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Black Madonna

by Humphrey McQueen

Have you paid much attention to your Xmas card stamps? In this article, McQueen surveys Australia's stamp history. Commenting on the contenders who got a guernsey, he points out that First peoples' art is missing, other than for mere decoration, from the collection. Given the current state of vitriol and ideological state of affairs in Australia First Peoples' art won't appear too soon on Aussie stamps. The conqueror's mentality prevails.

Our Lady of the AboriginesWhen Pope Paul VI visited Australia in December 1970, the Vatican issued commemorative stamps. One is of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. The other shows a painting from the St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin entitled ‘Our Lady of the Aborigines.’

The artist was a Czech, Karel Kupka, who lived and worked with Aborigines in northern Australia, on and off, from the mid-1950s. Darwin’s Bishop O’Loughlin commissioned him ‘to bring religion to the people in terms of local understanding’ by creating something similar to Chinese and Japanese Madonnas.

The Virgin’s face is individual and the child is a person, each expressive of ‘nobility and natural dignity,’ in the words of the Darwin missionary, Father Frank Flynn.

Read more: Black Madonna

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Skewed Responsibility: Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan

by Dr Binoy Kampmark

SAS fly Nazi flagThe Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry was always going to make for a gruesome read – and that was only the redacted version.  The findings of the four-year investigation, led by New South Wales Court of Appeal Justice and Army Reserve Major-General Paul Brereton, point to “credible evidence” that 39 Afghan non-combatants and prisoners were allegedly killed by Australian special forces personnel.  Two others were also treated with cruelty.  The Report recommends referring 36 cases for criminal investigation to the Australian Federal Police. These involve 23 incidents and 19 individuals who have been referred to the newly created Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Read more: Skewed Responsibility: Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Charlie Joyce's speech for the 166th Eureka Anniversary

Charlie Joyce is a member of Spirit of Eureka and a student activist and organiser with the University of Melbourne Student Union.

Good afternoon everyone and thank you for the introduction.

I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am calling in from the unceded lands of the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation.

I’d like to pay my respects to their elders past and present, and to any first nations people who are here today.

I’d like to extend, both personally and on behalf of Spirit of Eureka, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of first nations people around this country for justice, decolonisation and self-determination.

The goal of Spirit of Eureka – to fight for a just, sovereign and democratic Australia – is intrinsically connected with the first nations struggle.

First off, I’m sure I speak on behalf of Spirit of Eureka when I say thank you to you all, once again, for joining us today, as we celebrate and mark the 166th Anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion.

Though it is sad the coronavirus pandemic has meant we haven’t been able to do this event in person, we’re lucky that these new circumstances mean that we can be joined by comrades and friends from all over the country – and maybe even internationally as well!

Read more: Charlie Joyce's speech for the 166th Eureka Anniversary

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Return to the Scene of the Crime and the SAS

by Jim Dowling * - 8 December 2020

Swan Island Gate

In 2014 Greg Rolles, Tim Webb. Sam Quinlin, and Dave Sprigg were brutally assaulted by SAS soldiers on Swan Island, a highly secretive training base at the bottom of Victoria. They were hooded, stripped naked, threatened with rape and drowning, dragged along the ground kicked and walked on.

Last weekend I returned with Greg to Swan Island along with Dominican priest, Fr Peter Murnane and a friend, Shane Anderson. We went there once again to offer ongoing witness and resistance to Australia’s war crimes in the Middle East. For Greg it was also a chance to face the demons of his own home-grown torture at the hands of the SAS.

Read more: Return to the Scene of the Crime and the SAS

Parent Category: Spirit Content

SoE commemorates 166th Eureka Rebellion on Youtube

Spirit of Eureka commemorated the 166th Eureka Rebellion Anniversary last Sunday, 29th November in an online forum. This recorded video can also be viewed on YouTube.

The focus for this year was, "In the midst of a global crisis it is right to rebel for our rights and liberties".

The online forum had an exceptional range of speakers who presented insights and reflections on the appalling state of affairs in Australia and around the world.

Alison Broinowski AO  Australians for War Powers Reform
Christy Cain  National President, Maritime Union of Australia
Charlie Joyce   from Spirit of Eureka
Bernard Collaery famous for the secret trial brought against him by the Australian government

Bernard Collaery also was 2020 recipient of the Spirit of Eureka Award

The award was given to him for his courage in standing up and speaking out against injustice as a matter of principle and his unwavering commitment to democratic rights. Particularly exposing the Australian Secret Intelligence Services (ASIS) bugging the East Timorese government during negotiations over East Timor Sea Oil.

Parent Category: Spirit Content