placed on compulsory income management in Bankstown.

The Public Service Association (PSA), who represent Child Protection workers have voted to ban income management and have made no referrals. They are refusing to be part of the expansion of the racist NT Intervention

The government is trying to break the ban. New rules mean that from July 2013, compulsory income management will apply automatically to anyone in Bankstown who is under 25 and exiting prison, along with young people who have an 'unable to live at home' status with Centrelink or who are on a 'special benefit' due to homelessness or other circumstances.

If we act now we can stop this happening and defend the rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our community - prisoners and homeless youth.

Justice for Kwementyaye Briscoe

Kwementyaye Briscoe was an Anmatyere man who died in the Alice Springs watch house on January 5, 2012. Briscoe family spokesperson Patricia Morton-Thomas says her nephew was "a victim of the NT Intervention... The NT has become a police state".

While Kwementyaye was intoxicated, police threw him head first into a counter and gave him no medical check. He never regained consciousness after the assault. He was thrown face down on a mattress and died from positional asphyxia. Police played their iPods and checked the internet while he lay dying.

Greg Barnes, President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance has written an opinion saying police could be culpable for manslaughter or 'failure to rescue' charges. 33,000 people have signed an online petition calling for police to be charged. But the DPP are refusing to investigate the case. We need to keep up the fight for Kwementyaye Briscoe and all those who have died in custody.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination falls each year on the anniversary of a massacre of anti-Apartheid protesters. This year it is also Close the Gap day.

Join us for a protest to demand an end to Apartheid-style policies in Australia. The gap can not be closed with racism.

More info call Jean 0449 646 593


Statistics on changes in NT from 2007 - 2012 available from

Closing the Gap in the NT Monitoring Report Jan - June 2012

Productivity Commission report on Government Services 2013



We will have a special meeting on Monday, 29 October 2012

However there will be no meeting on Monday, 5 November 2012.

Instead STICS will be supporting and attending the book launch of 

A Decision to Discriminate:

Aboriginal Disempowerment in the Northern Territory

at gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, Sydney.

Our wonderful STICS member Deni Langman will be - along with Graeme Mundine and Jeff McMullen - launching this highly important book.  We highly encourage everyone to make every effort to support Deni and attend the launch.

For the invitation to the launch: please click here


To mark International Human Rights Day,  STICS will be holding an NT Intervention / Stronger Futures Forum

For the leaflet: please click here

For the poster: please click here

For the poster in colour: please click here


For the poster: please click here (pdf) or here (jpg)



We would like to invite all supporters of the Bankstown Say No To Government Income Management Campaign Coalition to the solidarity contingent STICS has organised to support the PSA's work bans on Income Management.  This will be at the PSA stop work meeting on Monday 8 October which has been called in opposition to the NSW government attacks on the public sector (more information below).

Monday 8 October, Sydney Town Hall, George Street
9am-1030am (before mass meeting)
11am-1230pm (after mass meeting)

This is a great opportunity to tell these courageous workers 'THANK YOU', to boost their morale at a very difficult time, and to help spread the word about what is happening.  We also expect other unionists to attend in solidarity, so it will be a good opportunity to speak to and build solidarity for the bans with other unions as well.

Note that although the PSA ban on Income Management is state-wide in Community Services, workers at three Community Service Centres in the 'trial area' (Bankstown, Lakemba, and Fairfield) are the only ones who are in a position to implement it.  Therefore many PSA members in attendance, including those in Housing, may not be aware of Income Management and the problems with it.

PSA website with more information about the stop work meeting:

ABC article on PSA bans:

Public Service Association (PSA) members in Western Sydney at the Bankstown, Lakemba and Fairfield Community Services Centres (formerly known as DoCS offices) are implementing union bans on participating in income management and any activities relating to its implementation.  Income management is part of the Northern Territory Intervention which is now being rolled out to 5 trial sites across Australia.  It is widely viewed as discriminatory and paternalistic.  The campaign against income management in Bankstown has been lead by the Bankstown Say No Government Income Management Campaign Coalition and supported by the Stop the Intervention Collective and over 65 local organisations, unions and faith groups, and by the NSW ALP.

Due to the courageous actions by workers implementing bans to defend the rights and dignity of their clients, no referrals for Income Management are being made through Child Protection in the Bankstown LGA (and therefore in NSW).  This has crippled the ability of FaHCSIA to implement income management in the way they planned.  Combined with community campaigning and ASU members in community organisations pledging not to participate in the implementation, the result is that two months into the trial very few people in Bankstown have been put on income management.  None are on compulsory income management. 

This success shows that community campaigns and union action can make a difference.  It also deals a real blow to the credibility of the NT Intervention, and to the government’s attempts to extend it to communities across Australia.

Free upcoming Building Bridges 2012 –

with Aunty Daphne & Sue Gillett on

Back to the Future: NT Intervention & Income Management

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 - 7.30 pm



The Jubilee Room, Parramatta Town Hall

182 Church Street Mall

For more information: please click here


Putting Australia to the human rights test:
Allow the Parliamentary Committee on Humans Rights to examine control measures proposed in the Stronger Futures Bill
click here to sign the petition

Please sign the Petition to Stop
Stronger Futures and support Aboriginal self-determination
in the NT: please click here


Stronger Futures and support Aboriginal self-determination in the NT:

please click here


Stop the NT Intervention - Stop the expansion

Rally 12pm June 16th,
Paul Keating Park, Bankstown

For further info: please click here


For the Aboriginal Elders statement: please click here


Stronger Futures Legislation: Weblink highlights - New Video - Petition - NITV Forum: please click here

For a new compilation of info on the Stronger Futures legislation:


STICS bulletin for 2 April 2012 Special Meeting: please click here



Please have your say on the Extension of Key
NT Intervention Measures for another Decade

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for submissions on the legislation that replaces the Emergency Intervention into Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

Main page for
Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2011 and two related bills:

Direct link to view all uploaded submissions

Direct link to view all uploaded hearing info

Current Committee inquiries

For some recent documents: please click here

For the Stronger Futures Submission Guide: please click here

For the document with links to further info about the

New Policies, Aboriginal Elders voices and for Taking Action:

please click here

For a summary of the new laws by Paddy Gibson: please click here

For the December Tracker articles on Stronger Futures: please click here or here (under Media Coverage)

For info about the 2011 NT Consultations: please click here


Stand for Freedom

Feb 28: Parliament House protest against 'Stronger Futures',
new NT Intervention legislation

For the poster, videos, speeches and further info: please click here



Petition to the Attorney General: Stop Stronger Futures and support Aboriginal self-determination in the NT: please click here

Stand for Freedom campaign video: please click here



Stand against Macklin's Decade of Discrimination

- Stop the Second Intervention!

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory legislation currently before parliament would extend the NT Intervention for a further ten years. Explicitly racist laws, which vilify Aboriginal people & culture are being kept or strengthened including:

* "Star Chamber" powers held by the Australian Crime Commission for investigations in Aboriginal communities, including removal of the right to silence.

*Prohibition of consideration of Aboriginal customary law and cultural practice in bail and sentencing. * Blanket bans on alcohol on Aboriginal Land, despite consistent opposition from the Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the NT (APO NT) who have said, "The decision regarding alcohol restrictions should be for relevant residents to make... The principal effect of these widely flouted laws has been to further criminalise and alienate many residents".

* Increases in penalties for possession of alcohol on Aboriginal Land, including 6 months potential jail time for a single can of beer and 18 months for a 6-pack.

* Blanket bans on "sexually explicit or very violent material" on Aboriginal Land. These restrictions serve no purpose other than the perverse stigmatisation of Aboriginal men.

* Continued suspension of the operations of the permit system in communities

* Complete Commonwealth control over regulations in Community Living Areas Proposed amendments to the Social Security Act will see further attacks on the rights of Centrelink recipients. These measures will initially be targeted at NT Aboriginal peoples, but have national implications, especially in areas such as Bankstown where Income Management is being rolled out:

* An expansion of the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) means chronic school attendance problems could see families cut off certain Centrelink payments entirely.

* Staff from any nominated organisation will have the power to order people onto Income Management in the same way that Child Protection agencies currently do.

* Staff from nominated government agencies will be able to pass on information about clients to Centrelink, even if doing so contravenes State or Territory law.

* Income Management will follow you even if you move out of an Income Management area.


For the Income Management petition: please click here


For updates on

Income Management, updates on the 2011 NT Consultations, Walk With Us, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Barbara Shaw's Speaking tour, &
Support for Muckaty, Aboriginal Rights events in Sydney, Nov 11,
please click here


Now is a crucial time to mobilise, with the Parliament considering Stronger Futures legislation which would spread Income Management around the country and extend the NT Intervention for ten years. Don't forget our rally in Canberra on February 28 against this legislation.

To get more info, sign the petition or view a video on Income Management please see or


5 years too long…

Stop the NT Intervention - Stop the expansion

Rally 12pm June 16th,

Paul Keating Park, Bankstown

Not in Bankstown, not in the NT, not anywhere - say NO to government income management

Stop 'Stolen Futures' laws - no to another decade of discrimination


Speakers include:

George Gaymarani Pascoe, Milingimbi, NT
Larissa Behrendt, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning UTS
Rosie Pearson, Yirrkala community, NT
Representatives from the Bankstown Coalition

For the media release: please click here

For the poster: please click here


This rally in Bankstown will mark 5 years since the announcement of the discriminatory NT Intervention. It is also taking place just two days before the government’s new Stronger Futures legislation is set to be debated in the Senate. This legislation will extend key NT Intervention powers for a further 10 years. It will also expand the system of income management - quarantining 50 per cent of Centrelink payments - around Australia, starting with Bankstown and four other “trial sites”.

The persecution of Aboriginal people under the Intervention has had horrendous consequences. Reported rates of attempted suicide and self-harm have more than doubled. Indigenous incarceration has increased by 40 per cent. Large numbers of people are drifting away from their homelands as resources, jobs and opportunity are withdrawn from the bush.

Stronger Futures will keep explicitly racist laws on the books - banning access to alcohol and restricted materials on Aboriginal land, granting police extraordinary powers which apply only to Aboriginal people and denigrating Aboriginal culture and law. Both the Human Rights Commission and visiting UN representatives have consistently rejected the characterisation of these measures as “special measures” under the Racial Discrimination Act.

In July, Centrelink case officers and Child Protection staff will be instructed to place “vulnerable” welfare recipients in Bankstown on compulsory income management. The government also wants community sector organisations to refer people to Centrelink for income management. Between 50% and 70% of welfare payments would be quarantined. The income managed money could be placed on a BasicsCard, which can only be used in certain shops for certain products.

A recent report by the Equality Rights Alliance surveyed 180 women on income management in the NT. It found that 79% wanted to exit the system, 85% had not changed what they buy and 74% felt discriminated against.

Stronger Futures also proposes amendments to the Social Security Act that will see further attacks on the rights of Centrelink recipients. These measures will initially be targeted at NT Aboriginal peoples, but have implications for all poor and marginalised communities across Australia - especially Bankstown and other ‘trial sites’:

- An expansion of the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) means chronic school attendance problems could see families cut off certain Centrelink payments entirely.
- Staff from nominated government agencies will have the power to summarily order people onto Income Management in the same way that Child Protection agencies currently do.
- Staff from nominated government agencies will be able to pass on information about clients to Centrelink, even if doing so contravenes State or Territory law.
- Income Management will follow you even if you move out of an Income Management area.

A major statement calling for immediate withdrawal of Stronger Futures was released by the Yolngu Nations Assembly on May 2. It threatens a boycott of all community and mining lease negotiations and has won widespread support, including from the Catholic Church and the Congress of Australia’s First People’s.

A campaign calling for an end to government income management is also gaining momentum, with a strong campaign in Bankstown voting at a public meeting on May 26 for a community wide boycott of the system - including support for workers who refuse to refer.

Two days before Stronger Futures is debated join this crucial demonstration:
Say NO to a decade of discrimination under 'Stolen Futures' laws - NO to government income management - and YES to self-determination for Aboriginal peoples and proper investment in employment and social services in ALL communities across Australia.

For more information contact Jean on 0449 646 593



No to Income Management

- not in Bankstown, not in the NT, not anywhere!

Tell Bankstown Labor MP Jason Clare (member for Blaxland) we're not going to allow Income Management to be expanded - Demand Clare stand with Bankstown and say NO!

Friday 27th April 12 Noon, 400 Chapel Rd, Bankstown,

On July 1st this year the Federal government plans to expand Income Management (which has been imposed on Aboriginal people in the NT for the past 4 years) into 5 new sites: Bankstown in New South Wales, Logan and Rockhampton in Queensland, Playford in South Australia and Shepparton in Victoria.

Under this "trial", anyone assessed by Centrelink to be "vulnerable to financial crisis" will have 50% of their payment quarantined. Parents and legal guardians referred to Centrelink by child protection authorities (Community Services) will have 70% of their income compulsorily quarantined.

Like under the disastrous NT intervention, Centrelink will issue a ‘BasicsCard' to people who have had their payments quarantined. This card may only be used to purchase priority items eg. food, clothing and utilities from government approved outlets such as: Woolworths, Coles, Target, Kmart, Best and Less and Big W.

The Government estimates that 20,000 people will participate in Income Management in the five locations over the next five years. This is around 1000 persons per location each year.

Income management was first rolled out as part of the racist Intervention in the Northern Territory in 2007. Aboriginal communities have experienced almost 5 years of hardship and shame as a result of this and related policies.

Income Management in the Northern Territory has been widely criticised, both locally and internationally as it stigmatises and humiliates welfare recipients, wastes money on bureaucratic administration and discriminates specifically against Aboriginal people. In the NT, Income Management costs approximately $4,400 per person per year in administration alone. There is no evidence base to support the expansion of the system.

Despite this Jason Clare, member representing Bankstown, in a media statement last year proclaimed - "Income management has already proven effective in trial locations in Perth and the Kimberley in Western Australia, Cape York in Queensland and throughout the Northern Territory." He continued by declaring - "This is designed to make sure that welfare payments are spent in the best interest of children, rather than tobacco, alcohol and gambling."

But Independent research conducted by the Menzies School of Health, Darwin suggests that Income Management has had no beneficial effect on tobacco and cigarette sales, soft drink or fruit and vegetable sales. A recent report by the Equality Rights Alliance surveyed 180 women on income management in the NT. It found that 79% wanted to exit the system, 85% had not changed what they buy and 74% felt discriminated against. A report released by the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) concludes that compulsory income management in the NT has profoundly long-term negative impacts on psychological health, social health and wellbeing and cultural integrity (March 2010).

International research suggests welfare reforms that utilise sanctions such as the Income Management system place additional stresses on families with young children and has the potential to increase family breakdown and child abuse.

Income management has already been found to be an expensive and administration-intensive approach with no evidence to suggest that it delivers outcomes that justify its complexity or cost. The expansion must be stopped and all those on income management in the NT should be given immediate freedom to leave the system.

A strong new coalition has formed in Bankstown. The campaign has initiated a call for a national moratorium on Income Management - demanding immediate amnesty for those already on the system and a halt to plans for expansion. Its founding statement has been endorsed by more than 50 organisations including unions, church and community groups.

Join STICS and Bankstown residents for a speakout at midday on Friday 27th April at the office of Jason Clare - 400 Chapel Rd. Bankstow