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ATSIC Chairman appeals court ruling.



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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

Media Releases

ATSIC Chairman appeals court ruling

28/3/2003

Statement by ATSIC Chairman Geoff Clark

I am surprised and disappointed by today’s decision by the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to convict me on charges of obstructing police and riotous behaviour and I have appealed this ruling.

In my view I am only guilty of standing up for the rights of Indigenous people in this country.

As Magistrate Angela Bolger said in her ruling, if nothing else this case has shown that we are still a very long way off from achieving reconciliation in this country.

I believe my decision to stand up for the rights of my people was the right one and I will always stand up for those rights.

If I have to suffer a penalty in order to expose discriminatory practices against my people then so be it.

The road to justice for Indigenous people is long and difficult and in any struggle there will be tough moments.

We are more than willing to walk that distance and with the support of our many friends and families we will prevail.

Warrnambool 28 March 2003

Note: Mr Clark will not be available for any further comment as the matters are subject to appeal