Show Your Support: The Petitions You Can Sign to Fight for First Nations Causes

Welcome to Dig Deeper, a content series allowing you to dive as deep as you like into topics that are underserved in the current media landscape but need and deserve more coverage and attention. Its purpose is to shed light on important community-based issues facing minority groups. To start with, we’re having honest and open conversations around January 26, the national mood and changing the date.

Warning: This article deals with the topic of domestic violence and could be triggering for some readers.

Being an effective First Nations ally is more than not barbecuing on Invasion Day. It’s also more than liking the occasional activism TikTok or tweet. There are a plethora of meaningful ways us non-Indigenous peeps can support our First Nations peoples. 

One such way is by signing meaningful petitions that fight for Aboriginal-centred justice. Moreover, after signing such petitions, you should continue to advocate for these causes moving forward. So, with all of that in mind, here are some petitions you can join to support Indigenous Australians.

ANTAR’s Treaty Petition 

ANTAR is an organisation that provides Aussies with vital information about First Nations issues. They also believe that the Australian Government should collaborate with First Nations groups to create treaties. These treaties would be legally binding settlements that would provide First Nations peoples with rights and resources in exchange for the Country that the British Crown has already stolen from them. 

“Nearly 250 years since James Cook landed at Botany Bay in 1770 with instructions from the British Crown to annex Australia with the ‘Consent of the Natives,’ the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across Australia have never given consent or ceded their sovereignty,” said ANTAR.

“As the only remaining Western colonising state to have failed to treat with the First Nations of the land, Australia is exceptional for the wrong reason.”

In response to this unjust situation, ANTAR has created a petition you can sign, calling on the Australian Government to kick off the treaty process. You can join this petition here.

The #RaiseTheAge Petition 

In Australia, you can be arrested and locked up at the age of ten. For the people behind the #RaiseTheAge movement, this fact is inhumane and unacceptable. They believe that the minimum age should at least be 14, in accordance with United Nations guidelines. 

“Prisons only cause harm to children; they never help. The criminal legal system takes children away from their families, communities, and other support, and pushes them down a path that often leads to adult prison,” said #RaiseTheAge.

What’s more, #RaiseTheAge has stated that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are far more likely to go through the legal system than other kids. This can compound and exacerbate the discrimination that these children already go through. 

If you believe that the age of imprisonment should be raised, you can sign this petition here

Related: Justice for Cassius Turvey — What Comes Next

Related: “History Is Calling, Let’s Get This Done” — It’s Time for a First Nations Voice in Parliament

VALS’ Bail Laws Petition

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) isn’t currently stoked with its state’s bail laws. This is because they believe that too many First Nations arrests result in folks being incarcerated instead of being able to bail themselves free.

“30 years ago, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down its report, which included recommendations to increase access to bail and only use prison ‘as a sanction of last resort’. Since then, they have been repeated in many reports, reviews, inquiries, and forums, yet Victoria has failed to implement these recommendations and instead has gone backwards,” said VALS. 

“Victoria’s prisons are now filled with people who have not been found guilty of any offence and those who are unlikely to serve a prison sentence even if convicted.”

VALS also said, “Aboriginal women are the fastest growing demographic in Victoria’s prisons. Many of them are victim-survivors of family violence. They need support, not a prison cell. Many of them are primary carers. Locking them up in prison before their day in court destroys families and communities.”

To combat this injustice, VALS has set up a petition. And you can join said petition right here

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

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