Naomi Klein praises W&J leaders’ Activist of the Year award

Stories / Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Julien Burnside QC presents Ngara Institute’s Inaugural Activist of the Year Award

Naomi Klein praises Adrian Burragubba and Murrawah Johnson for W&J fight against Adani

1 July 2017

NAOMI KLEIN, award-winning journalist and author of the international bestsellers, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, and No Logo, sent this generous testimonial to the Ngara Institute for its Inaugural Activist of the Year award:

“I am thrilled to learn that Murrawah Johnson and Adrian Burragubba will be joint winners of the Australian Activist of the Year Award. Murrawah and Adrian are on the front line of holding back one of the largest proposed coalmines in the world. They are also shining a light on the urgent need for a justice-based transition to the next economy in the face of overlapping crises of climate change, racial injustice and economic inequality.

The Wangan & Jagalingou traditional owners are fighting not just for their culture and country, but for a liveable planet for all of us. I bow my head to their leadership, wisdom and tenacity and congratulate them warmly on this richly deserved award. May this recognition serve to invite more people to support their struggle and see this reckless coalmine shelved once and for all.”

THE NGARA INSTITUTE Inaugural Activist of the Year Award, presented by Julien Burnside QC to Adrian Burragubba and Murrawah Johnson said:

“We proudly present the Ngara Institute’s inaugural Australian Activist of the Year award. This is a big occasion for all of us, and especially for millions of progressive activists who have given their time and energy to bring about change.

The award was decided by the Events Committee of the Ngara Institute. The criteria that guided us were:

  1. An Australian person or persons who have made a significant, long-term contribution to advancing social justice and human rights causes or agendas.
  2. Actions and practices that have attracted considerable public attention around a pressing issue and which have led to specific outcomes.
  3. Actions, practices and outcomes that demonstrate creative thinking, and which accord with the values and beliefs articulated in the Ngara Institute’s Mission Statement.
  4. Successful actions and practices that have involved networking with other activist organisations in Australia and/or overseas.

Our decision to grant the award to both Adrian and Murrawah was made in light of their outstanding commitment to fighting for the rights and homelands of Indigenous people in relation to the proposed Adani mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Adrian and Murrawah not only represent the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council of the people, they also reflect the passion and commitment of many Indigenous peoples around the world who have fought long and hard to protect their homelands and to stop further pollution of our planet.

Adrian and Murrawah have travelled far and wide to campaign against the funding of the Carmichael project, successfully persuading many leading international financial companies not to fund Adani. They have also been involved in numerous court cases, most recently over the federal government’s changes to native title legislation.

Their tireless struggle has become the focus of world attention, with masses of support coming from concerned citizens and environmental justice organisations. Theirs has been a historic campaign, on par with those struggles that have made a significant difference to our world.

In taking on governments, banks, the media, and powerful multinational corporations, Adrian, Murrawah and their colleagues and supporters have drawn a line under the rapacious practices wrecking our planet. They are saying no; they are calling for justice, and a different way of being.”

The campaign of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council is documented in a summary report from the University of Queensland: ‘Unfinished Business: Adani, the state, and the Indigenous rights struggle of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council‘.

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