Aboriginal politics & media
- House of Representative members Aboriginal people could have if they were represented according to their percentage of Australia's population . Number of Senators: 1.
- Minimum number of Aboriginal candidates in the 2010 Federal election .
- Year it became compulsory for Aboriginal people to vote.
- Northern Territory voter turnout in 1996, assisted by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Electoral Information Service (ATSIEIS) which ensured Aboriginal people were on the electoral roll. 
- Voter turnout in 2010. John Howard had scrapped the ATSIEIS in 1996 after his election .
- Percentage of Australians who think improving Aboriginal living conditions should be a high or very high priority for the government .
- Percentage of surveyed Australians saying that Australian politicians do not know enough about Aboriginal history and culture .
- Percentage of Australians who think Australian politicians have not learned from past successes and failures in Aboriginal policy .
Who owns Australia?
Who owns Australia? Have the colonisers earned their right to stay and exploit the land? Or has Aboriginal ownership never ceased?
Watch and listen to an Aboriginal Elder and what he found during years of research.
National anthem: Advanced, Aboriginal & Fair?
Written in 1878, Australia’s national anthem hasn’t been adapted since.
Should it be updated? And what do Aboriginal people think about it?
Life in a prescribed community: “People have given up”
A previously healthy community slowly sinks into despair and uncertainty under the NT intervention.
The people have given up trying to manage their own community and move away.
Michael Anderson—Interview with an Aboriginal leader
Aboriginal leader Michael Anderson talks about important contemporary issues such as resistance to the invasion, Stolen Generations, walkabout, religious beliefs, spiritual importance of land, artistic expression of the culture, the exploitation of Aboriginal art and many more.
“We will listen carefully”—Australian Prime Minister puts Aboriginal people first
What if Australia’s Prime Minister were to put Aboriginal people first and give them all they need? Read a fictitious letter Aboriginal people would like their Prime Minister to send them.
The letter is also a good summary of problems many Aboriginal Australians face.
Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) - “The Intervention”
In June 2007, the federal government staged a massive intervention in the Northern Territory to “protect Aboriginal children” from sexual abuse.
Without consultation Aboriginal peoples’ lives were heavily regulated, and many felt ashamed and angry.
Despite wide-spread protests the intervention was extended until 2022.
Aboriginal people strike & walk-off at Wave Hill
Protesting for equal wages Aboriginal stockmen walked off Wave Hill pastoral station in the Northern Territory in 1966.
Little did the white station owners know that the strike would become a precursor to land rights legislation almost 10 years later.
1946 Pilbara strike - Australia’s longest strike
Hundreds of Aboriginal pastoral workers left their work for better pay and conditions in May 1946, paralysing sheep stations.
The strike was organised with no phones or radios and lasted until 1949, the longest strike in Australia’s history.
A guide to Australia’s Stolen Generations
Read why Aboriginal children were stolen from their families, where they were taken and what happened to them.
The horrific abuse they suffered in institutions and foster families left thousands traumatised for life.
Media coverage of Aboriginal issues
Media easily skew their reporting of Aboriginal issues towards common stereotypes, making Aboriginal people feel angry.
If journalists cannot find a balanced view they risk prosecution—as columnist Andrew Bolt experienced first-hand.
Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people
The US, Canada and New Zealand have all moved to recognise Aboriginal people in their respective constitutions.
But Australia is still struggling, and politicians are adamant to go beyond symbolic gestures.
Why Aboriginal politics fail
Aboriginal people are tired of politicians unable to address Aboriginal issues.
People are quick at pointing out solutions or spending money, but nothing replaces getting out to communities and listening to people.
There are not many Aboriginal politicians in Australia’s history. Proportionally Australia should have at least 6 Aboriginal federal parliamentarians.
I clearly recollect the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Gough Whitlam, standing before 60 of us Aboriginal people and asking that we tell him what we wanted from his government rather than 'what we think is best for you'. No other Prime Minister had ever made that statement and nobody since, including Kevin Rudd.—Chicka Dixon, Aboriginal activist and humanitarian 
Aboriginal politics resources
In Black Politics Sarah Maddison argues that until Australian governments come to grips with the complexity of Aboriginal politics they will continue to make bad policy with disastrous consequences for Aboriginal people.
Based on original interviews with influential Aboriginal leaders Black Politics seeks to understand why Aboriginal communities find it so difficult to be heard, get support, and organise internally.
Warlpiri Media Association
The Warlpiri Media Association (WMA) is a non-profit community organisation based in Yuendumu, 300kms north-west of Alice Springs, Northern Territory. It is managed by a locally elected Indigenous management committee and also known as PAW Media and Communications. PAW is the abbreviation of the three language groups of that area, Pintupi, Anmatjerre and Warlpiri. WMA provides media services over a 40,000 km² area.
Warlpiri Media employs Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff who create and broadcast local media as well as media for a broader regional and national audience.
WMA’s major area is video, both production and local transmission. In 2001 they launched the now popular PAW radio network, and also offer a music recording studio and the capacity to produce web based projects.
The association has been in business since 1993 and celebrated its 25th birthday in 2008.
One example of their fine video productions is the popular bush comedy Bush Mechanics.
Find more information visit the Warlpiri Media website.
Deadly Sounds - a weekly radio program
Deadly Sounds is a Australia’s only national weekly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music program. It features music, culture, information and sport in a positive magazine format. Deadly Sounds supports a positive healthy lifestyle without too much alcohol and without drugs.
The program features Aboriginal music from around the country, interviews with special guests from the fields of music, sport, film, theatre, dance and community achievement .
It began in 1994 on just 12 stations  and is now broadcast through the community radio network as well as the National Indigenous Radio Service to almost 200 stations across Australia, and to over 70 remote stations. Deadly Sounds broadcasts to every state and territory in Australia.
Ads targeting Aboriginal people
Most media in Australia targets western people. Advertisements for Aboriginal people, however, have to be different should their messages reach them.
During 2011 the Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW ran a seatbelt campaign aimed at changing the behaviour of rural male drivers who forget to buckle up .
While most ads showed white people, a print ad below  targeted Aboriginal people. Note the use of the wavy decoration which incorporates colours typically found in Aboriginal art, and the prominent use of the Aboriginal word “mob” (used to address fellow Aboriginal people).
Like in a James Bond thriller
Stephen Hagan, an Aboriginal academic, tells how he felt when he had to do business at an office for Aboriginal-specific services .
“I had cause to visit a Indigenous-specific office in Brisbane with a relative to speak to a public servant and was appalled to observe the process we had to go through in securing a face-to-face meeting.
We had to press a button on a blank wall - there was no Indigenous art decor to speak of or sitting room to take a seat in - and wait for an anonymous voice to come over the intercom to direct us to another floor where someone observing our movement on a security camera continued to direct us through slowly opening doors.
At the end of a series of manoeuvres that wouldn’t look out of place in a James Bond thriller, we arrived at our destination to be greeted by a non-Indigenous public servant in a most uninviting meeting room.
I shook my head and knew at that instant why Indigenous clients don’t visit these offices…”
Last updated: 30 September 2012 | Out of respect for Aboriginal culture I use Indigenous sources as much as possible.
 'Hopefuls ready to face voters', Koori Mail 482 p.7
 'Election wrap up - it's a worry', Koori Mail 484 p.23
 'Clip Every Trip', advertising.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/clip-every-trip, retrieved 20/11/2011
 'Opinion poll scathing of Government', Koori Mail 459 p.3
 'Time for a shift in attitude', Koori Mail 424 p.21
 '14 years on, program still sounds deadly', Koori Mail 419 p.43