Last night we watched the Q & A program on ABC TV.
Monday 29 May, 2017
1967 and Mabo – Moving Forward
and these were the panellists to answer questions:
Noel Pearson comes from the Guugu Yimidhirr community of Hopevale on South Eastern Cape York Peninsula. Noel, as founder of the Cape York Institute for policy and leadership, is one of Australia’s most articulate and charismatic Indigenous leaders.
Since 1999 Noel has campaigned for welfare reform in Indigenous communities. He is the founder of the Cape York Partnership and was instrumental in helping establish Apunipima Health Council, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation and Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships. In 2008 the Welfare Reform Project, driven by the Cape York Institute and Cape York Partnership, was implemented in four pilot communities in Cape York. Noel’s goal is to enable Cape York’s Indigenous people to have the capacity to choose the life they have reason to value by reinstating the rights of Aboriginal people to take responsibility for their lives. Descriptions of these ideas can be found in his monograph Our Right to Take Responsibility as well as his numerous published works.
Noel is Co-Chair of Good to Great Schools Australia (GGSA). Good to Great Schools Australia’s education program was developed by the Cape York Academy for its three primary schools – Aurukun, Coen and Hope Vale and is now supporting 40 schools in rural and remote communities across Australia. It is responsible for delivering significant improvements in literacy and numeracy in these schools.
Noel is a history and law graduate of the University of Sydney. In 1990 he co-founded the Cape York Land Council and was Executive Director until 1996. In 1993 he acted as representative to the traditional owners in the first successful land claim. Following the Mabo decision of the High Court of Australia, he played a key part in negotiations over the Native Title Act 1993 as a member of the Indigenous negotiating team.
Pat Anderson is an Alyawarre woman known nationally and internationally as a powerful advocate with a particular focus on the health of Australia’s First Peoples. She has extensive experience in all aspects of Aboriginal health, including community development, advocacy, policy formation and research ethics.
Pat currently serves as the Chairperson of the Lowitja Institute and as co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council. She has spoken before the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People, has been the CEO of Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and was the Chair of the CRC for Aboriginal Health from 2003 to 2009.
Pat has published many essays, papers and articles, including co-authoring with Rex Wild QC Little Children Are Sacred, a report on the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory.
In 2007 she was awarded the Public Health Association of Australia’s Sidney Sax Public Health Medal in recognition of her achievements. She was awarded the Human Rights Community Individual Award (Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award) in 2012 and the Human Rights Medal in 2016 by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
In 2013 she received an honorary doctorate from Flinders University and in 2017 Edith Cowan University conferred on her a Doctor of Medical Science honoris causa. In 2015, Pat won the public policy category in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards.
Pat Anderson was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2014 for distinguished service to the Indigenous community as a social justice advocate, particularly through promoting improved health, and educational and protection outcomes for children.
Megan Davis is a Cobble Cobble Aboriginal woman who grew up in the North Burnett, in Hervey Bay and Eagleby (Logan City). Megan is UNSW’s first Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, a Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, UNSW and a Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court. Professor Davis is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a member of the NSW Sentencing Council.
Megan is the current Chair and expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which is the peak United Nations body coordinating indigenous issues across the UN system that includes over 200 UN agencies and 195 member states.
Professor Davis has extensive experience as a UN lawyer, participated in the drafting of the UNDRIP text from 1999-2004 and is a former UN Fellow of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. Megan teaches for UNITAR on diplomacy in its Peacemaking and Preventive Diplomacy course in Switzerland and the DTP in Australia.
Professor Davis’ current research is in the area of sentencing laws, violence against Aboriginal women and constitutional design and deliberation. In 2011, Megan was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution and in 2016 was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Referendum Council.
She is the co-author with Prof George Williams of ‘Everything you Need to Know About the Referendum to Recognise Indigenous Australians’ (NewSouth Books) and co-author with Prof Marcia Langton of “It’s Our Country: Indigenous Arguments for Meaningful Arguments for Constitutional Recognition and Reform” (MUP).
Megan is an admitted Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of the A.C.T. although currently not practising.
Megan supports the North Queensland Cowboys and the Queensland Maroons.
Writer and actor Nakkiah Lui is a Gamillario/Torres Strait Islander woman and a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community. She is a co-writer and star of the ABC’s Black Comedy. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company (2013) and was playwright in residence at Belvoir in 2012-14.
In 2012 Nakkiah was the first recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council. The same year she was also the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award, and in 2014 won the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production.
Nakkiah’s previous works include This Heaven, Sovereign Wife, Black Comedy, Blak Cabaret and Kill the Messenger.
Nakkiah has been a featured panellist for the Sydney Writers Festival (2014) and has appeared on The Drum on ABC. She has also appeared on Q&A and wrote a play about it, The Green Room.
Stan Grant, a Wiradjuri man, is one of Australia’s most distinguished journalists and won the 2015 Walkley award for his coverage of Indigenous affairs.
Stan spent 11 years working for CNN where he began in 2001 as an anchor in Hong Kong, before relocating to Beijing as correspondent. Over the past two decades he has covered some of the world’s biggest news events, including the wars in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the release of Nelson Mandela and the troubles in Northern Ireland. He also covered the death of Princess Diana, the hand-over of Hong Kong, conflict in the Middle East and terrorism in South-East Asia.
Before joining CNN, Stan worked in the United Arab Emirates hosting the weekly news program Prism from Abu Dhabi. Stan’s career began as a news presenter with the Macquarie Radio Network. He then joined ABC TV in 1987 as federal political correspondent, then became State political correspondent in NSW.
His television credentials also include SBS and the Seven Network where he presented a variety of current affairs programs. His work in the news industry has been repeatedly recognised with a string of national and international awards. In 1993 he won a Logie for Most Popular Current Affairs Program.
In 2013 he published The Tears of Strangers, a memoir which examined the political and social changes experienced by Indigenous Australians over Stan’s lifetime. His second book, Talking to My Country (2016), grew out of the racial abuse being endured at that time by AFL player Adam Goodes. The book, said Stan, was about ‘shared history and our failure to reconcile.’
Stan joined the ABC in December 2016 as Indigenous Affairs Coverage Editor. He currently presents The Link, a current-affairs program which looks at the background to issues in the news, on ABC TV on Friday nights.