THE WALL STREET INTERVENTION ... TO NEUTRALISE ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS
How global resource corporation owners replaced traditional Aboriginal consensus decision-making with a western-style power-pyramid hierarchy: creating the Northern Land Council
NORTHERN LAND COUNCIL
WHY THE NLC HAS ACHIEVED THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT EARLY NT SUPPORTERS ORIGINALLY ENVISAGED
Some of the contentions encountered in this paper may never be proved because most of the main players are either deceased or reluctant to release the truth; an understandable position because the truth might destroy countless careers; render legislation ultra vires or void or at least unenforceable; and very powerful global corporations would use all their not-inconsiderable influence to prevent official recognition anyway. This influence includes media baron Rupert Murdoch and guardian of the portal to Australian universities and think tanks, Frank Lowy.
Nevertheless, this article is presented to supply answers to the generous and often courageous souls who supported the early Aboriginal Land Rights Movement but who later wondered how it all went so wrong. These far-sighted patriots are welcome to contact me for more up-to-date information... Tony Ryan
In the build-up towards the Land Rights Act (NT) of 1976, it was envisaged by those who understood the range of complex issues involved, that Aboriginal interests would best be served by a land council which achieved a progression of clear objectives:
- Identify specific language groups and sub-groups;
- Identify sacred (dangerous) sites and other sites of significance and, if possible, demarcate and delineate respective clan homelands;
- Under Songmen tutelage and security, record each clan’s part in Songline networks; noting the connections with other clan sites and links with extension Songlines in the NT and interstate; (this would help enable identification of land claim validity in other jurisdictions such as Kakadu, Larakeyah, Kenbi, and as far west as the Kimberly).
- Identify clan (baparru) genesis and interrelationships through Songlines (ie Caterpillar and Morning Star);
- Recognise Aboriginal consensus protocols and, through such consensus, identify each person thus qualified in terms of geographical location of birth spirit, who is then the person required to launch the consensus-finding process; and, following discussion, identify unanimity of purpose (presuming this is achieved).
- Utilising consensus protocols (Re 5), identify and record all persons entitled/required to launch the consensus protocols in respect of all geographical locations. This would enable each clan to gauge the desirability or otherwise of subsequent proposals put to the clan, whether these be proposed roads, tracks, water bores, houses, mines, or government access (ie military). Such a record should be maintained in optimum security to a level which satisfies Songmen. This would include geographical location of such a secure facility.
Once these tasks had been achieved (it was reasoned) existing consensus protocols would ensure that, guided by interpreters of Songlines, every man, woman and child could (if they so wished) be fully conversant with salient issues and opportunities, and would have the opportunity to express their support or otherwise for whatever contemporary development proposals emerged.
Thus, shelter designs, service installations, access tracks and roads, and commercial access to resources and technologies, would be the exclusive prerogative of each respective clan.
The issue of mining corporations wishing to access Aboriginal lands was tensely anticipated, but observers understood that fully informed clan consensus would be implemented as the sole decision-making process; not only for mining but for day-to-day issues.
The only unresolved issue was the process by which Aborigines were to become fully informed. Those who supported the views expressed by the anthropologist AP Elkin some forty years earlier demanded that government commence language and cultural training of relevant personnel to ensure:
- Future consultation
- Cross-cultural orientation
- Health, hygiene, and nutrition information
- Domestic budgeting
- Employment training
- Education, and
- Other relevant dialogue
…took place entirely in local Aboriginal languages or, at the very least, the local lingua franca.
This was the expectation of public servants like myself, whose work, family and social life drew us deeply towards Aboriginal perceptions and aspirations regarding land rights and issues of retention of cultural integrity. At this time, Galarrwuy Yunupingu was staying in my home and Wesley Lanhupuy was an almost daily visitor. From 1973 onward, these and other Yolngu made their positions and expectations abundantly clear, as did indigenous associates from Groote Eylandt, the Centre, the Tiwi Islands, Pepeminarti, Wardeye, Daly River, Hodgeson Downs, and dozens of other communities. In those times, land rights was the daily topic of conversation and it would have been difficult to miscomprehend the general feeling. Yet so many public servants did precisely that.
More colonial-minded bureaucrats, and most fell into that category, believed that use of pidgin and interpreters would suffice to establish and maintain effective communication. These arch-conservatives considered that the schooling already provided by Kormilda and Yirrara colleges would sufficiently educate and orientate young Aborigines, who could then advise their own communities.
This typified the view of the then NTA Director of Education, Ted Robertson (later Senator); whose proximity to Aboriginal reality was exposed in his 1976 response to an ALP member's call for ALP candidates in Aboriginal-dominated electorates: "Forget it. You will never get a blackfella to vote ALP" ('wisdom' that the following President, Jon Isaacs, rejected, with landslide electoral consequences).
This entrenched bureaucratic attitude ignored the reality of indigenous tribalism, which meant that pan-community loyalty and accountability were alien concepts and that the only extant loyalty and accountability was to one’s own family and extended family (ie close clan members). Devolving information, and thence community power, was never an Aboriginal consideration.
Moreover, the naïve belief that Aboriginal secondary school colleges could orientate young Aborigines towards developing a successful industrial and geopolitical negotiating capacity entirely overlooked the reality that schoolteachers are invariably people who have never left school and who have little idea of how the real world works.
This educational inadequacy caused Aboriginal graduates to be blind to the duplicity and 'other agenda' realities of politics, a cultivated naivete which stymied all Aboriginal development and continues to do so; but what happened to the land councils was less the outcome of inadequate Aboriginal education and more the product of deliberate foreign manipulation.
The Australian public have been shielded from this knowledge.
The endemic Aboriginal decision-making process of consensus, which in western terms equates with 'political power devolution', was replaced by the unilateral and hierarchical executive model. And recognition of languages in dialogue was abandoned altogether.
Not that this deliberate disenfranchisement of the Northern Territory’s traditional Aboriginal population was anything new. For 230 years, Aborigines have been forced to negotiate their survival in a foreign language… English; invariably a fourth, fifth or even seventh language.
And nobody appeared to recognise that such multilingualism indicated healthy intelligence and, with it, the capacity for cogent negotiation.
This was negotiation and self-management potential that was never realised; and at least partly because certain lobbies were hostile to Aboriginal self-determination.
The creation of the land councils; a globalist hijack
This new relationship¹, galvanised by the dynamic analytical capacity of the global investment banker alliance’s new industrial-military-intelligence hub… David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission... precipitated a renewed focus on Australian mining, oil, and gas. (The Trilateral Commission was put together by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was also the architect of the Cold War and America's military encirclement of the globe, as laid out in "The Grand Chessboard"). This was the first global pulling together of military, industrial and resource interests into a common intelligence and espionage facility.
It was immediately realised that if Aborigines in Arnhem Land were permitted to engage their traditional consensus protocols, there was very little chance that the very rich resources lying beneath their land, would ever be exploited.
Even more dangerously, there was the distinct possibility that consensus-decision-making would prove infectious, it being the purist manifestation of genuine democracy surviving on this planet, a prospective development about which the global investment banker alliance was extremely apprehensive².
The traditional Indigenous method of consensus formation, it was realised, must be replaced with hierarchical executive decision-making which can then be easily manipulated and controlled (this was an extension of the promotion of 'leadership' long promulgated by aristocrats, bankers, and other elites since the launching of European colonialism).
Concomitantly, as part of the globalisation strategy, implementation of this policy also occurred in the mainstream community, with hitherto alien terms such as ‘Executive Decision’ added to ‘Leadership’ and allocated an ever-widening context and legitimacy.
In North East Arnhem Land, with enthusiastic cooperation from the Methodist missionaries (the then newly formed Uniting Church), the Mala Leaders Council was created. The implicit oxymoron went unnoticed. This hierarchical structure softened Aborigines up for the power pyramid promotions and leadership model to come³.
David Rockefeller (the author and commissioner of the Trilateral Commission) then requested that the principals of the Rothschild-owned Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basle, Switzerland, authorise their employee, the Governor of the new Reserve Bank of Australia, ‘Nugget’ Coombs, to intervene and ensure that the eventual Northern Land Council assumed a clear pyramidal leadership structure, with power flowing down from a Chairman, through a team of anthropologists and lawyers, and then to elected land councillors.
Thus, the NT Aboriginal population was rendered disenfranchised and voiceless, except to approve or disapprove agendas set by the hierarchy.
(One can google until one is blue in the face but evidence of BIS control of the RBA appears impossible to find; however, if one peruses this link https://www.bis.org/cbgov/index.htm?m=2%7C293 the RBA, along with all other reserve banks except Cuba’s, is listed as a BIS regulatory function. Nevertheless, that the RBA Governor and his immediate staff are paid by the BIS, not by the Australian Government, was inadvertently confirmed on ABCTV).
Also kept secret is the role played by Nugget Coombs; who even cut his trusted lover of 30 years, Edith Wright, out of the loop. The reality is that Coombs was a committed globalist, opponent of full employment, supporter of privatisation; he angrily opposed Australian worker's wage increases as inflationary; and was the person who persuaded Gough Whitlam to expose our tariff-protected industries (ie job protection) to foreign competition.
It was Coombs’ ambition to steer Australia into a neo-Elizabethan age, led by the globalist banker elite. His allies also favoured the outlawing of the Communist Party.
It seems apparent that the progenitor of the disastrous local government/shire transition on Aboriginal communities and homelands in the NT also was Nugget Coombs. Finally, it was Coombs who proposed the formation of hierarchical corporations to operate Aboriginal organisations, commencing with the Northern Land Council.
A decade later, he expressed misgivings about the massive size of the NT Land Councils, evidently fearful that they might become obstructive. He needn’t have worried. As Lord Acton observed, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". The NLC is almost as corrupt as its (thankfully disbanded) sister Frankestein, ATSIC.
When Tiwi activist Bernard Tipaloura viewed the proposed hierarchical structure of the NLC-to-be, with all power from the top down, he rejected the entire land council proposal. He was warned that this would effectively disqualify the Tiwi people from much future funding. Bernard re-examined the proposal's wording and perceived a loophole: that he could create his own land council, and thus the Tiwi Land Council was born.
It rankled that an Aboriginal had out-manoeuvred the professional globalist manipulators and so attitudes immediately hardened against long-anticipated devolution towards small regional land councils; forcing the Anindilyagwa of Groote Eylandt (led by Nanjiwarra Amagula) to wait an exhausting twenty years before they could develop their own.
The power-pyramid structure that became the Northern Land Council duly emerged and efforts were made by the Canberra power lords to identify the first Chairman. The role being too horrifically alien for any traditional person to accept, Canberra finally settled on Groote Eylandt businessmen and car hire entrepreneur, Gerry Blitner.
Meanwhile, a surviving wing of the British Empire’s MI6, known enigmatically as SOPAR, had identified three Yolngu boys in Arnhem Land as likely prospects for values modification. These were Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Gatjil Djekerra, and Wesley Lanyhupuy and they were duly installed in a Queensland Charters Towers boarding school and, following the established British Raj practice in India and Africa, groomed as future leaders. (Recently, the sister of one of the graduates told me there were a dozen such students). Only an eccentric known as “the Colonel”, of the Darwin Department of Aboriginal Affairs, possessed local inside knowledge of the implemented strategy.
In 1976, as a young man, Galarrwuy asked me if I would organise a meeting between him and the (Department of Northern Territory) NT Administration Heads (Permanent Secretaries) of Departments; which I duly arranged.
These departmental heads were clearly bored and inwardly outraged that they had been manoeuvred into a meeting with what was clearly a callow young Aboriginal man. This was a horrific affront to their professional dignity and, I suspect, their innate racial superiority.
I introduced Galarrwuy and when he began to speak, he immediately took ownership of the conference room. Jaws dropped and it dawned on these stunned bureaucrats that he was more articulate in the English language than they were; but possessed infinitely more charisma and intelligence.
The immediate panic among bureaucrats and politicians was palpable. As a permanent public servant, I was treated thereafter with suspicion and hostility. Some months later, Galarrwuy addressed Sydney journalists in his own Gumatj language, demonstrating to all who listened just how frustrating it was to be spoken to in a foreign language in one’s own country. Within weeks, in a cleverly delivered public relations coup, he was declared Australian of the Year.
Gallarrwuy, now teamed with MLA Wesley Lanyhupuy and staying in my Wulagi home, asked me if I would apply for the position of Land Rights News editor. At the job interview the first question I was asked was “Are you prepared to lie under oath?” As an atheist, I cared little about oaths but to become part of a regime of dishonesty and deceit was not something I was prepared to live with. And thus commenced the cooling of our relationship, which continued as Gallarrwuy became increasingly dictatorial and self-seeking. Gumatj corruption in East Arnhem Land became legendary.
I was once again reminded of Lord Johanne Acton’s observations: “There are no great leaders; only bad men, and they write the histories”. And “When we elect someone to power that is our own power we are giving away; and power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
Meanwhile, the lawyers and anthropologists of the NLC became increasingly mafia-like in their relationships with people out bush, and there were rumours of knee-capping of Aborigines who fought against the rampant centralisation and alien Traditional Landowner regime. I never did discover if this expression (knee-cap) was literal or metaphoric but the fear of the NLC was real.
By the mid-1980s the NLC had become a repressive and corrupt monolith. And by 1994 anthropologists were dictating to tour guides what they could or could not say about Aboriginal culture. In my case, the Aboriginal guides were fluent in their own languages and most certainly understood their own culture. One, assisting Bill Neiji, completed the last rock painting in Kakadu, and some of these guides are very prominent Yolngu today. The NLC had no business interfering. This was simply professional muscle-flexing, for the sake of it.
Increasingly, Aborigines were complaining about anthropologists effectively being paid to rewrite Songlines to enable the land of one language group to be taken over by another. According to songmen and elders, Galpu, Wangurri, Djambarrpuyngu and Djapu in particular, suffered from this hegemony.
And on the Kenbi Land Claim, one ethnologist admitted he had arbitrarily made up ‘Aboriginal culture’ to advance the cause of one clan over the other, and to provide historical justice for others; with some Watdjigan losing most of the recognition due to them, and the Kungarakan receiving recognition entirely unjustified by their absolute absence of culture or language.
According to later-provided evidence, one female anthropologist even offered to create a subsection system to enhance their claims of Kungarakan ‘culture’. Their foremost “elder” was well-known to me as a fellow student and later work colleague, and possessed no Aboriginal culture or language whatsoever.
The incompetence of the NLC was sometimes breathtaking. Poor old Topsy Secretary, mindful that Aboriginal consensus protocols demanded that she give evidence after that given by the person whose birth spirit sprang from the site under discussion, attempted to defer her testimony, only for this to be misconstrued as having “nothing more to say”. To imagine she was upset is an understatement. I imagine she was devastated until the day she died.
In another instance, the mother of my own Wadtjigan granddaughters asked me to build a vegetable garden at Bulgul Homeland, and so I asked the NLC for a map demarcating the land claim borders and proximity to ground water. That was six years ago and I am still waiting for someone to get back to me. The anthropologist concerned has always been hostile, going back decades, and so I do not anticipate a professional compliance.
Others closer to the action can provide veritable tomes of evidence about ongoing NLC deviousness, aggression, and outright dishonesty, and this should be sought by any future inquiry.
The NLC’s nefarious reputation has become global and around 1992, I was interviewed by a team of European anthropologists investigating their Australian colleagues for “documenting and interpreting Aboriginal culture without having first demonstrated linguistic competence”. This, they said, was a gross breach of ethics which should result in the stripping of degrees and, where professional advice had been provided with commercial implications and economic outcomes, become the target of serious litigation. It was clear that some anthropologists will one day do serious prison time and have their assets seized.
Three months later the investigative team returned from their national tour and announced sadly that the situation was even worse than they had initially feared. I had to admit, I too have never met an anthropologist who was fluent in any Aboriginal language.
Moreover, as a public servant, I had campaigned vigorously since 1974 to have Aboriginal language fluency mandatory for all Government officers engaging in official dialogue with Aborigines. The NLC refused to support this. As anthropologist AP Elkin pointed out seventy years ago, the use of pidgin and interpreters is useless for any meaningful communication. Elkin was probably the first to demand that government officers learn Aboriginal languages which, no doubt, is why he is vilified by modern Australian anthropologists; especially those of the NLC.
The NLC today
As if it were possible, the NLC has deteriorated further, to the point that it now appears to be a public relations agency for mining, US military, and other foreign interests. I am advised that the recent Chairman, Morrison, is a southerner with no connection to the people of the Top End and no comprehension of languages or culture.
The NLC is in some kind of partnership with that massive annual public relations campaign, the GARMA Festival, which has assumed the role of wide-angled public relations exercise, using music and dance as a smoke screen to hide:
- A horrific death rate,
- Declining Aboriginal health,
- Misallocation of funds,
- Collapsed education,
- The break-up of families,
- The theft of land,
- The neglect of children,
- Decimated homelands, and
- The corporatisation of an entire people.
Yes, there is a way back.
While many call for the NLC’s destruction, this would probably prove to be more satisfying than practical.
The NLC’s charter needs to be re-written, by people fluent in relevant Aboriginal languages AND English; and this process supervised by Songmen, in total consultation with each language group population.
- The key element of change must be: Structured indigenous consensus, replacing the hierarchical and corporate pyramid hitherto imposed, and which is so alien to Aboriginal culture.
- The position of NLC representative is not necessary, is purely colonial, and is a bottleneck encumbrance to the free flow of information. In truth, elected representatives are a means of control... from the top.
- The conjoint use of interpreters, lawyers, and anthropologists should be abandoned; the professed skills being non-existent or extraneous. Indeed, the use of English language is superfluous, all recording being audio-visual and in the languages of the people. Only messages that must be delivered to the outside would need be in the Australian English language.
- Aborigines already possess consensus protocols which, although these have fallen into disuse following establishment of the spurious Mala Leaders Council in East Arnhem Land; and the imposition of local government here and elsewhere, enough elders are familiar enough with the process to reinstate these.
- The worst aspect of the NLC was the establishment of Traditional Owners, which in no way reflects Aboriginal culture or decision-making processes. The land owns the people, not vice-versa. Any decision about land use belongs to each Baparru (tribe/language group or subgroup), and the entire Baparru, guided by Songmen... not to a western-style bureaucrat, aristocrat, autocrat, or other petty dictator.
- It needs to be firmly understood that THE LAND COUNCIL IS THE PEOPLE. The NLC itself should be a receptacle for the consensus and wisdom of the people. Any employees are servants of the people. And the goal was always to establish each language group as its own land council, even under the present charter.
It seems that an independent inquiry into the Northern Land Council and its alienation from Aboriginal cultural values and aspirations is unavoidable.
Having said that, I have witnessed the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Don Dale treatment of Children, which was led by hopelessly inept Commissioners who had no capacity to comprehend the history of Child Welfare and Corrections in the Territory and how these two disparate departmental functions were so disastrously merged. Consequently, the Commisioners were blind to sources for resolution, (especially as they discarded my own submission, the very first lodged, and the only one with historical continuity and active engagement).
I have also noted the exclusion of evidence from the public by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Banking and Finance Industries. I have little doubt that similar corruptions will be repeated in respect of Aboriginal Land Rights.
For this reason, I have suggested to Songmen who have expressed concern over the alienation of Aboriginal land, that a Bukmak Baparru Ngarra be launched (all-tribes conference), which includes all Songmen from all Baparru (language groups), which is attended by all Yolngu (Aborigines from these northern lands), and from which is excluded, all non-Aborigines. This exclusion category most especially targets the media celebrities who pose as Aborigines, but who possess neither Aboriginal culture nor Aboriginal languages and, therefore, have nothing to contribute. Their skin colour is simply not a qualification.
These pseudo-Aborigines have disenfranchised the Aboriginal people of the NT, speaking on their behalf without ever gauging the true feelings or views of NT People. Moreover, they have generally been funded and mobilised by mining corporations such as BHP and Riotinto, and organised by Liberal-National Party power brokers. The causes they embrace: Reconciliation, Recognise, Close the gap, and so forth, are classic examples of tokenism which provide nothing of substance.
These campaigns are in fact cheap alternatives to real help which can save thousands of lives, and rescue tens of thousands of people from lives of despair. In no way do these cultural phonies address the critical needs of traditional NT Aboriginal society. Specifically, these are:
- Recognition of local languages in negotiation and consultation;
- Recognition of endemic Aboriginal education systems;
- The reinforcement of endemic Aboriginal parenting/grandparenting systems;
- Recognition of the role of western-design houses in the transmission of diseases;
- Recognition of endemic Aboriginal social regulatory mechanisms and authority;
- The need for good health promotion in personally-verbalised Aboriginal languages;
- The critical role of Homelands in all matters of Aboriginal cultural retention and integrity, spiritual identification, aspirational expression, personal motivation, and future economic development and independence.
It goes without saying, that the southern and urban pretenders may feel free to represent the people of their own local regions; presuming their peers actually support this; but they should permit traditional people to speak for themselves.
Tony Ryan (Wulaymung Munyarryun)
¹Historical and global context: The lead orchestrator of this was the all-powerful (now deceased) David Rockefeller, dynastic owner of: ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco, BP Amoco (with Rothschild), Marathon Oil, Freeport McMoran, Quaker Oats, Asarco, United, Delta, Northwest, ITT, Inter-Harvester, Xerox, Boeing, Westinghouse, Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, International Paper, Pfizer, Motorola, Monsanto, Union Carbide, and General Foods. At one estimate, the Rockefellers own some $10 trillion of the world’s resources, including many governments, including Australia.
The Rockefellers were actively assisted in this project by the Rothschild Dynasty who, it has been estimated, own some $100 trillion worth of planet Earth’s resources.
The Rockefeller/Rothschild investment banker alliance includes: Amschel, Saloman, Nathan, Kalmann, Jacob, Baring, Sassoon (of Opium War fame,) Lazard, Erlinger, Warburg, Schroeder, Selingman, Speyers, Mirabaud, Malet, Morgan, Leub, GoldmanSachs, Macquarie (owned by Hill Samuel of London), and the Bank of England.
Logistic, financial, and lobby support was provided by Human Rights Watch (George Soros);
National Endowment for Democracy (Rockfeller);
Council on Foreign Affairs (Rockefeller);
The Trilateral Commission (Rockefeller);
Reserve Bank of Australia (Rothschild).
In 1970, David Rockefeller assumed dynastic mantle as arbitrary leader of the American Empire and his first action was to commission the creation of the world’s first dedicated industrial-military-intelligence complex which was then commissioned to its designer, cold-war architect, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Ironically, this development had been predicted by former US President Ike Eisenhower, more as a dire warning about centralised unbridled power.
In 1973, this complex was completed, the Trilateral Commission.
Rockerfeller then invited Rupert Murdoch of News Limited to become an American citizen, sponsored by David Rockefeller himself, with the intention that Rupert would assume leadership of the Rothschild-Rockefeller investment bank alliance’s tax minimisation and global media strategies.Today, Australian policy is led by Rupert Murdoch, fellow-Zionist Frank Lowy, Ross Garnout (Trilateral Commission), and with support by all universities and most think tanks and NGOs.
²This fear was far from irrational. The investment banker elite had not forgotten the global panic which ensued on 3 December 1854 when international ideologues attempted to install democracy in Australia. Now the subject of intense historical revisionism, reducing this historical bookmark to a dispute over the cost of mining licences, this episode became familiar to most of us as the Eureka Stockade. Australia has been regarded as suspiciously ‘pink’ by the US establishment ever since; a paranoia which later triggered the 1975 overthrow of Gough Whitlam.
³Christians who reject the possibility that their denomination would so ruthlessly collaborate with mining interests, should examine the relationship between the Summer School of (Bible translation) Linguistics and the then-named Conzinc Riotinto, wherein Summer distributed contaminated blankets and clothing to recalcitrant South American Indians who blocked mining, who conveniently died out in weeks, enabling Rio Tinto to mine. (Details available from Frank Alcorta, former historian, war hero, explorer, and prominent former NT News columnist). We should also be reminded that it was the Methodist mission which agreed to the Gove bauxite mines, on behalf of Yolngu. This was entirely without consultation, as was proved by Ted Eagan, then a patrol officer for Native Affairs and later NT Administrator. In general, it was Christianity that provided the moral support for five centuries of colonialism. Christians urgently need to objectively examine their current roles in Aboriginal communities which, on the evidence, have changed in no way whatsoever.