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A dream that cannot be denied

On the road to Freedom Day

IN THE MONTHS leading up to the 2019 federal election, as part of a small team of fellow union members, I travelled 26,000 kilometres throughout the Northern Territory electorate of Lingiari. My mission was to enrol First Nations peoples to vote.

My Elders knew that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander influence in our democracy is important because politicians, with parliamentary supremacy, ultimately decide the laws, policies and penalties that incarcerate, impoverish and kill us disproportionately to all other Australians. I cannot forget how my grandparents’ generation had to fight, and fight hard, for the right to vote – to influence Australia’s democracy. But how effective can our efforts be without a Voice to Parliament?

In this essay, I will take you on long roads to tiny communities in the Northern Territory. I will share the story of the legend who the electorate is named for, Vincent Lingiari. But a warning: don’t expect the celebrated story most people already know, immortalised in moving lyrics and harmony in the Kevin Carmody and Paul Kelly song, ‘From little things, big things grow’.[i] A powerful song that ends with a handful of sand. But what came next?

By understanding the Gurindji struggle that came after the handful of sand, I believe we can understand why the Uluru Statement calls for the establishment of a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice. And if we can embrace Vincent Lingiari’s courage and commitment to achieve a dream as our own, I believe we can move the nation to address a terrible flaw in our democracy.

 

ON THE LAST 300-kilometre stretch into Gurindji country, south-west of Katherine on the single-lane Buntine Highway, you’ll see a panorama of hills that roll like ocean swells, tinged with gold and flecked with rust. For all the surrounding beauty, a driver must be cautious: the narrow, mottled-grey highway is an obstacle course of flying kangaroos, stubborn cattle and copious amounts of roadkill, feasted upon by massive wedge-tailed eagles. Most of all, a driver must beware the main cause of the roadkill: hulking livestock road trains, three double-deck trailers long, dominating the entire width of the road.

The first time I made the nine-hour journey to Gurindji country was almost ten years ago for the forty-fifth anniversary of the Wave Hill Walk-Off. I had recently become an official of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), a union with a special connection to the Gurindji people. A relationship I learnt about while labouring on the Darwin wharves.

I started work on the wharves as a maritime trainee when I was seventeen. During the two-year government traineeship, I experienced various occupations around the port: at the Port Authority I worked in administration, couriering, security, maintenance and with the pilot-boat crews; I also had stints with customs and shipping agents and, as a wharfie, loading and unloading cargo ships. Across offices, workshops, and the docks and decks of ships, I gained quick lessons about workplace politics, both among the workers and in the collective tactics required to secure and protect better wages and conditions from employers who would’ve happily paid much less. Perhaps only rations, if they could.

After completing my two-year traineeship, I became a wharfie. I enjoyed both the physical work and operating the heavy machinery, such as the giant portainer gantry crane. Standing on four tall legs, the portainer plucks twenty- and forty-foot containers from ships and tow-truck trailers with ease. When at rest, the boom hoists high into the sky like a long, stiff neck. As kids growing up near the port, we called it the big giraffe. As much as the work, though, I loved the colourful camaraderie among the wharfies and seafarers, the collective culture and history of supporting social-justice causes, especially the rights of Indigenous peoples.

In my early days on the wharf, I would always arrive at the smoko hut an hour before my shift. Not to start work early – I wouldn’t dare undermine the conditions the union elders had fought for – but to play cards and enjoy yarning with the old wharfies about all manner of things, including local, national, and international history and politics.

One of those old wharfies was a man named Brian Manning, a former MUA official. With a steaming hot cuppa and a handful of cards, he told me many stories about how he and fellow Darwin wharfies had acted in solidarity with vulnerable asylum seekers, exploited Third-World seafarers and the East Timorese during the 1975 Indonesian invasion. In support of the outgunned and outnumbered East Timorese, Manning and a few other activists played cat and mouse with federal agents, secretly moving about the bush near Darwin with radio equipment. Their objective: to provide the East Timorese Fretlin independence movement with a precious link to the rest of the world. The radio link, called Radio Maubere,[ii] was used to report the atrocities East Timorese people were suffering at the hands of the Indonesians – it was an oppressed people’s only voice to the rest of the world. Manning and the covert team of Australian activists were a lifeline for a nation fighting to regain sovereignty.

Of particular interest to me as a young Indigenous activist were Manning’s stories about wharfie support for Indigenous rights, especially the Gurindji Wave Hill Walk-Off. He spoke of the epic struggle for Aboriginal land rights as if it were yesterday. I learnt about the activism and leadership of Aboriginal stockmen in that dispute – leaders such as Dexter Daniels,[iii] Lupnagiari (aka ‘Captain Major’) and Mick Rangiari.[iv] I learnt about other Aboriginal leaders who led the movement from the big cities, including Sydney activist and 1967 referendum activist Chicka Dixon,[v] also known as the Fox; the Darwin-born Joe McGuinness,[vi] the first Indigenous president of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in 1961; and Fred Maynard,[vii] the president of the first all-Aboriginal political organisation in 1924, the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association. I was inspired to hear that these Aboriginal leaders were wharfies and had found their voice in the union movement.

Manning gave me a deeper insight into the less known prologue of the walk-off. Those aforementioned Aboriginal stockmen had been involved in several other stock worker walk-offs that had failed to gain the equal wages they knew they deserved. Their protests were dispersed by kartiya (non-Indigenous) tactics of division and deprivation – and also by broken promises. Eventually, in solidarity, the North Australian Workers’ Union, supported by unions throughout the country, took a case for equal wages to the Arbitration Commission, and they won. But the commission applied a caveat: equal wages wouldn’t commence until three years later. The commission ruled that the pastoralists would need the time to adjust to the new pay arrangements. Of course, this angered Aboriginal stock workers, including a quietly spoken and dignified Gurindji leader, Vincent Lingiari.

Soon after the equal wages decision, Vincent Lingiari broke his leg while yoking a donkey on Wave Hill Station. When Brian Manning, with Aboriginal union official Dexter Daniels and Aboriginal screen star Bobby Tudawali,[viii] heard that the Gurindji leader was hospitalised in Darwin, they visited him to commit their support should the Gurindji decide to strike for the immediate implementation of equal wages.

When Vincent Lingiari returned to Wave Hill Station, he was encouraged by the commitment of external support – unlike for the previous walk-offs. On the morning of 23 August 1966, he defiantly looked the Wave Hill Station manager in the eye and warned that he would be gathering his people to walk off. Wisened to broken promises, and hardened from a lifetime of servitude in poverty, he ignored the manager’s pleas that they should stay.

 

Let us live in peace together as mates. Don’t let’s make it hard for each other... We want to live in a better way together, blackfellas and whitefellas. Don’t let us fight over anything. – Vincent Lingiari

AT THE WALK-OFF anniversary ceremony, I remember sitting in the shade of a bough shed among a throng of politicians, journalists and Indigenous leaders from across the country, all buzzing around the legendary Gurindji Elders. Quiet by nature and new to union official duties, I was nervous and uncomfortable, uncertain of the decorum and expectations in a social situation with people I had only seen on TV. My saving grace was the familiarity of the retired wharfie who sat beside me: Brian Manning.

Brian was in his late seventies by then. He sat proudly with his walking stick resting on his knee. The Gurindji men were smartly dressed in long-sleeved button-up shirts, dusty jeans and broad-brimmed cowboy hats. Brian wore his simple, collared T-shirt and stubbies shorts, always humble. I sensed the immense respect between the weary old stockmen and the retired waterside worker. The occasion was a great opportunity to listen.

I strained to hear every word spoken between the Elders amid that buzz. Their eyes glowed as they reminisced about the late Vincent Lingiari, who guided more than 200 of his people away from slavery. As I listened, I imagined Lingiari’s courage: in the early morning, leading his people west, his shadow was cast before him. He must have worried: ‘Will white men come galloping over the horizon with their guns ablaze? Will we join our murdered families, our image never again cast on our land by a rising sun?’

Under the bough shed that day, the old men explained that they had dared not walk along the road for fear of a confrontation. For on their backs were their meagre belongings; on their hips their small children; and in their minds were memories of a massacre that occurred only forty-two years ago, in 1924 – the last reported massacre on Gurindji country. On a small knoll midway between Lord Vestey’s Wave Hill Cattle Station and the police outpost at Bow Hill, peaceful Gurindji families were ambushed by mounted white men wielding rifles. An act of utter savagery ensued.

An old man who survived the carnage later recalled how his people were run down and shot like dogs. He described how one or two got away, and another, who climbed a tree, was shot down in cold blood. ‘Warlatarrka was his name. He was Jungurra [skin].’[ix]

But Lingiari was determined – a trait fondly remembered later in his comrades’ yarns. When a mounted murnnungku (policeman), Constable ‘Bluey’ Harvey, attempted to turn the protesting Gurindji back to Vestey’s keeping, Lingiari refused. Onward he led his people to the Victoria River for the wet season. Later, the striking workers moved to Wattie Creek, a place of significance in Gurindji culture and lore. It was there they stopped, turned and faced their formidable foes – both the Commonwealth who had stolen their land, and their former masters who were exploiting it.

 

IN THE SIXTH Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, delivered in 2002, Brian Manning remembered:

There were nervous cries of ‘cudeba, cudeba’ [‘kartiya, kartiya’], the Gurindji term for white fellas. White ringers from the station had been cruising the area hoping to entice some of the women from the camp. In the tense atmosphere of the strike camp this was in fact harassment. As I turned onto the riverbed and drove slowly towards the camp the people realised [mine] was not a ringer’s vehicle. An excited young Aboriginal lad climbed up onto the running board and called out that it was Dexter Daniels. The nervous cries changed to loud and excited cheers from a swelling crowd around the truck. I could actually sense their relief in the realisation that they were no longer on their own as they had been on a prior occasion and the promise of support was now a reality.[x]

Soon after the walk-off, the protest became much more than a claim for equal wages. The modern-day Gurindji dream, so reasonably proposed, was that they would live on their land, their way. They dared pursue a dream of a new relationship with broader Australia – one where Gurindji and kartiya could live as mates.

As the conservative Gorton and McMahon governments tried dismissing the Gurindji’s dream, Vincent Lingiari and a growing number of allies across the nation refused to take no for an answer.

Visits to workplaces in the big cities by Dexter Daniels, Captain Major and Lingiari himself roused unions and activist groups to raise the considerable funds needed to supply sustenance and materials for building and fencing at Daguragu. Locally and abroad, boycotts of Vestey’s product were organised. The Gurindji’s determination and courage sparked the national land rights movement. The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was erected on the lawns of Parliament House, where it remains to this day.

After six years of highs and heartbreaking lows, the protestors’ fortunes changed in 1972 with the election of the Labor Party under Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Whitlam, a rare, visionary Australian leader, had promised land rights and a policy of self-determination. In 1975, he travelled to Gurindji land to conduct a historic ceremony. Surrounded by dignitaries and media, the much taller kartiya man leant towards a tired and weary old Vincent Lingiari. Symbolically pouring a handful of sand into his palm, the prime minister said:

Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof, in Australian law, that these lands belong to the Gurindji people and I put into your hands part of the earth itself as a sign that this land will be the possession of you and your children forever.

That handful of sand initially stood for a pastoral lease of 3,000 square kilometres: public sentiment had sufficiently encouraged Lord Vestey to allow the Whitlam government – not without ample compensation – to excise a lease from Wave Hill Station. But the lease was meant to be a temporary solution while an Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Bill progressed through Federal Parliament and into law. Whitlam’s plan was to use the federal government-controlled Northern Territory to set a precedent for land rights and Indigenous self-determination across the nation. The legislation, as Whitlam had it, would give Gurindji and other First Nations peoples possession of their land again, in perpetuity – including strong rights to mineral wealth. But Whitlam’s plans were foiled.

In November 1975, the Queen’s representative, Governor-General Sir John Kerr, dismissed the Whitlam government, appointing Malcolm Fraser’s Liberal Party as caretakers. The Liberal Party, not yet democratically elected by the people, promised Aboriginal leaders they wouldn’t change Whitlam’s Indigenous affairs policy. But soon after Fraser won the election that December, he succumbed to the Nationals’ lobbying, and in particular to a ‘Rights for Whites’ movement in which members of the Northern Territory’s Country Liberal Party were involved.[xi] The Fraser-led Liberal Party broke their promise.

Within weeks of the election, Aboriginal land councils learnt that their powers would be curtailed, their funding cut and the Land Rights Bill altered to remove or water down Indigenous rights. For the Gurindji, with almost all of their stolen lands under a pastoral lease, the news was devastating.

 

THE GURINDJI LEADERSHIP persevered, building their community in a place of their choosing close to Wattie Creek: Daguragu. As the Murramulla Gurindji Company, they successfully worked cattle on the lease Whitlam had delivered. But they were hobbled by paternalism and strictly imposed laws and policies. The Fraser government, in an exercise of ‘double speak’, labelled the Indigenous Affairs policy ‘self-management’. Whatever the name, the station was in effect run by government-appointed advisors to meet the European priority for land use: to exploit the land to extract maximum commercial profit. The kartiya priorities were at stark odds with the Gurindji dream.

In 1976, when Governor-General Sir John Kerr[xii] declared Kalkarindji a public town, open to any settlers, the flood gates were opened to white opportunists. History tells how a great many of these outsiders thieved and manipulated for personal gain. Kerr’s decision, against the wishes of the Gurindji people, also paved the way for an influx of alcohol and its corrupting effects. As Gurindji Elders lost authority in their own community, the Gurindji youth were led astray. Much of the next generation lost their way.

The Murramulla Gurindji Company went bust in the late 1980s, its death blow arriving with the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign (BTEC). Though only two cows in the Murramulla herd had tested positive, BTEC slaughtered half of the Murramulla stock because the company failed to meet the necessary fencing and monitoring regulations. It was a heartbreaking time for the surviving walk-off mob, made all the more devastating when, on 21 January 1988, Vincent Lingiari passed away. Today, the land is leased to non-Indigenous pastoralists.

A useful account of the demise of Murramulla and the roadblocks to self-determination can be found in Charlie Ward’s A Handful of Sand. This book lays bare the details – the trials and tribulations; the enmity of governments; the overbearing bureaucracy; and the chicanery of kartiya opportunists – of how the dream was denied.

The truth is, the Gurindji dream has not yet been fully realised because, while they gained a handful of sand from Whitlam, they lacked structural political power. So, what of our democracy?

 

IN 2017, THE federal government had cut the Northern Territory Electoral Commission staff from sixteen to three while some 42 per cent of Indigenous people were missing from the electoral roll.[xiii] This problem is not just a Northern Territory issue. In 2019, the enrolment rate of Indigenous people across all federal electorates was only 76.4 per cent, while for the entire population, it is 96.9 per cent.[xiv] The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) estimated that 120,486 Indigenous people were ‘unenrolled’ that year. First Nations peoples are either disenfranchised or falling through the holes in our democracy.

In the final week of the 2019 election, while a rich businessman, Clive Palmer, spent almost $84 million dollars[xv] on more than his fair share of democratic influence, my union team was in the final stage of our electoral mission, working against the odds a world away in the central desert. We followed the AEC mobile polling booth, hoping the people we enrolled would be there to vote.

As we arrived in each community, the dedicated AEC team – all friendly women in their fifties or sixties – would ritually unpack the official cardboard ballot boxes, the voters’ roll, the tables and chairs, busily preparing for the process of Australian democracy as curious Aboriginal children watched on. As advocates for a political party handing out how-to-vote advice, we obediently remained beyond the boundaries the AEC staff marked, using clumps of grass or sometimes just crude lines scratched through the red dirt. We were jovial, all of us. The AEC workers clearly enjoyed their jobs and our company; my union team was buoyed by the polls indicating our side would win.

But after visiting several communities, I became concerned about voter turnout. People we’d helped enrol in the months before, and many others, were out on country for ceremony, or off country working, or taking tourists about. We were told that some residents had travelled to other communities or homelands visiting family. In some communities, voter turnout was less than 10 per cent. I was most alarmed in Ukaka, a community between Watarrka and Uluru.

Ukaka is a small community with around twenty houses. Alongside the central dirt road, a large tree casts precious shade over a makeshift rocking horse. Made from the suspension of a four-wheel drive, the ingenious contraption was literally springing out of the ground. With Robert Hoosan, an Aboriginal interpreter who was assisting our union team in the region, we went from house to house, searching for potential voters – yet the only resident we encountered was a surprisingly healthy dog.

Though Ukaka was empty, the AEC opened the polling booth in a small patch of shade against a wire fence in the centre of the community. Robert and I passed the time, kicking a footy on the road by the shady tree, our sporting prowess as rusty as the puffs of ochre dust around our feet. The entire town turned out to watch us. He was a curious dog.

My mission in Lingiari was a futile one, because unlike other Australians, First Nations peoples’ interests cannot be represented at the polls. We are merely 3 per cent of the population, and as in the story I have shared, and as you have read in the AEC statistics,[xvi] our voting numbers are much worse than that.

The flaw in our democracy is that First Nations peoples are unable to influence federal parliament and, therefore, parliament does not represent us. Yet they wield the race power, making special laws about us, often to our detriment. For these harmful political and policy decisions – decisions that impoverish and kill my people – no politician, and certainly no parliament, has ever been held to account. Not by the Australian people at the polls, nor by our own efforts: marching the streets in protest; meeting ministers and bureaucrats behind closed doors; or establishing merely legislated or government-sponsored representative organisations. The status quo is this: the gap does not close.

The Uluru Statement calls for structural reform through a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice for good reason. Enhancing our influence in Australia’s democracy is the priority.

 

The race power, by its very existence, calls into question the assumption of equality. – Murray Gleeson, former High Court Chief Justice, in a 2019 speech[xvii]

TWO YEARS AFTER my first trip to Gurindji country, listening to stories of struggle told under a bough shed in Kalkarindji, I stood on Darwin’s Stokes Hill Wharf leading a memorial service to mourn the loss of my old union mentor, Brian Manning.

The week before, his son, Brian Junior, had warned me his old man’s time was almost at an end. Moments before Manning’s death, I was by his bedside at the Darwin hospice. The old waterside worker lay unconscious. Each breath, though strenuous, was drawn with as much vigour as he had brought to the fight for humanity in his better days. As I said goodbye, I wondered which cherished memory he was reliving as he dreamt his last dream. The Manning family were at his side when peace became him; we were sad, sombre and proud.

Union members, freedom fighters and former asylum seekers – now Australian citizens with their children and grandchildren by their side – all gathered with Brian’s family that day to say ‘vale, Comrade Manning’. At the podium where I stood to lead the service was an MUA flag and a Chips Mackinolty[xviii] memorial poster[xix] featuring Brian’s profile, a kindly smile on his face. Across the top of the poster, written in Tetum, English and Gurindji languages, was the bold print:

Husi nakunun ba naroman
From darkness to light…
Mumkurla-nginyi-ma
parrngalinyparla

As the service concluded, a dozen Gurindji Elders came forward and, one by one, they shook my hand and embraced me. They moved me to tears with their warmth and love for my old friend, Manning. The last was respected Elder Jimmy Wavehill,[xx] a young man when he followed Vincent Lingiari from Wave Hill Station in 1966. Jimmy firmly held my hands in his. His weathered face shifted from sombre to jovial as a bright smile showed a glimmer of his youth. He held my gaze with his greying-brown eyes and said, ‘You are always welcome to come to Gurindji country.’

I’ve since made an annual pilgrimage to the Kalkarindji Festival that celebrates the anniversary of the walk-off – the Gurindji have named the festival ‘Freedom Day’.[xxi]

In August 2017, soon after First Nations delegates endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, I asked Indigenous leaders Professor Marcia Langton AM and Professor Pat Anderson AO if I could take the sacred Uluru Statement canvas to the Freedom Day festival. They agreed.

I arrived the night before the walk-off re-enactment that marks the beginning of the festivities. My Gurindji friend and leader, Rob Roy[xxii] (affectionately known as Double R), welcomed me and, after a hearty feed of traditional seafoods I had brought from Darwin and cooked on the camp stove, I introduced him to the Uluru Statement.

Double R listened as I talked about the statement’s proposal for a Voice; he asked questions; and I listened to him as he told me about the problems in the community, the frustrations with poor policy and indifferent politicians. We related the practical issues, the day-to-day struggles – for housing, employment, health – to the root cause of it all: governments are still making decisions about us, without us. We need a guaranteed Voice to Parliament to address the flaw in Australia’s democracy.

We kept yarning till after midnight.

The following morning, after re-enacting the walk-off, Double R stood on a dusty rise above the Victoria River and read a statement to the audience on behalf of the Gurindji Elders:

Today on the anniversary of the Wave Hill Walk-Off, we re-enacted the walk-off that was the beginning of our struggle for land rights and fair working conditions. It was our actions that led to Prime Minister Gough Whitlam giving our country back to us in the symbolic gesture that is celebrated today in Australian history.

The call of Voice, Truth and Treaty out of Uluru this year was another action that we will be a part of. Dr Yunupingu put down a challenge to our prime minister at Garma to see the call for a Voice enacted. We join our voice with theirs with the vision of seeing a Gurindji speaking to parliament, and the truth being told about our history. A settlement of our sad past can be resolved by Makarrata.

The proposal for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament is both radical and conservative. Powerful enough to influence the decisions that affect us, our land and our freedom. Conservative enough to succeed at a referendum. We know we got it right. We have gained support from across the polarised Australian political spectrum, from giant corporates to the most militant unions, from the big cities to the tiny communities in Lingiari.

All that is required now is a prime minister who has the courage to put a simple referendum question to the Australian people. Of course, the Australian people will say yes, let’s enshrine a First Nations Voice. It’s time for a fair go.

When I need inspiration in this campaign, I think about Vincent Lingiari.

How that great Gurindji leader was standing on country with a handful of sand, while a larger-than-life prime minister flew away into a storm. While far away, as activists celebrated in the big cities, the ‘Rights for Whites’ lobby rolled on.

A tired old man standing on country, surrounded by vultures.

A handful of sand – but no Voice.

We must not let our dreams be denied.

 

This article is published in the run-up to the third anniversary of the federal government’s rejection of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in October 2017.

Image: One of Vincent Lingiari's great-granddaughters, Vikarra. Photograph by Thomas Mayor.

 

References

[i] A tribute to Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji. (n.d.). National Museum of Australia. https://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/from-little-things-big-things-grow/song-lyrics

[ii] Radio Maubere. (2016, 12 October). Earshot with Miyuki Jokiranta. ABC Radio National. https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/earshot/radio-maubere/7905818

[iii] Kimber, K. (2011). ‘That’s not right: Indigenous politics, Dexter Daniels and 1968’. Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. https://labourhistorycanberra.org/2015/02/2011-asslh-conference-thats-not-right-indigenous-politics-dexter-daniels-and-1968/

[iv] Mick Rangiari (n.d.). National Museum of Australia. https://www.nma.gov.au/explore/features/indigenous-rights/people/mick-rangiari#!

[v] The Fox. (n.d.). Chicka Dixon. https://chickadixon.com/chicka-dixon/biography/

[vi] Joseph Daniel McGinness (n.d.). Indigenous Australia. https://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/mcginness-joseph-daniel-joe-17813

[vii] Maynard, J. (1997). Fred Maynard and the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA): One god, one aim, one destiny. Aboriginal History, vol. 21. https://aiatsis.gov.au/sites/default/files/catalogue_resources/18787.pdf

[viii] Robert Tudawali (2002). Australian Dictionary of Biography. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/tudawali-robert-11889

[ix] Ward, C. (2016). A Handful of Sand: The Gurindji Struggle, After the Walk-Off. Monash University Publishing.

[x] Manning, B. (2002, 23 August). The 6th Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture. https://www.nma.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/702948/6th-vincent-lingiari-memorial-lecture.pdf

[xi] Gosford, B. (2016, 7 February). Les MacFarlane CMG of Moroak: Cattleman, politician and racist? Crikey. https://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2016/02/07/les-macfarlane-of-moroak-cattleman-politician-racist/

[xii] Sir John Kerr had represented the respondent pastoralists in the equal wages case (Northern Territory Cattle Industry Award Case) in 1965.

[xiii] Maddocks, T. (2018, 17 December). NT politician blames AEC cuts for constituents being denied chance to enrol to vote. ABC News. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-17/voter-participation-enrolled-lingiari-snowdon-jacinta-price/10620932

[xiv] Australian Electoral Commission. (2020, 4 September). Indigenous enrolment rate. https://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Enrolment_stats/performance/indigenous-enrolment-rate.htm

[xv] Secombe, M. (2020, 8–14 February). Inside Palmer’s campaign to thwart Labor. The Saturday Paper. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2020/02/08/inside-palmers-campaign-thwart-labor/15810804009361

[xvi] Australian Electoral Commission. (2020, 4 September). Indigenous enrolment rate. https://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Enrolment_stats/performance/indigenous-enrolment-rate.htm

[xvii] Gleeson, M. (2019). Why I support a Voice to Parliament. Inside Story. https://insidestory.org.au/why-i-support-a-voice-to-parliament/

[xviii] Gosford, B. (2019, 15 January). After half a century of making posters…Chips Mackinolty is a one trick pony! Crikey. https://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2019/01/15/after-half-a-century-of-making-posters-chips-mackinolty-is-a-one-trick-pony/

[xix] Special poster for Brian Manning Memorial Service. (2013, 11 September). Little Darwin. http://littledarwin.blogspot.com/2013/11/brian-manning-memorial-service.html

[xx] Garrick, M. (2019, 24 August). Decades since Whitlam’s symbolic hand back, Gurindji call for action. ABC News. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-24/wave-hill-walk-off-celebrated-by-aboriginal-leaders-in-nt/11442802

[xxi] 50th anniversary Freedom Day Festival highlights. (2016). ICTV Play. https://ictv.com.au/video/item/4545

[xxii] Gurindji leader Rob Roy. (2018, 27 June). Rear Vision with Annabelle Quince, Keri Phillips. ABC Radio National. https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/gurindji-leader-rob-roy/9899160

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