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A compilation of Congress news, stories and events. Produced by the National Congress of Australia’s First People


  • April 2013

    Volume 1 No 3 Registered for Post

    congressmob updates, member news, opportunities

    During June and July, every member can vote for who leads Congress for the next two years.

    Nominations for our male and female Co-Chairs open from 310 June, then voting is from 21 June to 5 July.Protecting our rights needs strong leaders and unity among

    our Peoples. Congress representatives are chosen by our members, not

    appointed by Government. Open membership and elections are at the heart of our independence. So to make your voice heard, vote in the Congress elections.Congress will publish statements and CVs of candidates

    in a special CongressMob News and on our website to help you choose who to vote for.We want to know what you want to ask candidates, and

    give candidates the chance to answer your questions. Email your questions to us at: Only members can stand or vote and our membership

    remains free and open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and organisations. To make sure you have a say on who leads Congress, become a member and ensure your details are up to date.

    DelegatesOur first round of Delegate applications for individual members closed in April. We look forward to organisational member nominations

    and voting throughout May. Go to for more information.

    A CompilAtion of Congress news, stories AnD events

    Congress Elections: Have your say

    Welcome! Here youll find a wrap up of the news we regularly email to our members. Download extra copies from our website:

    News review

    Meet our mob

    Congress said it

    Around the nations

  • 2 | Congressmob news April 2013

    The proposals, outlined in our 201314 Budget submission, specifically target health, education and language maintenance funding and place priority on strengthening governance in our community-controlled organisations. Congress Co-Chair, Jody Broun said that achieving the best outcomes was not simply about the amount of funding but better ways of working, for example: identifying and overcoming obstacles like duplication of services, complexity of grant administration and poor accountability by the states and territories.Our proposals also focus on Justice Reinvestment to address the over-representation of

    our Peoples in the criminal justice system.We also raised these issues with the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit with

    specific proposals on ways of doing business differently with our Peoples.For more details go to

    Congress has a clear commitment to principles of ethics such as integrity, honesty, transparency and openness.Our Ethics Council advises us on how to best live up to these commitments and is another feature that sets us at the cutting edge of Australian best practice in the area of corporate ethical conduct.Thanks to Mary Graham and Wesley Enoch for their valuable contributions to the Ethics

    Council over their three-year terms and we look forward to having them back as members of the Congressmob!

    Congress has asked for sweeping changes to the way the federal government works with Aboriginal and torres strait islander communities to deliver better programs and services on the ground.

    Congress welcomes emeritus professor maryAnn Bin-sallik and mr nick freeburn as our two new ethics Council members.

    News reviewn Congress wants more for our communities

    n New Faces in the Congress Ethics Council

    maryAnn Bin-salliknick freeburn

    Policy Updates:Health

    The Congress submission to the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan outlined our members views on supporting our Peoples health. Congress hosted consultations on specific health areas including: drug and alcohol, traditional and cultural approaches and mental health.

    JusticeThe National Justice Policy is now finalised after member input and consultation. A key part of the policy is Justice Reinvestment and Congress has called for it to be trialled and implemented in targeted communities.

    Education Our draft education policy is being finalised and we are also involved in developing ways to measure success in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education programs.

    Native TitleCongress continues to advocate for a reversal of the onus of proof for native title claims in relation to proposed changes to Native Title laws.

    More info onlineSee details of this and more info on Congress policy work at

    National Congress ReportThe NC12 Report is now available on the website at

  • Congressmob news April 2013 | 3

    Around the nationsAll Stars Weekend: Everyones a winnerA crowd of 5000 rugby league fans from all over Australia cheered on the Murri and Koori teams battling it out in the knockout as part of the NRL All Stars weekend in Brisbane in February. NRL legend David Peachey (pictured) worked the

    Congress stall along with youth committee members; Elise Wall and Jared Hutchison and Congress staff. Congratulations to the Argun Warriors from Badu Island

    on their win and to the one hundred new Congress members who signed up on the day!

    Hard Yards on Constitutional Reform beginThe Act of Recognition is now law but the real journey to Constitutional reform is just beginning. The Journey of Recognition, inspired and led by AFL legend Michael Long, will begin after Dreamtime at the G in Melbourne on 26 May. Supporters will walk, cycle and drive from Melbourne to

    North East Arnhem Land raising awareness and spreading the word about recognising our Peoples in the Constitution. Congress is supporting the Journey of Recognition, which

    is being organised by the Recognise campaign.To find out how you can get involved or help out at any

    point on the journey contact: The full story on the journey is at:

    Congress wins on International Womens DayFundamental to the way Congress does business is the equal representation of our women throughout the organisation on the Board, the Ethics Council and among our Delegates.This year the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women

    awarded Congress the Sustaining Womens Empowerment in Communities and Organisations Gold Award for the advancement of women in workplaces and in the community. Co-Chair Jody Broun, said, We listened to our people

    when gender equity was established as a founding and now an operating principle of Congress.The women working within Congress now are part of the

    long, proud history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have fought for our Peoples and we honour the achievements and the significant contributions those women have made, she said.

    nrl legend David peachey and his mother, Congress legend irene, at the All stars weekend Brisbane.

    Co-Chair Jody Broun with education working group member Kara Keys and Delegate Darcel russell.


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    nsw womens reconciliation network gathered at redfern Community Centre to talk Constitutionial reform.

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  • 6 | Congressmob news April 2013

    Languages and culture is a very important area so it was important to see how the traditional languages are going here, said Co-Chair Les Malezer. We must see extra Budget funds dedicated to critical areas where language services are essential like in translation services in health and justice, as well as in language education, he said.Local elder and Kaurareg Aboriginal Corporation Chair, Milton Savage welcomed all to

    country at our community event at the Tamwoy Hall where locals gathered for a Friday evening Kai Kai (feast). They also spoke with Directors and staff, joined up as members and enjoyed performances by the Mer Island dance troupe