The Stolenwealth (Commonwealth) Games occurs every four years, and travels around the globe revisiting (invading) a country where the indigenous people have suffered at the hands of the British Empire.
This year the games were held in Australia on the Gold Coast in (not the) Queensland.
A camp was set up near the main venue for first nations Australians and allies to tell the world of the injustices (past and present) suffered by aboriginal Australians by the continued occupation of their land.
This interview was conducted with Gwenda Stanley who was part of the national working group organising the indigenous response to the Games.
As is tradition on 4ZZZ’s Indigi-Briz I began the interview by asking Gwenda what aboriginal nation she is from.
I’m from the Gomeroi people I’m from Moree, North West New South [Wales}.
You know I’m part of the national working party with the rest of the mob … this is not just a Embassy thing this is not just a WAR [Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance] thing … it’s a national event that’s been organised over the last 12 months. And with a strong collective voice from many people from many nations. Yeah.
I’m up here to show my support and deliver a message to the world Linda.
Why is it being called the Stolenwealth Games?
Commonwealth is colonialism … Colonialism is stolen wealth. If you look at the 45 or 46 colonies that are involved in the Commonwealth Games they’re all countries that have been invaded by the British imperialism.
We have an international media here and it’s about us getting our message out there to tell them the truth about what is happening here in Australia.
We’re talking about treaties we’re discussing treaties we’re talking about a war commision a truth commision in regards to the treatment of our people past and present here in Australia.
There’s a camp can you tell me about the camp ?
We’re situated out a Doug Jeninings Park which is on the end of Sea World Drive past the resort down near the spit. We’ve been here since the… oh what day did we start? I can’t remember what day we start but I’ve been here for two weeks… yeah from the forth until the 16th.
What’s going on?
A few hundred people here women. Children, men, elders you know it’s all pretty spread out we’ve got proper facilities, showers, toilets … we’re being well looked after .. and yeah all of our volunteraty mob standing in solidairty helps us out.
The [inaudible] support there from them. You know being fee well tonight we’re actually having turtle so we’re being spoilt down here Linda.
I have heard though that’s there’s been some trouble with white supremacists or nationalists.
Yeah you know like every Aboriginal embassies you know most of our embassy and camp sites we’re always having issues with a few of the non indigenous community where there was an incident where you know that was controlled contained just had them drive by and just acting stupid .. hooligans like they are.
What have been some of the highlights so far during the protest?
Wow some of the highlights what can I say you know the opening the baton rally, this morning especially with sunrise they weren’t expecting that and as we know from Sunlies you know they’ve lied about it but you know the other media were there and I’m sure they’re pick them up on their lies what they made this morning.
Can you explain what happened this morning?
Um what had happened was well we all went down to sunrise to be their blackdrop. They weren’t expecting us … when we were just like everyone else … we’re a tourist we were going down to check it all out … we just happened to be there and created a colourful scenery from the background..
And did they try to black out…out the?
Oh yeah they put it out they stopped the segment, they had Koshi on one side they had Samantha on the other I’ve actually gone live if you want to have a look at my Facebook wall we went live from as soon as we arrived there you can see the incident of what had actually happened this morning. And um yeah we were there to protest against Sam Armytage and the Sunlies Sunrise and their lies.
You met with the Games committee Peter Beattie. What happened there?
Well um as again I said we had a um there was four of us, myself, Dale Ruska, Ruby Wharton and Dylan Vollar … Dale delivered a statement in regards to the War and Truth Commission, war crimes commission and we discussed some of the other issues I also spoke in regards to colonialism and incarceration within his statement he said that he’s quite willing to come back and meet with the people and look into the number of cases we brought up to him then which was Zac Grieves and Kevin Henry…. Kevin Henry case … he actually mad a fool out of himself because [inaudible] aboriginal people because when Kevin Henry got locked up he was actually premier of Queensland so… that goes to show… you know they say one thing and we all know they … are pretty good at doing the opposite things. But as I said we’re arranged a meeting with Wayne to meet with a delegation here on Thursday … I’m not quite sure of the time or venue of that as yet or the delegation that will be going there but I’m sure it will be a combination of elders, traditional owner elders and members of the national working party.
That follows on to my next questions which is about what else is happening until the camp closes on the 15th ?
Well we still have workshops and discussions we’re getting a lot of feedback from around the country suggestions and you know we’re getting positive and negative … we spoke today about setting up a national committee so people are not intimidated that it’s not run by one particular body we’ve seen the way the media um the media has fear-mongered a lot of our people in relations to using names such as the Brisbane Embassy and WAR and aboriginal embassies in general I suppose . So what we want is to yes we know we are part of this group but also this is a part of a national group and that we’re not part of any organisation in general you know what I mean we’re not incorporating ourselves to be any ‘body’ we want to establish this war and truth commission.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just that it’s been great down here you know we’ve been looked after down here … we’ve had a bit of rain but the camp…. it’s actually it’s awesome … we’ve got the elders in the caravans and that but um … and tonight we’re enjoying some turtle so sorry you can’t be here Linda so try to get down if you can and anyone out there that’s listening we’re here until the 15th so come down check it out you don’t know unless you ask so yeah…
Thank you very much for speaking to us today Gwenda?
No thank you very much Linda and any time … give us a call and we’ll fill you in on what’s happening and where we are.