250 Shades of Black – Peoples, Land and Languages


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Presenter:  Garrmalang Festival

Date: May 28, 2017

Time: 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Contact person:  Darwin Entertainment Centre
T: (08) 8980 3333
E: boxoffice@yourcentre.com.au

Location:  Darwin Entertainment Centre - 93 Mitchell Street Darwin NT

Panel Discussion: Reflecting on the number of tribes and languages that existed in this country, which needs to be acknowledged in all Constitutional recognition, treaties and sovereignty discussions.

The panel discussion–entitled 250 Shades of Black after the 250 known Indigenous languages in Australia – has attracted several leading Aboriginal activists as speakers, including Michael Mansell, Josie Crawshaw, Olga Havnen and Luke Pearson.

It will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, which led to passages in the Australian constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal people being removed. The discussion will follow a national meeting of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council at Uluru.

Darwin-born Ms Crawshaw, who played a major role in the regional meetings leading to the Uluru summit, will detail the findings of the Referendum Council at the Darwin panel discussion. This will inject added importance and newsworthiness into the Garrmalang discussion.

The panel will be hosted by highly-regarded former ABC journalist Murray McLachlan and is proudly sponsored by CDU Darwin.

Guest Panellists are:

Michael Mansell

Michael is a Palawa man from north-eastern Tasmania and has a degree in law at the University of Tasmania and is a qualified barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania, and the High Court of Australia. He played a crucial role in the drafting of legislation for the Native Title Act 1993 that arose out of the Mabo case.

He is legal director of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, and has been a lifelong activist, and has consistently campaigned over the issue of sovereignty for Australia’s Indigenous people.

In 2013 he famously rejected on moral grounds, his nomination for an Australia Day Award for his work in improving the lives of Palawa people. At the time he stated: ‘while I am grateful for the thoughts behind my nomination, I would be a hypocrite to accept it.’

Last year Michael became and author, with the release of his book ‘Treaty and Statehood: Aboriginal Self-determination’ which discusses the meaning of self-determination and its limitations, and critically examines the legality of designated seats, treaty, sharing of power and autonomous communities.

Josie Crashaw

Josie is a Gurindji woman born in Darwin, and in 2011 was appointed as the foundation CEO of SAF,T (pronounced “safety”) Strong Aboriginal Families Together, the Peak Body for Aboriginal children, youth and families in the Northern Territory. She has served as ATSIC Commissioner for the Top End, Chair and founding member of the Top End Aboriginal Coalition and worked on the development of the UN’s Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

Her activism also goes back to organising a 1000 person convoy the NT convoy that travelled down to Sydney for the March for Freedom, Justice and Hope to protest during the Bicentenary on January 26th 1988.

Olga Havnen

Olga is a descendant of the Western Arrernte people in Central Australia, and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, where she has spent years pushing for evidence-based programs and advising governments of the need to focus on Indigenous-run organisations that proved they could deliver. She is also a board member of the Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Council at Charles Darwin University, and has been a Director of the Indigenous Land Corporation since October 2011.

She was recently announced as a co-chair of the NT Governments Early Childhood Development advisory panel, and was the former head of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy at the Australian Red Cross and appointed as a board member of the Clontarf Foundation in 2012.

Olga has held a range of senior public and non-government sector roles during her long career in Indigenous Affairs, including Deputy Director of the Northern Land Council, Principal Policy Adviser with the Office of Indigenous Policy in the Northern Territory Department of the Chief Minister, and Manager of Indigenous and International Programs at Fred Hollows Foundation and represented the Australian Government at various international forums.

Luke Pearson

Luke is a Gamilaroi man, from the central north-west of NSW. Luke founded @IndigenousX in 2012 after leaving his professional career as a primary school teacher in 2008. Luke has a Batchelor of Education from University of Newcastle, and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professional with the University of Canberra.

Throughout his varying career Luke has been a teacher, mentor, counsellor, public speaker, collaborator, mediator, facilitator, events manager, researcher, evaluator, reporter and much more. His personal Twitter account was so popular due to his engaging content and manner that in 2012, Luke gifted away the 5000 followers he had amassed, and created the @IndigenousX account, which to date has grown to now have over 30 000 followers, and now includes a website http://indigenousx.com.au - The idea was to share and enhance the platform he had created by providing an opportunity for 52 other Indigenous people per year to share their knowledge, opinions and experiences.

Bookings now open https://www.yourcentre.com.au/#!/event_book_now/1224/