White and black deceit, corruption and looting over land against autonomous Aboriginal people in South Australia

Michael with a special breed of cattle on the farm he manages for his extended family

Curtin Springs 19 April 2015 – I am alarmed and shocked at the deceit, corruption and looting against the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Executives, the Peoples and the APY communities, being perpetrated by outside organisations, bureaucrats and other agents with vested interest, who argue that they are representing APY Peoples' best interests. It is apparent that the administrative support personnel of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands are failing in their due diligence to protect the Executive Board from this corruption, by not being transparent and honest. It is thirty years since I was last in Anangu Country when I was engaged in some Anangu Law Business. After having been invited to have discussions with key Lawmen, I am astounded that they are not properly aware of how their Country is being administered.


The Executive Board of Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara, established under the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act, as recently amended in December 2014, appears to have been targeted by the South Australian government and organisations such as the APY Council of Elders, which is funded independently of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Executive governance, and appear to be running interference with their own political agendas, on behalf of vested interests. Another organisation that is at odds with the APY Executive Board is the Pitjantjatjara Council. It is very apparent that the APY Executive Board established by the APY Land Rights Act are indeed the sole power brokers under whiteman's law throughout all their Country. There is no reference to the role of other purported APY organisations, who it appears from all the paperwork have signed off on Country in a deceitful corrupt way. For example, there was a meeting at Maple Creek, where some questionable business took place, but now has serious ramifications for the Peoples of the APY without them being fully informed of what would flow from what took place at this gathering. More importantly, it would be interesting to look at the public record of this gathering that was submitted, if at all, to the APY Executive for their knowledge and ratification.


Most Aboriginal Nations around this country would love to be in the position of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Peoples, who have inalienable freehold title, under whiteman's law, to their Country. APY Peoples have the potential to operate as an independent sovereign Nation state by virtue of the fact that they run an entry permit system (equivalent to a visa) which has to be paid for, and they have veto powers in respect to applicants seeking to come into their country, including developers. They also have sole power to employ whoever they want for whatever purpose. APY Law and Culture people are the sole governance of all Anangu Law throughout Anangu territories and there is no limit to the Lawmen and women in respect to decision making.


But when the veil of power is lifted from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara governance, it is evident that the Lawmen and women of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Executive Board do not understand the extent of their unlimited powers, which are only restricted by their own Law. They are certainly not fully aware of the extent of external meddling, which results in widespread looting. They have not yet exercised their authority and power to ensure that decisions made under the whiteman's system are not inconsistent and repugnant to their own ancient Laws and Culture. This is the challenge that is before them, to understand how the two worlds coexist and which law is paramount in respect to their Country.


Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara's immersion in their own language, Law and culture means there is also a lack of non-Aboriginal education in order to understand and anticipate how the white system permits the con artists and tricksters to do their thing, thereby maximising their own profits at the expense of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Peoples, who own the lands, but only receive the crumbs that fall from the table of exploitation.


If anyone is truly interested in understanding how to submerge and confuse Aboriginal people, one only has to look at the operations that are existing on and within Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, all of which are overseen by the South Australian government itself. There is now an Aboriginal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, but his minders cleverly manipulate who he talks to on the ground, and cleverly vet the information he receives, which means he gets a sanitised version only. Evidence shows he only meets white bureaucrats and carefully selected Anangu, which is what happened while I was on APY lands during my recent visit.


To see the extent of activities and the vast areas of lands that have been signed off by competing Anangu organisations, which are primarily run by non-Aboriginal people together with some Anangu, you only need to go to www.atns.net.au, the online database of agreements, treaties and negotiated settlements. Many of the community and grassroots people of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands are not aware of what is registered on this database. It appears that just about the whole of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands have been negotiated away through ILUAs (Indigenous Land Use agreements) and other agreements without the full free prior and informed consent of the true owners. A question that can also be asked here is whether these ILUAs and contracts have been translated into the Peoples' own language. Even the Northern Territory Central Land Council (CLC) is complained about by the APY people for their involvement in APY lands, where some Anangu express alarm and frustration at how mining permissions and land leases were signed off with the assistance of the CLC, without proper process and due regard.


The agreements, treaties and negotiated settlements database mentioned does not include the unscrupulous operations of non-Aboriginal people, who run the cattle paddock programs, that is stock stations owned by the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara. The agistment programs need to be reviewed ASAP because the cattle industry is a very fast growing industry with great wealth at the end of the line, if you have the right cattle in the right condition. Having had discussions on this I am afraid to say that the people of the APY have little knowledge of the extent of the non-Aboriginal people's operations on their lands. It is easy to cheat the people considering the size and openness of the Country. Farmers who are agisting cattle are not necessarily oversighted by the people of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara, who have too much trust in other people's honesty.


From running cattle on our own farm back Home, on our Euahlayi country in northwest NSW, I understand how easy it would be to muster large numbers of wild cleanskin mickeys throughout APY lands and then for the non-Anangu to keep them and mark them with the National Livestock Tags as their own cattle, thereby increasing their own herd significantly at the expense of Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara. In the old days this type of cattle duffing would warrant a person being detained, shot or hanged! There is no John Wayne in the APY lands!


There are so many things that are wrong and can be rectified.


In conclusion, it is worth stating that the Lawmen and women have sought my advice on how to assert their Law and Culture so that it supercedes that of the white law on and within their Country. It is my personal opinion that there is a legal method by which the APY Peoples' Law and Culture can be used to override the imposed Western law, and that future governance on and within APY lands can and should be subject to the Law of the Land, which is Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Law and Culture. The current extent of criminal usurpation of their Country and their resources is without proper consent. Moreover, it is wrong for the government of South Australia to impose a royalty sharing structure upon the APY people. This is their choice, not the government's. What we have on APY lands presently is the modern day clash between whose law is the Law of the Land.


It is time for our people to call in outside help. We need international independent investigators and observers to report on the extent of government corruption and coercion along with the absolute dishonest practices of some lawyers, who purport to be advocating on Anangu's behalf, but never reveal the truth and full extent of Anangu's inherent rights. Native Title is a farce and the lawyers and judges are manipulating the judiciary and court systems to absolutely deride the legal rights of Aboriginal Peoples, not just on APY lands, but throughout Australia. In this regard, I can assist the key Tjilpi/Lawmen and Law women to seek a report by the UN Rapporteur on the Independence of lawyers and judges in Australia.


The Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) signed in South Australia to date are a classic fraud against the people, because under the Native Title Act, ILUAs cannot legally grant an absolute right to all future acts. 'Future acts' is a legal misnomer. There has to be an ILUA for each specific action or development. It is illegal to have an ILUA that covers all 'future acts', whatever they may happen to be at a later date. Each new project or mine expansion constitutes a new act, requiring a Section 29 Notice under the Native Title Act. What the lawyers have done in getting people to sign ILUAs to authorise all future acts is questionable and corrupt, all of which can be challenged in the courts. This is a problematic situation, because currently lawyers cannot be fined or prosecuted for their own wrongdoings and/or incorrect advice.


Clearly, the South Australian government administrators, bureaucracy and the legal fraternity have no conscience when it comes to revealing the full inherent rights of Anangu. I ask how can this be possible? Do non-Aboriginal people in these professions have so much distaste and condescending racism?


Another observation that horrifies me is to see how white people, who seek to work with Anangu in service delivery, are accommodated and lock themselves within compounds with ten foot high mesh fencing with barbed wire on top. I saw this in South Africa during the apartheid regime. If people are so worried about a perceived threat, why go to APY lands, if you cannot relate and become properly associated with the people for whom you work? If you want to see South African styled apartheid then go to APY lands and to the Uluru and Mutujulu precincts. Even the Police stations are fenced in. The only thing that's missing are armed guards and German Shepherd guard dogs!


Umuwa, the heart of the administration centre of APY lands, is limited to some ancilliary Aboriginal staff, the rest are non-Aboriginal people, many of whom live there in the fenced in compounds to protect themselves from the perceived alleged violence? But Umuwa does have a small visitors centre for the APY Executive and visitors who stay there when they come for meetings, but there is no available phone signal (apart from satellite) at the visitors centre, or any area outside the administration complexes, at Umuwa.


On another matter, it would be very interesting to have a look at the costs being charged against Peoples of the APY lands by private contractors, for example, the contractor who is supposed to maintain the roads throughout APY lands. The question that needs to be asked about the $6 million to maintain the homelands and communities in APY lands, recently announced by Commonwealth Minister Scullion, how will this money really benefit the Anangu on the ground in their homelands and communities? That is to say, will they be offered to the contractors or will jobs flow to Anangu people? I have had the opportunity to learn that, like Aboriginal people throughout Australia, the young men and women have been trained in many and various training schemes, eg. when the old Community Development Employment Program (CDEP- work for the dole) was operating. They have Certificates 1 - 4 in all sorts of job descriptions suited to the local community needs. It cannot be said that the people are not aware of the possible job tasks that lie ahead in their communities. In fact, Minister Scullion's minders should recommend that as a matter of primacy a job task and skills audit be conducted right throughout APY lands, which will then identify local expertise and thereby ensure jobs for local people, keeping much needed capital in the communities, not to mention the pride and dignity that will flow from such an operation.


The existing alternative is the way scarce resources are quickly eaten up by the private non-Aboriginal contractors, who themselves build their own compounds away from the Anangu communities and no profits flow from the capital to Anangu people themselves, who are being deprived of employment.


How in the world, I ask, can Aboriginal people gain a formal association and trust with non-Aboriginal people, when they continue to choose to lock themselves away in fenced off secured compound areas for non-Aboriginal people only? Maybe the Ministers, State and Federal, would be better served to teach the service deliverers that Aboriginal people are actually human, talented and don't appreciate imposed apartheid conditions.


So much for reconciliation and recognise!!



Ghillar Michael Anderson



Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia, Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic and co-founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy

 ghillar29@gmail.com 0427 292 492 www.sovereignunion.mobi

Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia

Asserting Australia's First Nations Sovereignty into Governance




See also


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White and black deceit, corruption and looting over land against autonomous Aboriginal people in South Australia

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Aboriginal protesters come face-to-face with politicians during Canberra 'sit-in'

In defence of our land and our freedoms

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Maori politicians support Aboriginal protest over proposed closure of indigenous communities