As the Greens NSW Spokesperson for Aboriginal Justice David works with communities across NSW on issues such as pushing for treaties, calling out racist policing and criminal law, working with communities to prevent child removals and protecting important heritage sites and artefacts.
Sovereignty and treaty
The Greens NSW recognise that Aboriginal peoples are the traditional custodians of the land now known as New South Wales, and that they have a unique cultural and spiritual relationship with this country.
New South Wales was invaded and Aboriginal peoples have never ceded sovereignty, ownership or control of their land and waters. We strongly support and will do everything we can to secure binding treaties with Australia’s first peoples.
Working against forced removals of Aboriginal children
Since the Bringing them Home report in 1997 the number of Aboriginal child removals has increased five-fold in NSW. This is tantamount to another stolen generation, and something we should all be concerned about. The child protection system continues to spend money removing children, and only a tiny fraction of that amount on strengthening families and communities so kids can stay with their parents on country. This must change.
It has been a privilege to work with Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) in their struggle to prevent the ongoing Stolen Generations. This is a grassroots grouping that is now linked to a national movement called the National Aboriginal Strategic Alliance.
Criminal justice system
Broken bail laws, discretionary police powers, forced child removals and chronic housing shortages have created a structural disadvantage where Aboriginal Australians are the most incarcerated people in the world.
Aboriginal people in NSW are more likely to charged, more likely to be refused bail and more likely to spend time in jail than non-Aboriginal people who commit the same offence. Aboriginal people are grossly over-represented in NSW prisons. We need governments to step away from business as usual, and make a commitment to closing the justice gap.
We work with Traditional Owners and First Nations people around NSW to prevent the destruction of heritage artefacts and important sites, as well as for the return of items stolen from communities including the Gweagal Shield which is still held in the British Museum after being stolen by Captain Cook.