See Me Now

Lightening skin products are set to become a $10 Billion industry by 2015. A new documentary, See Me Now, tackles the subject of race and beauty within the fashion industry. Made by fashion film-maker Glen Mackay, it includes Black women from four continents.

Fiji-Australian model, Indigenous-Australian television host Leila Gurruwiwi is featured in the documentary. She works for Australia’s Indigenous broadcast network, NITV, on the Marngrook Footy Show, In the interview below, she tells SBS News:

“For me it was very sad to hear some of the stories of some of the girls that have had really bad experiences especially when it comes to their skin and being uncomfortable in their own skin. Coming from a Yolngu background a strong Yolngu woman from Northeast Arnhem Land it’s something that we’ve always been very proud of.”

Read more on SBS News.

Adam Goodes Unveils New Indigenous Jersey

Aussie Rules footballer and Indigenous Australian, Adam Goodes, unveiled the new Indigenous-themed footy jersey designed by his mother and he fielded questions about yet another incident of racism on the field. He says in response to a media question:

It’s not a comfortable thing to talk about. [Places his palm on chest] It’s definitely not a comfortable thing to have to go through. Yeah it’s going to cause a stir. It’s going to cause people to have conversations about it – but let’s talk about it.

Video source: SBS News.

A Commonwealth Multicultural Act

We are very lucky in Australia to have such a great diversity of language, of communities. However we don’t harness all of those skills that we bring to this country…

We are going to be working to reassure not only our own base, because we don’t want to speak to the converted, we also want to speak to the broader Australian community, to middle Australia to make them understand that multiculturalism is not a threat, multiculturalism is an asset, and a benefit that can really enhance Australia’s capabilities in this smaller and smaller world.“

Joe Caputo, Chairman for the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA). FECCA plans to address A Commonwealth Multicultural Act.

Source: SBS News.

Sudanese Australians Use Music Rehab

Sudanese Australians use music to reflect on their war experiences. This group performed for the Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) in Western Sydney. One performer says:

When you’re happy, you sing it out; when you’re sad, you sing it out… You talk to people, you make an announcement – anything at all, you make a song.

Another singer says:

It looks like fun, but it’s not fun… I’m not a young woman, I’m an old woman. I can’t come if it’s [just] fun. We want the people that doesn’t know what happened a long time in the past, and that is why we are here.

STARTTS Chief Executive says:

Dance brings people together, but also brings people together in a way that turns thoughts and feelings into action, and that’s tremendously therapeutic.

Source: SBS News.

Kamilaroi Ancestors Repatriated

Ancestors have to go back and be placed in the land, their mother, the earth, and that’s all Aboriginal people want.

– Head of the Kamilaroi Land Trust and veteran repatriation campaigner Bob Weatherall.

The remains of 26 Kamilaroi ancestors have been returned to their descendants in Brisbane. It’s estimated that thousands of remains of Indigenous Australians are held by institutions in Australia and around the world. Indigenous activists work tirelessly to recover their bodies.

Source: SBS News.

LGBTQIA Inclusion in the Catholic Church

Yes, the Pope influences millions of Catholics. And yes, he should be praised for making a change, if and when he actually makes that change.

This is not that time. He did not change the doctrine, he has not changed his stance on supporting the Church’s teachings, and he is excommunicating a pro-gay Australian priest for supporting women in becoming ordained. And now, since The Advocate award, it has been reported that he is ‘shocked’ by the thought of civil unions and gay adoption – news that isn’t shocking to me at all. Continue reading LGBTQIA Inclusion in the Catholic Church

Iran’s Rebel Poet

Before knowing something about Western music, I was trying to just base the lyrics on old Persian poets like Hafiz, Rumi. They were living 700 years ago, 800 years ago… When your approach is formalistic, you only think about reading, not concepts. Conceptually, most of these don’t work for the modern age. That’s why I started to switch their concepts to our age.

Mohsen Namjoo, “Iran’s Rebel Poet,” is based in the USA as he is unable to return and play his music in his native Iran. While on a European tour in 2009, Namjoo was sentenced to five years imprisonment for citing verses of the Koran with music. This is forbidden in Islamic law in Iran.

This is an interesting interview with SBS News.

Bernardi Clashes with Turnbull on Marriage

Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi says fellow Liberal Malcolm Turnbull should stop speaking in support of gay marriage. Bernardi is a right wing Christian who last year linked bestiality with homosexuality. Bernadi says gay marriage is a “fringe issue” for the party. Turnbull has been critical of Australia’s laws which prohibit same gender marriage, but he stops short of co-sponsoring deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek’s gay marriage bill.

Via SBS News.

End of Business Review Weekly

Former BRW journalist, Ali Cromie, reflects on the end of publishing titan Business Review Weekly. While BRW will move into digital publishing, some of its better known features will migrate to the Financial Review.

This interview is fantastic. Cromie speaks passionately about the low points (“hi-jinx”) that BRW reporters faced as well as what it represented as a media institution of over three decades. She tells a detailed story of how she got under Rupert Murdoch’s skin. She also said she left journalism because she felt she could no longer protect her sources due to phone tapping.

Cromie argues that the BRW’s parent publisher Fairfax failed to have a cohesive strategic vision. It pulled apart BRW’s entrepreneurial section, it mixed in BRW stories into a broader pool of financial reporting, therefore hurting its niche readership.

Cromie argues that the BRW brand still has power, but it requires dedicated management. “The problem is not the platform. It’s the board.”

Buunji – National Indigenous Education Conference

NITV news reported from Buunji, the National Indigenous Education Conference in early November.

Organiser Lillian Gordan says they are promoting Indigenous identity, Indigenous diversity and Indigenous sustainability and an improved delivery of education in a way that won’t interfere with traditional culture.

It’s about bringing everybody together. Buunji is a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘to share,’ that everyone is coming together pretty much from all across the nation, what they’ve done and what they’ve seen and what their hopes are into the future for Aboriginal education.

Continue reading Buunji – National Indigenous Education Conference