Remote Pharmacist WA – A conversation between myself and the Pharmacy Guild President

In January 2015 the president of the Pharmacy Guild George Tambassis and his PR man Greg Turnbull came onto the lands to spend 5 days with me on the lands. George and I have known each other since uni (in the same prac. group) but had not seen each other since we graduated. We caught up for the first time in nearly 30 years at an international pharmacy conference in September 2014.

The first few hours were spent in Alice Springs where the now previous CEO tried to tell him I was acting out of scope of practice for reviewing medications on the discharge summary of our patients from hospital and advising the doctor of any problems (actually best practice). This set the tone for 2015.

George and Greg travelled out the hard way in a troopie with me for 924km from Alice Springs in the January heat and spent nearly a week with me.

On their last day on the lands Greg filmed George and I having a conversation. Yes, it is a year old but the discussion is still relevant.

Compulsory Aquisition of Aboriginal Lands Continues

“Always was, always will be Aboriginal land” was the cry as supporters marched into the High Court. The High Court had just dismissed a challenge to the federal intervention into Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

Effectively this means the take over of aboriginal land can continue by the Federal Government in the Northern Territory along with ongoing introduction of race based legislation. It went to court as some elders believe they were not being justly compensated for the loss of their land (and I suggest the lack of control over their land) covering their townships and several sacred sites. The court decided that there were mechanisms in place to determine a a fair compensation.

Jenny Macklin the Minister for Indigenous Affairs has also started fair compensation will be offered.

Us whitefellas look at this in purely monetary terms. Our indigenous people don’t. You ony have to spend time with them to see even the youngest talk about their country and can describe it from stories though they may not yet have been there.

How do you compensate for the loss of something that is part of you, that sustains you, that is your spirit? Even where they have not owned the land for several generations our aboriginal people still talk of how “their” country sustains them.

I just love the place because it is part of us.

It is interesting to note that in dismissing the challenge the High Court had to overturn a previous High Court decision that had stood since 1969.

Below is the ABC news article:

Maningrida owners to be compensated: Macklin

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says she is planning to fairly compensate Northern Territory traditional owners who have lost a court case against her over their land.

The traditional owners had argued it was unconstitutional of the Federal Government to take over their land at Maningrida for five years as part of the federal Indigenous intervention.

But the Federal Court ruled in Canberra today that the Government was justified in taking over the land if it offers just compensation and Ms Macklin said she was already planning to offer compensation.

“Our Federal Government has always taken the view that just terms compensation should be paid,” she said.

“That’s why I’ve asked the Northern Territory valuer-general to do the valuation of the level of compensation which should be paid. As soon as he gives me that advice, compensation will begin to be paid.

“I understand that people have very strong views about it, but I acted beforehand to make sure that we demonstrated that this Government will pay just terms compensation.”

Link: The Australian Newspaper

If you like this post and what else you see on the blog please subscribe by RSS feed (the orange button) or by email. The email subscription is just under my profile picture. Or you can visit my subscription page.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin