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1. Editorial 2. Director’s Welcome Message - Professor N M Nakata (B.Ed.Hons.PhD) 3. Our Royal Connections - Jeremy Heathcote 4. Our Students The Gili - Jen Westbury NUS - Bridget Cama 5. Our Staff - Tahnee Dotti 6. Our Artists Kindred Artists - Teena McCarthy and Ricky Maynard 7. Our Research Inner Insights - Michael Doyle Professor Nakata’s ARC project 8. Our Publications Everything you Need to Know About the Referendum to Recognise Indigenous Australians



Megan Davis and George Williams Rosa, Faith, On the Buses – then and now. - Tim Harcourt About Us - About UNSW - About Nura Gili - About Balnaves Place –Home of Nura Gili


Week one of teaching at UNSW Australia is underway and here at Nura Gili we are all feeling reenergised with the influx of all our students embracing each other, their studies, their Nura Gili family. Already our first year students who attended Ngurra: Nura Gili’s orientation program a fortnight ago, are settling into their first week of lectures having experienced the joys of their first O Week! Recently our Director Professor Nakata welcomed the new President and Vice-Chancellor here at UNSW Australia, Professor Ian Jacobs to Nura Gili, where he had the opportunity to meet and have lunch with many of UNSW Indigenous academic and professional staff- both from here at Nura Gili and across our UNSW Faculties. It is testament to many, much talent, hard work, tenacity and self-determination, how often we come across the breadth and prolific success of our Nura Gili Family: Recently our Alum – Filmmaker Yale MacGillivray was featured in the Guardian having taken the mantle for a week as Indigenous X enjoy her interview here: Meanwhile Yale’s sister Peta, another Alum and also UNSW researcher and lecturer was welcomed officially to the Bar as a Solicitor. Another Alumni Linda Kennedy launched her Blog – Future Blak: decolonising design in Australia’s Built environment to much success as those who are fellow tweeters can attest: . And Alum George Brown who was recently featured in the Australian:

Our current students continue to contribute much in their fields such as in the latest Indigenous Law Bulletin with discerning and thought provoking articles written by Jason O’Neil and Jessica Kitch: Rianna Tatana who’s commenced in our new Honours Program can take pride in her recent article here: As can Bridget Cama with her recent article; Many of you will have also seen the profile of Teela May on our UNSW website: May the stories which follow in our first issue for 2015 equally inspire you and heartfelt thanks to all. Rebecca Harcourt


Each year it is a pleasure to welcome UNSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students on behalf of all Nura Gili staff. Congratulations to all commencing students and continuing students for last year’s efforts. But first, let’s not forget the congratulations due to all our graduating students from 2014, which included a record number of 6 Indigenous medical graduates. You are all champions and you have done your families and community proud. You did the hard slog and we all wish you the very best in your future careers and hope you keep in touch. You join the growing Indigenous Alumni of UNSW and I hope membership of the alumni helps you to keep in touch with each other and with past and future graduates. On behalf of Nura Gili staff, I extend a warm welcome to our commencing students. You have all earned your place here. We are proud and excited for you and your families. We already know many of you through your participation in UNSW Indigenous Winter School, Pre-programs and/or our UNSW Indigenous Admissions scheme. I am also pleased to report that for the second year in a row a large number of students have come in through the Direct Entry process, and 10 of these students have received ATAR scores above 90. These students symbolise a generational shift in Indigenous education that means much to me and those like me who were unable to complete secondary school. The secondary school achievements of these students do not in any way diminish the efforts, determination or capacity of any of our other students to succeed. But what high achieving school leavers do mean to the older generation is the hope that one day we will indeed see all Indigenous students receiving a primary and secondary education that provides smooth pathways to higher education and/or real employment opportunities. So I want to extend our welcome to all of you to the start of the 2015 academic year, and I encourage you all to come and visit us and use the services of Nura Gili. UNSW is one of the Group of Eight universities in Australia and, as you have all discovered, entry into programs here is not an easy or guaranteed process. Academic standards and expectations are high and this means the degree you complete will be a competitive one in the employment marketplace. It is important to me and Nura Gili staff that you leave UNSW as graduates with the world open to you and that your degrees are second to none, whether you choose to work in places like Papunya, Dubbo, Sydney or New York. Knowledge and skills are important but even more important is the ability to push away at the boundaries of our understanding. This is particularly important for those of you who want to work in or for your community. All knowledge has its limits. University provides you with an opportunity to think about how you 4

think and come to understand the world. It gives you an opportunity to understand how others think about the world. It gives you an appreciation of how human thought and knowledge is not fixed but always subject to revision and transformation. I encourage you all to be intellectually curious and questioning. As new students you need only look at the efforts of our continuing students for inspiration to persist and succeed in your studies. I am very happy to report that for the last two years, the retention rate of UNSW Indigenous students is almost on par with other UNSW students. We can strike that ‘gap’ off the list because your efforts have closed it. I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of our continuing students because I know that many of you have had to overcome personal and academic challenges to persist and succeed. Your successes are a reflection of hard work and personal determination and the commitment of Faculty staff, College staff, Nura Gili support staff, and ITAS tutors. Despite a record number of graduations and a downward turn in the numbers of commencing students for 2015, Indigenous student numbers overall have not decreased at all. This is because our continuing students have done so well and are making excellent progress through their degrees. Congratulations everyone – students and staff - for your efforts. For the new and commencing students, your path to success will have its challenges. University study is hard work. It requires working out what you are meant to do and how to do it. It requires a consistency of effort, sustained over time. It is quite normal to be overwhelmed in the beginning, to feel lost, lonely and anxious, to have difficulty making friends in your courses, to sometimes not understand lectures at all, to panic at the first assessment requirement, to shed tears when you don’t do as well as you wanted to, to feel that you want to give up and walk away when things go wrong. Almost all students experience such feelings in the early stages but these experiences and feelings can occur at any time during your degree. It is also common to have unexpected upsets brought on by accommodation troubles, or travel, work, money, family or health issues. These issues can quickly impact on your ability to attend lectures or study well. Nura Gili exists to help you find your way through all these challenges. Nura Gili provides you with personal and learning support and a safe place to come and study, meet people, or just relax for a while between lectures. Study facilities are open 24/7. Our services are available to all Indigenous students in all year levels, including postgraduates. I cannot urge you strongly enough to make use of our services. Continuing students will tell you what a difference help from Nura Gili can make. The student support staff are very used to dealing with both practical and sensitive issues and are very professional. No issue is too big, too small, too serious or too trivial for our staff, so please do not be shy.


If I have one piece of advice it is this. Come as soon as you begin to experience some difficulty or anxiety. The earlier we can help, the easier your path ahead will be. Nura Gili also employs a number of learning support staff to assist you with learning challenges. Their task is to ensure that you get the academic help you need when you need it so you enjoy success and avoid failure. You can come and ask for help at any time. However, Nura Gili staff also work to be pro-active in identifying your learning needs before Semester commences, by using information collected during your selection process. When staff contact you to see how you are going, please respond to their messages and acknowledge if you are struggling a little or a lot. Early intervention and making use of Nura Gili and ITAS tutors can mean the difference between passing and failing, as well as the difference between passing and getting credits and distinctions. We encourage all students to make the most of ITAS tutors, even top entry students if they can benefit from it when faced with a challenging subject.

Each year, I emphasise to new students that Nura Gili operates on the ethos of family. We are all family. This means we look out for each other. It means our friendship groups are always ready to expand rather than exclude people, so please reach out to anyone looking lonely or lost. Respect for others is an important Nura Gili value, so while we encourage you to socialise and have a bit of fun, be mindful of those around you trying to study or reach a deadline. Be respectful towards Faculty, College, and Nura Gili staff, who all work very hard. It goes without saying that you must adhere to academic integrity rules and respect the person and property of all UNSW students and staff and all UNSW rules, including in residential colleges. Our continuing students are a great example for you to follow. The tidiness of the student spaces continues to amaze me. The politeness and friendliness of students is a credit to you all. Nura Gili’s family ethos also means accepting the full diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identities. At Nura Gili we support the many varied expressions of what it means to be Indigenous today and we respect the different historical experiences of colonisation that have given rise to these identities. Our family ethos also extends to Indigenous Studies students who have access to Nura Gili and our postgraduate research students who also


have facilities in Nura Gili. You are also welcome to bring visitors or to study at Nura Gili with friends from your courses, provided there is room. We also always enjoy meeting parents and family members so they are most welcome at any time. In this spirit, please continue our tradition to make all students and visitors feel welcome. Each year I also stress upon new and continuing students the importance of acknowledging our sponsors. Large ongoing donations, such as those by the Balnaves Foundation, who provided the funds for our premises and support a large number of scholarships, or the donorseeking efforts of the UNSW Foundation and UNSW residential colleges, make it much easier for Nura Gili and UNSW to provide quality study conditions for you. Whether donors provide big or small scholarships, they do so because they are committed to making a difference to Indigenous lives and futures. Some donations come from people who make sacrifices in their own lives or families in order to give to you. In all cases, setting up and managing scholarships takes time and effort on the part of donors, Nura Gili and the university. If you have been granted a scholarship make sure you write and thank your sponsor. Donors are interested in your progress and your enjoyment of the university experience. They celebrate your successes by continuing to support incoming students. Once again I would like to take the opportunity to publicly thank all Nura Gili staff for the roles you play in ensuring the success of our students and our Indigenous Studies programs. The demands of your roles are relentless but it is you that make the difference to students. It is your effort that enables students to succeed in their efforts. As you and our students have demonstrated in the case of retention, ‘closing the gap’ in higher education outcomes is not rocket science. It is about understanding the challenges students face. It is about strategic planning to support them and the hard work of learning as we go. You are making a real difference. So once again, congratulations to all students. Get organised and have a good year. We are all proud of you and we are all here for you. In the Nura Gili family, no one is alone. There is no need to ever suffer in silence. Professor N M Nakata (B.Ed.Hons.PhD)


On Wednesday 25 February, as part of an official visit to Sydney, their Majesties the King and Queen of Norway visited visit Redfern. King Harald and Queen Sonja had specifically asked to have the opportunity to meet with members of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In his role as Deputy Chairperson of Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group Jeremy Heathcote was invited to bring along some members from Nura Gili. Accompanying Jeremy from Nura Gili were Scott Parlett, Scott Hobday and John Carr who had the privilege to meet the King and Queen and the Australian Ambassador to Denmark, Norway and Iceland, Damian Miller who is also a proud Indigenous Alumni from UNSW.


Hopefully by now most of you know me. I’ve been here for three years now studying Arts/Law with an Indigenous studies major. I’ll be here for another two years, so if you haven’t met me yet, this little spiel about me might be the ticket to our acquaintance. Also, a massive welcome to all the new students we have joining our family this year. I really look forward to getting to know you all better. I am a Wiradjuri woman. raised and educated in Sydney. While I’ve spent much time in various NSW country towns, last year was the first time I’d ever left NSW. When I graduate I plan on working in a community legal centre, specialising in Indigenous issues. I’m always around Nura Gili, or as I call it ‘The Gill’. I work as an ITAS tutor, which I really enjoy doing; being a tutor means I’m paid to help my peers learn. Having been in the position of my students, and having received tutoring myself, I feel grateful that I have this perspective to help others. I’ve always loved teaching. My little sister is five years younger than me, so I spent a lot of time teaching her things like how to write the perfect essay, and how to cram effectively for exams. Now whenever she gets good marks at school, she’ll send me a text or call me, and thank me. I’m really proud of that. I actually enjoy proof reading, so if you’re ever at The Gill with an essay, come over and if I’m free, we’re on. I’m also always skulking around The Gill because I work as a Student Ambassador for Nura Gili. The opportunity to represent the community that I view as a second family has been incredibly rewarding, and I would definitely recommend it. It’s empowering to be able to inform young Indigenous students of the opportunities that they have to better their futures. This year, I have the privilege of being the Indigenous representative on the SRC. This means that it is my responsibility to represent our Indigenous students and contribute to making university as hassle-free and rewarding as possible. I also run the Indigenous Society. Although it’s definitely in its early stages, I’ve been hard at work planning for different events and student support services which will hopefully carry on after my reign in the hot seat. I’ve decided to create a ‘society code’, which will function in the same way as a ‘constitution’; outlining the separation of powers in the society and aspects like aims, roles and obligations. I’ve also asked Dennis Golding to design a new logo for the society, so its’ branding will be updated. Nominations for our executive will be opening shortly The reason that I am determined to make the most out of my term in this role is that I feel I owe so much to the Nura Gili community. I’ll always remember the support I received from Nura Gili during the rough patches of my degree. One time, I remember getting a crippling ear infection a day before an end of semester exam. I had never gotten special consideration for anything before. So, between bouts of stabbing pain, and 9

trying to suss out what people were saying through ears which were amplifying sounds inside my head and muting others, I went to Nura Gili. All I had to do is walk in and before I knew it, Cheryl and the rest of the office had booked me into a doctor’s appointment and the law faculty on the phone. I’ve met most of my closest friends, at Nura Gili, and words cannot express how grateful I am to have these people in my life. Since my first year, I’ve had a lot of rough patches, which affected my grades and mental health, and this support system is what got me through. I’ve been living in Shalom College since semester 2 of last year. I’ve really been enjoying the social aspects of the college, and the convenience of its catering and location. I am excited to commence my 2015 studies without the struggle of having to navigate my home life or support myself. I have found it to be slightly strange as I went from renting to college life, so I’m struggling to wrap my head around cleaners in my room and the like. But this is the first year that I will be starting worry-free, so I am excited to pick my marks back up and achieve to the best of my ability. Thanks for reading!

Jen Westbury


The National Union of Students (NUS) is the peak representative body for Australian university students. The NUS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Department, since its conception in 2007, has created a space within NUS where Indigenous students voices are valued and viewed as integral to the body.

The NUS ATSI Department this year will be holding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Conference in Sydney. The conference will be held from the 22nd-25th of July with approximately 50 Indigenous officers, representatives, leaders and students to attend.

The conference will involve guest speakers, workshops on campaigning, policing building and writing, discussion groups and networking. The main aim will be to build our national education campaign based around the themes of equal access to services and support alongside equal representation on campuses leading to an equal opportunity for education for Indigenous students. For more information about the ATSI Student Conference or if you have any inquiries, please don't hesitate to contact Bridget at

Bridget Cama Bridget is the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer with the National Union of Students and in her second year studying Law at UNSW


Where are you from? My family is from Kempsey which is my Dunghutti tribe and also the Gumbaynggirr tribe located in Yellow Rock Urunga. My Great -Great Grandfather is the King of the Tribe his name is King Ben Bennelong. I grew up in La Perouse where I have family as well. Who were your role models growing up? Cathy Freeman was my role model as I use to be a runner and she was my idol. Who are your role models now? I don’t really have a role model now but if I had to choose I would say Liz Ellis who use to captain the Australian Netball Team Before you came to UNSW you worked in Education and Health - where? I worked for NSW Health at Narrangy-Boori’s Aboriginal Early Childhood Service – Aboriginal Health Education Officer and also the Attorney Generals Department at the Law Reform Commission. What first attracted you to come and work at UNSW? My mum worked here and I wanted to work close to home and the environment and people were friendly. I thought it would be a great career move to then maybe one day study something at Uni.


Can you tell us about your current role? I am a finance assistant for the Social Policy Research Centre and Centre for Social Research in Health; I also look after the travel of all staff if they are doing fieldwork. I understand you were involved in a research project last year- can you share a little bit about the project and your involvement? I was lucky enough to work on the Social Emotional Well-Being for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Report with Margaret Raven. It was a great opportunity to see how the researchers work and it made me think a little about my career path and what I want to do. I got to travel to communities in Taree, Redfern, Hobart, Launceston and run groups about the current framework and what changes they think we need to make. It was a learning curve and one I will always remember. What are some of the highlights for you about working at UNSW? Getting to know different people and seeing how many of my own people are making a change in their lives and studying, and working on different things and learning something new every day. What does Nura Gili mean to you? Support, Opportunities and Friendships; A Safe Place. What do you like doing outside of work? Spending time with my son and family and travelling up the coast when I get a chance. I play State League Netball for Randwick so my week usually consists of netball training, playing netball and spending my free time trying to relax. Interview with Rebecca Harcourt


Teena is a proud Barkindji woman who graduated with Distinction in a Bachelor of Fine Art here at UNSW Art of Design, formally COFA, in 2014. Her work walks a fine line between photography and painting, whilst sculpture, performance art and poetry are also integral elements in her work. Recently McCarthy’s work was selected as part of the Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize and is now currently touring Regional galleries in NSW. 'That I may be of Service’- the motto of the Foley' Clan is her most recent exhibition, documenting in paint, paper and collage, portraits of activist, anarchist and academic, Dr Gary Foley. Ricky is a proud Kalkadoon man, an artist, musician songwriter and guitarist; he first came to study at UNSW Art of Design four year ago.

Here Teena shares some insights into her deep friendship with Ricky and her journey as an artist:

“I first met Ricky at COFA (College of Fine Arts) in 2010 in his studio when I actively went looking for other Indigenous students. I found his studio and Artworks before I found Ricky. The paintings were highly contemporary and evocative. The Ochres, cross hatching and Spirit figures sat so effortlessly on his 'Urban canvasses of cardboard and woven string. I felt an instant respect, strong affinity and connection to him and his work; we both paint our Connection to Country and Spirit in its various metaphors and guises. At our first meeting, I asked him if one day we could have an exhibition together. This was finally realised last year in our first exhibition together at Nura Gili for ARTWEEK@UNSW 2014, where our work complemented each other’s. Our friendship grew out of a deep respect for each other and our work; a place of intuition, kindness and mutual admiration. I felt so happy to have a friend/ brother that was a constant source of security and love in an institution where it can feel isolating. I'm sure we will exhibit again and intend to have a long and valued friendship. I would describe myself as an environmental, political and experimental artist. In my work I am compelled to tell my story as a member of the Stolen Generations where a covering up and an uncovering occurs organically in my work.”


Words often grapple to evoke the sensory spiritual qualities of art and the transcental relationship between the Artist, the art and the viewer I still recall vividly Teena and Ricky’s exhibition hosted here last August at Nura Gili: Witnessing Ricky’s paintings is a sensory experience as the paintings seem to invite your eyes and whole being on a mesmerising journey. I found myself drawn back again and again, enticed by the experience where I felt invited by the spirits his paintings evoke and embody to journey on. Unveiling through transparency, the simplicity of the textures mirrored by complexity and translucence of their qualities: the care with which Ricky paints imbuing culture, lore, essence from his being, both personal and transcental. The longevity and depth of his work has stayed with me, months later recalling their vividness and candidacy.

Equally, I’m drawn to the growing body of Teena’s Art – the storytelling, unveiling complexity, resonating different stages of her journey as truths are uncovered, passionate yearning and searching unveiled together with the joy of rekindling with her mob; innate depths of belonging as she reconnects and comforts with her whole self. Political tapestry honouring her ancestors, spirit and presence. Teena’s Art carving her sensory journey and recovery through rekindled belonging, tracing her people, her country, her land. A detailed knowing, innately and intuitively her painting and art, fractious at times, unveil both the harsh truths and poignant blessings of her journey, our collective journey when we face honestly what is still contested in our histories and stories in this land. Teena’s innate artistry is detailed, compelling, sophisticated. Listening to Teena and Ricky share about their journeys, their kindred conviviality shines through. As their journeys continue to intersect and soar it will be great to witness. Rebecca Harcourt


I grew up in a regional town in Western Australia that was so divided there was a riot following the funeral of a local Aboriginal man who had died in police custody. It was 1988, the same year we, Aboriginal people were meant to celebrate 200 years since what is euphemistically termed as ‘white settlement’. For me, I was in primary school and it was the first time I had ever started thinking about Aboriginal men being locked up in prison, I had no idea back then that I would end-up as a researcher in that field working at a top university. I did however know that getting a degree at university was a good thing and now I’m in the third year of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UNSW’s Kirby Institute.

Aboriginal imprisonment is by any measures tremendously high in Australia with the rate of imprisonment being about 16 times that of nonAboriginal people. There are essentially two ways to lower imprisonment, one, is to reduce the number of people entering prison for the first time, and two, is to reduce the number of people who go back to prison. My PhD work aims to reduce the number of people returning to prison. However, working with people in prison is complex as they have multiple overlapping disadvantages, not to mention a range of health problems. The multiple social and economic factors mean that Aboriginal people are more likely to be imprisoned. These include, but not limited to poor educational attainment, inadequate housing including overcrowding high levels of unemployment and the likely over policing of Aboriginal people. Oh, and racism of course!

Problematic use of alcohol and other drugs (AoD) has been identified as another major contributing factor with the vast majority of men in prison under the influence of AoD at the time of their index offence. In regard to Aboriginal men, 22% percent had been under the influence of alcohol, 21% under the influence of illicit drugs and 29% under the influence of both alcohol and illicit drugs at the time of their index offence. 16

The link between AoD use and offending is not just recognised by professionals and law enforcement officers but also by the men in prison, as 52% in NSW believed there was a link between their imprisonment and AoD use. Effective AoD treatment within prison, particularly if it is followed up with support post-release from prison could help reduce the number of Aboriginal men returning to prison. My PhD project entitled ‘Prison based treatment for alcohol and related other drug use among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men’, is the first project of its kind by an Aboriginal researcher. Most research in this field has centred on the professional opinions of practitioners involved in delivering prison based AoD programs. However, my PhD is predominantly qualitative which means that it involves in-depth interviews with thirty men at the start and then at completion of the ten month long Intensive Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program (IDATP), at the John Morony Correctional Facility in outer Sydney. Interviewing the people undertaking the AoD treatment program and listening to their stories will provide important insights into what the men in prison feel makes for a good AoD treatment. I am interviewing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men as there may be differences in the perspectives of AoD treatment needs between these groups. The first round of interviews has been completed and I am moving towards re-interviewing the participants in the coming few months. A PhD is hard work and filled with ups and downs. I am currently analysing the data from the first round of interviews, working through the literature. The big news this year so far is that last month I submitted for publication my first PhD related paper. Let’s hope the journals editors like it. The support has been great from my supervisors and their respective Institutes’ - the Kirby Institute and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre both within UNSW and the Australian National University’s National Centre for Indigenous Studies have all been fantastic. The Kirby Institute is a great place to undertake a higher degree by research. There have been several Aboriginal people who have completed master’s level degrees and I will be the second to graduate with a PhD from the Kirby Institute. I also receive support from Nura Gili via an Aboriginal mentor. It is great to catch up with another Aboriginal academic who is not involved directly in my work and have a yarn about the demands of a PhD work load or about the footy. Looking to the future?…. well it is going to be pretty full on until I complete the PhD, but I know it will be worth it as I believe I can make a difference. We don’t have enough Aboriginal researchers, particularly with PhDs. That is something that was apparent on the day I started interviews at the prison. While there a multiple research projects, particularly in the field of psychology, undertaken at Australian prisons, apparently the story that went around the prison that day was one of disbelief:

‘you know that research fella from the uni ….. he’s Koori’! Michael Doyle


Professor Nakata is currently leading a research project investigating Indigenous students’ experiences of higher education learning and students’ strategies and habits that help them to persist and succeed in learning. The aim of the research is to understand students’ learning experiences and challenges in order to improve Indigenous student support practices in a way that builds students’ capacities to become independent in learning. The Project is underway at UNSW, UTS and James Cook University North Queensland. Professor Nakata is working with Professor Andy Day of Deakin University and Dr Gregory Martin of UTS. Nura Gili’s Vicky Nakata is assisting on the project and Nura Gili’s Nakia Bolt is the project manager. A number of commencing 2014 Indigenous students are already participating in the project and have provided a great wealth of data and feedback about their learning experiences. Participation involves completing a survey and a couple of interviews each year. Early in 2015, and again in 2016, Professor Nakata will be seeking to recruit more 1st year students. Professor Nakata and /or his colleagues will be approaching commencing students as early as Week 3 to gather some student experiences of the early transition period into university and into courses. If you are interested in participating and/or learning more, Members of the team will provide in detail more about what participation in the project means for you, should you be interested to participate. Participation is entirely voluntary. Prof Nakata’s team will be looking for male and female students across the faculties.


The definitive, clear-cut guide to the vote on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.

This book explains everything Australians need to know about the proposal to recognise Indigenous peoples in the Constitution. It details how the Constitution was drafted, and shows how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples came to be excluded from the political settlement that brought about the nation. It explains what the 1967 referendum – in which over 90 per cent of Australians voted to delete discriminatory references to Aboriginal people from the Constitution – achieved, and why the Constitution still permits people to be discriminated against on the basis of their race. With clarity and authority, this book shows the symbolic and legal power of recognising Indigenous peoples in the Constitution and how we might get there. Written by two of the country’s foremost legal experts, it is essential reading on what will be a landmark moment for the nation. About the Authors Professor Megan Davis is an international law [and public law] scholar and Director of the Indigenous Law Centre at the Faculty of Law, UNSW. She is an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian Constitution. Born in Queensland, with Aboriginal and South Sea Islander heritage, she is the first Indigenous person to represent Australia on a UN body. Professor George Williams AO is one of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers and public commentators. He is the Anthony Mason Professor, a Scientia Professor and the Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, UNSW. He practises as a barrister in the High Court of Australia, and has written and edited many books, including Australian Constitutional Law and Theory and The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia. Classification | Education, Australian History February 2015 ISBN 9781742234168 NewSouth, 224pp, PB 210x135mm | RRP AUD$19.99, NZD$24.99


At the Oscars this year the best song Glory reminded us of the civil rights movement in the United States. Indeed Glory was written for Oprah Whinfrey’s film Selma about Martin Luther King and those momentous days of struggle in the 1960s. Also in the lyrics of this beautiful song, was the mention of Rosa Parks who in 1955 famously broke the segregation of the buses in the south of the United States by refusing to stand up to give her seat to a white person. In Australia to we had our own turbulent events in the 1960s with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were not even being recognised as Australia citizens until the referendum of 1967. We lost one of the champions of the referendum campaign, Faith Bandler, just last month at the grand old age of 96. Dr Bandler, of South Sea Islander and Scottish descent (her father’s family had been captured from the South Pacific and enslaved in Queensland in the notorious ‘black birding’ practice, with similarities to the slave trade of the deep South of the United States). Dr Bandler ran a very effective and dignified campaign on the principle of recognition, even though, ironically, she herself as a South Sea islander would not gain from it personally. th

We had buses too. In fact 2015 is the 50 anniversary of the “Freedom Ride” in 1965 which included Indigenous leaders such as Charlie Perkins who joined with some white urban University students to help desegregate NSW country towns. Faith Bandler was also one of the freedom riders. But despite the gains made, both here and in the United States, there can still be issues with buses, in 2015, in Queensland. In fact, a controlled experiment by two economists from the University of Queensland has belled the cat on some key issues that were first highlighted by Rosa Parks and by Faith Bandler all those years ago. Professor Paul Frijters and his colleague Dr Redzo Mujcic asked students to board a Queensland bus and tell the driver that they didn’t have the fare but needed to get to a stop about two kilometres away. The drivers were on average lenient to the passengers. But interestingly, white passengers were twice as likely to be given a free ride than black passengers (by 72% to 36%). The authors found that other groups (for example East Asians – Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian and South Asians (e.g. Indians) were more likely to be given free rides than black skinned passengers and that the latter’s chances improved when wearing military uniforms or business dress. Frijters explains that there was an overall level of “generosity and understanding” by bus drivers for their passengers, and that the research was not meant to “pick on one occupation in particular.” On the contrary, he thought research such as this could lead to better public policy and codes of practice overall, that could be implemented through the relevant trade union and employer. However, Frijters’ own employer University of Queensland, has its own issues with the research despite Frijters following his department of economics guidelines for ethics and research.But whatever the findings it is clear that rigorous and openminded approach to these issues can lead to better public policy outcomes for the community. And it’s important that these issues be understood whether its Rosa Parks in 1955, Faith Bandler in 1965 or a bus passenger in Queensland in 2015, in the interests of social progress. Tim Harcourt. Tim is the JW Nevile Fellow of Economics at UNSW Australia Business School, author of Trading Places and The Airport Economist


UNSW Australia has three campuses located in Kensington (main campus), Paddington (Art and Design) and Canberra (Australian Defence Force Academy). The main campus is located in Bedegal country and situated near an 8000 year old campsite. This campsite was a place where the Indigenous people of that country would gather and meet to teach their culture, knowledge and stories to their next generation of leaders. In 1949, UNSW was established providing the opportunity to pave a long history of teaching and research excellence and to gain the reputation for graduating the brightest and most highly qualified students in the country. With nine prestigious and award winning faculties, over 300 undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs being taught and more than 50,000 students, from 120 countries, the campsite traditions of gathering, meeting, teaching and sharing are being carried from the past in to the present.

Prior to 2004 Nura Gili was known as the Aboriginal Education Program (AEP) and the Aboriginal Research and Resource Centre. The AEP was established to provide Indigenous Australians studying at UNSW with the support needed to fully succeed in their studies. With the increasing number of Indigenous Australian students enrolling at UNSW and the need for improved academic and student support services, the AEP and Aboriginal Research and Resource Centre merged and became Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit. As a leader in Indigenous education, our purpose is to enrich Australia culturally and professionally. Nura Gili strives to enhance the capacity of Indigenous communities and individuals to engage in all aspects of Australian society - ensuring Indigenous knowledge, culture and histories are embedded in all aspects of the UNSW community. We provide a range of support services, Indigenous Studies programs and aspirational and pathway programs allowing us to be recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in academic and research excellence.

It’s important for us to provide a space that’s inspiring and creative, a space that will give you the best possible start to your higher education. In 2012, with the support of the Balnaves Foundation, we were able to build a state-of-the-art, central, innovative teaching and learning facility located in the heart of UNSW. At Balnaves Place, you will have 24 hour access to modern facilities with the most up to date technology, free printing facilities and private rooms for group and individual study in a calm and relaxing environment. Our centre has been designed for you.


Nura Gili News: If you would like to contribute ideas, news, letters and / or articles please contact the editor: Email: Telephone: 0478492075 If you would like to contribute to Indigenous scholarships for students at UNSW and/or Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit please feel free to make initial contact with the Director of Nura Gili Professor Martin Nakata B.Ed Hons PhD Telephone :+61 (2) 93853120 Email: - Prof Nakata's Webpage If you would like further information on Nura Gili’s programs, courses and facilities you are welcome to come and visit and/or contact us: Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit Balnaves Place, Lower Ground Floor, Electrical Engineering Building UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA UNSW Map Location G17 Email:

General Enquiries: + 61 2 9385 3805

Balnaves Place – Home of Nura Gili was made possible thanks to a generous donation from The Balnaves Foundation, a private philanthropic organisation established in 2006 by Neil Balnaves AO to provide support to charitable enterprises across Australia.

UNSW CRICOS Provider Code: 00098G | ABN: 57 195 873 179


Nura Gili News Edition 18 March 2015  

Week one of teaching at UNSW Australia is underway and here at Nura Gili we are all feeling reenergised with the influx of all our students...

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