Our country is a crime scene. Land theft, murder, torture, enslavement, denial of liberty, wage theft, sexual assault, social destruction, cultural desecration and the kidnapping of children are at the heart of Australia’s founding. They underpin our society and underpin the ongoing destruction of the continent’s environment. There has never been adequate acknowledgment, let alone redress, for these crimes – many of which are ongoing – perpetrated against First Nations people. Justice demands that the grievances of the original inhabitants be addressed, not simply with words, but with deeds.
What we think
- Australia was founded as a colonial-settler state, through invasion and dispossession of First Nations peoples, and Australian capitalism developed through further dispossession and genocide of First Nations people.
- Sovereignty over land and water was never ceded.
- There has never been adequate redress for the systematic crimes committed against First Nations people.
- First Nations people continue to endure profound oppression, discrimination and racism.
- The criminal justice system in particular is racist and brutalises First Nations people.
- First Nations people have the right to self-determination in the economic, political, cultural and spiritual spheres; their claims to self-determination, sovereignty and land rights supersede the property ownership claims of private businesses.
- A treaty or series of treaties are fundamental to gaining justice, but only if they are on just terms and include the right to veto what happens on and under their lands and water.
What we'll fight for
- End the privileging of business interests over Indigenous land rights by pursuing Treaties with First Nations peoples that include the right to veto mining and other environmentally and culturally destructive activities. In so doing, achieving justice, sovereignty and self-determination.
- Establish a reparations tax on commercial properties as a contribution to funding land theft reparations for First Nations people.
- Expand the Victorian Stolen Generations Reparations Package to include people removed from their families after 1976 and compensate families of deceased people who would have been eligible for compensation under the scheme.
- Acknowledge the Indigenous Stolen Wages Preliminary Investigation and establish a scheme to make payments to workers and the families of deceased workers who had wages stolen or withheld.
- Further develop the curriculum so that Victorian students are taught about the systemic injustices perpetrated against First Nations people.
- Fund schools to teach Aboriginal languages.
- Provide targeted spending to rapidly equalise the health, education and economic outcomes of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
- Increase access to legal, health and social support services.
- Protect cultural rights and provide greater support to retain and restore culture and languages lost due to colonisation and genocide, including by supporting First Nations people to live or spend time on country.
- Recognise January 26 as Invasion Day.
- Implement all recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
- Implement all recommendations of the Bringing them Home Report.