Yorta Yorta Survival Weekend

To: "birding-aus posts" <>
Subject: Yorta Yorta Survival Weekend
From: David McDonald <>
Date: Thu, 09 Jan 2003 22:05:04 +1100
I am sure that many members of Birding-Aus will have spent happy hours birding, camping and canoeing in Barmah State Forest and environs (on the NSW/Vic. border near Echuca/Moama), and have appreciated the role of the traditional owners, the Yorta Yorta people, in their ongoing caring for the country there and sharing it with visiting birders. Many will have been saddened, I'm sure, by the inability of our Eurocentric legal system to recognise the traditional owners' rights and responsibilities in that area. So, friends, I thought you might like to see how the Yorta Yorta are continuing to maintain their dignity, and their willingness to share their country with us, despite the failure of our legal system in dealing with native title issues. It would be a great way to spend the 26 January long weekend!

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (Victoria) Inc

Press Release
Friday January 3, 2003

The Yorta Yorta Celebrate Their Survival!

Yorta Yorta Survival Weekend
Saturday January 25 & Sunday January 26, 2003

The Yorta Yorta nation will play host to a Survival Weekend on their land,
in the Barmah Forest*, next Invasion Day (Sunday January 26, 2003).

After the rejection of their native title application in the High Court of
Australia (a decision that exhausts all available domestic avenues), the
Yorta Yorta will hold a weekend-long event on January 25 and January 26,
2003 at the Dharnya Centre (Sandridge Rd, Barmah Forest).

It will be an event that will feature some of south-eastern Australia's
best Indigenous/non-Indigenous musicians & performers; along with forums,
stalls, recreational activities in the Barmah Forest and a huge camp-out on
Yorta Yorta land.

Expect Lou Bennet (formerly of Tiddas), Richard Frankland, Peter Rotumah,
The Maza Sisters, the Sea of Hands, the fabulous Brolga Boys and other
special guest speakers and performers. All are welcomed to join in this
event. It'll be a case of BYO camping equipment and food; although the
event organisers will provide BBQ facilities, entertainment and an
unmatched way to mark January 26.

There will also be forums for non-Indigenous people to become informed and
take action and the Yorta Yorta nation will deliver a statement on
'Australia Day' about their intended future plans.  The weekend will also
be a platform to launch a massive fundraising effort to cover the
shamefully astronomical costs of the legal bills that the Yorta Yorta must

Mark it in your diaries, dust off your camping equipment, inform your
friends and join the Yorta Yorta people in their pursuit of justice!

*The Barmah Forest is on the banks of the Murray River, 22 kms north-east
of Echuca (all up, it's about 3-hours drive from Melbourne).

For further information see (to be launched
Thursday January 9) for maps, camping tips, promo down-loads, press releases
and the latest concert programs.

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (Victoria) Inc
67 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

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