Indigenous Communities Education & Awareness Foundation (ICEA) has today ceased any further association and refused sponsorship funding it was to receive this year from the University of Western Australia Student Guild following publication of negative stereotype articles of indigenous people and culture in it’s annual publication, Prosh.
ICEA founder and CEO Lockie Cooke said ICEA could not accept any funding from any organisation which made disparaging or racist comments about indigenous Australians.
“In this day and age, it is totally unacceptable and morally corrupt that any organisation or group of people perpetuate mistruths about indigenous people,” Lockie said.
“We are appalled and disgusted at Prosh’s editorial content and direction.
“We appreciate Prosh is a student publication manned by well meaning volunteers but we are disappointed that it has lost its sense of humour by seeking to make fun of those less privileged in society.
“ICEA will no longer accept any continuing association with the UWA Guild.”
Lockie said ICEA was not involved in any review or editing of Prosh articles.
“We will now do whatever we can to ensure this type of writing is never published again,” Lockie said.
ICEA was one of four charities selected to receive part of the money raised from Prosh’s tin shaking and newspaper sales for 2013. Funds received by ICEA from UWA Guild were earmarked for initiatives to build stronger relationships amongst all Australians through experiences and understanding of indigenous culture and history.
“We will now work doubly hard to find other alternatives to raise funds for these important initiatives.
“ICEA’s core business is building strong relationships with our indigenous recipients. We cannot in good faith accept funding from any organisation which does not share our same moral direction.
“ICEA’s purpose is reconciliation inspired by young people. We are the only youth reconciliation body in Australia.
“The Prosh articles are very upsetting and have caused harm. It is a serious wake up call to the WA community that we all need to be more aware and respectful of Australia’s indigenous people and their connection to this beautiful place we call home.”
Lockie said negative media was disheartening to all ICEA volunteers, particularly as ICEA had just received the WA youth awards, innovation award for best youth organization in the State on Saturday night. www.communities.wa.gov.au/Youth/programs/wayouthawards
Further questions should be directed to:
ICEA founder and CEO
Phone: 0418 223 635