There are times to find stillness, the quiet of listening, and hearing. This is one of them. This beautiful poet, beautiful voice, critically important story, captured with a very light touch by Luka Lesson on Kabalko Island and in Maningrida, in the incredibly beautiful country of West Arnhem Land, N.T., Australia. A country that is under threat, so this story could not be more important.
Take the time:
From Alice and Luka’s statement about this poem:
Two weeks ago Paltar petroleum teamed up with Arafura Oil and Gas to begin a process of expansion and ‘unorthodox’ exploration, including fracking, in Arnhem Land and its oceans.
The reason why this alliance is so dangerous, starts with the fact that although Traditional Owners retain tenure of their homelands under Land Rights, and their permission is needed for land exploration, they do not hold sea rights over the waters that surround the coastline, the islands, or the riverbeds. Their title over land ends at the low-tide water mark.
Paltar Petroleum is therefore supporting Arafura Oil and Gas to gain approval for any parcel of land with coastline access so that exploration can then automatically begin on the seabeds without needing the approval of Traditional Owners.
In other words, once one parcel of land is approved, the sea-bed fracking across the entire length of Arnhem Land’s northern waters will be unpreventable. All they need is one port to launch vessels and machinery.
Alice’s family is one of many who are Traditional Owners for land and sea country in the area. Their country stretches across to Juddha Point, out to Kabalko, surrounding islands and all of the sea Country in between. Kabalko, also known as Entrance Island is where this video was filmed. We hope it brings you insight into the importance of this country and encourages you to join Alice Eather and her family in this fight for the recognition of sea rights and the protection of an already recognised world heritage area.
Alice is a leader of the Protect Arnhem Land Campaign, fighting the offshore exploration, mining and drilling that is threatening the entire coastline of Australia’s Northern Territory region, her home.
Arnhem Land is a sacred area in the most northern region of the Australian Northern Territory. It is home to the oldest living culture of Indigenous peoples existing on the planet today. The last remaining existence of this ancient, traditional culture and its practices is under threat.
These days in Australia, nothing seems to be safe from the zealots in power – not even world heritage, or world human rights conventions. The country has been besieged by mining interests and the media is complicit in its silence. So, we need to rally together. As Alice says in this powerful poem, her story is my story, your story. Please follow and support this fight at https://www.facebook.com/ProtectArnhe…