Treaty: Robbie Thorpe's Perspective

January 7, 2019

 by Charles Pakana, Treaty Engagement Correspondent 

 For decades, Uncle Robbie Thorpe has been open and vocal in calling for treaty, but never has he wavered from his stand that Australia to be recognised as a genocide crime scene.

He also stands firm that this is a definite roadblock to treaty between government and First Nations of Australia.

“What precedes treaty is the issue of genocide, and the failure to acknowledge sovereignty or lore of the land,” he said. “They need to precede a treaty process. We [activists] coined the phrase “the black GST” – Genocide, Sovereignty to get to the point of Treaty.”


When asked how government should address the issue of genocide, he responded: “Act legally, morally and ethically.

“One of the first things that [the Robert Menzies] government [1949-1966] was meant to do was ratify and legislate against the act of genocide. Imagine if that had happened in 1949.

“Do you think you’d see a Stolen Generation? Deaths in custody? The rate of incarceration?

It’s worth noting that Australia was the third country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of General Assembly (9 December 1948).

Article II of that Convention states:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as:

Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
It wasn’t until 2002 that the legislation was enacted to make genocide a crime.

A call for international scrutiny
“We had a healthy environment before Cook and Banks turned up with bad intent,” Uncle Robbie stated. “We already had law [lore] and that needs to be recognised up front. [This government] is an illegal occupation.

“That’s the reality. That’s what people are in denial of. They’re denying the law that already existed here. Our law!

“We need international law scrutinising the [treaty] process!”