Topic: Australia

Māori concern grows for remote Aboriginal communities

By Heeni Brown
  • Australia

Māori experts in sustainable living and health are concerned over a proposed plan to close more than 100 of Western Australia's remote Indigenous communities.

Traditional and modern architect Rau Hosking says the Australian government putting it's economic view ahead of 40,000 years of historical connection needs to be heavily questioned.

The battle for Kennedy Hill is one of many across Western Australia.

Aboriginal elder Roy Wiggans from Kennedy says, "I'm sick and tired of talking to people and fighting this is my land, it's not white man's land”

The Wiggan family says these are the remnants of what once was a thriving Aboriginal community..

Rodney Wiggans says, “All my old people used to have tents up here and there was just one tree way up on top hill there with this tin shack, it used to be a thriving community but as soon as all this started well it's just."

Here in New Zealand, Rau Hosking who has long created sustainable off-the-grid housing says a mixture of traditional and modern technology living in remote communities should be viable enough to live in.

He says, "If people have been living there for 20 and 40,000 years, they've developed such a deep appreciation of that place and how to survive in that place, if you add that traditional knowledge some modern systems then I think you're going to have very good lives in remote communities"

Leanora is an area that has a long history in Aboriginal displacement and community closure.

Kado Muir and his people have already been moved around the gold-fields desert to make way for mining.

Kado Muir of Katumpul says,"At one stage there were easily up to 2-300 people living up here."

Expert in the field of Māori health, Dr David Jansen says displacing these communities will only cause more problems.

The Commonwealth will withdraw funding for essential services in June to Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.