Environmental Justice Australia supports #YesAndMore
Since the first sunrise, First Nations people have cared for Country and Culture.
They’ve nurtured the land and waters, seas and skies. They’ve cared for family, community and ancestors.
They still do.
Today, First Nations communities continue to care for and heal Country and Culture and fight for justice and the future, despite centuries of colonial violence and destruction.
They have the solutions and know best what their communities need. Across generations, they’ve tirelessly advocated for treaties and self determination, truth-telling and land back, ending black deaths in custody and keeping kids on country – and more.
Yet since colonisation, Australia’s laws and policies have inflicted ongoing harm to First Nations people through genocide, dispossession, assimilation and stolen generations. Policies meant to help have perpetuated injustice instead of rectifying it.
And they still do.
It’s time to take decisive action to move forward, together.
Soon, people across Australia will vote in a referendum about enshrining a First Nations Voice to Parliament.
We believe this referendum is an important moment of progress for First Nations communities to persist in their vital pursuit of treaty, self determination, land back and justice.
As an ally organisation, we believe a resounding Yes from non-Aboriginal people across Australia is an important step towards First Nations justice.
If enough of us vote Yes, together we can lay the foundations for transformative policy change.
We can generate momentum towards righting the wrongs of colonisation.
We can shift the goal posts of what’s possible.
That’s why EJA is advocating voting Yes in the referendum – and more.
There is no climate justice without First Nations justice, without solidarity, self determination and unity. Yet the same political culture wars that have impeded climate action for decades are attempting to fuel racism and divide us.
We recognise this referendum is a challenging time for many First Nations people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a wide range of views on what ambitious and transformational change looks like and how best to get there.
But soon, some 17 million people across Australia will vote in this referendum. What happens between now and the end of this year will shape the years to come, and we fear a majority No vote would be a devastating setback for First Nations justice.
That’s why we believe it’s time for people across Australia to stand with First Nations communities. To take decisive steps towards our shared vision for the future. To centre First Nations voices, wisdom and leadership.
To vote yes. And do more.
As well as writing Yes, we encourage people across Australia to do more.
Learn more about what it means to act as an ally for First Nations justice. What solidarity looks like. Why it matters.
Start honest conversations about the hard truths in our past. The genocide. The Frontier Wars. The stolen land and stolen children. The ongoing harm and discrimination.
Find stories of First Nations’ resistance, strength and wisdom. Share them.
Listen. Reflect. Repair. Act.
Doing more for First Nations Justice
NITV is a free-to-air channel, radio and news site made by, for, and about Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people. It champions the stories and experiences of First Nations people. Don’t miss the nightly NITV news, drama night, movie night, natural history documentaries and Bamay birds eye view of some incredible landscapes.
IndigenousX is a 100% Indigenous-owned and operated media, consultancy, and training organisation. It showcases and celebrates Indigenous diversity and upholds Indigenous knowledge, voices and ways of being. A different First Nations person or organisation takes over IndigenousX Twitter every week — follow it to listen and learn.
FRONTIER WAR STORIES
Frontier War Stories is a podcast dedicated to truth-telling about a side of Australia that has been left out of the history books. Each episode, host Boe Spearim speaks with different Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people about research, books and oral histories which document the first 140 years of conflict and resistance after colonisation.
How to be a good Indigenous ally by Yorta Yorta woman, academic, writer and public health consultant, Dr. Summer May Finlay.
Top 10 positive ways non-Indigenous Australians can engage with Indigenous Issues by Yawuru woman Shannan Dodson.
Where do you fit? Tokenistic, ally or accomplice? by Yorta Yorta woman, Dr. Summer May Finlay.
Share our Pride will give you a glimpse if how life looks from and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.
More Australians want to do something to help improve reconciliation but don’t know how on what reconciliation means by ABC News.
AIATSIS’ Map of Indigenous Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia is made up of so many different and distinct groups, each with their own culture, customs, language and laws. Keep this map of Indigenous Australia handy to know whose Country you are on and to learn more about the language, social and nation groups of Aboriginal Australia.
Learn about your local Indigenous community
Wake Up The Snake! Collective wisdom brings nature back to balance | Anne Poelina
Tony Birch, Ghost River (University of Queensland Press, 2015)
Chelsea Watego, Another Day in the Colony (University of Queensland Press, 2021)
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Talking Up to the White Woman (University of Queensland Press, 2000)
Irene Watson Aboriginal Peoples, Colonialism and International Law: Raw Law (Routledge, 2016)
Kevin Gilbert, Because a White Man’ll Never Do It (Angus and Robertson, 1973)
Sean Brennan et al, Treaty (Federation Press, 2005)
Langton et al, Settling with Indigenous People: Modern Treaty and Agreement-Making (Federation Press, 2006)
Prof Megan Davis, ‘Listening but not hearing’ (2015) Griffith Law Review
Australian Earth Laws Alliance, ‘Future Dreaming’
Richard Bell: You Can Go Now – 50 years of First Nations activism in Australia seen through the lens of contemporary Australian Aboriginal artist and provocateur Richard Bell.
In My Blood It Runs – A personal documentary and an essential portrait of Australian youth. Follow Dujuan, an inquisitive young Arrernte/Garrwa boy who speaks three languages, understands his Aboriginal culture and loves his country.
After the Apology – Four grandmothers begin a national movement to tackle the removal of children and the rising number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care after Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generations in 2008.
Water is Life – A documentary about the Aboriginal communities fighting against fracking plans in the NT, learning from First Nations brothers and sisters fighting the same battles in the US.
Incarceration Nation – Australia was founded by the British with one clear purpose – to create a prison colony. We’ve continued to be one ever since. Incarceration Nation lays bare the continued systemic injustice and oppression against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on their own land – and their strength and resistance in the face of it.
We Don’t Need a Map – The Southern Cross is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere. But for Aboriginal people the meaning of this heavenly body is deeply spiritual – a totem that’s woven into the spiritual and practical lives of Aboriginal people.
20 actions for reconciliation
Reconciliation Australia have compiled 20 actions for reconciliation and allyship. Actions include:
- Calling out racism
- Buying from First Nations businesses
- Caring for Country
- Defending Land Rights and Native Title
- Challenging our leaders to take action on justice
Working with us, not for us: strategies for being a better ally to First Nations people
This Conversation article outlines some important strategies for being a good ally with First Nations Peoples and communities — written by Kelly Menzel, a First Nations woman living on Kombumerri Country, and Richard Matthews, a Canadian white male settler living on the lands of the Minjungbal people of the Bundjalung Nation.
At EJA we strive to learn, improve and do more in allyship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
Some of the work we’re currently doing:
- Working with paid First Nations consultants on using our work to support Aboriginal communities
- Cultural awareness, cultural safety and anti-racism training for all staff
- Delivering our Reconciliation Action Plan
- Choosing First Nations businesses as suppliers
- Supporting Seed through workplace giving and as a partner