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In 2006, I participated in a significant and important discussion with five other witnesses on ABC's Lateline program which addressed Indigenous disadvantage, government neglect, violence and abuse in Indigenous communities.
I'm proud to have stood up for human rights, especially for Indigenous women and children.

Gregory Andrews Lateline

Lateline 2006

Seventeen years ago I spoke on ABC Lateline with along other key witnesses including Indigenous Elder Mantatjara Wilson about neglect of remote Indigenous communities by governments and violence and abuse suffered by women and children. I did so because I believe in human rights, social justice and equality. I was also a witness in a Coronial Inquest and Senate Inquiry into petrol sniffing and its impacts in the Northern Territory and in two successful criminal prosecutions related to what was occurring in the Northern Territory at the time.

I learned it is dangerous in Australia to speak out against abuse. Victims and people who speak up for them are often attacked, lied about, defamed, gaslighted and treated like political footballs. I know I was and still am. But if we don't speak out, nothing changes. Despite the personal price I've paid, I'm glad I spoke out. 

Misinformation and defamatory material circulates on the internet about me as a result of my stand. Much of it is recycled and weaponised from false statements made about me under parliamentary privilege by former Northern Territory and Federal politicians. I wrote to the NT's then Chief Minister and Treasurer Claire Martin and Syd Stirling in 2006 outlining the facts and asking them to correct the record. I wrote similarly to Federal politicians Warren Snowdon and Trish Crossin. None of them replied or corrected the record. Parliamentary privilege exempted them from defamation laws and accountability. 


Seventeen years later, I still get abused, gaslighted and cancelled. There are plenty of conspiracy theories about me. I even get blamed for the Northern Territory Intervention which is a bit rich, especially when it comes from so-called progressives who blame me as an Aboriginal man for the actions of a white Prime Minister at the time. During my #ClimateHungerStrike in 2023, a journalist who has always had an unhealthy interest in me and published much of the information, wrote suggesting I was trying to infiltrate the environment movement on behalf of security services.


I issued a statement about my appearance on Lateline in 2006 and I stand by that. I'm proud for standing up for human rights. I don't respond to haters. Attention is what they want. It is worth noting, however, that:

  • The NT Coroner found my evidence and work outstanding. He conducted a thorough, independent investigation into what was happening in Central Australia. His was a statutory and judicial process, not political or ideological. 

  • Female community elder Mantatjara Wilson, the Mutitjulu community doctor, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park manager and other witnesses all shared consistent evidence with me. 

  • An ABC Independent Complaints Panel Review of the Lateline Program in 2007 debunked the conspiracy theories and found me to be a "reliable and credit worthy witness".

  • Lateline presenter Tony Jones laid out the facts and how politicians had weaponised the issue in his Darwin Press Club speech of 2006.

  • The peak body representing Aboriginal Women in the Central Deserts spoke out saying the Lateline witnesses “did not make up the stories” and were “not liars or mad”.

  • The harrowing nature of violent crime and child sexual assault across Central Australia was detailed in 2005 by the NT Crown Prosecutor Nanette Rogers.

  • The Little Children are Sacred Report in 2007 found there was "a significant problem" in Northern Territory communities in relation to sexual abuse of children.


I made two small mistakes of nomenclature which I immediately corrected in a letter to the Senate Community Affairs Committee at the time.  My only other mistake was covering up my face, which I did due to death threats I had already received. 

There’s a Buddhist saying that if someone tries to give you something and you don’t accept it, then the thing they're trying to give stays with them. That’s what I do with the hate and gaslighting.
I don’t accept it. It stays with the haters. I am sad for those who buy into the conspiracy theories. Abusing and cancelling human rights defenders harms everyone, particularly the most vulnerable.

From a policy perspective, my submission to the Coroner's Inquiry is worth a read on the complex and interrelated problems and solutions needed to address what was occurring in Central Australia. Two of the key issues I identified were: (i) the need to address social and economic disadvantage in Indigenous communities; and (ii) for governments to stop passing the buck on service delivery. Indigenous Australians in remote and regional Australia deserve the same safety, services and government accountability as all Australians. 

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