Today, May 5 2010, marks an historic development in the relationship between Australia’s First Peoples, our shared country and all our unique flora and fauna.
This morning in Canberra, the Australian Alliance For Native Animal Survival (AAFNAS) was officially constituted at a meeting of Indigenous representatives from around the country.
After voting on the constitution and charter and ratification of the committee – Eric Craigie (President), Ray Ferguson (Vice-President), Glenda Wenck (Secretary) and George Dingo (Treasurer) – founding President Eric Robert Craigie said:
‘Today is the beginning of a new era of consultation between the original guardians of our land and government and institutional decision makers. The formation of AAFNAS will provide us with the opportunity to influence future policy for Australia’s unique flora and fauna.’
The concept of AAFNAS was born in Canberra on 10th November 2008 in response to the continuing massacres of landlocked kangaroos in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) without consultation with the Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples and local communities, and the arrest and prosecution of six Aboriginal people who were performing a smoking and healing ceremony. Since European arrival in 1788, far too many species of mammals, birds and plants have become extinct. This destruction of animals and land continues at a relentless speed.
The aims of AAFNAS are:
- To educate the Australian and international communities about our unique native flora and fauna. This includes the Aboriginal concepts of caring for country, natural resources and all life past, present and future.
- To link Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and international supporters to work together to help native species and their carers both locally and nationally.
- To tap into the ancient and intimate knowledge held by the Aboriginal people and build a grass roots national organisation.
- To re-establish land rights and allocate the resources necessary to establish carers’ centres/safe tracts of land for native species along the dreaming tracks.
Eric Craigie concluded by inviting other Indigenous groups to join with AAFNAS and become a unified voice for our land and our future.
The Australian Alliance For Native Animal Survival Committee:
~ Glenda Wenck (Secretary), Ray Ferguson (Vice President) Eric Craigie (President) George Dingo (Treasurer)
Bernie Brennan, Manager of Animal Liberation ACT writes:
We would like this news spread as far and wide as possible. We hope that this is a new beginning for animal protection. As far as I know, this is a first for Australian Animal Rights and we hope to inspire Indigenous groups around the world to formally stand up for native wildlife. From the discussions we have had with Indigenous groups, they consider the way we ‘manage’ wildlife to be an extension of the genocide of their people and culture.
Thanks for your support. The messages I have to pass on to Eric and Co so far are amazing.