16 December 2010

Update: Defending Melbourne's Aboriginal School

Dear MAIC supporters,

We have been supporting the campaign to defend Ballerrt Mooroop College because we think a great injustice is occurring. The imposition of this non-Indigenous school on Aboriginal land is an attack on the idea of educating in a cultural way. Simply put, it is an extension of cultural genocide against Aboriginal people. 
What we see in the Northern Territory under the Intervention, we see happening in Melbourne. Will not give up the the fight to defend Aboriginal self-determination. We will fight to save this school!

The demonstration on Wednesday night in Bourke Street mall was a fantastic showing of supporters around the school. Over a hundred people gathered to listen to speeches from prominent activists such as Gary Foley and Robbie Thorpe, and educators around the school. We also heard from Greens MP Sue Pennecuik and had John Leemans in the Northern Territory address the rally by phone to offer solidarity from those fighting against the NT Intervention.

We chanted "education and land, goes hand in hand!" and "always was, always will be Aboriginal land", and got many signatures for the petition. A great show of support for Aboriginal education!

On our publicity material we passed on notice that the bulldozers were scheduled to roll in to the school grounds to demolish the gymnasium THIS FRIDAY. As a result of our ongoing campaign, it appears that the bulldozer has been called off... for now. This is a great victory for us, and all those that have supported the campaign should be very excited that we are having an impact!

The community around the school has asked that supporters still come to the school THIS FRIDAY to offer their solidarity and to join in discussions about where the campaign is at. This is their message:

Gathering: Friday, 17 December 2010
Come down at 9am for a brief on where the school stands with the government and building blockage. We need your support.
Come for breaky – bacon and eggs. Come and be ceremonially smoked at our ceremonial grounds. Sausage sizzle lunch. 
Last day of the school year!!!!

If we want to preserve what we have made for ourselves here for all the years to come please come and show how much you want Ballerrt Mooroop College and this land on which it stands.

01 December 2010

TODAY!! Save Aboriginal Education

Stop the Bulldozers! 
At Melbourne's only Aboriginal School
5pm, Wednesday 15 December 2010
Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne

See the MEDIA RELEASE here

Gary Foley: Academic/Writer/Activist
Dotty Bamblett: President of the school council
Gary Murray: Broadmeadows Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (BLAECG)
Sue Pennicuik: The Greens

Will it only be a matter of weeks of the Liberals being in power before the Baillieu Government sends its first bulldozer into a Victorian school?

The Department of Education has approved the construction of another school directly on the land of Ballerrt Mooroop College. To make way for this new school the Aboriginal community is losing their gymnasium and ceremonial grounds. Why must this new school be built on Aboriginal land?

Following more than 200 years of brutal dispossession, Aboriginal people deserve the right to educate their children in their own culture, with full access to the best resources.

Ballerrt Mooroop College is the only Aboriginal school in Melbourne. The state government has made several attempts to close the school, and has already closed down the primary school and years 11-12, leaving only years 7-10.  There was no proper consultation with the school community when the decision was made to allow Glenroy Specialist School to build on their land. The government is now pitting one disadvantaged school against another, forcing them to compete for the same meager resources. Glenroy Specialist School should be found an appropriate site that does not require the appropriation of Aboriginal land, and they should be given all the resources they need for their students.

The reality is that the government is trying to strangle Ballerrt Mooroop College out of existence, and they are attempting to force Aboriginal children into mainstream schools. However, there is insufficient support in mainstream schools for the particular disadvantage and experience of racism  that many Aboriginal students have to endure. Mainstream schools don’t value Aboriginal culture, language and families. This is why Koori schools were set up in the first place, and why people fought so hard to save Northlands Secondary College when the last Liberal Government shut it down back in the 90s.

Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective (MAIC) has been campaigning in support of Aboriginal self-determination and against the attacks on bi-lingual education as part of our fight against the Northern Territory Intervention. We support the fight back against these same racist methodologies here in Melbourne.

We ask people to join us in protest to defend Ballerrt Mooroop College and support the following demands written up by the school community:

• Don't demolish our gym
• Proper funding for facilities for health and culture
• Allow increased enrolments of Koori students
• Rights to consultation and proper planning for the school.

Jasmine Ali 0405 317 787 

Dotty Bamblett 0433 090 933
Sharon Firebrace 0401 414 967 

Further information on the campaign can be found at the Treaty Republic website.

Put yourself down as 'Attending' on Facebook and share the event to your friends.
Print a colour poster or a b+w version, and put it up in your workplace, school etc.
Print some leaflets and also put this text on the back. 


Music Day @Ballerrt Mooroop College
noon to 5pm, Sunday, 12 December 2010
Ballerrt Mooroop College, 208 Hilton Street, Glenroy, Melways 16 H1. 
Gold coin donation. Contact: 0430167145 or 0433090933 
Featuring: Tjimba and the Young Warriors, Bart Burns Band, Johnny Mac and Lady Luck (open mic). 

The school community is putting on a gig to help support the school. All are welcome to come along to the school and enjoy some cultural music and a BBQ.

Join the Community Blockade!
9am, Friday 17 December 2010
Ballerrt Mooroop College, 208 Hilton Street, Glenroy, Melways 16 H1. 
Three blocks from Jacana Train Station

Please note the new time that supporters are being asked to congregate at the school.