He renounced Australia and lives solely by tribal law. Now Murrumu is hitting the road
Murrumu Walubara Yidindji gave up Australian money, his citizenship, and now he drives under Yidinji tribal law. For the authorities, it’s a novel situation
For the past week or so a black 2001 Ford Ka has been cruising Canberra’s streets. It’s a modest, unimposing car that would, except for its distinctive number plates, elicit little attention.
The black and gold plates read: “ Yidindji - YID-001 - Pursuant to Yidindji Tribal Law.”
The car’s driver is Murrumu Walubara Yidindji, a man in his 40s from the country around Cairns, north Queensland, who last year decided to voluntarily “leave Australia” and live by the tribal law of his Indigenous people, the Yidindji.
For Murrumu (formerly the National Indigenous Television political journalist known as Jeremy Geia) leaving Australia almost a year ago began with a series of small practical and equally symbolic steps.He renounced his Australian citizenship
, returned his passport and Medicare card to the Australian Commonwealth, and sent his driver’s licence back to the chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory, where he then lived. Then Murrumu – who has since returned to live permanently in Yidindji country – quit his job, gave away most possessions and walked away from his bank savings and a superannuation account built up over two decades.
He had, in his words, “abandoned the Australian citizen ship”.
Now, during a visit to the national capital he has, since 2 January, been driving around in YID-001, a car that was, Murrumu says, “licensed to the sovereign Yidindji government” on the first day of the new year.
The number plates are already in use in Yidindji country. But Murrumu said he decided to release YID-001 “in Ngambri (Canberra in Walgalu, the language of the custodians of the plains upon which the national capital is imposed) for the very symbolic gesture that the head office called Parliament House of the Commonwealth of Australia is located there”.
Most Aussies are learning now that the jurisdiction known as the Commonwealth of Australia does not yet constitutionally recognise the Aboriginal tribes of the geographical land mass known as Australia. The failure to constitutionally recognise the Yidindji in the foundation legal document of the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Australia means that the Yidindji ... are not bound by any of the laws and statutes created by the authority of the Australian constitution.
Nonetheless, before taking YID-001 for a spin on the Tuggeranong Parkway, Murrumu and his associates did inform the police that the car licensed to the Yidiindji government would be driving on local roads.
“The Tuggeranong (police) station accepted our public notices and paperwork. But one officer told me he’s never come across this situation before,” Murrumu said.
Doubtless, the police officer was telling the truth. Murrumu’s situation is unusual, though far from unique; in the past month I’ve met other Indigenous Australians from elsewhere on the continent who are also renouncing Australian citizenship in favour of tribal law.
read on: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/09/he-renounced-australia-and-lives-solely-by-tribal-law-now-murrumu-is-hitting-the-road