Category Archives: Get involved!

Stop the Commercial Netting of Bournda Lagoon – Petition

Please Sign –

The NSW Department of Primary Industries and Minister Katrina Hodgkinson have released a proposal that would see commercial netting take place in Bournda Lagoon and Sandy Beach Creek, located inside the Bournda National Park


Currently there is a ban on all types of commercial fishing in both the creek and the lagoon, the proposal would allow for the mesh netting of the system targeting all species of fish using 300m wide nets. Bournda Lagoon and Sandy Beach Creek are located in a National Park, they are vital habitats to many species of Flora and Fauna including more than a dozen threatened species, the park is an important element of the local tourism industry and is the home to a number of sacred Aboriginal sites. For these reasons and the more detailed below this proposal should be rejected in full.

Bournda Lagoon

Bournda Lagoon

1. Both Bournda Lagoon and Sandy Beach Creek are located inside the Bournda National Park, a place the NSW Government itself describes as a “Natural Playground”. This is no place for a Commercial fishing operations, it is a sanctuary to a large range of Flora and Fauna, protected for all citizens of Australia to enjoy and be managed in a sustainable fashion. More than Ten threatened species call the park home including Koalas, Long-Nosed Potoroos, two threatened species of Frogs and more than 200 varieties of Birds. Currently the Lagoon is only accessible by walking track, any vehicle access that would be created for a commercial operation would be a blight on the landscape and require the destruction of the Lagoon’s surrounding environment and habitat of many of the parks fauna.

2. Bournda National Park is home to one of the largest Campgrounds on the Far South Coast of NSW, enjoyed by thousands of locals, visitors and school groups throughout the year. Tourism is a vital aspect of the economy of the Far South Coast and the Commercial fishing of Bournda Lagoon would gut the waterway of the fish many recreational fishers come to seek. It would also greatly impact on other Marine and Bird life that are viewed and enjoyed by all visitors. In the Christmas/Summer period the park is at capacity with tourists who come to relax, bushwalk, swim, fish and canoe. This influx of visitors provides a great boost to the local economy in a sustainable fashion that provides many jobs while protecting our shared natural heritage.

3. The two primary species of fish located in Bournda Lagoon, Southern Black Bream/Yellowfin Bream and the Estuary Perch are both long living native species of fish which are only sustainable when fished by recreational anglers who catch and release sexual mature fish. Both species are capable of living to over 30 years old and do not reach sexual maturity until the age of 5 or more in the Lagoon. A single season of commercial fishing could therefore wipe out the entire population. The proposal by the DPI and the Minister allows for the use of 300m wide nets, in NO part of the Lagoon or the Creek is there an area more than 300m wide, meaning that such a net would indiscriminately capture and kill all marine life. Bournda Lagoon is currently closed to the Ocean and has only briefly opened one time in the past 15 years. It is therefore impossible for the Lagoon to ever naturally restock if current residential breeding sized fish are netted.

4. Aboriginal people of the Dhurga language group of the Yuin tribe lived in the Bournda area. There is a continuous and unbroken connection to the land that has previous been recognised by the NSW State Government. Bournda National Park is home to 26 sacred sites a number of which are located directly adjacent to the Lagoon. These sites are so vital to protect that the NSW Government previously warned that “The coastal and estuarine sites are particularly vulnerable to disturbance by recreational use.” Yet now contend that a Commercial operation would have no impact. Further highlighting the absurdity of this proposal.

We the petitioners call on the Minister and the DPI to immediately scrap the proposal to allow for any type of Commercial fishing in Bournda Lagoon and Sandy Beach Creek, any other outcome is simply unacceptable to the community.



Fundraiser for Naomi Foster, Please Help A Young Aboriginal Woman!

Naomi Foster, a local Yuin woman from Wallaga Lake, is recovering from a blood clot that has left her paralysed with restricted arm, neck and head movement. is asking you to take the time to read the poster below and spare a little money to help this young, strong woman through a very difficult time.


Please make donations at any Westpac Branch with account name Southern Womens Group – Naomi Foster, PO BOX 468 Bega, NSW 2550. The fundraising will close at the end of September.

Bradley Manning

Save the CNS – Prevent Black Deaths in Custody!

There have been no Aboriginal deaths in police custody in NSW and the ACT since the Custody Notification Service, a 24-hour legal advice phone line began in 2000.




Show how MASSIVE the support is for the government to fund this service by signing this petition and keeping a vital service alive.

Every time our lawyers speak to an Aboriginal person being detained, they check upon the welfare of the person by asking RU OK? Often people aren’t OK.

Threats of self- harm or suicide are common. Our lawyers are skilled at hearing ideation or real threats of self-harm or suicide. The lawyer talks carefully with the person, notifies the Police and the vulnerable person in custody is made safe.

The CNS is an extremely SUCCESSFUL program assisting vulnerable people with fair and equitable access to justice and welfare.


Since July 2012, when the government stopped funding it, ALS staff have covered the costs of the phone line however we are struggling and cannot afford to continue funding the service.

The CNS will cease to exist on the 30th of June 2013 unless government funding is urgently found.

The phone line costs the same to operate as holding two juveniles in detention for one year – $500,000 per annum.

The ALS is urgently calling on the NSW and/or Australian government to fund this essential service. Aboriginal incarceration rates are already too high. It is likely they will increase if the CNS does not exist.



– The police must contact the ALS every time they take on an Aboriginal person into custody. It was a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and is now legislated under NSW law.

– In the NSW Attorney-General’s Second Reading Speech (2013) on the revised Right to Silence legalisation, the A-G stated the ALS 24-hour legal advice phone line WILL be available for Aboriginal people taken into custody, thereby removing none of the protections afforded to vulnerable Aboriginal people.

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SUBSCRIBE to us on YouTube

VISIT our website

V-Day Melbourne Legal “The Vagina Monologues” 2013

Join some brave, bold & inspirational women from Melbourne’s Legal community on Tuesday 30 April 2013 in a performance of the award-winning play by Eve Ensler, “The Vagina Monologues”, and help raise money to end violence against women and girls.



All ticket proceeds will be donated as follows:

  • 90% will benefit CASA House (department of the Royal Women’s Hospital) to be used for its Sexual Assault Prevention Program for Secondary Schools; and
  • 10% will benefit this year’s V-Day Spotlight Campaign. In 2013, the Spotlight is ONE BILLION RISING which draws global attention to the U.N. statistic that one in three women on the planet will be raped, beaten, or mutilated in her lifetime.

To book just visit and support this vital cause!

200 Australians Overseas And In Prison – ABC Interview w/ Martin Hodgson

200 Australians Overseas And In Prison

26/02/2013 , 11:00 AM by Jen Hunt


Martin hodgson

We know how much Australians love to travel but if you were overseas and, for whatever reason, ended up on the wrong side of the law and behind bars….then Martin Hodgson from Kalaru is someone you would want to know.

For more than 10 years, Martin has been closely involved with the work of Foreign Prisoner Support Service, also known as Save-A-Life, a volunteer organisation which advocates on behalf of those Australians in prison overseas as well as campaigning against the death penalty.

Unlike the high profile case of Schapelle Corby, very few of us have heard of the tragic circumstances of Rachel Diaz. Martin shares her story as well as taking issue with the Australian Federal Police’s practice of letting known drug mules leave the country. You can also hear Martin’s suggestions for staying safe while travelling abroad. – Click to listen



Marlon Noble – 10 years for being an Aboriginal with a Disability. Who Are The Real Heroes?

For those who have followed this blog from the beginning you will know the name Marlon Noble, you will know he served 10 years in a WA prison for a crime he did not commit. You will know he never faced trial, that is suffers a disability and despite being released still lives under effective 24 hour surveillance.

This is his story – 

Now that you have watched this, think about the last few days of your life and the things that made you angry, happy, sad or emotional. Think of the sporting “heroes” you praised in victory or called courageous in defeat. Those sporting stars who despite the outcome will return to fancy homes and cars, six figure salaries and your undying attention the next time they perform. Maybe you praised your sports hero to your friend after winning, maybe you defended them on social media after they lost. But how much time did you spend standing up for Marlon Noble or the millions like him around the world and the many who live just a stones throw away from you. Marlon’s story is that of a life ripped apart, imprisoned without charge for 10 long years. And yet despite his struggle he still has a smile on his face, tell me now… who is the hero?

Next time you use that word think carefully, because I just might be the person asking what you have done to ensure that the real heroes like Marlon suffer no more!

Thank you to the Human Rights Commission for their constant fight for justice and equality and please take the time to view more films on everyday heroes with a disability who deserve the praise we heap onto those who simply play a sport.

Lessons Overboard by Imogen Bailey

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Refugee Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child have all been created to protect the rights and freedoms of every single human being equally.

Imogen appearing on SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From

This discussion acknowledges that there a broad range of issues within our community that cannot be compromised or ignored.  However the rights of asylum seekers and refugees cannot be held in competition with these other important issues.  As Australians we have an obligation to participate and influence the decisions of our leaders, but perhaps more importantly we have an even higher obligation as human beings to one another.

To take the first class of Lessons Overboard head over to the online classroom at


A Click That Really Can Help

Currently more than $6000 has been pledged to Indigenous Literacy Foundation if by the close of tomorrow (Thursday) the IndigenousX twitter account has reached 10,000 followers.

All you have to do is go to and click follow and Indigenous children are on their way to a better life. You can also message the account and offer to make a pledge yourself. Many of those who have pledged money have taken it upon themselves to donate money whether or not the final goal is reached. This is about educating young people and using Social Media to inform a growing number of people about all the excellent and Deadly things Indigenous folk around the country are doing. So why not get involved, click follow!

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) aims to raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous children living in remote and isolated regions. This is done by providing books and literacy resources to communities and raising broad community awareness of Indigenous literacy issues.  The Foundation is an initiative of the Australian Book Industry drawing on its diverse range of expertise, skills and resources. It works with the support of the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Booksellers Association and the Australian Society of Authors.


Deadly Choices

Deadly Choices is an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in South East Queensland (SEQ) and is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing. 

IUIH was established in 2009 by four (4) Aboriginal Medical Services to coordinate planning, development and delivery of comprehensive primary health care services to over 50,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s that call SEQ home – over a third of the total Indigenous population of Queensland reside in SEQ. These four (4) Community Controlled Health Services constitute the membership of the IUIH and include: the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane; the Kambu Medical Centre in Ipswich; the Kalwun Health Service on the Gold Coast; and the Yulu-Burri-Ba Health Service on North Stradbroke Island.

Sam Thaiday chatting to Peter and Emma about the anti-smoking ads

‘Deadly Choices’ is a campaign which aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to make healthy choices for themselves and their families – to stop smoking, to eat good food and exercise daily. ‘Deadly Choices’ also encourages our people to access their local health service and complete a ‘Health Check’ – not just to see the Doctor when they are sick but visit their health service and access support to prevent or better manage their chronic disease and remain healthy.


Focusing on the risk factors for chronic disease – smoking, physical activity and nutrition – is critical if we are going to ‘close the gap’ in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. It is smoking, poor nutrition and not enough physical activity that are the biggest contributors to chronic disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – this is why we see high levels of diabetes, heart disease, lung and kidney disease in our families. Governments have committed to ‘closing the gap’ in Indigenous health but it is only our communities that can make this happen. This is the aim of ‘Deadly Choices’, to support our communities to make a ‘Healthy Choice’ – to make a ‘Deadly Choice’.

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