hello and welcome to spring (not spring)

Here we are, solidly a “week” into “Spring.” In Melbourne, this means there’s nothing different to last month; it’s max 13C, there’s winds and rain, and this afternoon the possibility of hail.

So now seems like a good reminder: Spring is an artificial concept imported and imposed upon the Australian landscape when those invaders should have been chatting to the Traditional Owners about the six (or seven, or two) seasons. (It goes without saying that it’s all about imperialism and racism that we don’t talk about this stuff even now, but comment if you wanna chat about it)

Being from Perth, Steph is about to focus on the six seasons of the Nyoongar people, with brief diversions into Wirrudjeri (Eastern) seasons.

We’ll start with a reminder that seasonal calendars don’t match up with the Gregorian calendar, because the Gregorian calendar is an artificial concept imported and imposed upon the Australian landscape, along with the completely illogical European seasons. And of course there are different seasons across the whole continent, but Steph is only talking to the ones she knows. Okay, good. Now:

Perth. The South-West, a huge chunk of the continent. The Nyoongar seasonal calendar is six seasons long, yes, perfect. They don’t match up with the Gregorian calendar, but approximately:

a circular seasonal map; in the centre is an image of australia, the next level is 'spring, summer, winter, autumn', the next level is birak, bunuru,djeran, makuru,djiba,kambarang

Continue reading “hello and welcome to spring (not spring)”

linkspam: extra special steph loves her football team edition

Adam Goodes’ Indigenous Allies Are Mad As Hell About The Way He Has Been Treated

Two West Coast supporters were evicted for racist behaviour and Goodes was continually booed throughout the match, prompting teammate Lewis Jetta to do an Aboriginal war dance after scoring a goal as a show of support for Goodes.

One of the ejected spectators yelled that Goodes should, “go back to the zoo.”


Adam Goodes standing in front of the Mabo flag

I laughed out loud at First Dog: Why do you boo Adam Goodes? Is it because … (a handy guide)

Adam Goodes ‘unAustralian’ says former Brisbane Roar goalkeeper

Former Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Griffin McMaster has weighed into the Adam Goodes racism controversy by suggesting the dual Brownlow medallist and former Australian of the Year should be deported.

I cry laughing every time I read this quote. Adam Goodes is an Indigenous Australian AFL player who was Australian of the Year. He is literally – like – there is no way to be more Australian in this country.

“Adam Goodes calls Australia Day invasion day,” McMaster wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

“Deport him.

“If you don’t like it leave.”




I’m probably actually going to be sick I’m so angry.

Booing Adam Goodes: are we even aware we’re racists? No, we’re dickheads.

I’d be happy to see every Indigenous player from now on perform the war dance every time they kick a goal. That would rub it in all our white faces until we truly got the message that you are part of this culture on your own terms and not on the terms that white society deems to be acceptable.

Richmond to wear Dreamtime AFL guernsey in support of Adam Goodes – yes, excellent, everyone do this.

We want to support Adam Goodes, who has been a wonderful ambassador for our game and his people.

White Australia is coming for you

Finally, in other non-racist news, Andrew Bolt has been busy posting clips of Martin Luther King speeches. He’s running a campaign against the ‘race war’ in the AFL, a war conducted, not by the booing fans, but by Adam Goodes, who seems to be singlehandedly oppressing all of Australia’s white football followers.

Yes, that’s right. You see, MLK had a dream that white children would, one day, be able to say whatever they damn well want – and that non-white people would sit there and take it.

Happily, here in Australia, that noble vision seems on the verge of coming true.

You can twitter around on #IStandWithAdam


Hello, No Award! This week is NAIDOC Week (5-12 July). NAIDOC Week’s theme this week is We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate.

NAIDOC Week is about celebrating Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Of course we should always keep talking about the injustices against our ATSI communities, the indignities and racism and straight up fucking bullshit. But it’s also important to celebrate their history and achievements, and the way they’re still here with us. It’s important to fight injustices; it’s important to support, too. we all stand on sacred ground: learn, respect + celebrate

Official NAIDOC websiteCalendar of events up at Victorian NAIDOC.

The Indigenous tag at ANZ Lit Lovers blog.

The State Library of Queensland has some details about Indigenous languages.

Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2015 at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

Steph is super into this interactive map about tracking the riverlands of Australia, and especially looking at Indigenous connection to Country and water.

At The Weekly Review, 5 ways to celebrate Naidoc week.

You can also track events and info on the hashtag: #Naidoc 

From the Australian Journal of Linguistics, Up dere la’: Final Particle la in a Queensland Aboriginal Vernacular (journal access required so not yet read by No Award but SOON).

Here is some music: ‘The Children Came Back’ for Like a Version, Briggs + Gurrumul.

a selfish rabble

It makes Steph really happy that the selfish rabble of Australians and people around the rest of the world exists. We’re condemning the forced closure of remote communities. May 1 was an international day of protest and action. I was at the Melbourne protest, and we shut down Melbourne during peak hour on a Football Friday.

I got into fights with white men. Exclusively white men, which tells you a lot. Their arguments essentially devolved into two key elements. “You’re losing your audience. You gotta let people get home.” Mad chookas to the chick behind me who followed up my argument, after he got stuck on ‘you gotta let people get home,’ with “People are losing their homes, mate.”

“Peaceful protest does nothing. You have to fight their militia with a militia. You have to militarise.” Also, I note, a white man.

Police look on as protesters stage a sit down protest outside of Flinders Street Station. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Police look on as protesters stage a sit down protest outside of Flinders Street Station. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

It was crowded, and we blocked traffic. It was definitely an inconvenience.

Someone from WAR read out what Bolt had written; that it’d be great if we’d done it on a quieter street, making less inconvenience. Which completely misses the point.

I’d like to note, though, that every time someone yelled ‘make room’ for a person with assistive mobility tech, we made room for that person to get through to Flinders Street; often that way was led by a protester clearing space for them.

I loved the guy from Country West of Melbourne who said, “Let me read you something my Great Grandmother wrote me. ‘ALWAYS WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE, ABORIGINAL LAND.'”

There was a passion and a power and a vibe, and please keep on.

There’s a reason why I continue being part of this selfish rabble. It’s not at all to be selfish – surely it is easy to see that this is not selfishness, but selflessness. I am a latecomer to this land – born on stolen land in the 80s, to latecomers to the land. We have plenty of unviable communities remotely, rurally; and at least Indigenous Communities have a cultural connection, have a continuing relationship to the land, and aren’t built on stolen promises and stolen lives and stolen children. If I can fight for my right to vote, or to be allowed to work in this country, both things people had to fight for decades ago for me to do them now, I can damn well fight for the right of Indigenous Australians to live on the land that wasn’t stolen from them.

Some links:

The live blog from The Guardian

At Buzzfeed

At the ABC

A piece on the latest raid at Heirisson Island from a NZ station

You can find more stuff at #sosblakaustralia and by following @sosblakaustralia

Indigenous points + SOSBlakAustralia

Let’s start with something uplifting: a compilation of rallies across the world calling for No Forced Closure of Remote Communities. Yay to everyone who was able to show their support, in whatever way they could!

Residents leaving WA settlement ‘amid fears of closure.’

“They’re gone, they’ve just taken off,” Mr Kopp said.

“People are just looking for another place to move on to because they’re just frightened.

“It makes me sad too, that’s all my family too, all moving away from their country.”

Our government is driving people from their lands, through fear, through threats, through actual humans rights abuses.

Funding cuts to Aboriginal Legal Services.

At Fieldnotes and Footnotes (and if you’re not following their twitter, you are missing out), A brief history of recent Government attacks. Withdrawing, withholding and rescinding…

No Award love museums, and yet: Reclaiming our cultural heritage.

For a brief period it seemed the Djar Djar Wurrung tribe had outmanoeuvred the two museums. The British Museum insisted that the Melbourne Museum take legal action against the Dja Dja Wurrung to lift the emergency declaration immediately. The Melbourne Museum became terrified that this reclaiming of stolen artefacts would jeopardise its future loan ability from other international museums, despite recognition in Australian law of the need to protect Aboriginal ownership of stolen cultural property. So bowing to pressure from the British Museum, the influential and well-resourced Melbourne Museum took the Dja Dja Wullung people to court, Dr Foley resigned and later the federal government rescinded the Protection Act.

From SOSBlakAustralia, a printable sign.

Two pieces from New Matilda: NITV National News to be spiked by June; and Beyond Dot Paintings.

indigenous business: bundarra sportswear

There is some crap going on, and it’s all important, but maybe you’re thinking about how you want to do something that’s not rallies and writing to your local member. And that’s okay! So once a week here at No Award, we’re going to showcase an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander thing. “Thing” is a bit inexact, but we don’t want to limit ourselves – we’re talking businesses and not for profits and designers. Things. We here at No Award still want you talking about injustices and and rallying if you can! But things are important, too. (If you can think of a good name for these posts, please let us know)

This week: Bundarra Sportswear. Steph is super into Bundarra Sportswear. She has their Deep Space Hammer leggings which are secretly SPACE HAMMERHEAD SHARKS, they are comfortable and breathable and the print on them is designed by Indigenous artist Robert Levi.

Bundarra is an Australian indigenous clothing label. Founding organisation, Indigenous Job Connections of Cairns identified a growing interest for an uniquely indigenous brand that indigenous communities Australia wide could call their own.

Bundarra was accordingly piloted in 2011 at the Laura Dance Festival to great success. Bundarra will strive to make quality sports aboriginal and torres strait corporate work uniforms, teamwear, leisure wear and promotional items depicting original indigenous artworks.

Bundarra is the Djabuguy word for cassowary. The cassowary keeps the rainforest clean and regenerates the plants and trees. A healthy rainforest means healthy rainforest people.

Don’t you want to support that? Indigenous artists, Indigenous themes, Indigenous jobs. Super comfy legs. Yes, good work, everyone.

deep space hammer pants!
deep space hammer pants!

national day of action: stop the forced closure of remote indigenous communities

subtitle: more things to hate your government for. actually the same reasons as last week, but here is some action.

i mean it
i mean it

There are protests all over the country today for a National Day Of Action. If you can’t make it to a physical protest, or even if you can, you can also participate virtually.

Follow the SOS Blak Australia twitter, and #SOSBlakAustralia.

Read more at New Matilda.

“They’re going to close down these communities and turn people into fringe dwellers. There’s going to be more in jail, and more homelessness. And there’s a lot of people homeless now,” Uncle Ben told New Matilda.

“I’m 75 now, and there’s been 70 years of racism in my life. Dehumanising conditions we’ve been living under. There’s still that hopelessness.”



CANBERRA: Assemble at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy at 11:30 am

SYDNEY: Kirribilli House, Kirribilli Avenue, 12:30 pm

PERTH: Forrest Chase, 1 pm

MELBOURNE: Parliament of Victoria, 5:30 pm

ADELAIDE: Victoria Square, 12:30 pm

BROOME, WA: ICC Office, Dampier Terrace to Broome Shire Offices, 1 pm

HALLS CREEK, WA: Cnr of Duncan H’way and Great Northern H/way, 10 am

GERALDTON, WA: Edith Cowan Square, Marine Tce, 10 am

BEAGLE BAY, WA: KRCI office, 10 am

HEDLAND, WA: Bloodwood Tree, Sth Hedland 10 am

BELLINGEN, NSW: Outside N5 & Kombu, Church St, 10 am

BENDIGO, VIC: Rosiland Park, Cnr of View St and Pall Mall, 11:45 am

LISMORE, NSW: Lismore Transit Centre, 5 pm





hashtag lifestyle choices

On the same day as Tony Abbott announced a decision to close more than 100 remote indigenous communities, he compounded injury with insult (literally) by justifying this move as the defunding of a ‘lifestyle choice’.

To live on Country is obviously not a lifestyle choice. To live on Country is a right and a responsibility and also, get your goddamn white man shoes off the land.

Here are some Indigenous voices:

Utopiana: Parliament House is an unviable political community.

At the ABC an article that has a lot of quotes from people, including this truthy beauty:

The chairman of WA’s Kimberley community of Djarindjin, Brian Lee, said it was a cultural obligation to live on traditional country and it could not be a “lifestyle choice”

“We are obliged to look after our country and that’s why a lot of us are out here on country,” Mr Lee said.

“Unless you live out here, you really can’t make any judgement on that.

It’s not that hard a concept. Even if you move it away from cultural stuff (you shouldn’t), it’s still about a sense of place and stewardship of the land, and how are we still in a place where white people think their science is always right; their politics is always right; their traditions are always right?

By Kate Galloway and temporarily outside the paywall at the Alternative Law Journal, Indigenous dispossession in the 21st Century: The Northern Frontier.

I say this a lot but are you following Luke Pearson and/or Indigenous X? Luke is thoughtful and excellent, and Indigenous X is a different Indigenous voice every week and every voice is amazing.


Not Indigenous voices, but excellent, at SBS Comedy: Indigenous Australians Still Not Thrilled About ‘Lifestyle Choice’ To Take Their Land.

Reports from various Indigenous leaders indicate that first Australians are still not thrilled about colonisers making the ‘lifestyle choice’ to steal their land and kill their people.

Though understanding it was the invader’s personal decision, Indigenous elders noted that the cost of being systematically oppressed greatly outweighed the benefits, namely due to there being no benefits.

“It certainly is a lifestyle choice,” said one indigenous elder. “Some people want to become plumbers, some want to be electricians, some want to attempt to steal sovereignty from a native people.

invasion day needs a linkspam

You may know it as Survival Day, or a public holiday for celebrating a genocide.

Nakkiah Lui writes at the Guardian: Australia Day is a time for mourning, not celebration.

Eugenia Flynn at Crikey: Friend or Foe of Indigenous Culture? Jessica Mauboy as Australia Day Poster Girl.

The day I don’t feel Australian? That would be Australia Day. Chelsea Bond over at The Conversation.

Glen LeLievre - Nothing But Bush
Glen LeLievre – Nothing But Bush

Over the weekend there was some shit going down in the #DearWhitePeople tag, with a whole heap of American (including African-American) policing of Australian Indigenous identities. (It is still pretty anger-making in there, and it sucks for @ebswearspink) I hope that there will be some write ups or something, but it’s not something Steph feels qualified to talk about (though an aside: this is in large part why No Award exists. Because we hate being forced to work through a USA social justice paradigm).

If you’re in Melbourne, Steph is going to some Invasion Day stuff:

There’s a smoking ceremony in the Tianjin Gardens at 10, and then a rally and march from 10:30 from Parliament house, because January 26 is a day of mourning and resistance. This rally is a resistance to colonialism and genocide.

Following that, there’s a festival in Treasury Gardens – Share the Spirit. It’s a festival to celebrate indigenous Australian culture and tradition.

Steph says: There’s rallies all over the country. Please go to one. We are living on indigenous land. I grew up on Noongar land, and I’m living on Wurudgeri land. My personal ancestors might not have had anything to do with the genocides of years past, but by staying silent I contribute to everything that continues. It is the very least I can do.