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MEDIA ALERT- Press conference and forum this Sunday

MARCH 20, 2009 - MEDIA ALERT- Press conference and forum this Sunday


Racism and the NT Intervention:

Call for Racial Discrimination Act to be reinstated

This Sunday, March 22 at 3pm, a forum sponsored by Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning (UTS) will be held in the Guthrie Lecture Theatre at the University of Technology (UTS), Sydney.

The forum is timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Eva Cox from Women for Wik will chair the event and speakers will include:

  • Irene Fisher- CEO Sunrise Health Service, Katherine NT
  • Valerie Martin, Yuendumu Community, NT
  • David Cooper- Director of ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) Australia
  • Geoff Scott- NSW Aboriginal Land Council
  • Liv Nigro- Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney

A statement has been provided by Clare Martin, CEO of ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Services) and former Chief Minister of the NT, who is now unable to attend due to family reasons.

Irene Fisher, a Jawoyn woman and CEO of the Sunrise Health Service in Katherine will speak about the deterioration in the health of her local community since the Intervention began 18 months ago:

"We are seeing increasing anaemia rates in children. There has been an increase in late presentation for young women in the third trimester of pregnancy", said Ms Fisher.

"The Labor government needs to invest in capacity building. Enormous amounts of money have been wasted through this Intervention. Layers of expensive bureaucracy have developed. They will never be able to deliver for remote communities in this way - it just doesn't work".

Liv Nigro, from the Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS) stated "despite promises, the Rudd government can not possibly reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act while they retain commitment to an openly discriminatory Intervention. They are now expanding Intervention style policies, demanding acquisition of Aboriginal land in exchange for basic housing rights, across Australia".

"This forum will hear community speakers from the NT joined by a growing chorus of voices calling for an immediate end to this racist, damaging approach to Aboriginal affairs" concluded Ms Nigro.

Speaker contacts:
Irene Fisher 0427 711 068
Liv Nigro 0401 955 405



A press conference will be held in the Guthrie Lecture Theatre prior to the forum, with presentations from the NT representatives and opportunity to ask questions of all speakers.

Larissa Berendt, Director of Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning and George Newhouse, Human Rights lawyer will also be present at the press gathering.

Media Contact: Natalie Wasley 0429 900 774