New scientific research result
If you follow the news you’ll have heard about a mob of scientists from NSW that have just put together a new report about aboriginal people and their use of fire on the landscape, bush and so-on. Apparently the first people in Australia about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity, according to a landmark new research report on the continent’s fire history going back 70,000 years.
Despite a widely held belief that the frequent use of fire by Australian Aboriginal people resulted in vegetation change, spurring growth and other environmental impacts in prehistoric times, the most comprehensive study of Australian charcoal records has found they actually had no major impact on fire regimes.
The arrival of European colonists after 1788, however, resulted in a substantial increase in fire activity, according to the report by an international team of 19 scientists led by palaeontologist Dr Scott Mooney, of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.
On large time scales, overall fire activity in Australia predominantly reflects prevailing climate, with less activity in colder glacial periods and more in the warmer interglacial, the study found.
“Ideas about prehistoric fire continue to influence debates concerning natural resource management, with suggestions that Aboriginal-like fire management – that is, frequent and low- intensity fires – could prevent some of the massive bushfires we have seen in modern times in Australia” says Dr Mooney.
“Yet when we correlate the archeological evidence of increased human activity over the past 40,000 years with the composite charcoal record, we find no fundamental shift that could be associated with the colonization of Australia by Local Aboriginal people. While this may seem contrary to prior studies, it should be remembered that it is only very recently that enough charcoal records have become available at a continental scale to analyze them with robust statistical techniques.”
“Australia includes some of the most fire-prone landscapes on Earth and fire has major impacts on the native flora and fauna, on landscape stability and on the cycling of nutrients through soil and water.”
“Rather than prehistoric people, we found that the major driver of fire activity in Australasia has been shifts between warm and cool climatic periods.”
Australian plants have developed a variety of responses and morphological and reproductive adaptations to fire, including the widespread use of re-sprouting, suggesting that fire has played an important role over evolutionary time scales, the report notes. Many species require regular fire in order to persist, particularly evident in humid but intermittently drought-prone environments where eucalyptus trees dominate the vegetation.
The study was based on an analysis of charcoal records at 223 sites from Australasia, including New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Despite some gaps in place and time, the researchers say these data provide a comprehensive coverage of climate and vegetation types found in the region.
The team notes that the number and geographic distribution of charcoal records for the period between about 60,000 and 28,000 years ago makes Australasia one of the best-documented regions of the world during that time.
The records show that bushfire activity was high from about 70,000 to about 28,000 years ago. It then decreased until about 18,000 years ago, then increased again – a pattern consistent with fire and climate trends globally.
Details Provided by University of New South Wales
Queensland Police Settle:
A solicitor representing the family of Cameron Doomadgee says a settlement with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) has brought a sense of closure following the man’s death in custody in 2004. We all remember our brother Mr Doomadgee? Remember the palm Island riots? He was the young brother that at the age of only 36, died in police custody in the Palm Island police watch house six years ago.
His partner, Tracey Twaddle, filed a joint civil case with other family members against the QPS after Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley was acquitted of his manslaughter in 2007. The acquital sent Palm Island residents into an onslaught of crazed angry payback when they heard, family brothers and even aunties and mothers stormed the police station looking for blood.
Ms Twaddle’s solicitor, Andrew O’Brien, says the family is now finally pleased with the outcome. ”They’re happy that this stage of the process is over and that they can move on with the rest of their lives” he said.
What if roles were reversed?
That sounds a little suspicious still to me? what it sounds like is the police or lawyers have decided that they can still get enior Sergeant Chris Hurley off the hook without sentece by giving the family money. As it always seems to be the case, those in the police force or alike people that have a “Social Status” always get to dupe the law system by getting a lighter sentence. I mean could you imagine if the same happened to a police officer basically bashed to death by a group of us aboriginal mob? We would be basically HUNG AT DAWN!
Anyhow the QPS says the details of the settlement remain confidential, yesterday the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) said it will not recommend further charges against Senior Sergeant Hurley over Mr Doomadgee’s death, after questions were raised during the third coronial inquest. There we go an exact example of what i mentioned earlier in this post, the sentencing seems to have been overlooked for old sarge.
For now i’m glad to hear the family have reached some kind of closure and in someway got something in return, even though it was far from what is exchangeable for someone’s life at-least they got something that they feel adequate for now.
Aboriginal Death in custody: Chris Hurley (left) and Cameron Doomadgee from palm Island (right)
Bridge the gap idea a 2nd chance?
I sometimes wonder who comes up with these great government initiatives when it comes to aboriginal incentives and the “bridge the gap” idea they have. The word alone now starts to get under my skin when i know those behind the initiative have more than likely never even spoken to the aboriginal people themselves, this idea was just some bright spark in head office who is telling us what we want again!
A new program recently released aims to bridge the gap between potential Aboriginal recruits and the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn. Launched by the NSW Police Force and TAFE, the 18-week program aims to give Aborigines a second chance to enter the police academy.
The police force employs 329 Aborigines – 2.3 per cent of its workforce, The Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, wants to almost double that number by 2012 with the help of the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery program.
The director-general of the Education Department, Michael Coutts-Trotter, said Aborigines were over-represented in detention and under-represented in the police force. ”The easiest way to get into the police college is to succeed at school first time around” he said. ”Sadly, many Aboriginal people don’t.”
The full-time program, which was piloted in Dubbo in 2008, will be run next year at training centres in Redfern, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Mount Druitt, Casino, Maitland, Kempsey, Nowra, Wagga Wagga, Broken Hill, Orange and Tamworth. It will offer 180 people literacy and numeracy development, and IT, communication, writing and presentation skills, qualifying them with a TAFE Certificate III in vocation and study pathways.
Brenton Cochrane, 26, of Wee Waa, is five weeks away from graduating from the academy after doing the pilot program.
‘‘It helped you get your foot in the door” he said. ”It helps you to keep your head in study to get where you want to be. Education is the main barrier to getting in.”
What about your family mob?
Although i think the idea is a good one for our youth, what about the families? I say this because many aboriginal people, brothers and sisters of those whom enter the programs will have a feeling of being stabbed in the back. This will come to ahead when the new indigenous recruits have to go into their own family or communities and handle the situations as a mediator, because believe me the police aren’t trying to recruit aboriginal people just out of the kindness of their hearts. I can guarantee they will be the first people on the job in a red-fern incident, get where ‘ going here?
E.G: Can you imagine having to arrest your Mother? Father or alike elder of the community?
If the police want aboriginal recruits to go and help fight the situations in their communities then they should also have looked into an alternative method of punishment, i don’t mean that in lighter sentences i mean this in the fashion of traditional laws, traditional sentences and punishments.
Well for now that’s my 2cents worth, drop an email with your thoughts and feedback as i always love to hear from all you mob out there. Regards
Honestly i cannot F*%&^king believe this? i apologise for my language!! I’ve had enough of this S**T!
Tonight i saw a WHITE Generation.one CEO standing on TV saying “oh we sacked the agency that dealt with her & unfortunately aboriginal people have taken offense to it?”
WTF?? to me it’s a damn given pal, someone probably the WHITE CEO on tv would have said to the advertising agency “Out of the 50 photos you gave us, these 5 are dark enough for the role we are trying to portray“.
They said she’s wasn’t dark enough for the role?
Really underneath their skin they were saying – “She’s NOT BLACK enough” and its pathetic that generation one throws it of on the agency. A generation.one staff member should have been at the castings then, and to top it off they would of had the final word so stand up and face it.
It’s a perfect example of what aboriginalaus.com stands for, why white people running aboriginal business, causes and alike doesn’t work. You can’t and never will know what we are feeling, what we’ve been through, what anger we feel, what its like to be aboriginal people everyday.
As we at aboriginal australia online say we run our own businesses, we run our own causes. Aboriginal people can and should work with ourselves, end of story!
Hear these radio interview clips
- Audio: Extended interview: Tarran Betterridge speaks with Hack reporter John Barrington (ABC News)
- Audio: Extended interview: Tim Gartrell speaks with 666 presenter Ross Solly. (ABC News)
- Related Link: Unleashed: I am a Wiradjuri woman … but too white to work
Now listen to Generation One back pedal
Indigenous advocacy group Generation One has apologized to an Aboriginal woman who says her job application was turned down because her skin was not dark enough.
Tarran Betterridge told triple J’s Hack that she applied for a job handing out pamphlets for the organization, but was told by ACT recruiting firm Epic Promotions that she did not look Indigenous enough for the role. Generation One was launched this year with the aim of ending Indigenous disadvantage. Chief executive Tim Gartrell says Generation One has severed ties with Epic Promotions.
“It’s not just embarrassing. It’s been hurtful to Tarran. It goes totally against what Generation One is all about. We were shocked and appalled when we heard this” he said. “Epic Promotions will no longer provide any services to us.”
Mr Gartrell says Generation One gave no directive for recruitment firms to hire people with Indigenous appearance.
“It’s correct that we asked for people of Indigenous heritage to work for us and with us. We have Indigenous people on our permanent staff. We encourage Indigenous people to be on our casual staff. We encourage companies who are doing recruitment activity to hire Indigenous staff” he said.
“That’s what Generation One is all about. We’re about Indigenous and non-Indigenous people coming together to end the disparity. “At no point did we issue directives asking for Indigenous people who look Indigenous, that is offensive. That is totally against what we stand for and we would not do that.”
Ms Betterridge says she felt the organization discriminated against her.
“I just think it’s unbelievable. I think the first thing we need to do before closing the gap is understand who Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are in this country” she said.
“I think before we can close the gap we need to understand that, because it’s obviously a major issue with people understanding … what we look like.” She says the organization needs to recognize disadvantage for all Indigenous Australians.
“Closing the gap within one generation seems like a perfect ideal, it’s what we need in this country, but after being told about the color of my skin, I just feel that maybe it’s a corporation that’s looking to close the gap for those that look Indigenous” she said.
“It’s not really looking at the broader perspective that Aboriginal people in Australia don’t necessarily look Aboriginal.”
Mr Gartrell has apologized to the University of Canberra student. “I unreservedly apologise to Tarran about what’s gone on” he said. “We’d be more than happy to talk to her about opportunity. Tarran is a great young person. She’s an Indigenous success story. We’re just really sad and disappointed that it’s come to this.”
Our last words?
I think Mr Gartrell is sad that he’s just dropped the cat out of the bag, it’s hard to be a successful business when ya just made an enemy of every single aboriginal person whom your apparently running the cause for?
I read the ABC website alot and recent read an article which i had overlook for almost 12 months, the interesting story is one about aboriginal war veterans Or atleast one of them.
You see my father used to tell me many stories about our ancestors, losts of those stories also contained stories about our grandfather and uncles that had what dad called “TERRORS” from the war. For many years aboriginal people including our war veterans have been shunned to the back and told to shut up so its good to see these sorts of information coming to light.
One particular story my dad spoke about was an uncle who’s name i will leave out who used to drink alot at the pubs, after a few beers out would come uncles stories about his travels in the war. These stories continued deep into the night, but one too many beers later and “THE TERRORS” would start. Uncle used to hear the bombs landing and also the yelling and screaming of i guess his friends Or maybe the enemy.
These “TERRORS” lead to uncle jumping or wrestling the nearest person to him to the ground and yelling “LOOK OUT”, or “SHUT UP THEY’LL HEAR YOU”.
The moral of the story is like so many aussie veterans, aboriginal veterans had terrible trauma after the wars and from what i know both colors had nowhere to turn once they got home. What a disgrace on our governments behalf? The good of this post is below, please read it it’s a lovely story about our ancestors and their heroic job of tunnelers.
Last year a grainy photo of an Aboriginal soldier who fought in World War I was published on ABC Online and in newspapers in a bid by a group of filmmakers to learn the man’s identity. All the filmmakers knew was that he was one of around 5,000 tunnellers who spent the war laying mines under German trenches on the Western Front.
The mines were detonated to blow up the trenches overhead and create breaches in the front line which could then be exploited by conventional infantry attacks.
Now, for the first time, the Aboriginal soldier can be identified as Herbert Murray. Ross Thomas, who is involved in the Beneath Hill 60 film project, originally found the 1917 snapshot. It depicts seven men in slouch hats before they are sent into the tunnels, but does not name them.
“It’s been haunting me for a number of years” Mr Thomas said.
Now an amateur historian in Canberra has found another photo of the same soldier that does have a name. ”The match is nigh on perfect and quite emotional to see that match” Mr Thomas said.
Sapper Murray, from Victoria, may have been the only tunneller out of the 500 or so Aboriginal men who fought in World War I. Sapper Murray would have spent the war in cramped and perilous conditions underground, trying to break the deadlock on the Western Front. Historian Jonathan King says Australian tunnellers’ war efforts have been largely overlooked in favour of the men who fought in the trenches. ”They were the heroes because they were above ground and were easy to see” Mr King said.
“The tunnellers were under the ground. Nobody quite realised what they were doing.“ The Australian War Memorial has tunnellers’ unit diaries, but there is little else to mark their contribution to the war. Mr Thomas says the tunnellers have largely been forgotten because of a political and military amnesia at the time.
“It was the ungentleman-like way of fighting,” he said. ”This whole concept of tunnelling below the enemy lines and placing a charge wasn’t the honourable way of killing.“ Dr Peter Pederson, senior historian at the Australian War Memorial, says in proportion to the army as a whole, tunnellers represent a very small element.
“Their work naturally was accompanied by very high security; the fewer people who knew about it the better and it just didn’t have the dash or the impact that a big attack above ground would have,” Dr Pederson said.
“But most of the mine craters, the big mine craters, are still there. They’re an evocative reminder of what happened.”
-Adapted from story read from ABC website
9th World Indigenous Women and Wellness Conference:
The Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation will proudly host the 9th World Indigenous Women and Wellness Conference from Sunday 22nd August to Wednesday 25 August, 2010.
We welcome all people who are interested in or concerned with Indigenous women and wellness to get involved in the conference. We particularly encourage the participation of Indigenous women. Its inspiring to see aboriginal communities like this mob doing real on the ground work to innovate culture, im all for community, promotion and teaching our cultures to the public and children. The conference has some great themes along the lines thier words here:
To achieve our goal, we have five interconnected themes for paper and poster presentations by academics, practitioners, leaders and elders. These are:
Managing alcohol and drugs; Housing for health and wellbeing; Caring for country; Arts and culture; Homelessness; Relating to other cultural groups; Overcoming trauma.
Community connections; Engaging youth; Positive parenting; The role of the contemporary Indigenous man, woman and elder; Respecting elders; Violence and relationships; Leadership; Community concepts.
Traditional healing and health
Traditional healers and bush tukka; Belief systems; The role of Western medicine; Mental health.
Law and Justice
Sovereign rights; Political rights and self determination; Traditional and mainstream law working together;Incarceration and recidivism; Human rights; Displacement and migration; Interventions
Education, training and enterprise
Educating mainstream; Bilingual learning; Economic independence; Good education; Working for family/community.
If your interested in the conference or attending then head over to their website and get the full details, conference bookings, co-ordinator and program details are all there. Enjoy