Australia: Woman sues as body revokes certificate of Aboriginality

Being an Aborigine can earn you good gravy from the government.  And many people who are objectively white want in.  And in Australia, white can be black -- the government says so.  It's an invitation for fraud. And you can be hauled into court for saying it is a fraud -- as Andrew Bolt found out when he was convicted by a biased Jewish judge who had no regard for his constitutional free speech rights.  I have a niece whose skin is as white as snow but she is entitled to Aboriginal privileges if she wishes to claim them, though she has not done so.  Crazy politically correct rules

A NSW woman teaching Aboriginal culture to school-aged ­children after being stripped of her certificate of Aboriginality in 2012 is claiming compensation in the Federal Circuit Court, saying she was discriminated against.

The Yamanda Aboriginal Assoc­iation gave Elizabeth Taylor, 40, a certificate of confirmation of Aboriginality on May 23, 2010, after it was provided with a handwritten family tree at a meeting in Bowral.

Yamanda says the initial certificate was issued to avoid embarrassment, due to the large crowd of local community members in ­attendance at the meeting, with a full geneaology or family history required­ by Ms Taylor and her family within three months.

But the genealogy was not ­provided and on July 17, 2012, the group cancelled her certificate after a special extraordinary general meeting was called, at which elders argued Ms Taylor had failed to meet two of three criteria defining an Aboriginal person under the NSW Land Rights Act.

In 2014, Ms Taylor launched legal action against Yamanda and the Moyengully Natural Resource Management Group, seeking more than $150,000 in compensation for lost income, pain and suffering. She argues in her submissions she is of Aboriginal descent and identifies as Aboriginal.

Ms Taylor’s court challenge to Yamanda’s withdrawal of her certificate follows revelations in The Weekend Australian that one of Australia’s largest indigenous land councils has called for a standardised system of identity checks to combat an increasing number of false claims of Aboriginality.

Warren Mundine, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Indig­enous Advisory Council, has argued that a system to test claims needs to be created to cut rorting and ensure targeted taxpayer money and jobs go to Aborigines.

In June 2012, while they still held a current certificate of Abor­iginality, Ms Taylor and her family applied to register Families Sharing Culture Aboriginal Corporation, a group which describes itself as an educational corporation teaching Aboriginal culture to children in schools in the Southern Highlands area. Ms Taylor is listed as the secretary of the group, whose members include her parents, husband and daughter.

Elizabeth Taylor wants more than $150,000 in compensation for lost income.

Court documents allege that, since her certificate was withdrawn, Ms Taylor won a Smith Family award for her participation as a member of the Aboriginal community, attended NAIDOC celebrations at the local community cultural centre and participated in consult­ations for a NSW state government-funded program.

Yamanda argues that, under the Land Rights Act, an Aboriginal person should be able to provide documentation proving they are a member of the Aboriginal race, that they identify as Aboriginal, and that they are accepted by the Aboriginal community.

Ms Taylor is not accepted as Aboriginal in her community and has insufficient proof of her Aboriginal heritage, despite a search of archives held at the Australian Institut­e of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, they say.

In arguments set out in Federal Circuit Court documents, Ms Taylor argues that the revocation of the certificate of Aboriginality discriminated against her, in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act.

She has argued that the group circulated a letter to indigenous service providers in the Southern Highlands, blocking her from working in Aboriginal-identified positions. Ms Taylor worked in an Aboriginal-identified position at a cultural centre in Moss Vale, 120km southwest of Sydney, from April 2011, after obtaining a 12-month traineeship funded by the NSW government’s Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Program.

In submissions to the Federal Circuit Court, she said she had “disagreements” with Yamanda’s treasurer Eileen Warren, who had signed both the certificate certifying her Aboriginality and the letter notifying her that the certificate would be withdrawn.


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