All posts by BushTelegraph

Workers BushTelegraph discusses current and past events, books and film with the aim of sharing worker political education and consciousness. WBT poses 3 questions: who owns the land, workers control of production and democratic rights.

Climate Justice in Western Civilisation?

“Who says all is lost; I come to offer you my heart.” – Fito Paez in Yo Vengo a Ofrecer Mi Corazon

This program offers its heart to all the victims, their family & friends in Christchurch last Friday.

The student strike for climate justice on 15 March 2019 demonstrated that there needs to be more contemporary issues discussed as part of public education.

Political leaders like Annastacia Palasczchuk and Scott Morrison came out against the student strike. State schools forbade their students to march as a group. For example Brisbane State high school students were told not to march for climate justice and not to go to the demonstration as a state high contingent.

Fortunately this did not stop the students.

I saw a group of 15 State high school students marching as a group.

The response by students in Brisbane and across the country was inspirational. Mums dads and friends marched with the kids. George Street in Brisbane was awash with students carrying placards advocating climate action, our future depends on it.

At the other end of the education system, the University of Queensland has a long history of political activism. This can be divided into three main campaigns:

  1. Campaigns the democratic rights against repressive governments firstly in 1967 when the government banned street marches for the first time. It was concerned about the growing anti-war movement as a result of government sending conscripted trips of 19 years of age to flight and imperialist war in Vietnam. Again in 1977 Queensland government banned street marches, this time to stave off the growing anti-uranium movement. And lastly in 1985 the government declared a state of emergency to deal with workers who had been sacked from the electricity industry from organising to save their jobs from contract labour.
  2. The anti-war campaigns that occurred in the 1960s early 1970s. The focus of organisation was at the University of Queensland union complex which has a strong heritage of Independence critical thinking and political activism.
  3. The campaigns against racism – in 1971 against the apartheid South African rugby to and the smash the axe campaign waste by aboriginal activists from the University of Queensland remove Queensland own version of apartheid.

This program highlights a new generation that is fighting for climate justice and against all forms of racism. The University of Queensland has proposed to introduce Ramsey Centre for western civilisation that promotes a chauvinist view of Australian history.

On 21 March 2019 I attended the forum at the University of Queensland to hear students and staff criticise a proposed history of western civilisation major that is to be funded from outside University by the right wing think tank. Both students and staff made a connection to the racist attack on Muslims in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 where a person espousing similar views attacked and killed 50 innocent people at two mosques in that city.

I interviewed hey Elyse Fenton from the national tertiary education union about the campaign. I recorded some of the debate from the forum.

Student strike for climate justice Brisbane 15th of March 2019 George Street Brisbane Photo by Lachlan Hurse

Andy and Ian interview students from Schools strike for climate justice and forum protesting the introduction of Ramsey history of the western civilisation at the University of Queensland.

Ian speaks with Elyse Fenton from the National Territory education union.

We listen to speakers from the Ramsey forum at UQ:
Jeff Rickertts (Save UQ Union Complex) Priya De (Student Councillor) Professor Or (Law School) UQU Pres. Georgia Milroy
Alex Asher (Student activist) Elyse Fenton (NTEU rep for casual staff).
And other unamed speakers.

Listen on demand at

Notes by Ian Curr

Christine Johnson – The dream before
Rita Martinson – Soldier we love you
Dusty Springfield – Windmills of your mind (from the Thomas Crown affair).

At the end of the show Jumping Fences performs this beautiful song Yo Vengo a Ofrecer Mi Corazon by Argentinian Fito Paez from his album ‘Giros’ where he sings:

Y hablo de países y de esperanzas,
And speaking of countries and hopes,
hablo por la vida, hablo por la nada,
speak for life, speak of nothing,
hablo de cambiar ésta, nuestra casa,
I talk about changing this, our home,
de cambiarla por cambiar, nomás.
changing to change, just.
¿Quién dijo que todo está perdido?
Who said that all is lost?
yo vengo a ofrecer mi corazón.
I come to offer my heart.
– fito paez

‘Yo vengo a ofrecer mi corazón’ sung by Sue Monk with Jumping Fences

No modern slavery at Chemist Warehouse

Hard words rang
across the factory floor
Juan heard the sound of hate
bitter words to injure
a shout that sent the signal
for the war to come

– ‘Brisbane Barrio’ by Jumping Fences

Workers on picket line at Chemists Warehouse in Melbourne

Disparity between rich and poor is growing. Offshore wages are catching up with Australian conditions. Political parties of the centre have supported real wages decline and for profit increase. Leader of the opposition Bill Shorten has called the 2019 Federal elections a wages election. Liberal Prime Minister has rejected wages growth and opposed the ACTU’s national minimum wages case for an increase. Labor refuses to say how much wages should increase in $$$ terms.

Ian talks with Martin De Rooy (National Union of Workers), Corey Cullen (NUW lawyer), Thomas, Jacob and Isaac (workers at Chemist Warehouse in Eagle Farm in Brisbane). Please support the strike by Boycotting Chemist Warehouse and showing solidarity at the picket line on Trade Coast Road at Eagle Farm, Brisbane and at Preston and Somerton in Melbourne.


Stella Donnelly – Old Man Jumping Fences – Brisbane Barrio

What is a woman?

International Women’s Day 2019
Ian talks with Betty Taylor (Red Rose Foundation) about violence done toward women and institutions that discriminate against women.

Ian talks with Pamela Curr AOM about growing up as a woman in the 1960s. Pamela Curr later became an activist with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.


What is a woman?
Angela Davis once said ‘radical simple means getting to the root‘. At the 1910 2nd International Conference of Working Women, delegate Clara Zetkin successfully moved for an International Women’s Day to be celebrated every year. People have marched ever since for women’s rights and to end discrimination against women.

There are many events around Brisbane this week where people can celebrate gains made by women and to organise for struggles ahead. Last night women celebrated IWD at an event hosted by Union Aid Abroad highlighting the international character of this struggle. In the trade unions, the National Tertiary Education union has organised events for its members. There are two rallies planned for tomorrow one in Emma Miller Place starting at 10 am and another at 2pm in Queens Park. We encourage our listeners to support these events where possible.

During International Women’s Day 2018 in Brisbane a singer was heckled because she held up a sign that said trans people cannot be women.

IWD 2019 has split because of the acrimony existing within the women’s movement over this issue.

For many there are other issues facing women that are more pressing: preventing violence against women, the pay gap, discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, women’s control over their own bodies and fertility, and why are women doing the bulk of unpaid caring and domestic work. There are other pressing issues.

It is important for the discussion about transgender to be out in the open and not behind closed doors. So what are the questions that go to the heart of this division in the women’s movement and what is a remedy (if one is possible)?

We do not claim to be experts and can only ask questions that go to the heart of this issue:

What is a woman?
What is a feminist?
What are internal, inside the psyche, that influence relations between women and men?
What are the structural elements in society that determine inequality faced by women?

A woman. At a biological level a woman is a primate who can lactate, menstruate and give birth to children. She is an adult female human being who has a uterus, ovaries and a hormonal spectrum that allows gestation, birth and support of an infant. This gives rise to a set of experiences singular to women.
Transgender denotes or relates to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex (Oxford dictionary) .
Intersex women are those born with sexual characteristics that do not fit typical notions of male or female.

Human beings have been assigned different gender roles by society, much depends on race and class.

Throughout the ages, gender has been used to discriminate against all women. All women, no matter what country (be it advanced capitalist or developing), have been subjected to violence.

In 14th century English the words ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ were roughly synonymous. It was not till the 20th century that the women’s movement challenged this assumption and showed how gender was used by patriarchal societies to deny women human rights afforded to men only.

A woman’s mind
In ‘A Room of One’s Own‘ Virginia Wolfe wrote this passage: “In each of us two powers preside, one male, one female… The androgynous mind is resonant and porous… it transmits emotion without impediment… it is naturally creative, incandescent and undivided.”

Joni Mitchell – Night Ride Home i
Jumping Fences – I Never Sing i
Irina Gonzalez (La Gitana Tropical) – Ashe
Joni Mitchell – Slouching towards Bethlehem


Ruth Bader-Ginsburg @

Apparently, women are less ambitious and worse negotiators than men @

Notes by Ian Curr

The Forum

ForumA meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged. From Latin, literally ‘what is out of doors’, originally denoting an enclosure surrounding a house; related to fores ‘(outside) door’
– Oxford Dictionary

The UQ forums were open to anyone who dared to speak, to dissect, mock or defend the government, war, conscription, the education system, capitalism, civil rights. The number of speakers grew to include a quite stellar cast of lecturers and students of various persuasions. The audience grew too, and over time this created an almost communal setting, a public space that belonged to the students and university staff.” – Annie Richards in Demonstrating defiance.

UQ Forum, a student space
On Monday lunchtime about 100 people turned up to hear a wide range of speakers defend the UQ Union Complex. Many passers-by listened in, so did security guards and officals from union and university administration. The rally was chaired by Jeff Rickertt, an historian and librarian at the University.

Munnenjarli and Biri Gubba man, Sam Watson, spoke about a songline that goes through the University over land never ceded by first nations people. Sam spoke of the failure of the University to record this in any way to show respect to first nations people.

Speakers challenged the role of the University and the billion dollar business it has become, its conservative and racist roots in empire turned into an uncritical degree producing factory serving industry and capital.

Paradigm Shift on demand …

In contrast Queensland state parliament outlines its conception of what the role of the University is in “Functions of university in the University of Queensland Act:

The university’s functions are—
(a) to disseminate knowledge and promote scholarship; and
(b) to provide education at university standard; and
(c) to provide facilities for, and encourage, study and research; and
(d) to encourage the advancement and development of knowledge, and its application; and
(e) to provide courses of study or instruction (at the levels of achievement the senate considers appropriate) to meet the needs of the community; and
(f) to confer higher education awards” – University of Queensland Act

Jeff Rickertt introduced the forum
Jeff said that the forum is a student space, that should be owned and controlled by students. He said that the forum was once a university within the university. Rickertt criticised the assumption of the University administration that it can decide how the space is used. He criticised the Vice-Chancellor and his administration for colonising a space that has been in the hands of students and their union since 1960.

Sam Watson gives welcome to country
In his welcome to country, Sam Watson spoke of the connection the Aboriginal community has with the Forum at UQ, how there was a conference on racism held in the union buildings in the early 1970s and how his Uncle Ross Watson set up the first Murri radio at 4ZZZ studios under the refectory.

Di Zetlin talking on an educated mind
Di argued that the University should produce an educated mind that is critically engaged and analyses what we do on a day to day basis. In the forum 50 years ago Zetlin said that we were asking questions about the Vietnam War and how an authoritarian corrupt government claimed to be a strong government (sending young men to their deaths in a futile imperialist war).

The Tyger
Speakers posed alternatives. For example former Lecturer in English at UQ, Dan O’Neill, argued that the University administration had refused to discuss or justify its corporatist approach to tertiary education. He said that a University is a place of reasoned argument and reliance upon evidence that informs people how to act in the world. He quoted from John Henry Newman about the important of the Forum:

It will give birth to a living teaching, which in course of time will take the shape of a self-perpetuating tradition, or a genius loci, as it is sometimes called; which haunts the home where it has been born and which imbues forms, more or less, and one by one, every individual who is successively brought under its shadow.” – from ‘On the scope and nature of University Education’ by John Henry Newman 1852.
Dan O’Neill said that UQ (along with Monash Uni) had been foremost in challenging critically the mainstream view of society. He referred to a document ‘Up the right channels‘ that had been published as a result of discourse in the UQ Forum, a document that challenged the role of the University in society and analysed each department at the University.

O’Neill even invoked the famous poem by William Blake asking whether the forum and the buildings around it came out of real contradictions in the university. He quoted:

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

– William Blake, The Tyger

1967 arrest sheet

‘The day of the political street march is over’ – Qld premier Joh Bjelke-Peterson.

This statement by Petersen was a lie because people never stopped marching for political objectives on the streets of Queensland. They challenged his ban with defiant civil disobedience.

At the forum there was some reminiscing about past struggles. There was mention of the anti-vietnam war protests, the defiant civil liberties march of 1967, the anti-racist strike at UQ against the Springbok tour in July 1971; there was mention of the democratic right struggles from 1977 to 1979. Rosemary Severin spoke about the civil liberties coordinating committee (CLCC) organising defiant marches against the ban on street marches by the Bjelke-Petersen government.

The democratic rights struggle of 1977-79 was the longest sustained period of civil defiance in Australian history with many marches and over 3,000 arrests. The one exception to this is aboriginal resistance to colonisation that has lasted over 230 years.

During the state elections in 1977 there were a total of 219 arrests, 197 on the eve and 12 on election day. Assembly, marching and organising were banned by the government of the day culminating in over 3,000 arrests in a two year period from 4 Sept 1977 till July 1979.

Election Day 1977
In this photo members of the CLCC are being confronted by police and media after a march from the UQ forum area into King George Square where 197 people were arrested in the ‘valley of death‘. Queensland police are telling democratic rights activists to leave the central square in Brisbane on election day 12 November 1977, thus denying them one more democratic space, a forum for their ideas and calls for action against uranium mining and export, for women’s rights, for aboriginal land rights for a better world without capitalism.

Dan O’Neill (centre), to his left in the background is Harley West, to his right is Malcolm Bell, and to his left beside the film camera is the author, Ian Curr. Date 12 Nov 1977. Photo: Stephen Zaborowski.

SEQEB Dispute
At the forum Professor Carole Ferrier remembered how, in 1985, 3,000 SEQEB workers and their supporters prevented Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen from being presented with an honorary doctorate of laws by Qld Governor Ramsay. The forum area raised the importance of the SEQEB dispute with students and staff of the university.

Save the UQ Union Complex (SUQUC) put its defence of the forum and all that surrounds it in a leaflet widely circulated during Orientation week 2019:

UQ management’s disregard for democracy and its history seems calculated. Its plan would trample on the democratic legacy of the thousands of students, staff and others who made this precinct the most important site in Queensland for defending civil liberties and social rights during the autocratic and corrupt rule of Johannes Bjelke Petersen. Not content with awarding Bjelke Petersen an honorary doctorate of laws in 1985, the university management now seems hell bent on erasing the very place where democracy, independent culture and critical media were kept alive during his premiership. It’s Joh-style ‘progress’ all over again; the same vision of progress that justified the demolition of the Bellevue Hotel, Cloudland and Her Majesty’s Theatre on the grounds they were ‘old’ and ‘run down’.

This rally has been called to say NOT AGAIN. We are a group of current and former UQ students and staff and concerned citizens committed to preserving this site both as a democratic space for students and an important piece of Queensland heritage.

NTEU and UQ Councillor call out University Administration

The University of Queensland accepts controversial philanthropic funding from the Ramsay Centre and Dow Chemicals who made naplam for use against the Vietnamese people. Ramsay is a think tank headed by former Liberal PMs Howard and Abbott set up to introduce new Western civilisation majors, despite an emphatic rejection of the idea by union branches and universities of Sydney and ANU. The University of Wollongong has accepted the Ramsay proposals.

At a meeting on 6 February, Queensland members of the National Tertiary Education Union demanded that the university withdraw its expression of interest in establishing a partnership with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. The NTEU said a “packed” lecture theatre had overwhelmingly endorsed the resolution, with just one person voting against it.” – John Ross

Former PM Howard on board of Ramsay Centre

At the forum on Monday student councillor Priya De spoke out against Ramsay’s ‘buying space’ in the humanities for racist propaganda.

As if to spit in the eyes of those that organised the forum, the University Senate passed a resolution that evening to accept the Ramsay Centre on campus. The Ramsay Centre is a colonialist version of what a university stands for, drawing on a European history that underpins colonial exploitation and theft of land from first nations peoples.

The University in effect can be bought by the highest bidder as shown during the Dow Chemicals $39M purchase of a space at UQ to promote its business. The corporate University is a privatised space with intellectual freedom sold for the dollar.

In these circumstances the University of Queensland (and like tertiary institutions) should have its right to confer degrees taken from it.

A national database should be introduced to confer higher degrees on students by an independent public authority.

Down City Streets by Archie Roach
Black Boy by Coloured Stone
On the chain by Jumping Fences

Ian Curr
27 Feb 2019

Saving the University Union Complex

The University has become a student industrial complex. The UQ Senate that gave Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen a doctorate of laws and set up a multi-million dollar shrine to Dow Chemicals that helped napalm millions of Vietnamese people now wishes to demolish the last vestige of resistance, the UQ Forum area, the refectory, the Schonell, and Student Union Building. If this ideological move by the University is successful UQ will have put the last touches to a once-was institution of higher learning and critical thought into a multi-billion dollar corporate dreamworld of shopping malls, collaboration plazas and food and beverage opportunity. There are no ‘nuanced negotiators’ on this show they are for creative freedom and political action.

Paradigm Shift discussion saving the UQ Union Complex between Annie Richards (author & academic), Lee Duffield (Journalist), Jeff Rickertt (Librarian & Historian), Priya (Student union Councillor & Socialist Alternative). Hosted by Ian. Historic clip of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s only foray into the University. The University Senate tried to present Joh with an honorary doctorate of laws at Mayne Hall but 3,000 SEQEB workers and their supporters stopped them.

These are the issues addressed:

1. What is a university ?
2. Do universities teach ‘critical thinking’?
3. When I first went to the university of Queensland in 1968 only the top 2% of secondary school students enrolled at university; most of these were from private schools, has this changed and why?
4. What are the bosses up to at the University of Queensland?
Why do they wish to demolish the UQ Union complex and the Schonell theatre that were built in the 1950s & 1960s?
5. Here is a photo that shows the UQ forum area in 1970 during the anti-vietnam war campaign. The sign in the background refers to a construction underway as a ‘commercial redevelopment’ of the UQ Union complex which includes the addition of the Schonell theatre and an extension to the refectory. How did this ‘commercial redevelopment’ differ from UQ Senate proposals to redevelop the site to provide “student based retail food and beverage opportunities and collaboration plazas”?

6. Many students do not attend universities these days, their lectures and assessment are online, they also hold down multiple jobs to satisfy their needs under a consumer society. Angela Davis says radical mean’s ‘grasping things at the root’ what is the relevance of the UQ forum area today?
7. University students pay fees and in return they obtain skills which helps them gain employment and better paying jobs. So are students customers of universities?
8. On the other hand, a worker is paid wages for turning up and doing work for the boss. Is there any similarity between a student at university and a worker at her boss’s workplace?
9. In 1972 Queensland University had grown into the size of a small town. Over 20,000 people attended and worked there each day. This was similar to the population of Mount Isa at the time. Lecture theatres were overcrowded. Exams were held at the end of the year. Students gravitated to the refec. There was a lot of sitting around talking and socialising. Universities were free. Labor was in power in Canberra. The Radical activities of the late 60s and early 1970s were on the wane. The radicals of the New Left had moved on. We had to wait another 5 years for an upturn with the right to march movement trying to bring down the Bjelke-Petersen government. Society changed as a result. How do you see universities of the current era? Can they produce similar critical thinking and a desire for change or have they given themselves over to corporatism, free enterprise and the neoliberal dream?

10. Next Monday the Committee to Save the UQ union complex is putting on a forum and picket at the University of Queensland, can you please tell us about that?

View from a wooden chair by Jumping Fences
Brisbane Barrio by Jumping Fences

Regime change in Venezuela

12pm Fri 15 Feb 2019: Regime Change in Venezuela

When the sun scorched the earth
a child was being born in the mountain,
in a cradle of hard stone
that poisoned him.

– PEGALE DURO AL FIERO by Ruben Galindo

Regime change in Caracas would be the prerequisite to dismantling the Bolivarian Bloc consisting of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador, and several other actors in Latin America.” – Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in “Rise of the Anti-Government Flash Mobs: First Ukraine, Now Venezuela” 20 February 2014

Discussion about the causes and what to do about current crisis in Venezuela.

Panel – Eulalia Reyes de Whitney (Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network), Alex Bainbridge (Green Left Weekly), Trevor Berrill (, Bevan Ramsden (Independent & Peaceful Australia Network), Ian Curr (Paradigm Shift, 4ZZZ).

Jumping Fences & Gaviota – Pegale duro al fiero
Phil Monsour – Empire’s new clothes

Discussion about the causes and what to do about current crisis in Venezuela. Listen at

As it did with regime change in Libya and in Iraq the US decided to destabilise Venezuela and take the oil. Russia, China and Cuba oppose it. The US created a political crisis where Maduro is embattled. They fund the opposition groups. They created the humanitarian crisis by placing an embargo on US goods and medicines into the country. They waited for a huge tornado to hit Cuba. They made a call for the greater democracy and their allies including Australia support this. Then Trump anoints a new unelected President.

After all, the amount of oil country has is directly proportional to the amount of democracy that it needs and that the West can supply.

Notes by Ian Curr

Elalia Reyes de Whitney, Alex Bainbridge, Trevor Berrill in 4 ZZZ studios
Protest against Iraq war 16 Feb 2003 in Brisbane Gardens Point


12pm Fri 8 Feb 2019: Refugees in Indonesia

Indonesia’s Refugee Crisis
We hear a lot about Australia’s mistreatment of refugees, listen in today (4ZZZ fm 102.1 Friday at 12 noon) for interviews with two strong women about refugees in Indonesia.

Trenchant government critic gets Order of Australia Medal for her work with refugees
IWD interview with Pamela Curr, a refugee advocate who has been awarded an order of Australia Medal in 2018, explains how did she came to be doing grassroots political work.

Listen at

Pamela talks about her views on second wave feminism and conditions facing women in places like Afghanistan & Indonesia.

On hearing that she had received a an award from the federal government for her services to refugees Pamela said: “This award just goes to show how clueless this government is!”

I Never Sing – Jumping Fences
Sounds of Your Town – The Go-Betweens
Deportee – Arlo Guthrie & Emmylou Harris

[Note on Lyrics to Deportee: “The oranges piled in their creosote dumps.” …. another protest by Guthrie. At the time, government policies paid farmers to destroy their crops in order to keep farm production and prices high. Guthrie felt that it was wrong to render food inedible by poisoning it in a world where hungry people lived.

From there to here: aboriginal call for truth, for reconciliation

Aboriginal struggle

  1. Call for Truth and Reconciliation by Sam Watson
  2. Guniwaya Ngigu by Madeline McGrady
  3. Debbing Creek – sacred land
  4. Listen online @

Call for truth and Reconciliation by Sam Watson
Aboriginal leader calls for truth and reconciliation commission to hold white Australia to account.

“There is still a long way to go,” Sam Watson said.

“There are still issues that are unresolved.

“We still don’t have a treaty.”

He called for “basic honestly from white Australia” about the history of our nation.

“We didn’t give them our country, we didn’t sell our country, they stole this country by armed invasion,” Uncle Sam Watson told the rally.

“To this day, white Australia has never been held accountable…there should be a truth and reconciliation commission here in Australia…white Australia needs to be held to account for the crimes against humanity, perpetrated against our people.

“This blood, this land, this suffering that belongs to our mob, there has to be a reckoning…”

Guniwaya Ngigu (WE FIGHT) 1982

In 1971, two pieces of legislation were introduced into Queensland state law. The Queensland Aborigines Act, and the Torres Strait Islanders Act, which made the oppression of Black People in Queensland legal.

In a country that claims to be against apartheid in South Africa, we have a separate law governing Black People.

In 1982, the Queensland government brought down the Commonwealth Games Act in an attempt to prevent Black People from using the Brisbane-held Commonwealth Games to voice their opposition to white oppression.

It was in this atmosphere of state-generated terror and threatened violence from the Australian Army and the Queensland police that the following events took place…..

This historic documentary is scheduled to air on NITV on 4th February 2019 at 7:30pm

Debbing Creek
On today’s show ‘From there to here – aboriginal land rights struggle’ there’s also an interview with yuggera original owner Karen Coghill about the Debbing Creek camp trying to stop a housing developement on aboriginal land south of Ipswich .. listen online @


Electric fields – 2000 and whatever

Jumping Fences – Up on my feet

Bapu Mamoos – From there to here

Guyala Bayles – Abolish the Date

Joe Geia – 40,000 years


Voices of Resistance

Paradigm Shift 4ZZZ fm 102.1 at noon 25 Jan 2019
Listen @

Shona and Craig present voices of resistance, defiance and truth-telling from some of the hundreds of sovereign nations across the continent of Australia. These stories are transmitted through song, through poetry, through music and through speaking up. 

We pay our respects to the traditional owners of the lands on which we broadcast from. We acknowledge their elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded. 
We acknowledge the hundreds of massacres that took place across this country and the ongoing killing and oppression of First Nations people. 

And we acknowledge our own place in this structure of violent invasion and occupation. We look to the voices you’ll hear today not only to understand the oppression of First Nations peoples, but because we in invader culture have been deprived of the basic human knowledge of what it means to live in a peaceful society. 

Bangarra – Diary 
David Page and Paul Mac, David Page was a descendant of the Nunkul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh peoples.

That piece was from “Our Land People Stories”

Arende  elder Aunty Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
Her speaking on Q&A, 2014

Aunty Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
So this week we’ve had the horrifying news of the spate of suicide of First Nations kids across the continent, with five dead. And it reminded me of Robbie Thorpe’s discussion of the links between genocide, homicide, ecocide and suicide and this is a piece Craig produced in the lead up to Invasion Day last year. 

Vicki Roach

Let’s Talk – hosted on Brisbane Indigenous Media Association’s 989 FM. Its hosted by Boe Spearim – a Gomeroi man and formidable activist in Meanjin and nationally. All this week, Boe’s been talking to First Nations activists about their views on Australia Day and Invasion Day; including Gary Foley, Celeste Liddle, Luke Pearson from Indigenous X and activists from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance. So you can put “Let’s Talk” into your podcast browser and find it all there. 

On 20 and 21 November 2018 Let’s Talk broadcast parts 1 & 2 of the ‘Challenging the Racist Carceral System’ panel discussion, which Boe Spearim recorded at the 9th Sisters Inside International Conference called Imagining Abolition A World Without Prisons. Chairing the panel is Neta-Rie Mabo (Youth Worker from Sisters Inside), and joining Neta-Rie is Latoya Hohepa (sister of Wayne Fella Morrison who died in custody at Yatala prison South Australia), Julia Whaipooti (Wellingtonian social justice warrior who wants to reshape the ‘pale, male, stale’ world of law), Professor Tracey McIntosh (Professor of Indigenous Studies and Co-Head of Te Wānanga o Waipapa at the University of Auckland), Vickie Roach (Yuin woman and prison abolishonist), Amy McQuire (Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman from Rockhampton.

We’re going to play three of the really powerful talks from that panel, we’ve edited them down a bit for length but you can hear the full panel at Lets Talk. 

We’ll start with Yuin woman Vicki Roach. She’s a writer, poet and prison abolitionist. In 2007 she lead and won, a High Court challenge to the Howard Government’s ban on prisoners’ right to vote – again, achieving this from a cell at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre women’s prison.

Samuel Wagan Watson: “Reflex Point” 
Poem from the Brisbane Poetry Map
Samuel Wagan Watson is from the south-side of Brisbane and comes from a family of accomplished writers and artists. He hails from an ancestry of Birri Gubba, Munanjali, Germanic and Gaelic peoples. 

Next on the Sisters Inside panel is Latoya Hohepa – sister of Wayne Fella Morrison reading up a piece she’d written. 

One of the reasons we’re playing Sisters Inside panel, is that they’ve been fighting against the imprisonment of people for unpaid fines in WA – and single Aboriginal mothers make up the majority of those who go to jail under this policy. If you want to contribute to that fundraiser: Go to “Go Fund Me” and type in “Sisters Inside” and you’ll see it there. I’ve tipped in a couple of dollars. And please share it on social media  

Sylvia Nakachi: “Jagera Country”
Poem from the online Brisbane Poetry Map 
Sylvia Nakachi is a descendant of the Eastern Islands of Erub in the Torres Strait Islands, and has lived all her life in the community of Bamaga. Through her mother’s bloodline, she is a Meuram (worshippers) Tribe woman whose totem is the Beuger (Fridget Bird). Through her father’s bloodline, she is a Peidu (warrior) Tribe woman, whose totem is the Dabor (Mackerel).

Amy McQuire
So coming back to the last piece we’ve got today from the Sisters Inside panel. Amy is a Durumbal and South Sea Islander woman who grew up in Rockhampton and Central Queensland. She’s also an award-winning journalist, and her podcast Curtain which looks at the wrongful conviction in a murder case in Rockhampton is one of the most stunning pieces of investigative journalism to come out of this continent.

Emily Wurramurra: Ngarrikwujeyinama 

Emily is from Groote Eylandt and you’ll hear everyone singing in Anindilyakwa language. This was recorded for 4ZZZ at this year’s Woodford Folk Festival by Scott Mercer from Exit Stage Zed. 

Invasion Day: 10 am at Emma Miller place in Roma Street Brisbane. Speeches start at 10.30am and the march starts at 11.30am. So bring a hat and water. 

4ZZZ Souljah Sistas 1-2pm Saturday are going to be reporting live from the Invasion Day march on Saturday 
98.9FM You can also listen in to The Original 100 – That is a playlist comprised of music that speak to the perspective of First Nations peoples’ history 

Listen into the podcast “Let’s Talk” from Brisbane Indigenous Media Association all this week, Bo Spearim has had people from Celeste Liddle, Luke Pearson, Gary Foley  and activists from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance talking about Invasion Day 

And if you want to hear more First Nations voices, you can listen to Souljah Sistas every Saturday and 4ZZZ Indigi-Briz Sundays 1-3pm with Kristy-Lee and Leon and they both post really interest activist resources on their Facebook pages. And a huge shout out to Leon – he’s helping to set up the The new Ngamba Gumbaynggirr Sovereign Tent Embassy, riverside drive Nambucca. And they want ppl to come down and stand in solidarity, stand united. Gumbaynggirr never ceded their sovereignty.

Briggs, featuring Gurramul an\d Dewayne Everettsmith: The children came back
Yorta Yorta rapper, writer, Cleverman actor and Black Comedy star. He’s one half of AB Original – 26 January 
Bangarra – Sunrise

Bangarra – Diary
Alice Ether – My Story is Your Story
Emily Wurramara – Ngarrikwujeyinama
Briggs – The Children Came Back
Bangarra – Sunrise
Samuel Wagon Watson – Reflex Point
Sylvia Nakachi – Jagera Country

Victoria, Vulcana & Vindictiveness

Paradigm Shift 18 Jan 2019 (4ZZZ fm 102. Friday at Noon).

Victoria’s Eviction Vindictiveness
Interview with Victoria Brazil who booted 4ZZZ off campus at UQ on 14 December 1988.

No Trickery, no re-takes, no stand-ins 
How Vulcana survived without State or Federal funding.

Jumping Fences – The Quiet of the Winter Moon & Distancia y latido*

*’Distancia y latido’ means distance and heartbeat (yearning) and was written by Cuban Frank Gonzalez whom Sue Monk and Lachlan Hurse met in Havanna during the 1990s. It is a contemporary bolero sung with beautiful intonation by Sue Monk.

Listen @


Victoria’s Eviction Vindictiveness
Interviewer: Can you please introduce yourself?
Victoria Brazil: My name is Victoria Brazil. I am Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Simulation at Bond University.

INTERVIEWER: Where did you study?

Victoria Brazil: Havard and Stanford Universities.

INTERVIEWER: No, I mean before that.

Victoria Brazil: I did my Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Queensland.

INTERVIEWER: When was that?

Victoria Brazil: That would have been in the late 1980s.

INTERVIEWER: Did you participate in any extra-curricula activities?

Victoria Brazil: Yes, I was President of the University of Queensland Student Union.

INTERVIEWER: Oh. How many members did the student union have in 1988?

Victoria Brazil: Not sure but off the top of my head; about 20,000 members, I’d say.


Victoria Brazil: Student unions were compulsory back then.

INTERVIEWER:What sort of business did the student union run?

Victoria Brazil: You mean like the refectory? Well, it had Clubs and Societies, a Medical Centre, a Crèche, a bar and of course it organised parties for the students.

INTERVIEWER: Didn’t it run an FM radio station called 4ZZZ?

Victoria Brazil: Oh yes, it did have that as well.

INTERVIEWER: Didn’t it run a newspaper called Semper Floreat?

Victoria Brazil: Yes, that too.

INTERVIEWER: Didn’t the student union run a cinema called the Schonell Theatre?

Victoria Brazil: I didn’t have much to do with the Schonell.

INTERVIEWER: But wasn’t the Schonell Theatre a big money spinner for the union putting on World Premiers like Woody Allen’s Annie Hall?

Victoria Brazil: Annie Hall was before my time; besides, I was too busy studying.

INTERVIEWER: What can you tell the listener about 4ZZZ?

Victoria Brazil: Not much.

INTERVIEWER: I’d like you to comment on this eviction notice you personally served on Darren a volunteer announcer doing the graveyard shift at 4ZZZ on 14th December 1988.

Victoria Brazil: I have no comment. That was 30 years ago, I’ve moved on.

INTERVIEWER: I’m wondering if you were in breach of the broadcasting act shutting down a radio station while it was operating.

Victoria Brazil: No comment.

INTERVIEWER: Wasn’t the eviction of the student radio station a cause célèbre at that time?

Victoria Brazil: There was a lot of fuss but, from memory, there was really not much to it.

INTERVIEWER: Didn’t hundreds of people turn up to defend the station that very morning?

Victoria Brazil: I don’t think it was that many. From memory I received legal advice that the station owed the union money and to be quite frank, the station was a rathole with all kinds of illegal activities going on there.

INTERVIEWER: Didn’t the station continue to broadcast from Mt Cootha after you locked them out of their premises and placed armed security guards at the entrance?

Victoria Brazil: I don’t recall what the station did.

INTERVIEWER: Didn’t student union members occupy your office in the UQ union complex until you withdrew your attempt to evict 4ZZZ.

Victoria Brazil: Yes, they climbed into my office through ceiling tiles. We entered into negotiations with the station for them to vacate their studios in a responsible manner.

INTERVIEWER: Who supported your attempt to evict the station.

Victoria Brazil: The Queensland government, Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and the University Senate.

INTERVIEWER: The University Senate is going to take a wrecking ball to where 4ZZZ studios once stood. They propose demolition of the whole UQ Union Complex: the forum area, the Schonell theatre, the refectory, and the union building. How do you feel about that?

Victoria Brazil: I can’t really comment, I work for a rival university … but remember this, if you are one of those horrid Triple Zed types, I won. Your precious station was booted out. You had no place there. I hope they leave no trace that you were ever there.

INTERVIEWER: I was one of the people who turned up to defend the station in December 1988. We were defending free speech and independent media. It is true, the station fell on hard times after it left UQ. Triple Zed was never perfect but at least we stand for something. We came out of the struggle against the Vietnam war and opposition to racist apartheid in South Africa. Before you were President the student union did support us and some time after the station left, so did the Communist Party by selling 4ZZZ its headquarters in Fortitude Valley at an affordable price. At least we are not at the mercy of a corporate University eager to turn its back on our heritage by demolishing a space that was theatre to democratic rights struggles against vile and reactionary governments.

Victoria Brazil: We left you nothing, you are nothing, you have no history, you can no longer rely upon the student union that squandered money on you for years. We stopped all that. [Hangs up].

Interviewer: That was one time President of the University of Queensland Student Union now Professor at Bond, a privately owned University on the Gold Coast. You are on 4ZZZ, still going strong in its 44th year as an independent radio broadcaster and 30 years after its eviction from the University of Queensland.

[In Victoria’s Vindictiveness, Victoria Brazil was played by Hectoria and the Interviewer was played by Ian]


No Trickery, no re-takes, no stand-ins 
In 2012 Vulcana Women’s Circus lost all core state and federal funding. Vulcana is a Small Arts Sector (sas) organisation. For funding purposes SAS means ‘a small/medium organisation or individual arts practitioner’. To keep the doors open, it changed its income model. Vulcana no longer relies on core government funding.

In 2012, no one knew what was to come. Federally, over $300 million was taken from the Arts Sector between 2013 and 2016. In hindsight, the 2012 cuts foreshadowed the scope and nature of the cuts under Abbott and Brandis, Turnbull and Fifield. The 2012–’16 cuts; the 2015 raid on the Australia Council’s SAS funding pool; and the formation of Catalyst, using the plundered money, are all acts of political influence designed to erode artistic independence and erase freedom of expression protections. 
This 45-minute historical radio documentary uses Brisbane’s Vulcana Women’s Circus as a case study to explore the dogmatic changes forced on Australia’s Arts sector between 2012 and 2016 by consecutive conservative governments. Each act was one of unprecedented political interference in Australia’s Arts Sector.

Produced by Craig Garrett of Radio 4ZZZ, as part of the Out of the Box national arts journalism project.

Supervising production by Lia Tsamoglou (2ser).