Invitation to attend opening of Alyawarr protest house: Feb 14, 2010.

Richard Downs and Alyawarr elders would like to invite Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to the opening of our protest house at lunchtime, February 14 at Honeymoon bore near Ampilatwatja community.

This is a stand against the federal government Intervention.

The protest house has been build with support of Northern Territory and national trade unions and the general public to show the governments it does not take over 2 years to build one house.
This is also an opportunity for people of all races to come together in unity against racism and discrimination,

to unite for:

Human rights

Mother Earth

Land rights and not native title

Compensation for the Stolen Generation and return of stolen wages

And against:

Incarceration of our people

Deaths in custody

Climate change.

We want support to stay on our homelands, we do not want to move to the town hubs being created.

We say no to lease agreement- our lands are not for sale, lease or to be given away.

We are now joining together as one to stand against the racism and discrimination.

Our people will be having a special opening ceremony to show the governments and public we are still here.

For more information contact:

Richard Downs- 0428 611 169



Speaking Tour



Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 10 am – 12 pm
at the Redfern Community Centre
Address by Richard Downs, Spokesperson for Alyawarr Elders, Ampilatwatja
Introduction by Shane Phillips, Tribal Warrior, Redfern
Please RSVP as soon as possible to or 0401 955 405
For  the poster: click here

Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 2 pm
Richard Downs will address Amnesty International staff and supporters at the Sydney office,
Level 1, 79 Myrtle St Chippendale NSW 2008

Wednesday, 7 October 2009, 10 am
Media conference
NSW Parliament House Press Room, Macquarie Street.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009, 6.30 PM
Public Forum
UTS Building 4, Level 2, Room 36, 745 Harris St Ultimo

NT Intervention in Crisis: Why Jenny Macklin must resign

Speakers include:

* Richard Downs, Alyawarr People’s Walk-Off, Ampilatwatja NT
* Harry Nelson, Yuendumu Community Spokesperson
* Larissa Behrendt, NAIDOC Indigenous Person of the Year, 2009
* Chris Graham, Editor, National Indigenous Times

CONTACT: Mon Wiseman 0415 410 558 or Jean Parker 0449 646 593


For the poster: click here
Western Sydney

Sunday, 11 October 2009, 3 pm
Wundunarrkoo Hall, 108 Ellsworth Drive, Tregear
Welcome to Country: Aunty Gloria Matthews
For the poster: click here
Southern Sydney

Monday, 12 October 2009, 6 pm
Illawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, 22 Kenny St, Wollongong.
Welcome to Country: Uncle Dootch Kennedy
For the poster: click here

Download Sydney poster here

sydney poster



Friday 9 October , 6pm

Manning Clark Lecture Theatre,
Australian National University, Canberra
canberra poster



Wednesday, 14 October 2009, 1pm
Joe Nap B, second floor of Union House
University of Melbourne

Thursday, 15 October 2009, 1pm
Monash University Clayton
Campus Cinema, Building 10

Friday, 16 October 2009, 10am
March Against Racism
MAYSAR Sport and Recreation Centre
184-186 Gertrude street, Fitzroy

Friday, 16 October 2009, 6pm.
Public meeting
Melbourne Youth Sport and Recreation Centre (MAYSAR)
184-186 Gertrude street, Fitzroy

‘Resistance to Invasion: the Aboriginal walk-off and protest against the Northern Territory Intervention’.

Speakers include:
Richard Downs, Harry Nelson and leading Melbourne Aboriginal activist Robbie Thorpe.

Contact: Marisol 0413597315 or Joe 0434127661

For the poster: click here

Download Melbourne poster here

melbourne poster speaking tour



Saturday 17th October, 1.30pm,

Kurlipa Hall, 174 Boundary Street, West End
With Reverend Aunty Alex Gater, Aboriginal Women For Change

Monday 19th October, 1pm

Room 214, Gordon Greenwood Building (32)
University of Queensland.

CONTACT: Sam Watson 0401 227 443 or Mark Gillespie on 07 3891 5385 /

Downoad Brisbane poster here

brisbane poster




Help in building networks of active supporters, fundraising to support the walk-off protest camp, promotion of events and much more.

The Federal and NT Governments have come under increasing fire in recent months over the scandals emanating from the NT Intervention. In August UN Special Rapporteur Professor Ananya described it as ‘’clearly discriminatory’’, and characterised the policies as “stigmatising an already stigmatised people”.

Meanwhile, on the ground affected Aboriginal people are struggling to survive and resist the conditions of hardship, division and racism imposed by the legislation.

In July, echoing the dramatic land rights struggle of the 1960s and 70s, Alyawarra Elders at Ampilatwatja community, 300kms north-east of Alice Springs, walked off their community demanding an end to the Intervention and immediate action to address shocking housing conditions.

‘’Aboriginal people had no other option but to walk off the Prescribed Area…(according) them the status of being internally displaced refugees‘’We no longer have any rights to exist as humans in our own country and are outcasts in our own community’’, said Richard Downs, spokesperson for the Alyawarra Elders.

More than 150 of the 300 residents have joined the protest, 3kms from the township. They are threatening to take the entire community to set up camp on ancestral lands unless their demands are met:

“Funds must go to community development, not ‘Intervention’’’. “End the compulsory lease and restore land to Aboriginal control. We are now urging and calling all communities who feel they are in same situation as our community to stand up and support us and keep fighting for indigenous people’s rights’’.

Minister Macklin has made clear that despite the community’s desperate need, no new houses will be built. Ampilatwatja residents are victim’s of the Interventions ‘growth towns’ policy that deems hundreds of remote communities “unviable” and is starving them of funds to drive people into ‘hub towns”.

Widespread condemnation over the Indigenous housing crisis and government mismanagement of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) continues to escalate after revelations that from the $672 million funding, not one house has been built for Aboriginal people NT-wide.

This scandal has been explained by pro-Intervention commentators in The Australian as a failure of “red tape”. But the real failure of SIHIP is explained by its racism – the deliberate exclusion of Aboriginal communities and organisations in the design and implementation of the program.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin must resign! Racist Intervention laws must be immediately repealed.

Richard Downs will be visiting Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne in October to spread the message of the Alyawarra Elders and to rally support for the walk-off and the campaign to stop the intervention.

“Stop the compulsory welfare quarantine. The Intervention is creating racism, divisions, hatred and resentment across the NT’’ …’I urge all our brothers and sisters along with non aboriginal people to stand up and support us.”

17 responses to “Events

  1. Christine Cole

    Thank God for this group. The Racial Discrimination Act needs to be restored in the NT immediately. Adequate programs and services to the communities with Indigenous people from the communities employed would see programs and services utilised to address many of the issues. Lord, please help us. Thank you.

    • interventionwalkoff

      Hi Christine,
      yes we do have along journey, we feel heartened with encouragement and strong support, we feel the energy, drive coming together of all people to stand against the NTER Measures
      please continue to spread our message

  2. Christine Cole

    I like this site and what it does.

  3. edward fischer

    Dear Richard

    I admire your strength and courage and tackling these hard isssues. To gain self -determination and management of own affairs, we need to fund projects ourselves and be in total control.

    • interventionwalkoff

      Hi Edward,
      life is never easy, we all face great challenges in life and more so in this but having great friends of supporters and people such as yourself gives courage and energy. for all of us standing up for indigenous and human rights, our lands and freedom is most important than being afraid. we hope in the near future we will have that control and management of our affairs

  4. Hi Richard,
    unfortunately I will miss your talk in Canberra. I will be up in Anrhem Land at that time, working with the Dhimurru mob.
    I will be happy to support you in anyway though, and I could get posters printed and displayed around ANU campus and town. Do you have a template I can use? Or is there anybody here in Canberra already doing that?
    Let me know if you need anything else, and I’ll see what I can do (and yes, I’m going to make a donation too!)
    In solidarity


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  9. Dear Richard

    All the very best for your speaking tour, starting today in Sydney. Looking forward to your visit to Melbourne next week; I’ll be asking as many people as possible to come and hear you speak. Jordan.

  10. Rhiannon

    Dear Richard,

    I was in Ampilatwatja last year when the clinic closed down ultimately because of the political environment and pressure being placed on it by the Intervention. I saw the devastating effects this had on the community. This was disheartening as I feel the people of Ampilatwatja, and the elders in particular are beautiful people with amazing strenght and resilience.

    I hope through your actions you are able to make change happen. I will spread the word. Unfortunately I cannot attend your talk in Canberra on friday which is a great disappointment to me.

    Kind regards,

  11. T.P. Granitcharoff

    I am not an indigenous person but have followed “aboriginal struggle” for over 35 years. Back in the days of “Land Rights Not Uranium” and having a couple of mates with an indigenous heritage. As a former trade union official I believe in a “fair go for everybody”.
    I have just got a copy of ” Portraits of a Land without People. The story Carpentaria which was difficult at times to get though but know what life can be like with visits to Bourke/Coober Pedy back in the early 80’s. Too, have spent time in NT and Fitzroy Crossing/Broome in WA. I spent 6 months with a family in Perth in 81 “Noongar” people. You mentioned Peter Yu tonight, I know his former wife (Karen) and Dennis and Bob Eggington who have been involved in your struggle since the late 70’s.

    The “remote issue” with your people is something I am attempting write about as a “non-indigenous person”. I have followed some of the work of WEH Stanner and his writing have inspired to write about “back to the garden”. How Ampilatwatja people can get back to a life style spiritual/cultural that Australia as a nation can be seen as respectful to the original owners of this land.

    Don’t get me wrong I’ve been on occasions quite p……. off with those that have done well for themselves! The statistics tell of a worsening situation for the vast majority of indigenous folk, yet there seem to be “rose gardens” in the deserts!
    Many “talk a good game” as our previous PM did, but in real terms just feather their own nests! If you represent people “their needs” are paramount….the needs of the many!
    T.P. Granitcharoff

  12. Richard,
    We were sad to hear what they have done to your community. We did a locum doctor service at your community in mid ’90’s. You have a beautiful community – my daughter, 8 yo at the time, kicked off her shoes and played in your community and was safer there then in any white community! Remind me – why did this intervention happen? Something about children’s safety???? Will be in Melb on Friday evening for the talk. What has happened to your community is outrageous! I can only apologize for allowing this to happen. We will do what we can to help.

  13. Dear Richard,

    Congratulations for the effort you are making to stop the discrimination based on race in Australia. It’s ridiculous that Australians passively accept the intervention, if not even on moral grounds, they should be demanding the federal government adheres to law and global human rights standards as set out by the U.N.

    How can I help, I know that I can donate money, is this the best way I can help or are there other ways as well that would help you?


  14. Tanya

    I’ve dreamed many dreams that never came true,
    I’ve seen them vanish at dawn;
    but I’ve realized enough of my dreams, to make me want to dream on.
    I’ve prayed many prayers when no answer came,
    I’ve waited patient and long;
    I’ve trusted many a freind who failed and left me to weep alone;
    But I’ve found enough of my freinds true-blue
    to make me keep trusting on.
    I’ve drained the cup of disapointment and pain,
    I’ve gone days with out a song,
    and I’ve sipped enough nectar from the rose of life To make me want to live on…. Thank you my Brothers and Sisters for keeping our dream alive…I am with you in spirit and my heart sings for you…..I only wish I could also walk with you….

  15. Hi Richard

    I’m not an indigenous person, but a friend and comrade of your struggles!

    I’ve just finished reading the great article in GreenLeft. I thought I was aware of just how disgraceful the Intervention has been, but I now know that it’s reduced aboriginal people to less than human beings. Could there be anything more demeaning than going back 50-100 years? I’m ashamed. I had such high hopes of this new Rudd govt, but to no avail. A real sell out! It’s beyond horrific.

    I only wish I had money, and could be more helpful – financially, not just in spirit.
    The word is growing, and I agree with the sentiments of the article – not to go backwards!
    I promise you, that I will attend any rally or meeting in my area, that supports you and your people in striving for justice and autonomy!

    I love Tanya’s poem. I think we’ve shared thoughts on YouTube blogs in support of aboriginal people.

    I heard today via an ABC news item, that some of the moving stories by people from the Stolen Generations will be available to listen to on the National Library website! I’ll certainly be checking them out!

    Some people may not be aware of a great book by Peter Stewart called, ‘Demons at Dusk’. It’s about the massacre at Myall Creek, where at least 28 aboriginal people were viciously murdered, mostly women and children, including babies. Peter spent 20 yrs doing the research for this book. It is confronting and thought provoking. I have to admit that I was still thinking about it for weeks after – not because of violent words, but probably because the whole massacre segment only took up a page or so – it was the way it was written that made it unforgetable. Even though I’m against capital punishment, it was unique in that the perpetrators were hung-probably the only non-indigenous people punished for horrific murders. One brave white man with a sense of justice insisted, despite pressure against him. I believe that Peter is in the process of making it into a film – I hope so, then many people will be educated re the viciousness of the colonisation of this country by whites.

    My thoughts and solidarity are with you all Richard!
    Please take care!

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