FILIPINIANA | CURRENT AFFAIRS

Traditional owners share their views

Michelle Baltazar

Award-winning international singer-songwriter Kerrianne Cox will be speaking at the July 9 forum. She is a Traditional Owner for the James Price Point area and an elected leader of her community - what's little known is that one of her mentors and inspiration, her grandfather "Lulu" Paul Cox, has some Filipino ancestry.

Kerrianne is among the four speakers at the open forum to be held on July 9, from 9.30am to 12noon, at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney. Below are the bios of those who will share their insights and views on the topic: "LNG development in the Kimberley: culturally and environmentally sustainable?"

Neil Mckenzie

Traditional Owner for the James Price Point area, land of the Jabirr Jabirr people and also the Broome area, land of the Yawuru people; environmentalist, conservationist and Aboriginal Activist. 

He is a Lawman, song man, performer and teacher of traditional dance.  He is also a Traditional Bush Tucker and Medicine expert of the Broome area. He has been an Aboriginal cultural tourism operator, consultant/specialist escort-guide and liaison officer for films, TV and Locations for 25 years. His main objective is the preservation of land, sea, maintenance of heritage, Traditional Aboriginal Law and Culture.

Kerrianne Cox

Traditional Owner for the James Price Point area, active leader of her community and award winning Australian singer/songwriter.

International indigenous artist Kerrianne Cox
International indigenous artist Kerrianne Cox

She is an elected leader of her community, working with government, legal and health services toward Indigenous independence and self-determination. Since 2006, Kerrianne has devoted herself to working toward a new model of governance for Australia that includes the ‘Original Sovereigns’, the First People of this country. She was the NAIDOC National Artist of the Year (2005) and recipient of many other artist awards.

Deborah Ruiz Wall OAM

Member of Women’s Reconciliation Network (WRN) and the Filipino Women’s Working Party (FWWP); currently writing her PhD thesis on ‘The LNG precinct proposal in the Kimberley: a development dilemma’.

She was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for contribution to the community in the areas of social justice, multiculturalism and reconciliation in 2004 and has spearheaded collaborative oral history and storytelling projects involving Aboriginal and Filipino women. One project, the Redfern Oral History website (www.redferoralhistory.org) is actively used by the Aboriginal community today. She will talk about some of Broome locals’ views on the LNG development project.

Hala Razian

Holds a First MSc in Development Studies, UK; currently completing a Master of Science in Environmental Management, Macquarie University and is supporting The Wilderness Society’s work on the Kimberley.

Her previous work experience includes supporting small business and microfinance lending activities with ShoreBank International, whose sister company ShoreBank Corporation is credited for starting the first environment focused bank in the United States. She will present The Wilderness Society's ongoing work towards the development of sustainable economic futures as alternatives to inappropriate development currently being proposed in the Kimberley.

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