24th Session, Geneva 31 July to 4 August 2006

Mr. Chairperson,

I am here to represent the Wamba Wamba Nation, which includes all of Australia's Victoria and New South Wales clans.

On behalf of Garry Murray, president of the Wiran Aboriginal Corporation and Wamba Wamba Nation, I appeal about the genocide by stealth of both Commonwealth and State Governments in Australia who continue to erode Indigenous rights to self determination, the protection of their cultural heritage and the rights to their lands and waters.
Therefore, in name of the Wamba Wamba Nation, we appeal for:

  • Recovery, return and reburial of the Australian Aboriginal Ancestors' Human Remains;
  • Recovery and return of all Aboriginal Cultural Artifacts both Sacred and Non-Sacred;
  • The preservation and protection of Cultural Heritage places, sites and objects;
  • The introduction of cultural heritage protection laws that commit genocide by stealth on Traditional Owners of the State of Victoria.
  • The Traditional Owners rights and interests are being violated in cultural heritage matters and we draw to the attention of this Assembly that the Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2006 will create uncertainty for all Citizens of the State of Victoria, Australia, undermines the cultural authority and obligations of all Traditional Owners to their respective Country and will create conflict and divisions for all Stakeholders.
    The Bill is a form of genocide by stealth for all Traditional Owners as it disappears the names and boundaries of all Traditional Owners. This Bill also repeats the uncertainty and conflicts arising from the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 Part 11A.

    The Wamba Wamba therefore request that the United Nations lobby the Parliament of the State of Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia to amend the Bill so that Traditional Owners are specifically recognized by statute, have exclusive rights to managing cultural heritage and native title rights in their respective Country. Alternatively, the State of Victoria should seek to amend the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 Part 11A that relates to Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage for the benefit of all Traditional Owner Groups.

    Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

    Rosalba Nattero
    Vice Chairperson Ecospirituality Foundation

    - of the Wiran Aboriginal Corporation of Australia
    - of the Apache Survival Coalition of Arizona
    - of the Breton "Menhirs Libres" Community of Brittany
    - of the Confrérie Mbog-Parlement, Cameroun
    - of the United Confederation of Taino People, Caribbean