response to the misinformation and dubious dealings of Wollongong
Council, Sydney Water, DLWC and Stockland Trust Group, the community
picket was established by local residents on 3 March 2001. A continual
presence is a central tenet of the picket, with members of the community
staffing it 24 hours 7 days a week. The picket is supported by the
tent embassy (see granting of of permission
picket was established for a host of reasons including:
- to provide
a place for the community to gather and discuss the issues
- as an
information centre about Kuradji Sandon Point for the community
- as a visible
sign of the widespread community opposition to this development.
picket is a meeting place and focal point for members of the community.
A weekly barbeque is held at the picket on sunday afternoons, and all
are welcome to attend. You can contact the picket on 0402 185 906.
On 1 March 2003
the local community commemorated 2 years of
the community picket.
July-August 2002, the community raised funds to place a full page
Sovereignty Statement by SPATE in the Wollongong Advertiser.
text is included below, and the full
colour document is available for download
in pdf format [29kb]
POINT ABORIGINAL TENT EMBASSY
Re: Max Ackerman South Coast Labor Council
Northern Illawarra Residents' Action Group
Whom It May Concern,
On behalf of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy we grant the above
named persons and their representatives permission to come onto Country
to establish and staff a 24 hour-a-day Peaceful Protest Camp.
camp has been established with the intention of preventing any disturbance
to lands within the boundaries of Kuradji.
support this move and regard the Peaceful Protest camp as an annex to
the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy that is situated on the banks
of Bugeen Creek at Kuradji.
coals for the fire at the Peaceful Protest Camp are from Sacred Fires
currently burning at Aboriginal Embassy's across Australia. Therefore
the fire is subject to the same rules and protocols i.e.; (around the
sacred fire, there is to be no lighting of cigarettes, drinking of alcohol,
& no spitting).
Dootch (Roy Kennedy) (Spokesperson for SPATE)
Civic leaders representing all levels of government have failed Aboriginal
people by allowing the destruction of Aboriginal cultural heritage at
Kuradji/Sandon Point. We, in the community, must take responsibility and
act now to save sacred Aboriginal land
community says: No Houses!
"We the Sovereign peoples of this land from the
Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy are reclaiming our sacred traditional
areas on behalf of all Aboriginal Nations. Ceremony is in place and
will be ongoing until instructed by our elders. We have an obligation
to do this for our land, our ancestors, our warriors, our people, our
culture, and our future generations. We will put a stop to this cultural
genocide and desecration that has been going on since 1788."
Cultural Heritage Destroyed
The NSW Government has turned a blind eye to the destruction of Aboriginal
heritage at Sandon Point. Stockland, the developer, has been granted a
Section 90 Consent to Destroy Aboriginal Cultural Heritage by the National
Parks and Wildlife Service. This and the development it allows is destroying
a 4000 year old Tool-making Site, and ceremonial gathering place. It will
also cut access, via an ancient Dreaming Track, to the 6000-year-old sacred
burial site of a 'clever fella' (Kuradji), which in turn will be desecrated
by the proximity of the intended housing development.
people denied appropriate consultation
Stockland, Wollongong City Council, and National Parks and Wildlife Service
have failed to adequately engage local Aboriginal people in decisions
made on this development. Local Aboriginal people were denied an opportunity
to adequately assess their own cultural heritage, and as a consequence,
the full cultural value of the site is not appreciated. This is in direct
contravention to the requirements of the full heritage study recommended
to Wollongong City Council. It also contravenes internationally agreed
heritage and Indigenous rights principles, which are the responsibility
of the Federal Government.
consultation would have placed control of all cultural heritage matters
in the hands of local indigenous authorities
for the vision of Guboo
Senior Yuin Lawman, Uncle 'Guboo' Ted Thomas, at 93 years of age, joined
the February community blockade in his wheelchair, to oppose the start
of work on the site. In the words of Senator Aden Ridgeway: " Guboo symbolizes
all of the struggles for Indigenous people about a need to sustain a connection
back to the Dreaming. Most of all he showed us the way to protect, nurture
and feel something about these things that inspire and give sustenance
to the idea of the Dreaming, and what it means to be able to protect them
in the contemporary world."
Australian governments, at all levels, respect the wisdom of the Elders
and Lawmen of our senior cultural partners, on matters of their own culture,
the hope for the reconciliation embodied in these words, and the events
which engendered them, will not be reflected in the broader Australian
over 200 years Australian Governments, have participated in, or allowed
acts of Genocide against Aboriginal People. Despite much talk of Reconciliation,
Cultural Genocide is occurring right now at Kuradji/Sandon Point.
Embassy protects the spirit of the Land
The collective struggle of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and
local Indigenous Elders is an expression of the living and dynamic nature
of local indigenous culture, which exists to protect the physical and
spiritual integrity of these sacred and special places.
must support them now, or the spiritual tenor of this sacred and beautiful
place, will be tragically degraded by this environmental and urban planning
nightmare We, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, wholeheartedly
support those Indigenous people making a stand for their rights and culture
at Kuradji/Sandon Point. We call on all three levels of government, local,
state and federal, to honour the responsibilities of their offices and
intervene immediately to stop the violation of indigenous rights inherent
in this development.
We support the Joint Statement of Claim made by representatives of the
Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the Canberra Tent Embassy.
the pdf version 29kb]