16 September 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

16 September 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we visit the National Museum of Australia, Myanmar, global arms trade, Australia Day and much more.


1. The National Museum of Australia has taken on an important challenge – to tell the ancient story of creation from Indigenous ancestors. “Songlines embody the stories of the ancestors’ creation of country itself. They are a belief system. But they are also akin to maps – stories about the land that, understood, spoken or sung, can be used to navigate on foot or even by vehicle. Given that this continent’s Indigenous populations represent the oldest continuous civilisations on earth, the songlines can even be seen as foundation stories of the cosmos.” The exhibition ‘Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters’ is a must see and worth a trip to the capital!


2. The situation in Myanmar for Rohingya families has worsened. Reports of massacres and ethnic cleansing continue with the Myanmar government now controlling important aid operations and threatening supplies to the Rohingya Muslim population. If you are new to these issues, Amnesty International has a great video of the main issues. Amnesty International also has a petition you can sign and are asking for donations to assist in their work in this region.


3. Over the last week or so there have been lots more interesting developments in relation to an alternate celebration for Australia Day. Moreland City Council has joined Yarra and Darabin Councils in moving their citizenship ceremonies away from Australia Day. And The Canberra Times reports that the ACT is the first Australian jurisdiction to make Reconciliation Day (May 28) a public holiday.  And just because we can- here is the wonderful video from Junkee promoting their idea of a new date for Australia Day – May 8 (Maaate!) One of our favourite vides here at WITADA!


4. Did you know that global arms trade is on the rise – even though we have had an Arms Trade Treaty for the past four years? In fact according to Amnesty International, the world spent $1.69 trillion on the military in 2016 and the top 100 arms companies have sold over 5 trillion dollars worth of arms since 2002.


5. For the first time this century the number of hungry people in the world has increased. This is a serious issue given the rise in conflict and climate change, both of which have massive impacts on food security around the world.


6. In 2016 we encouraged our readers to head off to their favourite bookstore and buy a copy of Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu which “explores the writings and paintings of early colonialists in order to deconstruct over-simplified portrayals of Indigenous life and to examine the agricultural and scientific discoveries of our ancestors – who were far from simply hunter-gatherers”. He has won several awards for his book, his thirteenth, and in this article he is interviewed for NITV about his work.


7. Did you know that 1 in 7 people live without electricity. This has major implications for women and their safety. But three women in Lebanon are fighting to make a change.


8. Thanks to some support from the UNDP a group of women from a little village in Turkey have set up a cooperative to make traditional products like pasta, jams etc and sell them to their community and tourists – and it’s all fuelled by solar power!


9. ‘Protecting Our Planet’s Lungs‘ – what a great title for a story on the Indigenous Harakmbut people of Peru’s southern Amazon. They are warriors against climate change and protecting these amazing natural resources is a way of achieving that.


10. And Amnesty International has a reminder about the ways we can all stay positive about human rights in the midst of our difficult times.


Look forward to sharing more important stories with you all next week.