Aboriginal actions across the continent to ‘Shutdown Australia’ on 1 June

Stop the Forced Closure of Homeland Communities

A national campaign on 1 June aimed to shut down Australia for one hour in protest against announced closures of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. The event had international support with events also taking place across the globe from Berlin to New Zealand. In addition to planned closures of remote communities, rallies across Australia also drew attention to other issues tormenting Aboriginal Australians, such as incarceration rates and child removal.


The Wire”, a daily current affairs programme broadcast exclusively to more than 400 community and indigenous radio stations with a joint potential audience of five million around Australia, talked to


Lavene Ngatokorua, from Davenport Community Port Augusta South Australia, Peter Collier, West Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Shaun Harris, Nhunda Wadjarri Yamatji man and Alice Haines, Shut Down Australia organiser.


Stephen Atkinson, an activist in Port Augusta, where a local woman started the grassroots Shutdown campaign, told a programme on Aboriginal radio relayed to hundreds of stations how in South Australia the government is using stealth to force people out of their communities.


He told Taiga Bayles, presenter of a highly popular ‘Let’s Talk’ series that schools are being closed and people being forced into ‘slave labour’ in mining, all aimed at evicting people off country. 

Shut Down Australia’s facebook page has extensive coverage with pictures.


Sydney based Bandjalug man, Anthony Mundine, Silver Super Welterweight Champion of the World Boxing Council,  travelled across the continent to Perth to meet homeless people camped at Matargarup, an island in the Swan River opposite central Perth.


He was impressed by the resilience of activists who have re-established the homeless refugee camp despite four police escorted City of Perth raids to close it down.


“Our people have been beaten down for too long. It is beyond a joke what governments keep on doing and we need to keep inspiring one another to stay resilient,” said Mr Mundine at a concert at the camp.


“There is great resilience among the people here at Matargarup when after four raids by the shire and police they keep on getting up and coming back.


“What is happening in Western Australia and across Australia to our people needs international attention to stop the racism, to make a difference.”


“Mr Mundine did what not a single Western Australian politician has done and that was turn up to Matargarup to listen to the camp’s homeless and to their supporters,” wrote investigative journalist and pro-Aboriginal activist, Gerry Georgatos, who interviewed Mundine at the camp on what white people call Heirisson Island


See more about the 25 bands and performers at the concert here.