On Gomeroi - Pamela

From the series 'On Gomeroi' - photographic portraits taken on a recent road trip out to north-western New South Wales, the land belonging to the Gomeroi people. 

This is a portrait of Pamela, a young girl from the small town of Boggabilla.

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On Gomeroi - Jedda and Lavenia

From the series 'On Gomeroi' - photographic portraits taken on a recent road trip out to north-western New South Wales, the land belonging to the Gomeroi people. 

This is a portrait of mother and daughter, Jedda and Lavenia, from the remote town of Collarenebri, situated on the Barwon River.

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On Gomeroi: Haylee

From the series 'On Gomeroi' - photographic portraits taken on a recent road trip out to north-western New South Wales, the land belonging to the Gomeroi people. 

This is a portrait of Haylee, a young Gomeroi girl from the border town of Mungindi.

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Talking Justice in the Pacific

Images from 'Talking Justice in the Pacific', held at Marrickville Town Hall, and organised by Jubilee Australia.

Speakers included Papuan activist and traditional land owner, Lucielle Paru, from the Port Moresby area of PNG, and Australian novelist, Tim Winton. The discussion was moderated by Luke Fletcher, executive director of Jubilee Australia. The evening's proceedings were opened with an acknowledgement of country by Uncle Ken Canning, following a performance by Papuan dance troupe, Kairuku-Mekeo.

Topics included land and sea rights for indigenous peoples across the Pacific, colonialism, self-determination, environmental issues and human rights.

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State Library of NSW Acquisition - Safe Space for the Homeless

I'm excited to officially announce that the State Library of NSW has acquired to its collection 21 of my photographs documenting the 24/7 Street Kitchen and Safe Space for the Homeless which operated a 'tent city' in Martin Place in Sydney's CBD for most of 2017.

The acquisition means that the Library will hold evidence that this important grass-roots, community-led movement took place, so that future generations of researchers, photographers, historians, journalists and concerned citizens might have some insight into the current homelessness crisis in Sydney.

Below are some portraits of Lanz Priestly, the main instigator and organiser of the Safe Space, taken on location on New Years day, 2017. These particular photographs are not part of the acquisition. To see those photographs, please head to the NSW State Library.

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One Billion Rising

The One Billion Rising campaign aims to work towards ending violence against women. A signature of its international campaign is action through dance.

Yesterday in Hyde Park, around two hundred women gathered to demand an end to all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, workplace exploitation and human trafficking. The event culminated in a mass performance of the One Billion Rising dance.

The action was organised by Asian Women At Work and Immigrant Women Speak Out.

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T.J. Hickey Memorial and Rally

This Wednesday, the 14th of February was not celebrated as St.Valentine's Day for the Hickey family.

Instead, it marked 14 years since T.J. Hickey was killed on his bicycle during a police pursuit through Redfern and Waterloo.

This year, the date comes exactly one week after an Aboriginal man, Patrick Fisher, died fleeing police not 200 metres away from where T.J. Hickey lost his life. Both cases represent a long line of ongoing cases of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

A memorial and rally was held today at the Waterloo housing estate to commemorate the life T.J. Hickey and the events leading to his death, 14 years ago.

A substantial police presence was evident during the rally, including riot squad members, as the family and supporters peacefully marched from Waterloo to State Parliament. Family members continue to demand justice, 14 years on.

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T.J. Hickey - 14 Years On

This Wednesday, the 14th of February will not be celebrated as St.Valentine's Day for the Hickey family.

Instead, it will mark 14 years since T.J. Hickey was killed on his bicycle during a police pursuit through Redfern and Waterloo.

This year, the date comes exactly one week after an Aboriginal man, Patrick Fisher, died fleeing police not 200 metres away from where T.J. Hickey lost his life. Both cases represent a long line of ongoing cases of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

A rally will be held on Wednesday at the Waterloo housing estate to commemorate the life T.J. Hickey and the events leading to his death 14 years ago. Family members will be demanding justice.

Below is an image of T.J.'s mother, Gail, holding a memorial plaque and a photograph of her son. Standing next to Gail is her grandson, Jarrel.

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R.I.P. Patrick Fisher - Rally

This morning, around 200-300 people commemorated the life of the late Patrick Fisher, who last Wednesday, died while allegedly fleeing from police. He allegedly fell from a thirteenth floor balcony at the Joseph Banks Tower in the Waterloo public housing estate.

Speakers remembered the popular 31-year old and called for an independent inquiry, community action and justice, given the ongoing Aboriginal deaths in police custody.

The crowd then marched to Redfern Park to the chants of "Too many coppers, not enough justice!" as police looked on. More speeches from family and community members were held at the park. 

The police are conducting a critical incident review into Wednesday's events.

Patrick Fisher leaves behind, three sons, a mother, brothers, sisters and a large extended family, many who were present today.

 

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On Gomeroi: Adam

From the series 'On Gomeroi' - photographic portraits taken on a recent road trip out to north-western New South Wales, the land belonging to the Gomeroi people. 

This is a portrait of Adam, a young Gomeroi father living in the small town of Boggabilla.

 

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On Gomeroi: Kayleedah

From the series 'On Gomeroi' - photographic portraits taken on a recent road trip out to north-western New South Wales, the land belonging to the Gomeroi people. 

This is a portrait of Kayleedah, a young woman from the small town of Boggabilla.

 

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Peace Boat from Japan Arrives in Sydney - ICAN Forum

Today, the Peace Boat arrived into Sydney Harbour from Japan, bringing with it survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb, the Fukushima nuclear power station disaster and the British and Australian atomic tests on the APY Lands in South Australia.

A forum, organised by last year's Nobel Peace Prize winners, ICAN, was held at Redfern Community Centre, featuring stories of the survivors: from Fukushima, Kenichi Hasegawa and Hanako Hasegawa; from Nagasaki, Terumi Tanaka; and from second generation survivor of the atomic tests on APY Lands, Karina Lester.

Other speakers included Zachary Wone from the MUA and long-time anti-nuclear campaigner, Scott Ludlam. Also present was Peace Boat representative, Akira Kawasaki. The evening was hosted by Natalie Wasley.

Throughout the event, there were performances by artists 'Nhambaa Dalaay' from Gomeroi Country (NW NSW); 'Goshu Kariyushi kai' from Okinawa (Southern Japan); and Russell Smith (from the band, 'Brolga Boys').

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Peace Boat arrives in Sydney

Today, the Peace Boat arrived in Sydney, bringing with it survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb, the Fukushima nuclear power station disaster and the British atomic tests on the APY lands in South Australia.

A seminar, organised by last year's Nobel Peace Prize winners, ICAN, was held today at Redfern Community Centre, featuring stories from the survivors, and performances by artists from Gomeroi Country (NW NSW), and Okinawa (Southern Japan).

Here Gomeroi dancers, Nhambaa Dalaay, pose with the Japanese nuclear survivors, Hanako Hasegawa,  Kenichi Hasegawa and Terumi Tanaka, along side Peace Boat representative Akira Kawasaki. 

More photos to come.

 

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Invasion Day - Gadigal, 2018

An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people marched on the 26th of January, 2018, from the Block in Redfern, through inner Sydney to the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park, to commemorate and protest the 230th anniversary of the British invasion of the First Nations of what is now known as Australia. The current debate in the mainstream about the meaning of the 26th of January, which has been celebrated as 'Australia Day' since 1994, helped swell the attendance to record numbers.

This year, the date also represents 180 years since the Waterloo Creek/Slaughterhouse Creek massacre where up to 500 Gomeroi people were slaughtered by police and militia in Northern NSW in 1838. The first Day of Mourning was also held 80 years ago on this day.

The Yabun Festival celebrates and acknowledges the survival of Aboriginal peoples through music, dance and discussion. Together, with the marchers, a record 50,000 people attended this year. On the main stage, the audience was entertained by Baraya, Kardajala Kirridarra from the Northern Territory, as well as other musicians, before Yolngu hip hop artist, Baker Boy, wowed the crowd. The day was capped off by a mesmerising performance by Electric Fields.

Serwah

Studio portraits of the multi-talented, extraordinary and stunning Serwah, member of punk-noise-thrash-crossover metal band, Dispossessed, quoted as being "the most uncompromising, unapologetic and important band in Australia".

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Swanson Dock - Twenty Years On (From the Archives)

Twenty years ago, the beginnings of Australia's most significant industrial dispute of recent times began, as the Howard Government and Patrick Corporation sought to break the Maritime Union of Australia.

Part of the campaign against the union involved the 'Dubai Operation'

From Wikipedia:

"One Australian stevedoring company, Fynwest Pty Ltd, sought to recruit former and current Australian Defence Force members to counter the MUA. In particular, from December 1997, Fynwest began a campaign to recruit former and current members of the Special Air Service (SAS), paratroopers from 3RAR, commandos from 4RAR and other military specialists, to become stevedores. Others were recruited from controversial private military and security consulting companies, such as Sandline International and the Control Risks Group. This led to use of terms like 'industrial mercenaries' in political and media circles.

Fynwest planned to send these recruits to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where international standard training could be provided. The newly trained stevedores would then take part in an Australian non-union dock workers training program.

The MUA was "tipped off" about the planned Fynwest operation and took the matter to the media who met the departing Fynwest employees as they boarded a flight to Dubai and questioned their "tourist" status. Intense criticism and the threat of international industrial retaliation forced the Dubai Government to cancel visas for the Fynwest company employees."

 

Unionists had set up a blockade at Patricks, which lasted months. Ultimately the strike was broken, heralding a new age of industrial relations in Australia.

Below are images taken in 1998 at Melbourne's Swanson Dock, where participating strikers and community members gathered to practice their defence skills against line breakers.

Black and White, Kodak Tri-x film, Colour Kodak film, black and white prints.

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Sheila

A portrait of Sheila at Wesley Mission, Surry Hills.

35mm Kodak Tri-X film.

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Human Rights Day Rally

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day, where a lower than expected number of people rallied through central Sydney to demand greater recognition for human rights.

This year, Australia was selected to sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council, despite international misgivings about its record on its treatment of Aboriginal peoples and refugees.

The rally was led by Aboriginal representatives who spoke out against continuing deaths in police custody and the ongoing removal of Aboriginal children from their families.

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Sol Bellear State Funeral

Today, Bungjalung man, Sol Bellear, a giant amongst Aboriginal rights activists, was remembered with a state funeral at Redfern Oval.

Bellear was a significant leader, having been involved in the founding of the Aboriginal Legal Service, the Aboriginal Housing Service and the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. He was also an Aboriginal delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. But perhaps his greatest contribution to public life was the establishment and proliferation of Aboriginal Medical Services in Sydney, around NSW and across Australia.

Sol Bellear was also an important figure in rugby league, particularly for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Redfern All Blacks.

Today's funeral was attended by a large contingent of family, friends and the public.

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Vale Bejame - Dennis Walker Senior

In memoriam of Aboriginal activist and elder, Dennis Walker Snr - Bejame - who passed away on the 4th of December 2017 at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

Bejame, a Noonucal man, was a key figure in the Aboriginal rights movement in the 1970s, and a founder of the Black Panther Party in Australia.

He is pictured here in his van, where he spent his last years - and his last moments, at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy - fighting for sovereignty and treaty until his last breath.

Some of his work can be found on his website, Treaty Now.

This image is published with the permission of his family.

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