Monthly Archives: February 2012

Greens Select Indigenous Candidate for Inala – #QldPol

Michael Quall is the 2012 Queensland Greens Candidate for the Queensland Electoral District of Inala

Born in the Queensland regional centre of Toowoomba, Michael has lived in the western Brisbane Suburb of Forest Lake since 2005.

Married 15 years, with 8 children, Michael is a family oriented man, and a former bureaucrat turned community sector manager with an extensive background in social policy and community management. He has worked for the federal, ACT & Queensland public sectors, after commencing a distinguished career at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra in 1993.

Greens Candidate for Inala - Michael Quall

Michael has lived in the ACT, Western Australia’s magnificent East Kimberley region, the Northern Territory and is now back home in Queensland where his eldest son has this year commenced studies at the University of Southern Queensland in Springfield.

Michael has served as the CEO of Aboriginal corporations in Western Australia and Queensland, and has sat on the boards of several NGOs in both Canberra and Brisbane, including Volunteering Queensland and the Youth Coalition of the ACT which he chaired. Michael has also chaired two Ministerial Councils reporting to the ACT Government.

With a career-long passion for politics and a long history of activism in areas as diverse as multiculturalism, Indigenous affairs, disability reform, mental health welfare, employment and community development, and volunteerism, Michael has a wealth of experience to offer the District of Inala.

As well as his work domestically, Michael’s career has also seen him travel overseas – to Canada, where he addressed school groups and other young people on his experiences as an Aboriginal young person growing up in Australia; Germany, where he contributed important debate to a delegation of young people attending the World Conference Against Racism in 2000; and Japan, where he gave a keynote address to the World Youth Volunteering Summit during the International Year of Volunteers. Michael is also a former Young Canberra Citizen of the Year, ACT NAIDOC Young Aboriginal Person of the Year, and a recipient of the Centenary Medal.

Michael’s lifelong passion has always been, and remains, social justice and human rights.

A man dedicated to family, community and social justice.

At the forefront of Australia’s Reconciliation and anti-racism movements for many years, Michael knows it is time to step up and make a significant contribution to politics in his home state of Queensland. A former ALP member, he now passionately believes in the message of the Australian Greens, and strives in his own life, and to encourage others around him, to live the ideals of a compassionate, caring, and sustainable existence.

On his father’s side, Michael is a descendant of the Larrakia people, traditional owners of the region around Darwin, in the Northern Territory. His mother’s family are several generations of regional Queenslanders – former naval sea men and women; pig, cattle and cotton farmers; publicans; mining and transport workers; sunshine coast retirees.

For more information:-

And follow him on Twitter:- @InalaGreens2012 or email:-

Hauie TV (Aussie Hip Hop)

Hauie TV

An on-line show that celebrates and focusses on the hip hop culture in Australia and overseas through interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and rhymes. Hosted by Hau – an MC, a radio presenter, a husband, a father, and a lover of all things beats, rhymes and life.

This is the jump off. First episode dropping in March!

Twitter: @hauiebeast
Instagram: @hauiebeast

The ‘Stolen Generations’ Testimonies

The ‘Stolen Generations’ Testimonies’ project is an initiative to record on film the personal testimonies of Australia’s Stolen Generations Survivors and share them online.

The Stolen Generations’ Testimonies Foundation hopes the online museum will become a national treasure and a unique and sacred keeping place for Stolen Generations’ Survivors’ Testimonies. By allowing Australians to listen to the Survivors’ stories with open hearts and without judgement, the foundation hopes more people will be engaged in the healing process.

In 2009 more than thirty Stolen Generations’ Survivors shared their stories, their memories and themselves in the first round of interviews for the ‘Stolen Generations’ Testimonies Foundation’. These are their testimonies.  Thank you to those Survivors for their generosity of spirit in sharing their testimonies with us.

Watch the testimonies here:-

The Greatest Fighter on the Planet Learns Some New (Old) Tricks

Deep in the North of Brazil along the Xingu river, a tributary of the mighty Amazon, live the Kamayurá an Indigenous tribe of the Amazonian Basin.

Like so many Indigenous peoples around the world they had been nearly wiped out after their lands had been “discovered”. A measles epidemic brought to their area by a rapidly expanding Brazilian population reduced their numbers in the 1950’s to just 94 people. But like many Indigenous peoples around the world they are showing while they may have had their backs against the wall, they will always fight back and their population has doubled in just the last 8 years to be now 600 strong.

A fighting spirit is something deeply connected to who they are and they have practiced the ancient art of Uka Uka (traditional wrestling) for longer than modern history can recall. So when UFC Middleweight Champion and undisputed P4P king of Mixed Martial Arts Andreson “The Spider” Silva had a opporunity to visit his countrymen and learn an art form he jumped at the chance.

Silva a man to hold both the longest winning streak in UFC history and the record for the most title defenses has been described by many as “the greatest mixed martial artist ever.” Most agree that a fighter like Bruce Lee or a Boxer like Ali would not last 30 seconds against the Spider. But the ever humble Silva always has his mind open to new things. Not content with being a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Black belt in Judo, Black belt in Taekwondo, Black belt in Muay Thai,
Yellow rope in Capoeira and training boxing with Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach he ventured into the Jungle of his home land to learn Uka Uka from the Indigenous Kamayurá people.

As he says, to be the best the mind must always be open to new things, new experiences and sometimes the best new thing is something that has been around for centuries. So is this not yet another example of what we as greater Australia are missing out on? Imagine how many thousands of old tricks we could be taught by the Indigenous peoples of Australia if we had the same humble heart and open mind as the greatest fighter on the planet!

Translations –

Pressman: “The celebration at the Kamayurá’s Tribe is for receive a warrior. Anderson Silva got out of the Octagon and went to the north of the Xingu River, at (Brazilian State) Mato Grosso, to exchange experience with Indian. Experts in Uka-Uka, a kind of wrestling, practiced by the tribes of the region.”

Spider: “The mind is like a parachute, always open.”

Pressman: “With an open mind, the philosopher Anderson Silva heard the stories of Indians. The tradition of the indigenous fight is millennial and was adapting over time. All very different from the glamor of the UFC. In the UFC, Anderson Silva has been making history. At the Kamayurá’s Tribe, simplicity and dedication, which begins at the 13 years old.”

Indian: “We spent two and a half years in commitment, preparing to be a fighter, scraping the skin and passing roots.”

Pressman: “Anderson didn’t have to do this, but here is a tradition that no Uka-Uka warrior can escape, have to turn a beast.”

Indian: “We’re painting him as one ounce.”

Pressman: “He didn’t convince like a ounce. He will try to convince us fighting. Take the kids out of the room and register that historical moment. What was seen is unbelievable. Anderson Silva was neutralized, was knocked out. And only after being “beaten”, he began to learn the technique. So, Anderson Silva has returned to be Anderson Silva.”

Spider: “It’s different the way they fight. The techniques used are very strong. As my current coach says, the mind is like a parachute, always open.”

Pressman: “Was late for the philosopher to speak again. And there are more “open minds” in the Tribe. And Anderson became a coach.”

Indian: “I liked that stroke.”

Spider: “What stroke? I’ll teach you.” (Anderson teaches some moves to the Indian)

Pressman: “In the end, a great celebration to thank the visit of a great idol of the world, and the union of MMA with Uka-Uka. Everyone won. And, of course, was a lesson, the mind always open!”

In Hardening Their Hearts, They’re Losing Their Minds

A few weeks on from the small drama in Canberra on Australia day that some called a “Race Riot”, we still have a political class who can’t understand why it happened. A class of politicians, businessman and media who simply don’t care about any vulnerable group in Australia.

The spark as we all know was Tony Abbott’s comments that it was time the Embassy move on. His reasoning being that so much progress had been made that… you know… Move on. But while it is true that some progress has been made it is insulting to suggest that we have come so far we don’t need a daily reminder in the form of the Tent Embassy that there is still a long way to go. The issue of land rights has “progressed” but is still very much a work in its infancy and we haven’t even got to the issue of Aboriginal Sovereignty. These were the issues that drove the opening of the Embassy so to suggest the fight is over is absurd. But how about a figure we can all understand. A child born today in Australia has a life expectancy of over 80 years & if you factor in standards of living there really is no better place to be born. However what might hint to the most block headed of individuals that their would be anger in the Aboriginal community comes from the FACT that an Indigenous boy born today in the NT has a life expectancy of just over 60 years. That is a ranking of 150 worldwide, placing alongside strife torn Haiti, Yemen & Burma… not exactly a ringing endorsement of Mr Abbott’s words that the job is done.

At the National Press Club Abbott tried to “end suspicion that the Coalition has a good head but cold heart” when tackling Indigenous issues. It is strange that he would assume anyone believes he has a good head but that cold heart, that I understand. Because it is not just Indigenous issues that seem to harden the hearts of just about every Coalition member about anything to do with anyone in a vulnerable position. Refugees; Razor wire is to kind, “tow the boats back”. Marriage Equality; No! Plus no conscience vote. Victims of violence in Marriage; How does an at-fault divorce sound… you have to prove your fella is doing something wrong!

In that same NPC address Abbott flagged his plan that any National Disability Insurance Scheme under his Government would have to wait until the budget was back in surplus before he could talk turkey. Because nothing says you have a warm heart than telling those with a disability that their care will need to wait till after the global financial crisis has finished. But don’t think it ends there, low-income earner with a bad tooth? Any plans to lift the Commonwealth’s contribution to dental care, let alone a national scheme would again wait till big business is swimming in folding stuff. These things were “aspirational” but nothing he could promise or deliver a promise on. You see we as a country just can’t afford such things in these tough economic times, the purse strings are closed shut and “hand outs” to people not mining is not something that he thinks could or should be entertained.

Speaking of mining, one thing Abbott did promise prospective voters… tax cuts. Especially tax cuts for rich people like those who own mining companies. Because nothing says I care in tough economic times like telling the richest of the rich they don’t have to contribute. Welfare for the vulnerable, the sick, the poor and those with a disability; No can do! Welfare for rich fat cats like Twiggy Forrest, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer; Urgent! And why would we want more money for people like Gina Rinehart, the woman behind Andrew Bolt’s TV show? So she can make moves on media companies like Fairfax whose views she doesn’t like and who unlike their News Ltd counterparts sometimes dare question the policies of the Coalition.

If I sound a little cynical to you I’m not. I’m angry, there is a very big difference!

I’m angry because social inequality in Australia is growing and Australia day provided the perfect chance to ask “Why are they angry?”. Instead the usual parrots from all sides came out swinging not for the vulnerable but for the status quo. It prompted calls for an AFP investigation, an explosion of racism on social media and one NT politician to call the Aboriginal children at the protest “little pricks”.

This is what happens when a debate flips the switch on just who is and isn’t the oppressed. Suddenly children with a third world life expectancy are “little pricks” and poor Tony Abbott who got a fright when confronted by a handful of rightfully angry people needs a police escort and a quiet place to cry. This is what happens when the media who is supposed to ask the tough questions have become so close to the political class that they rage against those who simply have no platform from which to defend themselves and prop up the fat cats. This is what happens when Twiggy Forrest can fly into Canberra on a private jet and complain to politicians about paying a little more tax on his billions while his company attempts to rip off and steal from an Indigenous community.

This is why people get angry, this is why people burn flags, this is why people bang on the glass of a restaurant. Nobody is asking for an easy hand out nor wants to be on welfare. We all have different needs, some Australians are out of work and require financial assistance, some Australians have a disability, some Australians just want their marriage to be legal, some Australians need a hospital bed and we expect our Government to provide it. You might call it welfare, suggest the Government should be smaller and don’t want your taxes used for any of these programs.

But I don’t see you complaining about welfare when you drive your Porsche, down your tax payer built street, to your tax payer funded corporate welfare company, receiving tax payer funded grants, before toasting your success at a tax payer funded Government booze up, admiring the tax payer funded artwork, in a tax payer built parliament house. No, I’d simply ask that you say thank you and shut the fuck up! I don’t want to see your television networks,  your radio stations or your media corporations demonising those less fortunate and promoting policies that would make their lives harder and yours even easier. Because we live in a democracy where the majority decides and we the majority are not rich and we want a “fair go”, that trait you tell us we have to possess to be Australian.

You might claim to believe in a small Government that shouldn’t have to fund any social programs, especially not those that benefit folks who should just “move on”. But here’s the thing, you know what else is Government funded? The police! And when you climb into that Porsche I’m pretty sure you are happy that we have them. Especially when you drive past this 6 foot something, under paid community worker, who needs a trip to the dentist.

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