Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™

The Honourable Shaoquett Moselmane , MP

National Indigenous Human Rights Awards 2018 Ceremony was held at the NSW Parliament House
(Coverage by; Syed Zafar Hussain, Editor-in-Chief Sada-e-Watan Sydney)

The 5TH National Indigenous Human Rights Awards Ceremony was held at the NSW Parliament House Sydney on Wednesday, 17th October 2018. The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC was Event Host and National Indigenous Human Rights Awards Convenor.

MC Karla Grant

The Master of ceremonies was Ms Karla Grant, famous Australian presenter, producer and journalist for the SBS's national Indigenous current affairs program Living Black - Karala Grant.

Aunty Joan Tranter

Behalf of the Indigenous Community, Aunty Joan Tranter, Acknowledgement of the Country.

Keynote Speaker Megan Krakouer

Ms Megan Krakouer was Keynote Speaker of the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards 2018. Megan Krakouer is a Noongar woman from the south-west corner of Western Australia. Megan has worked extensively in the private, government and not-for-profit sectors in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. Prior to commencing with Thirrili as The National Indigenous Critical Response Service Support Advocate, Megan worked with knowmore Legal Service, which was established in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is during this time that Megan further developed her passion and interest to work in vulnerable areas in partnership with individuals, families and communities to enhance positive change.
Another passion of Megan’s is her love for the North Melbourne Football Club and recently worked with the club to finalise their Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan. Megan has also worked in land, heritage, education, justice and health. She is very proactive for the betterment of the lives of Indigenous Australians and strives for equality.

Event Host The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC

The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC was Event Host and National Indigenous Human Rights Awards Convenor Welcomes all guests before starting Awards Presentation. he said

I begin by acknowledging the Traditional custodians of the land on which we meet and pay respect to you and your Elders past, present and emerging.

I acknowledge and welcome so many of my parliamentary colleagues, the Minister and shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the President, Deputy President and assistant President of the LC, Parliamentary Friends of Reconciliation, Consular representatives, the Consul general of Pakistan and the Consul General of Lebanon, community leaders, academics, Unions NSW, social justice workers, Multicultural, Aboriginal and mainstream media representatives and many other respected members of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait community.

It is of particular honour for me, as convenor, to be with you this evening celebrating the 5th annual National Indigenous Human Rights Awards, here in NSW Parliament.

I thank you for your support whether it be in sponsorship, in nominating worthy individuals, judging, speaking, or traveling hundreds of kilometres -

I thank you individually for simply being here.

I am proud of these Awards. They have shone a modest, but bright light on the plight of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Without you and the kindness of the community and the descendants of Eddie Mabo, of Dr Yunupingu and Anthony, the Man Mundine himself, who have allowed us to use their names - these awards would not have been such a success.

Tonight we gather to recognise and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals who have significantly contributed to the advancement of human rights and social justice in Australia.

The work of the award nominees, are not only important to the First peoples, but also to the wider Australian community.

These incredible individuals help us understand, appreciate and acknowledge our nation’s history, and remind us, that we still have a long way to go in addressing Australia’s social justice and human rights of indigenous Australians.

Platforms, such as this, are one way in which we are able to promote awareness, recognition and a deeper understanding of the issues facing Indigenous Australians.

Sadly, Australia continues to be called out by the international community for its failure to take the necessary action to raise the plight of our Indigenous peoples and address their social and economic well-being.

The 2018 Human Rights Watch World Report criticised Australia’s record on over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, often for minor offences such as unpaid fines, and our inadequate measures to prevent violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

According to Amnesty International, Indigenous children make up one in 15 kids in Australia – but are half of all children in Australia’s youth detention centres.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than the rest of the Australian population.
If you are an Indigenous child, you are 25 times more likely to be imprisoned than your non-Indigenous classmates.

Aboriginal women are now the fastest growing prisoner demographic in Australia.

Australia is built on the spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need, yet the statistics paint a very different reality for the first peoples of Australia.
It is common knowledge that Indigenous peoples are among the most marginalised and vulnerable peoples in the world.

As an advanced, multicultural nation, we need more than just a commitment to engage with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We need to take meaningful action to advance and fully protect the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

26 years since the Mabo decision, Indigenous Australians continue to bear the burden of gross social, cultural, economic and health inequity.

Despite some improvements in recent times, there is an enduring lack of progress in government policies, programs and national laws when it comes to issues around discrimination and over-incarceration of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Disappointingly, the practical recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Committee have largely been ignored by the Australian Government .

One though, should never give up irrespective of the task ahead -Losing a fight may be the first step in winning a battle.

One has to persevere in the struggle for justice.

History shows there are no wins without sacrifice.

So we need to escalate the fight and bring the cause to national and international attention.

Whether the cause is constitutional recognition or treaty and statehood, or sovereignty and self-determination, the modus operandi is constant and it is simply a continuous fight for the cause.

Our cause is social justice and human rights for our first people and that is why it is so important for us to come together at this, the only national platform that recognises and awards Social Justice and Human Rights worriers in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Australians.

So it is a great privilege to be in the presence of such courageous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who continue to further the cause of human rights and social justice for the first peoples of Australia, young and old, men and women.

I take this opportunity today to announce that in 2019 I hope to have two additional Awards, a Youth Award and an award recognising the work of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Women……
I am honoured to announce today an award in the name of a well-known Tasmanian Woman, The Truganini Award for Resilience. Resilience against oppression, resilience against adversity. I know from my mum, Women have an ability to sacrifice, to fight back and withstand adversity against all odds.

There are many women who are deserving to have their name to this award, Truganini’s will to survive makes us proud to name the Award after her.

With that Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for the honour to be with you.

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