Gomeroi. This is MY truth.


I am a parent of two Aboriginal boys. When they were 12 or so I sat them down and had the talk with them. Not the birds and the bees talk, the interacting with police talk. I am probably not the only parent of black children to have this talk with their children, and nor will I be the last.

This talk consisted of how to behave, not to let the police anatagonise them into anger, call me immediately if they were taken by the police and above all else, not to talk to them without me present.

If you are reading this you may be assuming the police would only be speaking to my children if they have done something wrong. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Because of racial profiling (refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin) my children everyday become targets for police.

I am not over reacting; the statistics of Aboriginal imprisonment rates are a major factor in me telling my children to use the utmost caution around the police. Below are the statistics of young people in prison 2013 – 2014.

It is incredibly hard to look at these charts and not infer racial profiling from the results.

When if you are an Aboriginal person standing in front of a jusdge, you are 12 – 29 percent more likely to receive a custodial sentence than a non Aboriginal person for the exact same offense?

prison stats

As of June 30 There were 9,885 adult prisoners in Australian prisons who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, a 7% increase (620 prisoners) from 30 June 2014 (9,265 prisoners).

Mick Gooda, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, who wrote the foreward on Aboriginal justice issues for an Amnesty International Report has said “”We’ve got cases where a kid in WA got charged with receiving a stolen chocolate frog. Would that happen to a white kid? Probably not,”

He goes on to say “We have high rates of unresolved intergenerational trauma, which has led to disability, alcohol-related disability, brain injury and mental health issues,” he said. “It makes a mockery of our justice system if we incarcerate children who have some sort of cognitive impairment, which we increasingly think is the case”.*

He is right. We need to shift the conversation to why such seemingly mild infractions are treated as criminal, and not for what they are, inter generational trauma being played out on a basic scale. As a country we must begin a conversation about justice reinvestment, where prison is treated as a last resort and not the first.

As it stands, we now have Aboriginals entering prisons with no prior mental health issues or drug addictions but leaving with mental health issues, drug addictions and the stigma of being in prison no matter how small the offence.

Is it any wonder that Aboriginals do not trust the police after looking at the facts? In 1987 there was an inquiry into Aboriginal deaths in custody. 99 cases were examined and not one out of those 99 deaths were ruled as the polices fault. 99.

The commission did however hand down 330 recommendations, which not even a handful have been instituted. One of them is the Custody Notification Service, which is only implemented in NSW and Canberra. It ensures that Aboriginal people have an opportunity to call for legal advice. This service is seriously underfunded and at times relies on assistance from the public.

So before you judge me for instilling distrust in the police, now that you have read my reasons can you honestly say you would not have the same talk with your children if they were Aboriginal?


There are no murdered Aboriginal womens funerals on the news

Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised from domestic violence injuries than women in the rest of the community. Underreporting of domestic violence is much more prevalent among Indigenousl women.

Distrust of police plays a huge factor in this. In a country where Indigenous womens issues are pushed to the back burner to better accommodate white womens problems ad nauseum the prevailing attitude is why bother?

Other reasons why underreporting is an issue include fear of repercussions and consequences, particularly in small, interconnected and isolated communities where anonymity cannot be maintained. Fear and distrust of police, the justice system and other government agencies also play a part. Many Indigenous people experience anxiety when they are compelled to engage with police and welfare agencies. A look at the numbers of children taken from their homes and put into state care puts paid to one of the most extenuating circumstances why violent incidents aren’t reported.

Indigenous women are far more likely to experience violence, and to endure more serious violence than non-Indigenous women. This year alone between 9 – 12% of women who have died as a result of domestic violence have been Indigenous. This number will rise as access to aboriginal services are cut and defunded.

It is a fact that Indigenous people would prefer to interact with other Indigenous people when it comes to issues of a personal nature. This has been proven over and over again. There must be a concentrated push to keep Indigenous services open and funded. If it saves the life of even one Indigenous person, then it is worth it.

In small communities Indigenous women are picking up the slack caused by the disenfranchisement that comes from having important monetary assistance removed. The current conversation Australia is having regarding domestic violence is incredibly important, but this conversation must be expanded to include Indigenous women and the Indigenous women who are at the coalface of this epidemic.

I have said this before and I will say it again, organisations like Joint Destroyer must become more vocal and put more support behind Indigenous womens services. A case in point was last year when police where contemplating charging women who dropped domestic violence charges against their perpetrators. This would have affected Indigenous women in large numbers. Joint Destroyer applied an enormous amount of pressure to have this initiative scrapped and it worked.

Organisations like Joint Destroyer and their ilk must understand the complexities surrounding violence against Indigenous women, from the initial violence right down to the difficulties of reporting, fear of loss of children, consequences within the larger Indigenous community and a very real reluctance to speak to police.

There must be an honest and frank discussion between domestic violence services that cater to Indigenous women and non-Indigenous women. Issues that Indigenous women face are not necessarily the same issues that non- Indigenous women face. A good starting point would be reassurance that when Indigenous women report domestic violence, their children will not be entered into circumstances where they may be taken or put under a childrens services watchlist.

As women we must come together to fight against the stigma that attaches itself to domestic violence. Domestic violence does not discriminate between races, but it must be said that services and assistance does. From reporting assaults to police right down to receiving counselling, there is a difference between how Indigenous and non-Indigenous women are treated. Until all domestic violence reports are treated equally, then this will remain a problem.

You cannot close an Indigenous shelter that caters exclusively to Indigenous women and children and expect them to utilise services that are not geared towards their specific needs. A non-Indigenous woman would more than likely have no qualms speaking to white male police officers, white social workers, they have no underlying fear that their children may be taken, that they will not be charged with some punitive offence, that they will not be treated  fairly and with respect.

Our women are dying, worse still they are dying because of underfunded and cut services. They are dying because of distrust of police who are supposed to be there to protect us. They are dying for fear of entering into a system where their children will be taken from them. But worst of all they are dying because our plight is invisible. So while the white women of Australia hand awards to each other, hold vigils, get granted column after column of newsprint and heart felt pleas delivered by television personalities over ‘their’ fight, our women suffer and die in silence.

Aboriginal War Memorial

Whatever side of the fence you sit on regarding the glorification of war, free speech (until it comes to criticizing ANZACS apparently) and the role of memorialising fallen soldiers who fought for king and country and blah oh my god I can’t even write this shit.

As Australians we’ve been fed the notion of the great ANZACS and their sacrifices from primary school right through to university. Missing from a lot of the whitewashing of this history (yeah I said it) is the fact that thousands of Aboriginal men and women fought and died in not only Australias wars, but wars that are hardly remarked on in the history curriculum of most schools.

These wars were of course, the Frontier wars. Hard fought, bloody, guerrilla warfare that lasted for over a century. But this of course flies in the face of the great myth that this country was settled peacefully. That this country was built on the sheeps back. Not on the backs of my dead ancestors whose bones litter this country in the hundreds of thousands for the simple reason their homes and lands happened to be in the places where apparently sheep had more rights to land than they did.

But I digress, as is my wont, because this is my fucking blog and I don’t care about Oxford commas. As regular readers here (or Twitter followers) know, I occasionally admin for Indigenous X, that pretty awesome rotational curational account that has hosted some of the best Aboriginal minds in the country (yours truly included).

Some of you may or may not know that Indigenous X is also an avenue for Aboriginal projects to get off the ground through fundraising. Since Indigenous X began this service, every project has reached its goal, and in many cases, exceeded it by quite a margin. Which is why I am surprised this fundraiser; to fund the Wirreanda Secondary School War Memorial Project   is nowhere near its target of $5000.

This is an excellent way to introduce the fact that yes, Aboriginal people did fight in wars, and bring to light that many had to lie about their nationality, the deep racism they experienced on returning to their home country and how deeply ingrained systemic and institionalised racism was then, and the ripples of that racism that is still very much present and prevalent in modern Australia. Even if this conversation only happens peripherally, because this funding venture is not delving beyond 1788…..

Any avenue that exposes Australias children to the realities of discrimination and its continued presence, even one through something as simple as advocating for a war memorial can only help generations to come in maybe RECOGNISING this countries history is much longer than 230 odd years.

A few people who inspired me last year

Adam Goodes – Adam was named Australian of the year last year and kept it real from the jump. We may disagree on constitutional recognition, but that in no way mitigates my respect for a seemingly tireless anti racism campaigner. He recently spoke about maybe going into politics. I say yay! He not only talks a lot about fighting racism, he is also passionate about Aboriginal health and ending domestic violence. Adam has taken the platform given to him by receiving the Australian of the year award and used it to express many progressive and informed views about Aboriginal Australia.

Nakkiah Lui, Steven Oliver and the cast of Black Comedy – Black Comedy was gold. I let out some good belly laughs while watching last year. The fact that the show starred a majority of Aboriginal actors was brilliant. The absolute stand out sketch for me was with Nakkiah Lui and Steven Oliver involving a poker machine. The first sketch comedy to star so many Aboriginals in leading roles since 1973 was an unmitigated success and really highlighted the lack of Aboriginal actors on other Australian television shows (excluding Redfern Now and Gods of Wheat Street of course) and I do hope there will be a season 2 later this year.

Anita Heiss – The indefatigueable Anita published the excellent book ‘Tiddas’ (a very touching and heartwarming tome about a group of four friends) campaigned for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (an awesome program that gets books into Aboriginal childrens hands), visited many schools to give talks and workshops and is now currently working on a new book. Anita is making a very real difference to peoples lives for the better, and I cannot wait to get my hands on her upcoming novel!

Kylie Sambo – Kylie is a Hip Hop artist and also fought alongside many other Traditional Owners against, and was successful in preventing a nuclear waste dump on her homelands at Muckaty Station just outside of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.  Kylie also run successful fundraising campaigns to help fight the case and her song ‘Muckaty’ is heartfelt and poignant.

Amy McQuire – Amy, the former editor of Tracker Magazine, who now writes for New Matilda has been an excellent source of information regarding Aboriginal issues. She writes detailed and eloquent pieces that get to the heart of matters. One of the pieces she wrote before Tracker closed was on the Bowraville tragedies, which was sincere, insightful and very moving. I had the opportunity to be on a panel with Amy last year and she speaks just as passionately as she writes. An incredible journalist who will no doubt keep us up to date this year as well.

There are many other people who made differences last year, these five were stand outs for me. They made me think, laugh, learn and marvel at their dedication to their chosen fields and their vast knowledge on all kinds of different subjects. I look forward to being inspired by them this year, just as they inspired me last year.












10 Racist Incidents in Australia 2014

10. Woman goes apeshit on a bus, etceteraaa etcetera.

We all know this story. What is it with racists and buses anyway? Something about public transport really brings out the racist in the racists though.  Although I didnt see her crying on A Current Affair, so is she really rehabilitated? I guess we’ll never know.

At least she got charged.

9. A Muslim woman was violently assaulted in Melbourne

A woman believed to be a Muslim was left shaken and traumatised after she was thrown out of a train in the northern part of Melbourne in a racist attack. The woman’s abuser grabbed her by the hair and neck as her head was bashed several times on the wall of the train’s carriage. The Muslim woman was then pushed off the train when it arrived in Batman Station in Coburg North.

Ken Lay calls it a ‘Prejudice related crime’ seriously dude? She was finally arrested, and quelle horreur she is a serial racist who was involved in a string of incidents on trains in Melbourne.

8. It’s my fucking country, racist on yet another train, etceteraaaaaaaa etcetera

It doesn’t get much uglier than a drunk person spraying around racism at people who just want to get to where they’re going. But, racists have never been among the politer realms of society. This woman thought it would be ok to call people black c**ts, a fellow traveller (and dont you just love it when this happens) wasn’t having any of it.

When the woman states ‘This is my country’ he replies deadpan ‘If this is your country, then I don’t fucking want to be here.’

If anyone sees this guy out and about, give him a high 5. Hell, he deserves 3 million high fives.

She wasn’t charged either.

7. Where a busload of Jewish KIDS cop a spray

A group of drunken youths accused of chanting anti-Semitic abuse at a busload of Jewish primary school students had engaged in an opportunistic attack and had not considered the consequences of their actions, police say. Really? 5 youths between 15 and 17 were arrested and were so drunk they couldn’t be interviewed, In Vino Veritas I say.

6. African Australians being abused over Ebola outbreak – Yes, you read that right.

African Australians were harassed abused and shunned, because of the Ebola epidemic abroad. You cannot make this shit up. I cant even come up with a sarcastic comment about this and the people who took part in this need to be called stupid, repetitively.

5. Number 5’s racist train attack comes to you from Brisbane (Stop hogging the racism Melbourne Gaawd)

The man in this video calls the guard a “n—-r” and a “black c–t” and fells him to “learn some fucking English, cuz this is Australia”.

After the video went viral he took to Facebook and declared his pride in his race. Then he must have had a change of heart, because a few hours later he apologised. Maybe after the cops came?

4. Sydney FC files a racism complaint against a Wanderers player – racism in sport, in Australia?! (Snark)

Crack midfielder Ali Abbas filed a formal complaint after comments made to him in relation to his cultural and religious background. This came after an ‘erase racism’ round of the league. If this sounds familiar, a similar thing happened to Adam Goodes last year.

3. 1 in 10 Australians are racist (Not really an incident, but worth noting on my list)

The University of Western Sydney research shows more than one out of ten of us have racist tendencies. It kind of explains a lot.

2. 3 men arrested after taunting people walking into a Mosque and causing a brawl

Australias version of the KKK, The ADL decided to go visit a Lakemba mosque after the Lindt cafe siege that caused the deaths of 3 people, including the shooter. After the ADL made derogatory remarks to people entering the mosque, a brawl broke out. These people are racists and idiots and dont get a link.

1, Barry Spurr resigns (hurrah)

New Matilda, the online news source broke the news of Barry Spurrs racist emails. I wont repeat what they said here, needless to say they were incredibly offensive. Spurr defended himself by saying the emails were ‘whimsical word play’. He whimsied himself straight out of one of the best jobs in the country. Later sukah!

Sage Advice

Today I got some very good advice from someone I admire a great deal and hold in very high esteem re: my first fiction novel. Her advice was great and I am taking it, which means that I will not be posting any more chapters. Instead tonight I will be writing a short story instead, I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1

I am going to publish a novel I am working on as I write it. I’m about 8 chapters in. All feedback very welcome. I hope you enjoy my first foray into fiction –


The call came over the radio while they were on their way back to the station after a call out on a noise complaint. Strange for a Tuesday night, but not unheard of in the outlying suburbs in one of the capital cities in the country.

It was raining, fat drops that smashed into the windscreen of the police car and spattered in every direction before the wipers could swipe them away. A call for any cars in the vicinity to head towards the 24 hour convenience store on Crystal Street. An armed robbery had just taken place, the clerk was unharmed, two assailants were fleeing south.

Carmel Glover flicked the switch that lit the lights and eased down on the accelerator. She heard Paul take a deep breath next to her. They were five blocks east, she took the next left and was glad it was almost 3am and not a car was moving on the street that would lead them to Crystal Street, the main drag of this part of the world.

She took another left and pulled back off the accelerator. Of course there were cars here, there always were. The street was a hot spot, with nightclubs, sex shops and legal brothels running parallel to each other.

Two cars ahead of her were pulling to the side of the road to let them pass, she gunned the engine and swerved around them, not wanting to lose momentum.

Paul pointed to the right and she saw two men running up ahead. They turned right onto Smith Street and she lost sight of them. By the time they got onto Smith Street there was only one of them still running straight ahead. The other had peeled off, either left or right into one of the many lanes that serviced the businesses on Crystal Street.

He was headed for the large park that sprawled for almost a block and a half, where many of the cities homeless had taken up residence in. Then in a flash he was gone, through the thick trees that lined this side of the park.

She screeched to the curb and they both bounced out of the car running. The rain had turned the grass of the park to something like mulch. It sucked at her boots as she sprinted towards the gap in the trees the assailant had slipped through. Paul was right beside her, his long legs scissoring as he settled into a lope she envied.

Paul got through the treeline first and slowed as he pulled out his metal mag light, shining it back and forth in in the hopes of it catching the fleeing form.

‘There’ he motioned with his arm. The man had taken a path that ran left, towards the underpass that would land him with one of three directions to run.

He was flagging, she could see that right away. They were getting closer, she knew they would catch up to him either before he hit the underpass, or not much after. It turned out it was not much after.

They slowed at the entrance to the underpass. They knew he was armed, it would have been madness to go in blind. But Pauls flashlight showed he was still running and not looking back. His running shoes kicking up water from the puddles that had gathered on the concrete under the overpass.

It was at the moment they reached a silent agreement to keep chasing that man seemed to stagger and slide. One of his feet had found a puddle that was hiding a dinner plate sized shallow hole.

His arms flailing he came to an almost stop. She heard the sound of the snap that kept their guns holstered and Paul had his gun in hand, shouting at the still doubled over body in front of them to stop. With his shoulders set the man pulled himself up into a standing position and turned around slowly, the beam from the light in Pauls hand not holding the gun illuminated his face and Carmels world stopped.

Without a second thought she screamed ‘RUN’. She saw the confusion flicker across his face, and without a sound he turned and started sprinting again. Paul threw her a look of anger and went to start after him but she grabbed the arm of his that was still holding the gun, trying desperately to get purchase and stop him. His coat was slick from the rain and she thought he was going to slip out of her grasp, but at the last moment his jacket pulled, the momentum turning him towards her.

‘No’ she said to him. It seemed to herself that her voice was coming from far away. But it was strong enough to stop Paul. He shone his flashlight into her face. She looked as if she had seen a ghost.


Can any mob who read do a quick Constitutional Recognition poll please, it’s only one question –

Forced Removal of Children must End

Imagine you are at home waiting for your children to get off the school bus and come home, only one day they don’t. You panic and go to the school only to be confronted by Department of Community Services (DOCS) officers who will not only deny you access to your children, but also won’t tell you why. The only thing they will say is that a report has been made.

This very thing has happened to two different local parents this week. They don’t know why their children were taken, where they have been taken or when they will learn of what exactly is going on. In the cases of both families, only the younger children were taken, not the eldest. If claims were made that alleged that their home lives were too unstable to be in, why are the eldest children still with their families?

This is why there was a snap action protest and rally called for the 11th December. A silent, sit down protest, at the local DOCS office. For concerned community, to show their solidarity with the families affected. There was to be a second protest held, but one of the parents became so ill with anxiety and stress that she has been hospitalised.

The comparison must be made to the Lightning Ridge community, who have had similar numbers of children taken from their homes, all since returned. The problem has become so continuous that a group has been formed ‘Grandmothers Against Removals’ A group that advocates on behalf of parents who have had children forcibly removed from their homes.

I have written about the ever present fear of having our children taken and it is the first time I have ever read any comments on any of my writing that have left me visibly shaking. The sheer amount of people who believe that if you have a child removed then it is because you have done something wrong is awe inspiring.

In that piece I didn’t even mention vexatious complaints. Vexatious complaints are simply that, vexatious. Having a blue with a neighbour? A relative? An ex? Well sometimes all they have to do is pick up the phone and manufacture a complaint and bam, you won’t see your child for god knows how long.

I spoke to a friend, who had her children removed. The people they were living with needed to be investigated she said. Another woman told me this as well, a lot of the carers aren’t up to scratch, her children have even told her that they have been hit, but DOCS will always take the side of the carers.  Too many people become carers for the extra money she said, and the conditions the children are in are terrible to say the least. She wasn’t told for almost a month why her children were taken. She smoked pot now and then. That was it. She also believes she was the victim of a vexatious complaint. It was enough she said for her children to be removed and her fight to get them back took almost two years.

Another woman I spoke to said the workers don’t think of the kids, and they can make visitation hard. She was told she was going to get report cards of how her children were going in school and sport, but she doesn’t get anything. There’s a problem with staff turnover, her case manager changes constantly, and she feels as if she is catching the case manager up to date, when it should be the other way around.

I spoke to a local man who has been through something similar. It does something to your heart he said, and your mind. He told me these issues weren’t just womens business, they were everyones business. His chest feels tight from the stress of it all. He wants to start a mens group, for forcibly removed children, where men can discuss how they feel in a culturally appropriate environment.

One thing is for sure, if you are an Aboriginal parent, the chances of your children being forcibly removed from you are 70-80% more likely than a non-Aboriginal parent. The perennial whipping boys/girls of Australian culture, do DOCS staff hold ingrained prejudices when it come to Aboriginal children. Do they believe the racism they were no doubt bought up with, that we are all dirty, unkempt alcoholic drug addicts and thus easier targets?

I call for an investigation into DOCS, it’s mechanisms for vexatious reporting and thorough background checks on all its workers for any traces of racism. I also call for an expose on A Current Affair into how the offices of North Western NSW are run. When so many children seem to be taken from this area, then something within the service is rotten.

Fuck You Nigel

I know this can never be published, but I was so angry when I read that piece on Yahoo news about Nigel Scullion and the disadvantage report, my teeth actually started grinding.

You know what? Fuck you Nigel Scullion.

Now you say it’s ok for Aboriginals to work for as  little as $5 an hour, you say it isn’t discriminatory and doesn’t break the Racial Discrimination Act. You say this, why? Because maybe 5 white people will be working for the same amount of pay, this is slave labour and you fucking know it.

Scullion has declared that more money is not the solution to Indigenous disadvantage. I say fuck you buddy. Because the money your department has allocated to Indigenous services is through NGOs and charities who have no fucking idea what they are getting themselves into and thinking they have all the answers without complete and proper consultation.

How dare you Scullion, sit in your comfortable air conditioned office and decide what services will work best when it comes to crime recidivism, suicide, self harm, violence and alcohol and drug addiction.

Your mind set is one of colonialism personified. You think white people swooping in will change anything? Newsflash, white people have been swooping in for 40 years and things have only deteriorated.

So when you say, and this is a direct fucking quote ‘”One of the things I am absolutely convinced about is this isn’t about more money. We have had enough money thrown at this issue to demonstrate that it is like water off a duck’s back.”

Yes but the money you are apparently throwing around is not finding its way into communities is it? It’s more likely to be found in white consultants pockets than anywhere else. Wake the fuck up.

You want to address Indigenous disadvantage then pave some god damn fucking roads, put on public transport, make it illegal for supermarkets to jack their prices up astronomically, bring back CDEP programs that generate work, fix some god damn fucking houses, ensure there is a steady supply of electricity and clean drinking water, LISTEN to what members of individual communities need and FUCKING provide it.

And I don’t give a flying fuck about how much money it will cost, because by not doing any of these things you and your fucking government are killing us, while mainstream Australia sits idly by and says we fucking deserve it.

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