Invasion Day Meanjin 2022

50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

We pay our respects to the warriors who came from Meanjin to help set up the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972 … Dennis Walker, Sam Watson Jnr, Bobby Sykes, Marlene Cummins and many others who paved the way for this generation to continue Aboriginal resistance against colonisation and genocide.

These activists set up modern day aboriginal run institutions like the Legal Service, Murri Watch, the Health Service, Jagera Hall and, of course, the Sacred Fire in Musgrave Park.

Many struggles organised by Brisbane Blacks followed in Meanjin:

  • the Tent Embassy in King George Square set up by Bob Weatherall, Cheryl Buckanan and Lionel Fogarty in 1976;
  • the 1982 Struggle for Land Rights during the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane;
  • the 1988 protests against invasion and colonisation,
  • the 1993 march against Black Deaths in Custody after Daniel Yock was murdered by police,
  • the 2004 campaign for Justice for Mulrunji, murdered on Palm Island and the subsequent trial for manslaughter of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.
  • On the 16 May 2012 there began a campaign for the Sacred Fire whose embers had been carried from the original Aboriginal Tent Embassy in CanberrA to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Commonwealth Games Land Rights marches. Thirty-two warriors were arrested in Musgrave Park that day;
  • the Sorry Day struggles to bring back the stolen children;
  • and the struggle goes on with the Wangan and Jagalingou struggle to stop the Adani Coal mine on their land in the Galilee Basin.

Ian Curr
27 Jan 2022

Derek Oram Sandi speaks on Invasion Day 2022

Budyari mullinawul … Good morning, to all the people out there, I’d like to acknowledge, firstly acknowledge Uncle Desmond Sandi … my great uncle …. my nanna’s eldest brother ….. the elder of our tribe and tribal homelands … the Yuggera … (and) Yerongpan people in southeast Queensland, I’d like to thank him for grounding us, and keeping us grounded in this country, in the good spirit of our ancestors, through that ‘Welcome to Country ‘ that will keep our spirits content as we march through this city, reminding this country of the genocide that still continues to oppress our people.

And I want to open that acknowledgement out to the ancestors of my father side, the Gangalu, the Burrawrung of the Woorabinda mission area, (and) up to the Northern Territory, Lake Nash, up to the Doomadgee (inaudible) area, the Waanyi country in the Gulf area, the one country, acknowledging my ancestors and my songlines … I want to acknowledge the Wakka Wakka people in the West, my grandfather, Leroy Hart and the Wakka Wakka country, acknowledging the Gabbi Gabbi in the north …. part of my grandfather, Brian White’s country through my Mum’s father’s side, acknowledging the Yugambeh to the south, also part of my ancestry, which Aunty Debbie Sandi spoke about from the strong lineages down there part of the family … the right down to the Tweed

And to the non-indigenous people in your country as well, where you come from around the world, because we are only 3% … 3.3% of this population, and is anything that we know is majority rules in Western system that should be abolished … and should be rebuilt, with our lore (applause). Because community is important and the government show us time and time again, that they don’t know how to keep community strong. The health is in the tribe, the tribe is in the health, the community is unity. (Murri motorcyclists arrive)… That’s why we are here today showing that maybe they want (inaudible) to our people …

Channel Nine and Channel Seven
Our old people never had live streaming in marching for their rights, we have to remember that our old people never had anything online and live streaming, back in the day. They had to extend their human rights,  understanding for all, and educate in ‘resist way’.

This is the original way ….  I don’t learn how to speak like this, from when I was a djarjum, to when I’m a man, in no school in no University … I listened to the older people like Aunty Debbie and Uncle Desmond an the many (inaudible) elders that speak proper in lore up on these microphones. That’s how our future is going to be strong and rebuilt. And that’s the same with the non-Indigenous djarjums, the children that we have here today. Joining our djarjums in unity. Let them come and listen to the truth. Standing in front of this gubba (?) (Queen Victoria statue) here … someone who claimed the land that she knew nothing about and continues to know nothing about.

We are the oldest continuous culture in the world with over 1500 languages and dialects, and many 1000s of songlines that are sung for mother earth and Barkarun (sp??), the great light, the Father and spirit that’s in the, the land beyond the skies … those totems up in the skies, and they remind us of our lore.

So I thank you all for joining us today in this fight, and you see, I look out there and might see a couple of hundred people … but if you look out and you feel with all that energy, I feel thousands and thousands of spirits … right back to the beginning that will be joining us … we got to stick to this way.

This is a part of our tradition in the contemporary sense when they see us marching through with our colors it reminds them … it brings up the guilt that’s why they drink grog on this day … to numb their guilt … to numb guilt to numb what they done to our ancestors and what  they continue to do in this genocide system.

Derek Oram Sandi
26 January 2022 at Queens Park in Meanjin


A Message from Adrian Burragubba

Waddamuli wanggarrayn, Waddananggu mundu! 
Ngali-na Nagana yarrbayn-gu Wanggan Yagalinggu.

Hello everyone, from Waddananggu. 
We are the Wangan and Jagalingou Cultural Custodians.

We are the knowledge holders of our ancestor’s country, Standing our Ground.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy – the defining moment in history that grounds our claim of land rights all over Wangan and Jagalingou Country. 

On 26 January 1972, Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams and Tony Coorey travelled from Redfern to Canberra and erected a sign reading “Aboriginal Embassy” on the lawns of Parliament House.

Their protest was a flashpoint in the decades-long movement for land rights and came in response to a shameful press statement from then prime minister, Billy McMahon, who categorically refused to recognise land rights and native title for our people.

Ten years earlier, the Yolngu peoples of North East Arnhem Land had presented the famous bark petitions to Parliament, protesting the Commonwealth’s intention to grant mineral leases over Yolngu land for mining. The Commonwealth disregarded the Yolngu people’s petition, granting a special 42-year mineral lease to mining company Nabalco.

In 1971, the Yolngu peoples challenged the mineral lease in the first native title case ever to be heard in an Australian court: Milirrpum v Nabalco. At the time, Justice Blackburn rejected the Yolgnu people’s claims and ruled out native title –  a ruling that was later overturned when the historic 1992 Mabo decision recognised our peoples’ rights to the land.

Today, the Embassy is the longest running protest for Indigenous land rights, sovereignty and self-determination in the world – a daily reminder that we as Aboriginal peoples have never ceded our sovereignty nor engaged in any treaty process with the Crown.

Adrian Ian and Andy at 4ZZZ prior to Paradigm Shift fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon

This year on January 26, Wangan and Jagalingou Cultural Custodians will also mark a significant anniversary – more than 150 days of continuous re-occupation of our ancestral homelands. We continue to stand our ground in opposition to Adani’s coal mine on our land. We continue to witness and oppose the destruction of our artefacts, and the poisoning of our Springs and aquifers. 

We continue the legacy of the land rights victories that came before us, forging new paths with the historic recognition by Queensland Police of our human rights to occupy our land and practice our culture on Adani’s mining lease without interference. 

We need your financial support to maintain our permanent presence on our ancestral lands. Your donation will help pay for the ongoing costs of vehicles, shelter, infrastructure, food, fuel, and travel for Wangan and Jagalingou people.

Inside the Bora ring as part of the Waddananggu (the talking) ceremony.

Our ongoing presence sends a crystal clear message to governments, insurers and financiers the world over – Adani does not have the Free, Prior and Informed consent of Wangan and Jagalingou people, and those funding Adani’s extraction and destruction of our land are complicit in human rights violations.

At the end of last year, we bore witness to Adani’s knowing destruction of a sacred tool making site, containing thousands of our old people’s artefacts. The Queensland government ignored our calls for a stop work to protect the site. Now, they are refusing to investigate the destruction as a breach of the Cultural Heritage Act, ignoring the testimony of our people and expert archeologists. 

The Government also continues to refuse a stop work to protect the sacred Doongmabulla Springs from being drained by Adani’s massive water usage, despite expert hydrologist reports that Adani’s groundwater management plan is insufficient and the Springs are at risk. 

The law in Queensland enshrines our human rights to maintain and strengthen our distinctive spiritual, material and economic relationship with the land and waters, and to conserve and protect the environment. 

By destroying our cultural heritage, blocking us from knowledge and decisions about our land, and threatening our sacred Springs, Adani is violating our human rights – and the Queensland Government is allowing it. Our next step is to force the Queensland Government to follow its own laws and act on its duty of care to uphold our human rights.

Our camp and ceremonial grounds opposite Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

Maintaining our permanent presence on Country is crucial, and so in addition to one-off donations, we are seeking ongoing donations to help us stay. 

The wet season can be harsh on vehicles and shelter, and we need help with the cost of maintaining and replacing expensive camp infrastructure. Ongoing donations also support food, fuel, and travel costs for Wangan and Jagalingou people coming to and from our remote homelands – many of whom are foregoing income to do so.

I know many of you have donated in the past – thank you. If you are able, your ongoing contribution will give us the security we need to keep standing our ground into the future. You can start a monthly donation today by clicking here. We appreciate any and all one-off contributions if you are not in a position to give regularly.

Our sovereign rights are in our spirit, our culture, and our language. This is what connects us to the land. That’s where we draw our strength, culture and identity from. We will persist, as we have always done. We will not back down. 

Yours for Country, 

Adrian Burragubba, 
Elder and spokesperson
Wangan and Jagalingou Nagana Yarrbayn Cultural Custodians

​​P.S. You can find out more about the Nagana Yarrbayn Cultural Custodians and how we are Standing our Ground by checking out our website and following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Adrian Burragubba started this petition on Campaigns by Me. If there’s an issue close to your heart that you’d like to campaign on, you can start your campaign here.

You are receiving this message because you signed the petition “Stop Adani destroying our land and our culture“. If you don’t want to receive emails from the “Stop Adani destroying our land and our culture” campaign in the future, please unsubscribe. Waddamuli wanggarrayn, Waddananggu mundu! 
Ngali-na Nagana yarrbayn-gu Wanggan Yagalinggu.

Adrian Burragubba speaking at Justice for Mulrunji Rally

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