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ATSIROM unlocks knowledge about Indigenous issues

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Communications Editor Media Monitors

RMIT Publishing

ATSIRCM unlocks knowledge about indigenous issues A lack of knowledge and understanding about Australia’s history, especially its indigenous heritage, is now producing ugly political displays, ATSIC Chairman, Gatjil Djerrkura, said today.

“Ignorance about our own history has left a gap that is being filled by modem myths and fantasies,” Mr Djerrkura said.

Launching ATSIROM, a CD collection of databases on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, Mr Djerrkura said while indigenous rights and needs have always existed, they are new issues for many Australians.

“Greater knowledge and acceptance of the true history of Australia — including the indigenous heritage — would leave no room for the growth of movements like One Nation.*

Published by RMIT Publishing, ATSIROM contains references to published and unpubbshed material from journals, newspapers, pamphlets, media releases, books and rare works through to speeches, conference proceedings, royal commissions, videos and posters.

Sandra Oxley, Director of RMIT Publishing, said the disk has captured the imagination of many, especially the RMIT programmers and product managers who worked with the 12 data providers on its development.

“The databases will assist students, researchers and librarians with accessing valuable resources on many issues of relevance not only to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities but to all communities in Australia,” Ms Oxley said.

RMIT University was proud to have been involved in this project, according to the acting Vice-Chancellor, Ruth Dunkin.

“We are delighted that a central source of records relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is now available to people across Australia,” Ms Dunkin said.

“This CD-ROM will prove an invaluable resource to all those in the community, including students and academics, who have an interest in this important aspect of Australia's heritage and culture.”

Mr Djerrkura said that, in the past, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have had the least access to the vast amounts of research into their own cultures.

“ATSLROMwill be a breakthrough and a benchmark in giving us access to information," Mr Djerrkura said.

“But ju st as importantly, ATSLROAf will contribute to the processes of reconciliation and social justice by giving non-indigenous people better access to information. By making these sources available, I hope that future decisions affecting Australia’s indigenous peoples will be based on solid facts.” RMIT Publishing plans to offer access to ATSIROM via the Internet in the near future.

13 August 1998

Contacts; Claire Whitely, RMIT Corporate Affairs 03 9925 2807 Martin Freckmann, ATSIC 02 6289 3399