Inquest begins into 2015 June death in custody

National Indigenous Times, 22 Feb 2021: On Monday 22nd February, an inquest into the 2015 death in custody of 25 year old Wonnarua man Danny Whitton began, with both the family and Aboriginal Legal Service demanding justice for the young man.

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More consultation needed for COVID-19 vaccination take up remote Indigenous communities

ABC News, Feb 25 2021: COVID-19 vaccination rollout in remote Indigenous communities may fail unless more consultation is sought. "One of the issues for generations of Aboriginal people is being forced to do things that they haven't clearly understood what is happening and the consequences of those actions being taken," says Aunty Bilawara Lee

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Guilty conviction for police officer overturned after assault on Indigenous teen

NITV 17 Feb 2021: A New South Wales police officer who picked up and flung an Indigenous teen into a cell door at the Goulburn police station, has successfully appealed an assault conviction and $3500 fine in court.

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Politics & Governance

Indigenous leaders call for Royal Commission into Aboriginal corporations sector

National Indigenous Times, 22 Feb 2021: Senior First Nations leaders across Australia are calling for the Federal Government to launch a Royal Commission into Indigenous corporations and statutory bodies after the 2020 review of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 was released. First Nations leaders are calling for a sector which involves rigorous consultation between communities and government, traditional land management practices and a better balance of corporate governance.

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Hotly contested Kimberley elections

National Indigenous Times, 17 Feb 2021: The Seat of Kimberley is set to be hotly contested at the upcoming March election, with a record number of Aboriginal candidates in the running for the 2.5 million square kilometre seat. The seat has been held by a First Nations person since 1980, when Ernie Bridge took the seat from Liberal incumbent Keith Ridge and became the State’s first First Nations member of Parliament.

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First Nations voices restricted by Facebook

IndigenousX 19 Feb 2021: First Nations Media Australia called for the immediate reinstatement of the organisations Facebook page as it was blocked overnight in response to the Government’s proposed Mandatory News Bargaining Code. “The silencing of sovereign voices in this way is unacceptable and inconsistent with Facebook’s messaging in celebration of Black History Month and the platform’s mission to empower people to build community.”

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Arts & Culture

Balanggarra rock art dates back 17,000 years

NITV, 23 Feb 2021: Australia's oldest known rock shelter painting on Balanggarra country in the northeast Kimberley has been dated at 17,000-years old in a finding that may unlock greater understanding of Indigenous cultural history.

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Noongar stories at Perth Festival

The Monthly, Feb 2021: Perth Festival are championing First Nations culture in their annual celebration of art, music and literature. From a walking performance on country to a Noongar-dubbed Bruce Lee film, First Nations culture is a prominent feature of 2021 programming.

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Important Indigenous cultural artefacts returned to Australia

ABC News, 24 Feb 2021: Almost 2000 Indigenous stone artefacts have been repatriated after spending decades in an Israeli museum.

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Aboriginal rock shelter in Pilbara damaged after BHP promised not to disturb heritage sites

The Guardian, 23 Feb 2021: The site, a culturally significant rock shelter, was reportedly damaged by a rockfall in late January. It is one of several Banjima sites located in and around BHP’s mining area C near its $4.5bn South Flank iron ore mining operation.

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Continued damage to heritage sites shows need for stronger protections

NITV, 26 Feb 2021: The Kimberley Land Council is asking the Western Australia government to strengthen the heritage protection laws in the state, following damage to two significant sites this week.

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Water injustice: handing control back to First Nations people

NITV, 17 Feb 2021: A Productivity Commission report into national water policy released last week acknowledged the demands of First Nations, noting “Traditional Owners aspire to much greater access to, and control over, water resources”. The commission suggested a suite of policy reforms. While the recommendations go further than previous official reports, they show a lack of ambition and would ensure water justice continues to be denied to First Nations.

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