Friday, December 31, 2021

ANOTHER white "Aborigine"

There is NOTHING about her appearance that is Aboriginal. But she apparently has some remote Aboriginal ancestry. So what? Two of my remote ancestors were convicts. Does that make me a criminal? Remote ancestry is irrelevant

He actual ancestry is obviously from the British Isles overwhelmingly. She would have a much stronger and more realistic claim by saying she is British

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An Indigenous influencer has hit back at internet trolls accusing her of pretending to be Aboriginal because of her light skin and blue eyes - saying 'it doesn't matter how much milk you put in coffee, it's always going to be coffee'.

Kate Maree Cooper, a 22-year-old TikTok star from central New South Wales, posted a scathing reply to people questioning her heritage on social media on Thursday morning.

She responded to a comment after a user accused her of 'thinking she's Indigenous... but just isn't', saying it was unjustified and hurtful.

'It's not ok, I identify as an Aboriginal woman,' she said.

Kate, who has amassed nearly 370,000 followers on TikTok, said she's a proud member of the Wirdajuri mob, Indigenous Australians from central NSW.

She regularly posts content referring to her Aboriginal roots, and says her appearance shouldn't take away from her traditions.

'Just because I have fairer skin, blue eyes and dye my hair blonde, doesn't take away that I'm Aboriginal,' she said.


Greenie hate on display

Old Parliament House has suffered 'incalculable damage' after a fire ripped through the entrance to the historic landmark, with Scott Morrison branding the destruction 'disgusting' and 'appalling'.

Within hours of the building going up in flames on Thursday, Greens senator Lidia Thorpe posted a tweet - which was hastily deleted - remarking 'the colonial system is burning down'.

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She was quickly slammed for the post, in which she appeared to celebrate the destruction and told followers 'Happy New Year everyone'.

The entrance to the building was engulfed in flames after a smoking ceremony demanding Aboriginal Sovereignty in Canberra grew out of control - with some claiming it was spread intentionally.

Emergency crews arrived to douse the flames, but not before the fire had caused extensive damage to its heritage doors, the portico and the building's exterior.

Demonstrators were heard shouting 'let it burn', amid a tense stand-off with police who used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

The smoking ceremony, which was approved by authorities as part of a protest, was to blame for the blaze while police begin to investigate how the chaos escalated.


ANZ bank’s climate policies stand up to scrutiny after activist attack

A bid by Friends of the Earth and three bushfire victims to have ANZ censured over its climate change disclosures and actions has failed, with a determination handed down that the bank’s actions are consistent with international guidelines.

In early 2020, Friends of the Earth and Jack Egan, Joanna Dodds and Patrick Simons lodged a complaint with the Australian National Contact Point (ANCP) – a government office responsible for promoting adherence to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

The complaint alleged “aspects of ANZ’s disclosures, target-setting and scenario analysis’’ breached the OECD’s guidelines, and that it had failed to be fully transparent about its “indirect emissions”, or those it contributes to by financing the fossil fuel industry.

Following a failed mediation on the issue, an examiner looked at the bank’s disclosure practices, and had found that while there is ambiguity in the guidelines, ANZ had been “undertaking actions and conduct consistent with (them)’’.

At the time the complaint was lodged, Mr Egan, who on New year’s Eve 2019 lost his home at North Rosedale, south of Bateman’s Bay in NSW to a bushfire, said holding large corporations to account on climate change was deeply personal.

“I saw our front deck catch on fire … the flames of the deck were licking into the window spaces and around the doors,” he said.

While he acknowledged Australia had always had droughts and bushfires, he said he was convinced global warming played a role in the severity of the drought and the fierceness of the blazes.

“Many scientists are saying this is well-predicted and it’s a consequence of the global heating,” he said.

The complaint was based on a similar one brought by Friends of the Earth Netherlands against ING Bank, which it said resulted in the bank committing to stronger climate action.

Friends of the Earth said at the time ANZ “remains the biggest financier of fossil fuels among the big four Australian banks, and it has neglected a number of opportunities to improve its direct and indirect environmental impact’’.

“ANZ’s lack of full disclosure about its climate change impacts prevents consumers from making informed decisions about whether or not to engage with the bank,’’ the complaint said.

The determination from the ANCP said the guidelines themselves did not mention climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions featured in only two paragraphs, which said organisations should seek to improve the environmental performance of themselves and their supply chain, and also “encourage” broad disclosure practices in areas where reporting standards are still evolving.

“There is limited explicit direction about climate change in the guidelines,’’ the determination says.

“There is, however, potential relevance from the guidelines’ statement that an enterprise’s environmental management system should include ‘where appropriate, targets … consistent with relevant national policies and international environmental commitments’.’’

It was recognised in the determination that climate change reporting was evolving in Australia, with the ASX, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission addressing the corporate management of climate risk.


Suspected fraud cases prompt calls for research integrity watchdog

Australia’s top scientists have called for a research integrity watchdog to oversee investigations into allegations of research misconduct at publicly funded institutions, declaring the age of self-regulation is over.

The Australian Academy of Science is in discussions with the government over its proposal for a national oversight body to work with any institution that has used public funds to conduct research, including universities, think tanks and the private sector, following a spate of academic research scandals.

It would have statutory authority to handle allegations of serious research misconduct such as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, leaving issues that fell below that threshold to the governing institutions, and hear appeals if the institutions were deemed not to have dealt with matters fairly or in a timely manner.

The academy’s secretary of science policy, Ian Chubb, a former chief scientist and vice-chancellor of the Australian National University, said he was not suggesting universities were in the business of concealing research misconduct, but the rising number of Inspectors-General and Ombudsmen reflected a general distrust for self-regulation and growing support for independent oversight.

“The era of self-regulation is further in the past than you might like to believe,” Professor Chubb said. “We’re proposing that there be an Australian system for investigating research misconduct that has some real substance to it.”

The academy has engaged Universities Australia, which represents Australia’s 39 universities and has given in principle support to the proposal.

“Universities Australia is actively interested in how the quality and integrity of Australian research can be secured and improved,” chief executive Catriona Jackson said.

Australia and New Zealand are unusual among Western nations for not having an office of research integrity, a version of which exists in the UK, Japan, China, Canada, the United States and 23 European countries.

The proposal for a national oversight body follows a string of allegations regarding image manipulation in scientific papers that have embroiled UNSW, the University of Sydney and Macquarie University and the referral of one of Australia’s top cancer scientists to Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission.

But scientists have been trying to promote an office of research integrity for years. In late 2017, it was discussed at a meeting that involved representatives from the Australia Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Chief Scientist and the office of Health Minister Greg Hunt. People with close knowledge of the meeting said although major research bodies supported the proposal, it was actively opposed by Universities Australia and later shelved.

Professor Chubb said the current model was developed after fellows of the academy raised the issue in May last year. Cases would have to be triaged so the office would only handle the most serious matters, and it was expected to cost around $5 million, though it was uncertain how many cases would emerge.

Among those who raised their concerns was University of Melbourne scientist Peter Brooks, who was commissioned by UNSW in 2013 to investigate a complaint of research misconduct against a senior researcher.

“The terms of reference were incredibly tight, so we couldn’t deviate from those,” Professor Brooks said.

Professor Brooks concluded the professor had committed misdemeanours that fell short of research misconduct, but unearthed other issues during his investigation that the university chose to refer to separate committees, none of which were allowed to make findings about a pattern of behaviour.

“It was a very, very disappointing and unfortunate situation,” Professor Brooks said.

Each of the five committees cleared the professor of research misconduct, finding the breaches were the result of genuine error or honest oversight. UNSW said in a statement the findings were later considered together by a further external independent panel and still found not to constitute research misconduct.

Professor Brooks, who has conducted several investigations into academic misconduct, said the tertiary education system was so reliant on overseas students and research funding that universities could ill afford to lose senior researchers.

At the same time, there were financial and career incentives to researchers who publish prolifically or publish in journals that are classified as high impact. This created conditions for academics to perform sloppy or even fraudulent research. Other scientists then read the papers and spend years trying to reproduce the experiments or develop them further.

“The opportunity costs are enormous because that costs money that could have been used for legitimate research,” Professor Brooks said. “And often they’ve been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, so it’s a really serious issue




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