I include a summary of the book and a list of contributors, as well as sections of two reviews. You can purchase the book from booktopia.
In this historic anthology, award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss have gathered together the work of twenty of Australian’s finest writers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous together with powerful statements from Northern Territory Elders to bring a new dimension and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.
One of the most invasive, puzzling and unprecedented actions by a government in Australian history - the 2007 NT Intervention by the Howard Government- has resulted in an ongoing and flagrant breach of human rights. The introduction of this racist legislation has never been fully debated nationally nor has there ever been any significant consultation with the Indigenous communities most affected.
In compelling fiction, memoir, essays, poetry and communiqués, the dramatic story of the Intervention and the despair, anguish and anger of the First Nations people of the Territory comes alive.
The Intervention: an Anthology is an extraordinary document - deeply moving, impassioned, spiritual, angry and authoritative - it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this passionate opposition.
As Anna Funder writes - ‘An indispensable contribution to the debate.’
About the Editors
Dr Rosie Scott is an internationally published award-winning writer who has published six novels which were finalists in most major Australian awards, a collection each of short stories, poems and essays and edited two anthologies. Her award winning play was the basis for a film which received several international prizes... (more details)
Dr. Anita Heiss is the author of nonfiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, poetry, social commentary, and travel articles. She is a regular guest at writers' festivals and travels internationally performing her work and lecturing on Indigenous literature. She is an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW... (more details)
List of contributors
Debra Adelaide, Pat Anderson, Larissa Behrendt, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Eva Cox, Brenda L. Croft, Lionel Fogarty, Djiniyini Gondarra, Yingiya Mark Guyula, Rodney Hall, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Deni Langman, Melissa Lucashenko, Jeff McMullen, PM Newton, Christine Olsen, Bruce Pascoe, Nicole Watson, Samuel Wagan Watson, Rachel Willika, Alexis Wright, Yalmay Yunipingu and Arnold Zable.'
You can read an excellent review of the book by Dr Shelley Bielefeld here. I include a section of the review (I've broken up the paragraphs):
'In the context of the Intervention, such deprivation of control has manifested across several policy areas. Lack of Indigenous community control over day-to-day decisions can be seen in the government’s compulsory five-year leases of Indigenous lands from 2007 to 2012, and the stigmatising signage placed at the entrance to Aboriginal communities imposing alcohol and pornography bans.
Community control is also undermined by legislation preventing judges from considering First Peoples’ customary law in sentencing processes for criminal matters.
Lack of individual control over day-to-day decisions is evident in the ongoing imposition of compulsory income management on thousands of Indigenous welfare recipients, many of whom have found that the scheme greatly increases their burdens in terms of caring for their families.
A vivid illustration of such hardship is seen in the contribution by Yingiya Guyula from remote Arnhem Land. Guyula recounted in 2011 that the nearest government-approved store to the Mapuru homeland that accepted income-managed funds could only be reached via a $560 return flight. Unsurprisingly, this created difficulties for those surviving on meagre welfare incomes.
Recent evaluations of income management reveal that many problems persist. Nevertheless, both major political parties continue to be ideologically committed to income management, with its intrusive control over common consumer purchases.
For numerous Indigenous welfare recipients this has been combined with work-for-the-dole requirements, resulting in coerced labour as a precondition for accessing income-managed funds through the BasicsCard. This is chillingly reminiscent of Indigenous peoples being forced to work for rations throughout Australia’s earlier colonial era.'
Yes, these policies are going on in the modern wealthy nation of Australia.