50,000 years of Dreamtime

50,000 years of DreamtimeThe settlement of Australia is a breakthrough in the “human story.” Very soon after anatomically modern humans began to replace (and to some extent assimilate) other lineages of our genus in Eurasia we pushed beyond the previous outer limits of the domains of humankind. The ancestors of Australian Aboriginals swept past the Wallace Line, and quickly settled the Ice Age continent of Sahul, consisting of Australia and Papua New Guinea. The biogeography of Australia is well known. Aside from bats and some endemic rodents the continent was free of placental mammals before modern humans arrived.

Chained Aborigines helped make this cattle road. Can art now tell its story?

Chained Aborigines helped make this cattle road. Can art now tell its story?The history of Australia abounds in absurdity. Australians of whatever derivation have to find ways of celebrating senselessness. Yiwarra Kuju, the current exhibition at the National Museum of Australia, is a case in point. What language is Yiwarra Kuju? I'm afraid I can't tell you, even though I invested $59 of my own money to buy the catalogue. The English subtitle is The Canning Stock Route. A hint in the catalogue suggests Yiwarra Kuju means "one road", but to whom I cannot say.

Issue: Aborigines' plight

Issue: AboriginesDARWIN - THE plight of Australia's Aborigines emerged as an electoral issue on Sunday, with the government pledging to tackle school truancy and back a constitutional change to recognise indigenous people.

Australia's 455,000 Aboriginal people lag significantly behind other Australians in terms of education, health and life expectancy in a community often plagued by problems such as substance abuse and school truancy.

All white on the night for Australian elections

All white on the night for Australian electionsSYDNEY, Sunday 8 August 2010 (AFP) -- Despite its Aboriginal roots and a large Asian population, Australia's politics are almost exclusively white with just a handful of ethnic minority candidates in this month's elections.

Australia's diversity -- from Outback townships to Sydney's Chinatown and growing numbers of South and Southeast Asians -- is poorly reflected in its leaders, who remain typically Caucasian, middle-aged and male.

Greens seek Federal help to stop Brighton bypass

Greens seek Federal help to stop Brighton bypassThe Australian Greens want Federal intervention in to the controversial Brighton bypass.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal community held a public rally in Hobart yesterday calling for the Jordan River Levee site to be protected.

The Department of Infrastructure is pushing ahead with its planned $12 million bridge over the area.

Greens Senator Christine Milne says the State Government has left those against the proposal with no choice but to go over its head to the Federal Government.