First Nations Policies

The Greens First Nations Network has led the way in developing policies for our party that address the aspirations, goals and needs of First Nations people in this country.

Greens Election Platform 2022: 

At a glance: Treaty & First Nations Justice

The Greens plan begins the national, grassroots led consultation process about Treaty and starts process of truth-telling by investing in a Truth and Justice Commission. We deliver better access to health services for communities, and empower self-determined, community-led healing places.

The Greens will establish a nationally consistent compensation scheme for the Stolen Generations, providing each survivor with a $200,000 payment to support them and their families as they age and continue to heal.

We will double the current funding for legal assistance services, raise the age and reform the criminal legal system so we can build communities not prisons.

Care extends to country, where we will strengthen laws to protect First Nations cultural heritage, knowledge, and intellectual property and expand ranger programs, protected areas and sacred sites.

Truth & Justice Commission

Truth & Justice Commission

Our journey to Treaty involves truth-telling and healing first. This means exploring, understanding, and reckoning with our painful past and the impact it continues to have on First Nations people and their cultures.

A Treaty, or Treaties, is an opportunity for us to tell the story of who we want to be as a country.

The Greens plan includes:

  • $250m for a national Truth and Justice Commission, an independent body with the powers of a Royal Commission. The Commission would investigate and reveal historic and ongoing human rights abuses, wrongdoing, and provide recommendations on how to heal from them. 
  • The Truth and Justice Commission will lay the foundations to engage and involve the community in discussing, raising awareness and developing the Treaty or Treaties. 

Greens Plan: Truth, Treaty, Voice (PDF)

Compensation for Stolen Generations survivors

Compensation for Stolen Generations survivors

As a result of racist government policy, children from the Stolen Generation were enslaved, trained as servants, abused, assaulted, or fostered into other families, resulting in incredible trauma.

Members of the Stolen Generations are more likely to experience a range of adverse outcomes, including poor health, especially mental health, including high incidences of anxiety, depression, PTSD and suicide, along with alcohol abuse.

This deep trauma also impacted the families and communities of members of the Stolen Generations. Many survivors of the Stolen Generations are still not sure where they come from or who their families are, they deserve to know who they are.

Descendants of the Stolen Generations are 1.5 times as likely to be in poorer health compared to other First Nations people

The Greens plan includes:

  • Establish compensation scheme, providing each survivor with a $200,000 payment to support them and their families as they age and continue to heal
  • $7,000 payment for funeral expenses
  • Provide a range of services to support the emotional and mental health needs of survivors and their families

Greens Policy: Compensation for Stolen Generations survivors (PDF)

Care for Country

Care for Country

First Nations people have cared for lands and waters for tens of thousands of years. But successive governments have disregarded First Nations science and land management, and undermined Aboriginal land rights and heritage protections resulting in the kind of destruction we saw at Juukan Gorge.

Billionaires, big polluters and big corporations profiteer continue to off stolen land.

The Greens plan includes:

  • Strong laws to protect First Nations cultural heritage, knowledge and intellectual property
  • $767m over the forward estimates to expand the First Nations ranger programs and Indigenous Protected Areas to heal Country by returning land to First Nations management and providing long-term sustainable jobs

Greens Policy: Caring for Country and Protecting Sacred Sites (PDF)

First Nations Health

First Nations Health

Many First Nations communities need better access to health services, and the health centres they rely on need more resources to empower First Nations people to get what they need to be and stay well.

Decisions made by successive governments have resulted in health inequality.

The Greens plan includes:

  • $371m to self-determined, community-led First Nations health services to increase their capacity to care for their own communities
  • Ensure people have early access to preventative programs and provide funding of $1.07b to build First Nations owned healing places
  • Expand Gold Card access to First Nations Elders aged 60 and above so they can access the healthcare, treatment and services they deserve
  • Grow the First Nations health and wellbeing workforce to provide culturally appropriate care to their communities

Greens Policy: First Nations Health (PDF)

Justice for all

Justice for all

No matter who we are, the legal system needs to protect all of us equally. Our legal system fails First Nations people regularly, and the consequences can be a matter of life or death. The system is too expensive, too hard to access and often, it’s simply racist.

First Nations children as young as ten are regularly being imprisoned

The Greens plan includes:

  • Raise the age of legal responsibility to at least 14 years and support children through culturally safe and supportive programs to ensure kids get back on track
  • Double the funding for legal assistance services and provide an extra $310 million per year so all people have access to legal help when they need it
  • Establish a First Nations legal defence fund so communities can access independent legal advice to protect their heritage, including sites of significance from inappropriate development or destruction
  • $382m, with equal contribution from the states and territories, to set up independent police and prison oversight mechanisms and establish a national police ombudsman system to investigate all police complaints
  • from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, implement the recommendations from the Australian Law Reform Commissions’ Pathway to Justice report, and implement the recommendations from the Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory, so we can build communities not prisons.

Greens Policy: Justice for all (PDF)

Together we're powerful

Together, we can kick the Liberals out and put the Greens in the balance of power.

We can get real climate action, fix the housing crisis, wipe student debt, and deliver free dental and mental health care for all. And that’s not all.

The Greens are fighting for your future.

 

National First Nations Policy

We have laid out our vision, identified the barriers imposed by colonisation, and set out our core priorities. The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) is the key document on which we base our National First Nations Policy.

Australian Greens First Nations Network (AGFNN) Australian Greens National First Nations Policy Painting 2020

Australian Greens First Nations Network (AGFNN)
Australian Greens National First Nations Policy 2020

Vision

The Australian Greens want First Nations peoples to have self-determination over their own destiny, to prosper and achieve the aspirations they have for their lives and for their children and grandchildren and for First Nations peoples to have all they need to live their lives in health, well-being and peace on their lands. We respect First Nations knowing, being and doing and will embed this principle in all aspects of national policy.

Barrier

The continued legacy of colonialism has not yet fully recognised the sovereignty of our First Nations peoples across the entire continent of Australia. This is a wrong that must be made right. Endemic racism, oppressive laws and policies, misunderstanding, ignorance and the lack of knowledge and education has meant that First Nations peoples have generationally been subject to policies and legislation that have impoverished many lives. At present, many still live in poverty and disadvantage, without the same rights and services that other Australians enjoy. This must be changed so that future generations of First Nations children can dream of better things.

First Nations peoples in Australia have been traumatised by the generational actions and policies of subsequent governments and peoples in denying them their rights and traditions to live peacefully according to their spiritual, cultural, and sovereign legal rights under Australian Law.

It is time to recognise that First Nations Peoples knowledge and lore systems provide the foundation for true self- determination utilising the rights set out in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the foundation.

In order to remove these barriers, the Australian Greens will be advised on First Nations national policy by the Australian Greens First Nations Network (AGFNN) recognising that they represent the diversity of histories, views and dreams of their First Nations communities in each State and Territory.

Core Principle

The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) is the key document on which we base our National First Nations Policy

Key Sections of the UNDRIP to form the basis of the Australian Greens actions for First Nations Peoples:

  1. Free, prior and informed consent
  2. Foundational Rights
  3. Self-Governance and Rights to Representation
  4. Language cultural and spiritual identity
  5. Rights to Country, resources, and our knowledge
  6. Protection of Country
  7. Participation, development, and economic and social rights
  8. Life & Security
  9. Education, information and employment and;
  10. Non-discrimination and equality.

To achieve these fundamental and international Rights we will ensure that Australia’s obligations under the UNDRIP are written into domestic policy

Three Core Priorities (3 Core Inner Circles) in this order

  1. Truth – Establish a Truth & Justice Commission
  2. Treaty – Enact a national Treaty and/or Treaties with First Nations peoples in this country, sovereign to sovereign
  3. Voice – Subject to Treaty negotiations, establish a national First Nations Voice to be included in the governance of Australia, as determined by First Nations peoples

Specific Measures (10 Outer Circles)

The Australian Greens will:

  1. Work in Unity with all First Nations peoples in healing our shared history,
  2. Respect, recognise, learn from and seek consent for First Nations peoples spiritual, cultural, social and physical relationship with the land, waters and environment, and their rights and obligations as custodian and protectors
  3. Ensure Australia complies with the UNDRIP and all other international instruments that recognise the rights of First Nations peoples
  4. Make reparations to the Stolen Generations, informed by the Stolen Generations
  5. Recognise the Frontier Wars as part of Australian history and make reparations to those affected by the Frontier Wars
  6. Immediately repeal the Stronger Futures legislation
  7. Hold governments to account for implementing the Closing the Gap targets,
  8. Revoke compulsory income management
  9. Review the Native Title Legislation to make it consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  10. Ensure First Nations peoples have equal rights and access to essential services including health, education, training, housing, community infrastructure, employment support, and culturally specific and culturally safe justice systems.

Urgent Attention (10 Outer Circles overlaid)

  1. Incarceration and deaths in custody, kids in custody and justice reinvestment
  2. Suicide Prevention
  3. Child Protection and removals
  4. Homelessness and housing
  5. Health equity
  6. Protection from and recovery from Violence and Trauma
  7. Cultural Heritage Protection
  8. Language Translation Services
  9. Care for Country
  10. Climate crisis impacts on First Nations people

The Painting Story

This painting is the story of our policy, the sharing and caring journey with each other and our communities, deeply listening to their self-determined needs that are necessary to transform lives.  We looked at all the member bodies First Nations policies and the 2018 National First Nations Policy and on these we built this one.

We feel it is an inspiration from our Ancestors for the Australian Greens to work towards the healing, respect, self-determination and sovereignty of all First Nations peoples in our Country with the Australian Greens First Nations Network (AGFNN). We feel that this is our purpose.

The painting tells the story of our journey of developing the policy and the important sections agreed to by members of AGFNN, our Senator Lidia and others in our communities that we consulted.

The colours are important, the gold lines and circles represent the Songlines and communities, and the journeys along the Songlines that all are taking to become well and strong. We feel this will occur by implementing our policy. The blue lines represent healing that occurs as we journey along our Songlines of healing to return to our cultural ways of knowing, being and doing and living in the Law. The inner and outer circles represent sections of the policy as outlined in the notes on the document that accompanies the painting.

The three inner Core Circles represent Truth, Treaty and Voice which are our three main policy priorities. They also represent the Spirits, hearts and minds of all First Nations peoples in Australia as the reason for this policy.

The next group of Circles represent the foundational sections of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) that we base our policy on in terms of our rights nationally and internationally. The figures in those circles are all the people, First Nations and non-First Nations people in the Greens and in our communities working with us and each other to do this work

The outer group of circles represent the Specific Measures and Urgent Measures overlaid that need to be done immediately and worked toward by all member bodies and the Federal Party and the red dots represent those urgent measures where people are carrying pain, hurt and sorrow; and they need them addressed immediately through our thoughts, words and actions together.

This is the story of the painting in which we place our hearts, minds, spirits and ways of working together with the Australian Greens, to achieve this into the future, for now and the generations that follow us and for shared healing for all our Nations together.