Miller Boomerang Petition

Indigenous Perspective on the Fire at Old Parliament House

5 January 2022

1.8 MINS

Indigenous artist Munganbana Norman Miller is gravely disappointed by the fire set by activists at Old Parliament House last week. He is alarmed that it may have destroyed Aboriginal art, in particular a giant boomerang he created, signifying unity and healing.

Indigenous boomerang - in fire?Munganbana Norman Miller is concerned that a giant boomerang with “No Discrimination in the Constitution” on it, that he donated to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House Canberra, may have been damaged when the door was set on fire last Thursday.

He has not been to see where it was located because he lives in Cairns. The museum is closed for repairs. He made and painted the boomerang himself.

Munganbana said,

“It is disappointing that numerous heritage items that were contained in the Museum have been treated with such disdain by protestors who did not have the approval of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy or the local Ngunnawal elders for the protest or the smoking ceremony, which was a guise for them to undertake the criminal action of setting it on fire.”

“As we come to the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, we respect peaceful protest and acknowledge the important contribution it has made,” said Miller. “Now is the time for the Uluru Statement of Voice Treaty Truth to be established.”

“I am an Aboriginal artist and the giant boomerang I donated to the museum had on it ‘No Discrimination in the Constitution.’ It was part of a grassroots campaign I waged at my own expense by travelling around Australia collecting signatures for the removal of discrimination from the constitution and the acknowledgement of First Nations people in it,” said Munganbana.

“It was called the Miller Boomerang Petition, and I handed the boomerang with over 360 signatures on the back, as well as a normal petition, to then-Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and MPs Ken Wyatt and Warren Entsch. On 8 February 2016, I handed Warren Entsch MP and the then speaker and clerk of the house the final signatures. This is recorded in Hansard,” he said.Boomerang - Voice Treaty Truth

“I decided to donate the boomerang to the museum so it would be in a prominent place where it will be available to future generations who have an interest in our robust democracy. I hope it will stimulate discussions on changing the constitution and promoting Voice Treaty Truth. These need to come from a grassroots level up, not top-down.”

“I have another giant boomerang with ‘Voice Treaty Truth’ on it that I made and painted. I took part in the co-design for the voice consultations in Cairns, and I am also concerned we make progress on Closing the Gap to reduce the gap in socio-economic outcomes for First Nations people compared to the rest of the community,” said Munganbana.

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