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23 September 2005

Minister Sartor’s Comments on Koori Radio Impact on Redfern Waterloo / Aboriginal Community Organisations launch Redfern Aboriginal Authority (RAA) / Non-Government Human Services Consortium / Two new RWA Ministerial Advisory Committees to Meet / City of Sydney Announces $50 million funding for Vision of Redfern Package / Redfern Police PACT & Redfern LAC Community Police Contacts / There is also information about important coming events including this weekend: Voices from the Village: Celebrating the diversity in Redfern-Waterloo - September 23 & 24 / Redfern Gym Rescue Festival – 24th September 2005 Eveleigh Street Redfern / REDWatch Meeting Sunday 25th September at Factory Community Centre 2pm / Memorial Service of Kevin Smith - Sunday 25th September 2005 / Crime and Public Housing: Community and Interagency Approaches - 26th September 2005 / Cham Tour – Monks from Dzogchen and Indigenous Australian Dancers – 6 pm 3rd October 2005 Redfern Community Centre

In this Update

Minister Sartor’s Comments on Koori Radio Impact on Redfern Waterloo

Aboriginal Community Organisations launch Redfern Aboriginal Authority (RAA)

Non-Government Human Services Consortium

Two new RWA Ministerial Advisory Committees to Meet

City of Sydney Announces $50 million funding for Vision of Redfern Package

Redfern Police PACT & Redfern LAC Community Police Contacts

 

There is also information about important coming events including this weekend:

Voices from the Village: Celebrating the diversity in Redfern-Waterloo - September 23 & 24

Redfern Gym Rescue Festival – 24th September 2005 Eveleigh Street Redfern

REDWatch Meeting Sunday 25th September at Factory Community Centre 2pm

Memorial Service of Kevin Smith - Sunday 25th September 2005

Crime and Public Housing: Community and Interagency Approaches - 26th September 2005

Cham Tour – Monks from Dzogchen and Indigenous Australian Dancers – 6 pm 3rd October 2005 Redfern Community Centre

 

Minister Sartor’s Comments on Koori Radio Impact on Redfern Waterloo

Nearly everyone will have heard or read of the Minister’s slur on Mick Mundine and the ongoing discussion about the way the comments will affect the ability of the Minister to do his job in Redfern Waterloo. It is not our intention to go over the media accounts. It is however probably a good chance to remind people that you can use the News tab in Google to view news stories on any topic including this one. This will show up stories from around the world on this or any other topic you choose. You can also use Google to set up Google Alerts which will email you with links to media stories that contain your key word. So if you have not already done so and want to see what the media has had to say about this event put the word “Sartor” into Google News and you can see all the media stories.

We have been concerned that much of the media reporting has focused only on the Minister’s reference to the colour of Mick Mundine’s arse and that this has prompted some to write to the letters pages wanting to know what is wrong with mentioning the colour of his backside. Very few reports carried the Minister’s full statement and if they had more people might have understood why the slur has upset so may people.

The Minister said "I'm glad he wrote this long letter - got him off his backside for a change. He won't like that much, but I should say that to him more. Get off your backside, Mick, and bring your black arse in here to talk to me about it,"

The inference is contained in the Minister Sartor assertion that he got Mick Mundine "off his backside for a change", and then his introduction of the colour of Mick’s backside while suggesting that Mick should get off it again and bring it in to meet with the Minister. The inference in the full quote evokes the racial stereotype linking being black with being lazy. Mr Sartor used it while addressing a mainly Aboriginal radio audience on Koori Radio as an explanation for why nothing has been resolved about the future of The Block.

The real reason the future of The Block is unresolved is that Minister Sartor refuses to talk to Mick Mundine until the Aboriginal Housing Company drops the Pemulwuy housing project from their plans for The Block. Four years of work have already been done, some with government support, on this Aboriginal housing project for Aboriginal owned land at The Block. The project is opposed by Minister Sartor who is also the consent authority.

Given the circumstances above it should come as no surprise that yesterday the AHC Board supported its CEO and resolved to seek legal opinion about the possibility of action under the Racial Discrimination Act. The AHC board has resolved to no longer deal with Minister Sartor and decided that the AHC should in future only deal with Premier Morris Iemma - see “Aborigines refuse to talk to Sartor” in SMH for more details http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/aborigines-refuse-to-talk-to-sartor/2005/09/22/1126982184188.html . While Minister Sartor is saying he will press on, it is difficult to see how it will be possible to achieve the “outcomes” he desires without engaging with a community that has been appalled by his behaviour.

Minister Sartor's most recent comments, his confrontational attitude and his refusal to even discuss the possibility of the AHC's proposal for The Block has seriously raised the question of his suitability to continue as the Minister for Redfern Waterloo and justifiably reduced the preparedness of the community to work with him. If the government aim is to drive change against the wishes of the community then Minister Sartor may be able to get on with the job, but if the government is serious about its earlier promises to work with the community in Redfern Waterloo then the Premier still has a big problem to resolve in Redfern Waterloo.

Aboriginal Community Organisations launch Redfern Aboriginal Authority (RAA)

Redfern’s Aboriginal community controlled organizations have united to form a new Authority to be headed by Aboriginal leader and community activist, Sol Bellear. The Redfern Aboriginal Authority (RAA) will replace the Organisation of Aboriginal Unity; re-formed late last year following suggestions that the NSW Government planned to forcibly acquire land owned by Aboriginal people in Redfern’s Block.

One of the first priorities of the RAA will be to develop a united and strategic Aboriginal vision for Redfern. Although it will be primarily geared towards the Aboriginal community, the RAA will also form strategic alliances with other organizations who have the best interests of Redfern at heart. Redfern has always been a vibrant, multicultural community and the RAA wants to keep it that way.

As politicians focus on whole of government approaches to Aboriginal Affairs it makes sense to form the RAA to adopt a whole of community model in dealing with governments. The RAA will assist organisations source funding in a co-ordinated way. The RAA will adopt a cooperative approach to working with government, but will not take a backward step in achieving the best outcomes for Aboriginal people in inner city Sydney and ensuring they are not short changed. The new organization aims to provide the professionalism and experience needed to successfully negotiate with government over the future of Redfern.

Sol Bellear, who will head the RAA, was the founding Chairperson of the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council and a foundation member of the Aboriginal Medical Service, Aboriginal Legal Service and Aboriginal Housing Company.  He is a former Deputy Chair of ATSIC, a member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and a senior manager in the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs. He is currently the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Medical Service and a Board Member of the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club.

While the RAA was formed prior to Minister Sartor’s comments on Koori Radio one of the RAA’s first acts was to write to Frank Sartor expressing the community’s anger over his inappropriate comments. In a media statement Mr Bellear said that Aboriginal leaders support the Redfern Waterloo Authority and the redevelopment of the suburb. “But we want to do this with a Minister who acts like a genuine partner rather than a dictator,” he said. Mr Bellear said he hoped Minister Sartor would respond to his approach in the constructive way it was intended. “If the Minister just swallows some of his pride and is genuine about changing his approach, then I’m sure we can get things back on track. Otherwise, I’m afraid it will be very difficult for me to convince Aboriginal leaders to have anything more to do with the Redfern Waterloo Authority or its Minister.  If this happened, there would no alternative than for the Minister to step aside,” Mr Bellear said.

The media statement announcing the establishment of the RAA can be found at http://www.redwatch.org.au/media/050921raa1 and the media response to Minister Sartor’s comments can be found at http://www.redwatch.org.au/media/050921raa . The Redfern Aboriginal Authority can be contacted on 02 8394 9666 or by post at PO BOX 1103 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012

Non-Government Human Services Consortium

Over the last few months some Redfern Waterloo human services agencies have been meeting to explore the possibility of the formation of forming a consortium rather than accepting some of the other suggestions for the rationalization of human services in the area. This option has now also been discussed with Aldo Pennini from the RWA. If you would like further information on what is being explored please contact Faye Williams at Inner Sydney Regional Council for Social Development on regcouncil@iinet.net.au .

Two new RWA Ministerial Advisory Committees to Meet

The two new Ministerial Advisory Committees - Built Environment and Employment and Enterprise - are scheduled to meet next week. The government membership is still not finalized as the RWA is waiting on details of nominees responses from some government invitees. When this is finalized we hope to be able to tell you who is on these committees. This information will be on the RWA website when it is up and running which we are assured is not too far away.

City of Sydney Announces $50 million funding for Vision of Redfern Package

On the eve of the City of Sydney Redfern Community Forum Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced that $50 million would be spent in Redfern addressing some of the areas needs. While some of the key components of the announced works have been in the pipe line for some time (such as the Redfern Street Upgrade and the Oval) the package does indicate City of Sydney is starting to focus on the needs of Redfern – Waterloo although some Waterloo residents felt there was not a great deal in the package for them. The details of the media statement on the package can be found at http://www.redwatch.org.au/media/050915cos . Member for Heffron Kristina Keneally has made a response to the announcement in Parliament on 21 September which can be found at South Sydney Development.

It is interesting to note, that in contrast to the RWA Update article on Redfern Oval, in the City of Sydney Media Statement Ms Moore said that the federally-funded Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) was not interested in purchasing or leasing Redfern Park from the City. The ILC Board is looking at a range of options including the Redfern Public School, the PCYC and the Black Theatre at Cope Street. “The General Manager of the ILC, David Galvin, has written to me stating that they are not interested in investing in the Park, and said he wishes the City well in its endeavours to revitalise the facility,” she added.

Redfern Police PACT & Redfern LAC Community Police Contacts

All Police Commands appoint a Police Accountability Community Team to improve communication and accountability of local police. The Police Accountability Community Teams Meeting Report for the Redfern LAC on 15th June 2005 is now up on the web at http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues/pact/inner_metropolitan_region/redfern/reports/2005/20050615 . The Police website says PACT is a forum for the community to express its views about police visibility, police deployment and crime generally. It also enables local communities to hold local Police Commanders accountable for crime reduction. As can be seen from the minutes the RWA and local politicians attend.

LAC Commander Catherine Burn has advised that the five Duty Officers (Inspectors) at Redfern Local Area Command have had geographical areas allocated to them for the purpose of liaising with the community, attending meetings, enhancing communication and policing services. So if you are looking for the police to be involved at something within your community you can approach these officers directly at the Redfern Command. The areas covered by the five duty officers are:

Inspector Smith - Alexandria, Zetland

Inspector Murchie - Sydney Park, Beaconsfield, Rosebery

Inspector Moore - Eveleigh, Erskineville

Inspector Sullivan - Redfern, Waterloo

Inspector Fowler - Chippendale, Darlington

Voices from the Village: Celebrating the diversity in Redfern-Waterloo - September 23 & 24

Voices from the Village is seeking to celebrate the diversity in Redfern-Waterloo in story, song, dance and art. This event will celebrate the great expanse and richness of Redfern-Waterloo’s tough and resilient people, challenging and stripping away the current wider public negative images painted over the area. A broad spread of its cultures will each add their particular colour to each segment through various mediums: Aboriginal people, Russians, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Greeks, Tongans, Maoris and Anglo-Celts.

The Governor of NSW will launch our celebration on Friday September 23 at 7.30pm in the Redfern Town Hall, with MC Simon Marnie introducing local people like Tanya Plibersek who will share her story about coming to Australia. Local artists such as Joseph Tawadros and Tongan singers will be followed by a mini-concert led by Jimmy Little. And good food will end the night.

On Saturday, September 24, 10am to 4pm out on the closed-off street in front of the St Saviours Anglican Church at 117 Young Street, the celebration will continue with MCs Julie McCrossan and James Valentine, music, cultural dances and local stories. The church space will display local artists, and photos of Redfern-Waterloo will be taken and displayed. A children’s space will be set up in the church hall with performers like Mic Conway and the Great Christo, face painting and various kid’s activities.

Artists through the day will include: Jimmy Little, The Angels Band, Leon Novikov (Russian violinist) with Les Saxay (didgeridoo), DJ Climax, James Henry, Rhubee Neale and Kenneth Scott. High profile media people and artists are adding their contribution alongside local acts. The ABC’s Julie McCrossan, Simon Marnie, James Valentine will introduce the many artists including Jimmy Little and, believe it or not, The Angels Band, as well as local artists like Rhubee Neale, Joe Tawadros and local story tellers from various cultures.

Throughout the day everyone will be invited to add their own thread to a community weaving symbolising our colourful, energetic, vibrant, diverse and yet interconnected human community.

The grand finale will be led by Mayor Clover Moore, a ceremony celebrating our life together, during which many musicians will join together in sound and song.

Voices in the Village is being presented by South Sydney Herald in partnership local community groups, The Factory and the South Sydney Anglican and Uniting Churches and everyone is invited to celebrate the diversity of Redfern-Waterloo. For more information phone (02) 9319 1373.

Redfern Gym Rescue Festival – 24th September 2005 Eveleigh Street Redfern

Just a reminder that this Saturday is the Redfern Gym Rescue Festival to save the Mundine Gym. One thousand people are expected to attend, including a number of high profile athletes. Anthony Mundine, a former world champion, said, "I'll do everything in my power to make sure it doesn't close". He is not alone. Already sponsors have come out in support of the gym, either through contributing to the $60,000 target for fundraising or by providing materials for the renovations.

The Gym Rescue festival is being organized by The Elouera – Tony Mundine Gym, the Aboriginal Housing Company and Hillsong Emerge. More information and downloadable sponsorship package can be found at www.redferngym.org

REDWatch Meeting Sunday 25th September at Factory Community Centre 2pm

There will be no guest speaker this month at the REDWatch meeting instead there will be an opportunity to discuss the recent activities of the Minister and the community reaction to this with a view to REDWatch forming its position for future action. Everyone is welcome to come along and be involved in the discussion and to get involved in the group. REDWatch now meets at The Factory, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo.

Memorial Service of Kevin Smith - Sunday 25th September 2005

Kevin Smith touched the lives of thousands of Australians though many may not know him by name. Kevin was a well known actor, last year appearing in "All Saints" and will be remembered as the spirit person in Belvoir's production of Tim Winton's "Cloudstreet".

The Memorial Service of Kevin Smith will be held at the Seymour Centre, York Theatre, cnr Cleveland St. & City Road Chippendale 3.00pm - 5.00pm Sunday 25th September 2005. Please direct any enquiries to Belvoir St. Theatre by phone on 9698 3344.

Crime and Public Housing: Community and Interagency Approaches - 26th September 2005

“Crime and Public Housing: Community and Interagency Approaches” is a one day seminar on recent approaches to understanding and addressing problems of crime in public housing communities. Presentations will be given by academic researches, housing and police representatives including: Professor Tony Vinson, Dr Rob Samuels and Dr Bruce Judd, Dr Eileen Baldry, Michelle Roberson, Bernie Coates, Brian Murnane, Ken Carnegie and Brett Degenhardt. The seminar will be held on 26th September 2005, 9.00am to 4.00pm, Lecture Theatre G001, Ground Floor, The Red Centre, UNSW. For further information visit http://www.fbe.unsw.edu.au/cityfutures/news.asp or download the detailed program and registrations PDF: brochure.pdf

Cham Tour – Monks from Dzogchen and Indigenous Australian Dancers – 6 pm 3rd October 2005 Redfern Community Centre 

Monks from Dzogchen Monastery are performing their sacred dances together with Indigenous Australians and the Sydney Tara Dhatu in a unique sacred cultural exchange to take place at Redfern Community Centre. For more information: http://www.shenpen.org.au/events.htm . Performance is at 6 pm followed by a free BBQ – All Welcome.

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Upcoming Events
Monthly REDWatch Meeting Mar 07, 2019 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Factory Community Centre, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo
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