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Alexis Wright, Author - 4 February 2010


Subject: Your help on the Racial Discrimination Act so we don't stand still


I am writing to you to back the letter sent to you today from Les Malezer. I received advice of your email earlier today and I could not believe that this Government could be so blind and deaf to how most Indigenous people think about the NTER, to expect us to back the suggestions in your email. I felt deeply offended to be asked to do something, because it was as you wrote - 'Your call.' This mess, so accurately described by Les Malezer, was created by the previous and present government. I do not agree to the changes in the Northern Territory Emergency Response of the Australian Government as attached to your email, because of its intent to create further discrimination for our people. The job is to reinstate the RDA. That was the policy I thought the ALP was campaigning on to win government.

I would like to suggest that you place an order with Magabala Publishing for copies of the new edition of Grog War for your Minister, and for everyone in FAHCSIA to read. This is a book I wrote some time ago for the people of Tennant Creek on the subject at the centre of this debate, and the new edition includes an updated essay where I have thought more closely about the benefits of Aboriginal Self Determination and Self Government, which i think, far outweighs oppression by the continuation of the NTER.

Nobody wants to stand still. The time is now for the Australian Government to begin to understand Indigenous rights, and the proper process of treaty negotiations with Aboriginal Nations where we can look at all of our options about our future in a proper, ethical and respectful matter. The Government might want to continue to engage in policy failure, we cannot.

Best Wishes,

Alexis Wright


Reproduced with the kind permission of Alexis Wright.