RESPECT Multimedia Project

On 10 November 2011, Jan made a speech in the NSW Parliament in support of an exciting community driven multimedia project, auspiced by the Taree Indigenous Development and Employment (TIDE). The project engages 10 to 15-year-old at-risk Aboriginal youth in film-making. One of the recent films developed by the project, entitled RESPECT, was cast with 100% Aboriginal talent  and presents an uplifting real life drama about respect for the Elders in a contemporary Aboriginal community on Australia’s Mid North Coast.

The project has a number of partners but is currently seeking funding to continue to operate in TAFE across the region in coming years. To find out more about the project visit Forster Films at http://www.forsterfilmfestival.com.au/ (Project Coordinator Greg Smith). Copies of the DVD are available to community groups, donations of $10 for the DVD are encouraged to support the project.

Jan also hosted a meeting in NSW Parliament about the project earlier this year. Scroll down to see a copy of Jan’s Adjournment Speech!

Parliament Jubilee Room, 18 October 2011

Jan Barham MLC (third from right) with supporters of the RESPECT Project including (from left) Nathan Moran CEO Birpai Land Council , John Clarke OAM Chair Biripi Medical Centre, Chair Ganga Marrang, CEO TIDE; Sheree Drylie CEO Forster Land Council; Linda Burney MP; Dr Stephen Jurd Associate Professor Clinical Psychiatry Sydney University; Rosie Herbert PACE Coordinator TIDE; Chris Sheed OA Manager TIDE; Mark Rutherford Client Services Officer Probation and Parole Mid North Coast; Leah New Engagement Officer Forster Films

ADJOURNMENT SPEECH Legislative Council, 10 November 2011

The Hon. JAN BARHAM [6.05 p.m.]: The Respect Project is a multimedia project operating on the mid North Coast that focuses on 10-year-old to 15-year-old Aboriginal youth. It uses film-making processes to provide a way to address their real-life dramas. For several years the Respect Project has been engaging Aboriginal community members in the development of short films, providing insight into traditional Aboriginal stories and culture. The Respect Project is targeted at young people at risk and their families, especially those who have had contact with the criminal justice system. The project brings together local Aboriginal land councils, the police, Corrective Services, community development bodies and education providers, among others, with the support of non-government organisations such as Great Lakes Community Resources and the Forster Film Festival.

The project has most recently published a film and DVD resource entitled Respect, which features local Aboriginal actors. It focuses on issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, history, culture and respect within these communities. Respect has been shown and well-received in schools, detention centres, prisons and offender programs across the region. In relation to the film His Honour Judge J. C. Nicholson, SC, said, “The film ‘Respect’ does more in 30 minutes than I achieve in a two-hour summation in a six-year sentence.”

On 18 October I was invited by the Respect Project to host a discussion about the project. The Attorney General, and Minister for Justice and the member for Canterbury both attended the discussion to speak with members of the board of directors of the Respect Project about a proposed expansion into TAFEs across the mid North Coast. I thank them for their interest and ongoing attention to this project. I note that funding had previously been made available under the previous Minister for Community Services, the member for Canterbury. Local Aboriginal community representatives included Nathan Moran, the Chief Executive Officer of the Birpai Land Council; John Clark, OAM, the Chair of the Biripi Medical Centre and Chief Executive Officer of the Taree Indigenous Development and Employment; Sheree Drylie, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forster Land Council; and Mark Rutherford, the Aboriginal Liaison Officer with Corrective Services.

These people were amongst the project members who spoke eloquently at the meeting about the positive impact that the project has had on their communities. The mid North Coast region is amongst those in New South Wales experiencing a growing number of young Aboriginal people in detention. As a result of engagement with the project, these local organisations have been able to trace a significant decrease in antisocial behaviour and reoffending of young people in their communities. I have spoken before in this place about the power of art to bring communities together and to tackle difficult issues in a meaningful way. The Respect Project is an excellent example of this.

Members may also recall another highly successful multimedia project that worked with Aboriginal young people at risk called Koori Exchange, which operated in Cranebrook in western Sydney. It was recently profiled on the ABC’s 7.30 Report. By engaging young people in the research, writing, filming, acting, production and screening of short films, and by telling the stories that young people want to tell, projects such as the Respect Project build the leadership skills of these young people and help them front difficult issues. It also provides them with vocational skills and TAFE certification in some circumstances.

The Respect Project is also an excellent example of a community-government partnership, with resources for the project pooled from a number of different areas. Financial support for the project has included funding from the former Department of Community Services. The project has been successful because of the hard work and personal dedication of individuals. However, it is a sad reality that even highly successful projects find it a constant struggle to maintain funding.

A reduction in offenders leads to significant financial savings to a range of government services and prevents trauma to individuals and families who are impacted by violence. Other members in this place, including The Greens justice spokesperson, Mr David Shoebridge, have spoken about the importance of supporting justice reinvestment programs as a way to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It is heartening to see the willingness of this new Government to consider such approaches. I urge members in this place to consider ways to ensure that projects such as the Respect Project are given the support they deserve. I offer the opportunity to any member who is interested in watching the film to contact me and I will make it available for their viewing.

10th Anniversary of the Arakwal Indigenous Land Use Agreement

On 22 October I was pleased to attend the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Arakwal Indigenous land use agreement [ILUA], which led to the creation of Arakwal National Park at Byron Bay. The ILUA was the first of its kind in Australia and paved the way for other similar agreements around the country. The ILUA and the jointly managed park continues to deliver cultural, economic and environmental benefits for the whole community.

 I had the privilege of playing an active role is the long process that led to development of the Arakwal ILUA, and congratulate all those involved, particularly the Bunjalung Elders who continue to drive the partnership.

 View the National Parks and Wildlife Service photos gallery of the event at http://www.flickr.com/photos/24446199@N08/6275286303/in/photostream/

Submission to YouMeUnity.com.au campaign

As many of you may be aware, consultations are currently taking place across Australia about possible amendments to the Australian Constitution to officially recognise Indigenous members of our community and their rich culture and history. The consultations are being carried out by the Commonwealth Government’s Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. A website has been established to assist with the consultation process at www.YouMeUnity.org.au
On behalf of the NSW Greens, Jan has provided a submission to the process strongly supporting the formal recognition of Aboritinal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in our National Constitution.
 Read Jan’s submission below:

Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Submission

Greens NSW Indigenous policy

Mr Ian Cohen MLC – Second Reading Speech to the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament regarding Constitution Amendment (Recognition of Aboriginal People) Bill 2010

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS—ABORIGINAL TRUST FUND REPAYMENT SCHEME QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

  1. How many direct and decedent claims have not been assessed by the Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme (ATFRS) panel?
    1. What is the total amount of funds that have been paid out of the ATFRS to date?
    2. What percentage of the total funds has been paid out to direct claimants?
    1. Is there a specific amount of funding available for fulfilment of ATFRS claims?
    2. If so, how would any residual or remaining funds be disbursed?
  2. When will the anticipated date of finalisation of all current claims?
    1. Has the scheme encountered a situation whereby descendent claims are rejected on the basis that funds have already been paid out to another descendent of a trust fund beneficiary?
    2. If so, how many claims have been rejected on this basis?
  3. How many beneficiaries or descendents of beneficiaries of the relevant trusts listed on the original 1938 beneficiary list have made claims under the scheme?
  4. What actions will be taken to advise claimants or descendents of claimants from the 1938 lists, who have not yet made an application under the ATFRS, that there is evidence of an entitlement?

 

Answer—

  1. All direct claims have been assessed. As at 30 June 2011, 618 (6.85%) claims are yet to be assessed.
  2.  
    1. I am advised that as of 30 June 2011, ex-gratia repayments totalling $6,075,712.57 have been approved.
    2. I am advised that at 30 June 2011, 45 per cent of total funds approved have been in relation to direct claimants.
  3. No.
  4. I am advised that the Scheme Guidelines provide claimants with a right of review of the assessment of their claim. Claimants have six weeks from the date of claims assessment to lodge a review. Therefore, the finalisation will occur when claims are fully processed.
  5.  
    1. I am advised that in relation to descendant claims, if a repayment is assessed as being owed an ex gratia repayment of $11,000 will be distributed to eligible living family members as follows, but only to the family members who registered with the Scheme by 31 May 2009. 
      If there is no will, the repayment will be made to a spouse (including a de facto partner) who had been living with the deceased for at least 2 years at the time of their death if they have registered with the Scheme. 
      If there is no spouse alive (or registered) then the repayment is distributed in equal shares between the living children of the deceased person who have registered with the Scheme. 
      If the spouse and children of the deceased Trust Fund holder have also died (or have not registered) then the money will be distributed in equal shares to the living grandchildren of the deceased person who have registered with the Scheme.
    2. I am advised that a small number of people not registered with the Scheme have sought to register with the Scheme following payments to family members. Payments cannot be made to unregistered family members as the trust funds have been disbursed.
  6. I am advised that the list of Endowee’ Balances as at 31st July, 1938 was included in the Aborigines Protection Report and Recommendations of the Public Service Board News South Wales as published by order of the Parliament of New South Wales on 4 April 1940. 
    Claims have been registered against 490 trust fund holders contained on the list of Endowee’ Balances as at 31st July, 1938.
  7. I am advised that inclusion on the list of Endowee’ Balances as at 31st July, 1938 is not of itself evidence of an entitlement to a repayment under the Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme. 
    Reforms to the Scheme in March 2009 included an extension of the period in which applicants could register, and the Government funded an extensive communication strategy, ensuring word of the Scheme spread throughout Aboriginal communities in NSW and across Australia. Various other organisations, including the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Legal Aid NSW, also conducted their own campaigns. The Legal Aid NSW campaign included the publication of the full list of Endowee’ Balances as at 31st July, 1938 in Indigenous print media.

 


ABORIGINAL EMPLOYMENT QWN

Question

9 September 2011

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. The new State Plan includes a target to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people within a generation. How many extra jobs would need to be created for Aboriginal people in New South Wales to reach the Government’s target? How many of the 100,000 new jobs that the New South Wales Government is aiming to create will be targeted for Aboriginal people?

The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: That is a good question. I assure the honourable member that I will get an answer from the Minister and report back to her as soon as I can.

 

Answer

15th September 2011

The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: On 24 August 2011 the Hon. Jan Barham asked me, representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, a question without notice regarding Aboriginal programs and services. The Minister for Aboriginal affairs has provided the following response:

    The recently announced Ministerial Taskforce of Aboriginal Affairs will be the New South Wales Government’s peak body and structure to consult with Aboriginal people. The Taskforce will determine a new direction for Aboriginal affairs consultation and service delivery in New South Wales.

    Aboriginal Affairs New South Wales is the key agency that provides advice to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on all matters affecting Aboriginal people.

    Every department is required to have processes in place and a commitment to consult with peak Aboriginal bodies and organisations.

PROCESSING CLAIMS UNDER THE ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS ACT 1983 QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

  1. How many claims are currently to be assessed under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983?
    1. Are there performance targets in place for processing claims and transferring legal title?
    2. If so:
      1. What are the targets?
      2. Have these targets been reached?

 

Answer—

  1. Under Section 36 (1) of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, the responsibility for determining land claims made by Aboriginal Land Councils under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (ALRA) rests with the Minister or Ministers, administering the Crown Lands Act 1989. 
    This question should be referred to the Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services and the Minister for Primary Industries as these matters fall within their portfolio responsibilities.
  2. This question should be referred to the Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services and the Minister for Primary Industries as these matters fall within their portfolio responsibilities.
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