• Real for UQU Councillor Barclay Mcgain Must Resign
    On Monday, the Gold Coast Young LNP posted a video that has been widely condemned as racist and offensive. The Empower team was shocked and horrified by the statements made in the video, and did not hesitate to condemn them unconditionally. No such condemnation, or comment, has been heard from Barclay's electoral group - Real for UQU. The attitudes promoted by this video and by Barclay are the kind of attitudes that keep racism against people of colour well and truly alive in Australia, and should be met with outrage, not silence. Unfortunately, Barcaly's behaviour in this video mirrors what many students reported witnessing from multiple Real campaigners during the 2019 UQU election: casual racism and discrimination. Empower stood up to this behaviour then, and we will stand up to it now. These beliefs have no place at our university, or in our student union. Barclay Mcgain must resign.
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    Created by Empower Your UQU Picture
  • Stop police brutality of front-line climate defenders.
    I joined Blockade IMARC alongside mob from across the country to stand in solidarity with one another to resist the same mining companies we are fighting on our traditional lands. The cops arrested and roughed me up behind the scenes: “I was snatched by the police when I was standing well back and dragged inside and they purposely slammed my head against walls and doors out of the public view with body cameras turned off.” In the aftermath, Dan Andrews has defended the actions of the police. Many arrestees at Blockade IMARC are now faced with huge legal bills. Please chip in to help a legal defence fund that has been setup to support over 80 arrestees like myself defend ourselves in court: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-activists-arrested-at-mining-conference
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    Created by Tim B & the Blockade IMARC Alliance
  • Stand with Tess
    The proposed redundancy of Tess comes at a time when she is more needed than ever. Recent changes, budget cuts and instability at Nura Gili Centre at the Kensington campus as well as the shockingly low employment of Indigenous (and, further CALD) staff at UNSW marks this as a part of a larger, ongoing issue at an institutional level that needs to be remedied rather than exacerbated. Diverse staff are crucial to not only the education of students but further, to their well-being. Tess remains one of the few staff members that Indigenous, CALD and other marginalised students feel they can turn to and rely on. As well as her role as a mentor, Tess is also professionally and pedagogically a boon to the institution. Her course Aboriginal Art Now has influenced countless students and has led many to pursue further and higher research - academically, curatorially and artistically - in a more considered and critically rigorous way. In addition, Aboriginal Art Now remains one of the few Indigenous art courses available at UNSW Art & Design. She has also been instrumentally involved in a vast number of exhibitions in the Indigenous arts community in the last 30 years. The volumes of academic, artistic and curatorial output of Tess evidences her prolific reach and influence in the arts sector. As Associate Professor David Garneau suggested, her contribution to the arts sector deserves an honorary doctorate. Her removal would constitute a massive loss to the UNSW community, and the wider ripple on effects of this would be unimaginable.
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    Created by Stand With Tess
  • Support the global September 20 Climate Strike
    Climate change is recognised as one of the greatest threats facing us now and into the future. By taking time off school and work together around the world, we're showing our politicians that people everywhere want climate justice and solid commitments from governments to rapidly curb emissions and stop the expansion of fossil fuel projects. We’re striking in solidarity with everyone who’s already being impacted by the climate crisis and everyone who will be impacted if we don’t act now: workers, students, First Nations people, young people, and more. In Australia, the climate strike movement is gaining ever-increasing support from educational institutions and a host of other organisations who recognise the severity of the climate crisis we’re in and the need to act with appropriate urgency, in accordance with the best scientific advice available. Universities, in publicly supporting the right of students and staff to attend the September 20 climate strike, are indeed taking a position that is consistent with the values of academic rigour and scientific integrity held in such high regard by our institutions. The school strikers state on their website: “In Australia, education is viewed as immensely important, and a key way to make a difference in the world. But simply going to school isn’t doing anything about climate change. And it doesn’t seem that our politicians are doing anything, or at least not enough, about climate change either. So, as our contribution to the changes we want to see, we are striking from school.” They, as do we the undersigned students and staff, recognise the need for a rapid transition away from polluting industries, such as coal, oil and gas, and for much stronger political commitments to curbing our emissions and our fossil fuel exports. We call on the University of Adelaide to support students and staff, by providing assurance that we will not be penalised for our attendance at the September 20 Climate Strike.
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    Created by Environment Collective of Students University of Adelaide
  • Town of Victoria Park: Don't Celebrate Dispossession
    The Curtin Student Guild represents a large portion of the people who live and study in the Town of Victoria Park, and we don't believe that the 26th of January is something to celebrate. For many of Australia's First Nations people Australia Day has different names, including Day of Mourning, Invasion Day, and Survival Day: it marks the arrival of the First Fleet in New South Wales and the brutal process of colonisation that ensued. In the words of Nakkiah Lui, the 26th of January is a day in which "we mourn the declaration of Australia as terra nullius (land that belongs to no one) as well as those who have died in massacres, those who were dispossessed of their land and homes, those were denied their humanity, those who were shackled, beaten, sent to prison camps, and made to live in reserves". We recognise that the Town of Victoria Park will not be able to boycott its arranged Australia Day celebrations in 2019, and that choosing not to celebrate the 26th of January in the future will not undo the severe and ongoing injustice and trauma faced by Australia's Indigenous people, but we believe it is an important and simple step in the right direction. Choosing not to engage with a symbol so needlessly disrespectful demonstrates that the Town of Victoria Park recognises Australia's real history and will no longer turn a blind eye to the struggle of its First Nations people. Cody Robinson, Indigenous Department Officer Finlay Nolan, Curtin Student Guild President [This petition has been prepared in conjunction with a formal petition which can be found at reception in the Guild Building, 106F, Curtin University, and will be delivered to the Town of Victoria Park]
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    Created by Curtin Student Guild Picture
  • Cook is a crook!
    For a lot of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, the commemoration of the arrival of the first fleet promotes the highest degree of negativity. The arrival of the first fleet marks the beginning of the oppression of our mob - the continued disadvantage and structural violence perpetrated towards First Nations people began on this day. I am an Aboriginal man whose mob is from the NT, and I am cut up inside whenever I see anything to do with Captain Cook or the First Fleet, because these things represent the suffering that my family have historically faced and continue to face. We do not think this is an appropriate use of tax payers funds, working people earned these funds, including our Mob, and this is a shocking misuse of government money. We want this funding redacted from the government, and you should too! Sign our petition and share with the hashtag #cookisacrook! Like our Facebook page to support our campaign: www.facebook.com/cookisacrook
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    Created by Ethan Taylor, UATSIS National President
  • Sorry means you don't do it again
    • The number of Indigenous children taken from their families has doubled in the decade since the 2008 apology to the Stolen Generations. Less than 35 per cent of these children are placed with their Aboriginal family. • Funding continues to be directed to removing children. There is no serious investment in early intervention that help keep families together, or to meet the unmet needs for housing, employment and other basic services, the root cause of the “neglect” that leads many children to be removed. • Once kids are removed families struggle to get them back, with little support provided and a system biased against return. Current reforms are placing children in foster care until they are 18 years old almost immediately and there is a further push to ease restrictions on adoption.
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    Created by After the Apology
  • Stop the persecution - stand with the Voller family - Freedom and justice for Aboriginal youth
    Dylan Voller suffered horrible torture in NT youth prisons from 11 years of age. Incredibly, he has come out of prison and played an inspiring role advocating for justice and positive alternatives for Aboriginal youth caught in the system. His family, particularly his mother Joanne, and sister Kirra, campaigned prominently for Dylan’s release and have played a continuing, prominent role in the campaign to close youth prisons that has taken place through the NT Royal Commission process. Through all of this, the family has been persecuted by the NT police. They are attacking what the Voller’s represent - resilience and power in the face of extreme state violence and a growing movement for change. On Friday September 29, NT police targeted both Joanne and Dylan for arrest at a peaceful demonstration calling to shut youth prisons and for justice for victims of Aboriginal deaths in custody. This was a provocation that led to further arrests, including of black youth simply participating in the rally. The protesters broke no laws and police were unable to lay criminal charges, instead they issued fines for “disorderly conduct”. This arrest of Dylan is being used by NT Corrections to argue that he has breached his suspended sentence conditions, just three days out from him finishing supervision. He must not be allowed to return to prison as a result of participation in a protest, a basic democratic right. Meanwhile, on three separate occasions over a two week period, large numbers of police have come to Joanne’s house, each time in response to a small fire being used to cook kangaroo tails in the backyard. Joanne has broken no law - this is blatant harassment and intimidation. We the undersigned stand with the Voller family. We call for an end to the persecution of the family by the NT Police and other authorities. We call for all fines resulting from the recent protest to be dropped and for NT Corrections to stop any further action against Dylan. We are extremely concerned that there has been no action taken by the NT government to bring the perpetrators of torture on Aboriginal youth in NT prisons to justice, or make any fundamental changes in the way the system is operating. We will stand with all families suffering as a result of this system and fight for Aboriginal self determination in youth justice issues - build communities not prisons! Supporters can contact the office of NT Justice Minister Natasha Kate Fyles on (08) 8999 6743.
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    Created by shut youth prisons mparntwe
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    Created by Joel O
  • Unite Against Trump- Protest Donald Trump in Australia
    Disgracefully, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has invited US President Donald Trump to visit Australia. This is likely to occur after the APEC summit in PNG in November. Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist, lying billionaire who is trying to drag global politics to the far right. His brand of extreme nationalism, Islamophobia, greed, anti-refugee, anti-immigrant, anti-women, anti-LGBTI, anti-union and anti-environment rhetoric and policies are abhorrent to the majority of the Australian public. The Turnbull government has aligned with Trump's bigoted and militaristic global agenda at every opportunity. We want to see Australia distanced from Trump's values. His values do not represent the interests of most people on the planet or the planet itself. More than ever we need to join together in Australia and across borders to struggle for a world that respects the equal rights and wonderful diversity of humanity, protects our fragile environment and equitably shares the enormous wealth all around us. We call on Malcolm Turnbull to rescind Trump's invitation to Australia and for the parliament to prohibit him from speaking if his visit goes ahead. We pledge that if Trump does visit we will meet him with mass demonstrations to show our opposition to everything his Presidency stands for.
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    Created by Simone McDonnell