Aboriginal people have never ceded their Sovereignty, but have experienced genocide and continue to the suffer the effects of dispossession. While the gap is closing between the wider Victorian society and Aboriginal communities in high school completion, kindergarten participation and decreasing infant mortality, Aboriginal people continue to suffer the effects of colonisation through discrimination, high rates of incarceration, poor health outcomes, high unemployment rates and family violence to list some of the main issues facing Aboriginal people living in Victoria. Lidia Thorpe, Victoria’s first female Aboriginal Member of Parliament, has been sworn in and made her maiden speech. She has vowed to continue fighting for Aboriginal rights and equality as the Green’s newest MP in Victoria. Ms Thorpe won the Melbourne seat of Northcote in a by-election following the sad death of Fiona Richardson. Read more in Adam Carey’s story published by The Age on 29 November 2017 at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/first-aboriginal-woman-mp-lidia-thorpe-speaks-of-genocide-lingering-disadvantage-20171129-gzv2ms.html
Thorpe declares that she will ‘fight for’ and never sell out’ those who feel they are not being counted. Read more in Calla Wahlquist’s story in The Guardian, 29 November 2017 at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/29/lidia-thorpe-finds-her-voice-the-first-indigenous-woman-to-do-so-in-victorian-parliament
Dozens of people have contacted the Australian Electoral Commission seeking to change the name of the Federal electorate of McMillan. The electorate, in eastern Victoria, is named after Angus McMillan, dubbed ‘the Butcher of Gippsland’ for his role in the massacre of Aboriginal people in the 1800s. The ABC Gippsland reported the story about the moves to change the name of the electorate on 24 November, 2017 at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-24/aec-conciders-mcmillan-name-change/9183272 McMillan’s activities in colonial Gippsland have been the subject of historical research and a notable book, Thicker Than Water, History, secrets and guilt: A Memoir, Fourth Estate, 2016, by his great-great-great niece, Cal Flyn.
Activist Lidia Thorpe is the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the Victorian Parliament and the Greens newest MP. Read more about the story of her road to becoming the MP for the Melbourne seat of Northcote in Adam Carey’s story in The Age on 20 November 2017 at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/new-greens-mp-lidia-thorpes-long-road-from-nowa-nowa-to-northcote-20171119-gzodm6.html
Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa [Country and Culture will be protected by spears] is a work by 19 artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands in South Australia. The huge painting is permanently on display at the Australian War Memorial. Read more about the opening ceremony on 16 November 2017 in Karen Hardy’s story at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/australian-war-memorial-artwork-speaks-to-country-and-culture-20171116-gzmljr.html