(Hope Ebsworth and Donnie Dixon outside the National Museum, of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin on 18 June 2010 on their week long visit from Australia. Photo by Julien Behal of Photocall Ireland)
Welcome to the new web site for the Wongkumarra people in Australia, being constructed by Wongkumarra Solidarity Ireland (WSI). The Wongkumarra language group is one of over 385 indigenous nations in Australia, and they have been struggling to reclaim rights to their lands, and be able to control mining operations on their lands, and protect their cultural sites and traditions.
WSI formed on the Hill of Tara, on the summer solstice, 21 June, 2010. Hope Ebsworth and Donnie Dixon were invited by TaraWatch to attend the annual Summer Solstice Celebrations there, in order to give perform ‘dreaming stories’ and give a talk on the plight of the Wongkumarra who are having their lands mined with compensation, in Australia., and are suffering human rights abuses by Santos. They gave a very moving talk, which was reported in The Irish Times:
“Among those who attended this morning were two members of the Wangkumarra Aboriginal people in Australia who have sought the help of Tara campaigners in their struggle to preserve their lands in south-west Queensland. Tribal elder Hope Ebsworth described the sunrise as a “great event” and said there were many cultural similarities between Celtic Ireland and the Aboriginal people despite the distances involved. He said he had been impressed by the solidarity shown by people in Ireland.
On Tuesday, Hope, Donnie and Vincent Salafia of WSI met with Don Smith, the First Secretary of the Australian Embassy, wherein Hope and Donnie voiced their grievances, and Vincent asked for a commitment from the Embassy to address their problems, and initiate a formal process. The first step to this would be a meeting between the Wongkumarra and the Federal Government in Australia, which has never taken place. Until now, all dealing have been with the State government in Queensland. The Embassy declined to make any commitment.
A demonstration took place outside the Australian Embassy in Dublin n Wednesday. Hope and Donnie, along with WSI. Press Association Ireland photographer, Niall Carson, took some fantastic photos of supporters putting hand-prints in paint on a banner behind Donnie.
(Photo of Donnie Dixon and Wongkumarra Solidarity Ireland (WSI) supporters, by Niall Carson of Press Association Ireland taken outside Australian Embassy Dublin, 23 June 2010)
Metro Herald ran the story on Thursday, 24th June, with the above picture and the following caption:
Wongkumarra tribal elder Donnie Dixon joins members of Wongkumarra Solidarity Ireland (WSI) to put handprints on a banner outside the Australian Embassy in Dblin yesterday. The protest is against what they say is Australia’s continued mistreatment of indigenous peoples and the Embassy’s refusal to make a public statement on the matter.