- 16 August 2016
- 15 August 2016
Unions urge Abbott and Barnett Governments to stop the funding cuts and closures of Aboriginal communities01 May 2015
- 30 March 2015
- 23 July 2014
AIM - ASU Indigenous Members
ASU Indigenous Members (AIM) share unique interests. There are many Indigenous members working in industries covered by the ASU around Australia.
The ASU is active on Indigenous issues within the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the various state and regional trades and labour councils. Read more about the ACTU's Indigenous Committee.
In February 2011, the ACTU hosted an Indigenous Conference for trade unionists across the country. You can read the opening address by Secretary Jeff Lawrence here.
The Turnbull Federal Government's discriminatory Community Development Program (CDP) is a glorified work for the dole scheme that exploits Indigenous workers.
The ASU and our movement partners are pledged to fight CDP and have it replaced with a legitimate scheme for providing employment to Indigenous Australians, particularly those in remote locations.
Through our local government and community services coverage, the ASU has a significant membership in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia, and therefore we are well-placed to understand the work environment and possibilities in those locations.
Large numbers of ASU Indigenous members work in the social & community services sector, local government and Aboriginal Community Councils and Organisations. In these industries ASU general industry awards cover the conditions of Indigenous members in the same way they cover non-Indigenous members. Some general industry awards cover particular Indigenous issues such as cultural leave.
For more information about awards covering Indigenous workers, please contact your local ASU Branch.
As the ASU stated in our statement in support of the Australian Parliament's apology of 13 February 2008 (see below), we believe the importance of the symbolic gesture needs to be followed up with concrete measures to ensure our Indigenous people are treated with justice. That's why we are supporting the "Close the Gap" campaign.
"Close the Gap" is supported by over 100 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations, including the ASU. The campaign calls on federal, state and territory governments to commit to closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.
Resources for the "Close the Gap" campaign
- Find out more about the campaign at the Oxfam Close the Gap website. There are various ways for you to become involved.
- Australian Human Rights Commission's Indigenous Health Campaign has many additional resources
- Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) is part of the "Close the Gap" coalition
The ASU has signed the pledge and encourages our supporters to do the same. You can sign the pledge here.
The pledge is as follows:
To achieve health equality for Indigenous Australians within 25 years I call on the Australian Government to:
Join us in demanding Indigenous health equality within a generation.
- Develop a comprehensive National Action Plan with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representative bodies
- Increase Indigenous community participation and control in the delivery of health services
- Address the critical social issues of housing, education and self-determination
National Close the Gap Day
We also encourage our supporters to participate in events around National Close the Gap Day each year. It is an important event to show governments that we have not forgotten and we don't expect them to forget their commitments either. The ASU marks this day each year.
To find out more about how you can be involved on Close the Gap Day, please visit the Oxfam Close the Gap website.
The ASU supports the apology to indigenous Australians. We issued an ASU statement on the apology on 13 February 2008, outlining our position.
- Download the transcript of the apology delivered by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
- The ACTU's item observing the first anniversary of the apology One year on: apology reminds us much still needed to improve lives of Indigenous Australians
- Reconciliation Australia's resources on the Apology
- Bringing them home: The 'Stolen Children' report (1997)
The ASU is involved in the "Stolen Wages" campaign. We have lobbied governments to return properly earned Indigenous wages they did not pass on during a period when those governments controlled the financial affairs of Indigenous people.
The ASU is a signatory to the 2005 "Joint Statement on Stolen Wages". Signatories to the statement call on all governments to act immediately to remedy this ongoing and gross abuse of human rights.
- Download the "Stolen Wages" report: "Hard Labour, Stolen Wages" written by leading historian, Dr Ros Kidd, commissioned by Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR).
- VTHC news: Stolen wages issue "far from settled" - indigenous coalition
From the ACTU's "A Short History of Australian Unions"
1965 ACTU files claims to remove the discriminatory clauses in the Federal and State awards relating to the employment of Aborigines.
- Pastoral Industry Award
- Station Hands Award
- Cattle Station Industry (NT) Award
1966 Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission hands down a decision to grant Aborigines on Northern Territory Cattle Stations equal pay with Europeans from 1st December 1968.
1967 A Federal referendum gives a massive "YES" vote for Aboriginal people to gain Australian citizenship and Federal control of Aboriginal affairs. Aborigines thereafter are to be included in the census.
Formal references: Cattle Station Industry (NT) Award (1966) CAR 651; Pastoral Industry Award (1967) 121 CAR 454, 457-458; Australian Workers' Union v Director, Department of Aboriginal and Islander Advancement 1979 AILR, paragraph 250.
The "Why our mob should vote" flyer was produced in preparation for the 2007 federal election to encourage voter registration of Indigenous Australians. The core issue it raises is still important - voting is an important way to ensure your views are taken seriously by governments.
You can also visit the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website where all the relevant forms can be downloaded.
- NAIDOC - celebrations are held around Australia in the first full week in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Visit the website for ideas on how to celebrate, along with resources and other information.
- Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Kit "Get the facts" addressing discrimination against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women
- Face the Facts: some questions and answers about refugees, migrants and indigenous people - remains one of AHRC's most requested publication.
- AHRC's list of social justice publications
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is the world's premier institution for information and research about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.